Last Updated on January 19, 2024 by Pets Feed
Spitz are a large group of animals with similar external characteristics and a common ancestor. Their key features include pointed ears, a tail curled over their back, and a thick coat that protects them from the cold. The first representatives appeared before our era and, thanks to breeders, gave rise to many new breeds. In our article we will tell you what types of Spitz there are and what variety the most famous representative, the Pomeranian, belongs to.
Pomeranian Spitz is the most popular species
Charming, reminiscent of animated toys, belong to the Spitz-type breeds. In addition to them, this group includes working huskies, northern sled dogs and pets from Asia: Chow Chow, Korean Chindo, Shiba Inu, Akita and many others. We will not consider all the animals listed and will pay attention only to those whose name includes the word “Spitz”.
The Pomeranian is the smallest type of German Spitz. The FCI, or Federation Cynologique Internationale, classifies it as a miniature spitz (deutscher spitz-zwergspitz).
The FCI and AKC standards are also different. American “Pomeranians” are distinguished by a richer palette of colors, clearer feet, frequent absence of premolars and a denser undercoat. Despite this, they can still be bred with Miniature Spitz, since in fact both animals belong to the same breed.
Based on the appearance features of the “Pomeranians”, or Miniature Spitz, they are divided into 4 varieties. Only 2 of them are allowed to participate in exhibitions and official breeding work, since the rest do not meet the approved standards.
A standard type of miniature variety from the German group, developed by dog breeders from Germany. This is what is called the “Zwergspitz”. It is characterized by the following features:
- proportionally built body;
- wedge-shaped skull;
- pronounced stop;
- long straight coat with thick undercoat.
The classic variety is the least in demand. Despite this, it guarantees the purebred of the animal and is recognized by the FCI.
Like the classic one, the fox type fully complies with approved standards. Animals belonging to this variety can participate in any international competitions.
The fox type is easily recognized by its elongated muzzle, narrow lower jaw and almond-shaped eyes. It is distinguished from the classic by longer limbs and shorter coat.
The bearish type is the most popular, but not recognized. It is characterized by the following features:
- wide and slightly flattened muzzle