The German Spitz is a popular and historic breed of dog which, as the name implies, originated from Germany. It is well-known for having a bubbly personality and an agreeable temperament, hence, you’ll find them as the beloved family dog.
As you’ll see below, the Spitz has many attractive traits that have allowed it to survive down the ages and its cute appearance is one of those features. If you’re considering adopting a Spitz and bringing it into your home, then read on to find out more about this very special breed of dog so that you will know what to expect.
What is a German Spitz?
The German Spitz is a very specialized breed that is believed to date back all the way to the Stone Age, where they were known for their colossal size. These days, the German Spitz comes in several sizes - only two of which are recognized by the Kennel Club, namely the tiny Klein and the Mittel, which is larger in comparison.
The most popular varieties are Toy, Standard and Giant and the smaller versions are also known as the Pomeranian, having been named so by the English who imported them from the Pomerania region of Germany. The German Spitz has a hairy mane and small feet, with a very affectionate, intelligent and agreeable temperament.
Historically speaking, the German Spitz is believed to have existed during the Stone Age and is mentioned in German literature as early as the 1400s. This is around the same time when they were exported into England, where they were to be known as the Pomeranian. During this time, the Spitz was widely used to work the fields in farms and also as a form of protection for homesteads, which explains why the Spitz has always been popular with fishermen and traders, as well.
Later on in the 1800s, different varieties of the Spitz were developed, as different countries started creating different breeds to suit different climates and preferences. However, they were still large in size nonetheless. Other historians believe that the German Spitz is the product of herding dogs of ancient Nordic origin, like the Lapphund and the Samoyed, but that’s before the Vikings brought them to Europe.
Although not as popular as they used to be, the German Spitz can still be found in Germany, Australia, South Africa and in Great Britain, where they’re still much loved and revered. However, you’ll scarcely find them in countries like the U.S.
As briefly mentioned above, the German Spitz has a very cheerful disposition and regardless of the size, you’ll always find it in good spirits, spreading cheer. The Spitz is also very intelligent and alert to its surroundings, which is what makes it such a fantastic breed for those seeking safe but alert watchdogs.
The German Spitz is also very energetic and enjoys being played with and taken for walks on a regular basis, but it can still thrive in an indoor environment while still remaining active. So, if you have an apartment setup, you are still able to keep a Spitz without worrying about your pet getting bored or deprived of exercise because it will find plenty to do on its own.
All in all, the Spitz is a very colorful, bubbly and awesome pet to have around and it makes for an ideal companion for any type of environment. The only downside to keeping a Spitz in an apartment environment would be the noise they like to make, as they rather enjoy barking a quite a lot, which will undoubtedly be annoying for neighbors. Nevertheless, you are able to train your Spitz to remain quiet when necessary, but you’ll have to start while they’re young - this will be further discussed below.
The Spitz comes in different sizes and has a really full, soft and fluffy mane that requires quite a bit of maintenance, as well as tiny feet and a cute curly tail. The head is somewhat shaped like a wedge and has a set of dark oval-shaped eyes that seem to sparkle with energy, while the shape of the snout might remind you of a fox. The Spitz comes in a lot of different colors, as well, but the most popular and common varieties include black, off-white, grey, brown and orange.
You will be able to tell from its appearance that the Spitz is a very lively and confident breed of dog and their bodies are well-proportioned, with a neck that sits comfortably on their body, which gives them a very proud and energetic stance. In terms of size, both males and females tend to weigh around 5 to 8kgs, while the larger Mitte variety have an average weight of about 7 to 11kgs.
Additionally, the Spitz is famous for its scissor bite, which is made up of a well-placed set of teeth. And although the lips are usually black, there are some dogs whose lips match with the color of their fur. Moreover, the Spitz is quite an avid runner due to its well-boned legs and straight bellies.
These dogs do not require much maintenance, as their coats naturally propel dirt and other particles from sticking onto their fur. This makes it easy as an owner, as you will have minimal amounts of grooming to do every week.
It's recommended to brush your German Spitz at least once to twice a week to help keep their coat from forming knots or clumping into balls. This can help reduce the amount of fur that they shed each week. Normally, they aren't heavy shedders, except for twice a year when they are changing coats.
Other types of maintenance are necessary to keep your German Spitz healthy. Since they are usually clean dogs and do not produce an odor, you will only need to bathe them every other month. Brushing their teeth should happen at least two to three times a week and lastly, clip their nails on a regular basis so that they don't curl and end up making your dog uncomfortable.
An ideal environment for a German Spitz is one that provides it with a lot of mental stimulation and socialization with humans. This breed thrives off of human affection and if not given enough, can tend to get aggressive and upset. Thus, it's important to give your German Spitz enough attention throughout the day.
Luckily, they don't require a lot of space, as briefly mentioned. These dogs are very energetic and will usually run around throughout the house. It's recommended that if you live in a smaller place, you have to at least take them out once a day for a 30-minute play session outdoors.
Possible Health Problems
The German Spitz breed is often very healthy and you'll find that most of the time, these dogs don't have any serious health issues and are often in good overall health. However, as a German Spitz owner, you have to be aware of all the major risks to illnesses your dog may have, so that if you start to see an issue, you get to call your vet right away.
These are persistent eye membranes that are usually left over from birth. They cause strands of tissue to form across the pupil, thus, it’s best treated as soon as discovered.
Multifocal Retinal Dysplasia
This is when small folds of tissue inside the retina fade and cause your dog to have blind spots. It’s best to get this treated right away, as well.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy
This is blindness in young adult dogs through the death of sensory nerve cells in the eye. Once this happens, it can’t be undone, so it’s extremely important to get your dog checked out.
Knee Cap Displacement
If your German Spitz has a knee cap displacement, it will have issues with straightening limbs and problems walking normally. There will be a lack of support around the knee joint, which allows the kneecap to slip out of position.
Weakness in the wall of the main airway due to a buildup of fat deposits.
If your pup has autoimmune issues, your dog's body will start to attack its own cells throughout their lifetime.
Other Joint Issues
Your dog’s other joints may become weak and brittle over time. However, this can easily be fixed through diet and supplements.
It’s best to keep a lookout for any of these symptoms or disabilities, as they are best solved as soon as possible. If you find that you haven’t discovered one until it’s progressed, you will need to follow up with a trip to a veterinarian for possible treatments.
They don't need much physical exercise per day, at most a max of 30 minutes of outdoor activity to be satisfied. Indoors, you will find that your dog likes to run around - this is normal behavior. Don't worry if you are lacking in space, as well, as they just like to keep moving.
Is This Breed a Good Family Dog?
If you happen to have younger kids or a family, you may be wondering if a German Spitz can fit into your family dynamic. Luckily, this breed thrives well off of socialization and human attention, making them an excellent additional member of your family.
However, young children tend to grab onto things and can end up frightening your dog. Thus, you need to train both the child and the dog to be gentle with each other if you want to lower the risk of injuring your German Spitz and your kid.
German Spitz’ are known for being mischievous dogs. These little ones’ love to test their owners to their breaking points and even like to trick them when the occasion arises. In order to train your dog to listen to your commands without hesitation, you're going to have to stay level-headed as an owner.
The whole family of Spitz breed dogs is extremely stubborn. So, the key to making them obedient is through persistence and patience. Start by training your dog as young as possible and slowly work your way up and be sure not to give in to your dog's complaints. If they learn that they can get away without having to follow through with your instructions, they will learn to take advantage and this causes worse behavior down the road.
Remember that these little ones are highly intelligent and can become extremely obedient and well-trained. If you find that your German Spitz is starting to act out and either break or become aggressive, you have to stand your ground and stay firm.
Do not threaten your dog or punish it as this will only make it act out even more. If you find that you need to punish your Spitz, it's highly suggested that you put them in time-out in a safe place, such as a kennel or a time-out cage.
With its fluffy double coat, a cute foxlike face and a vibrant personality that makes your heart smile, the German Spitz remains one of the most loved dog breeds in modern times. Not only will it provide you with cheerful company when you come back from work, but it’ll always be a fun companion for your kids. It’s not fussy when it comes to its living environment either - it can thrive in both outdoor and indoor scenarios.
Just be sure to brush its mane frequently, take it for frequent walks and give it enough toys to play with when you’re not around, because they’re always a ball of energy. Also, the German Spitz’ will also provide you with protection, even though you might not expect it of them, thanks to their constant alertness and intelligence.
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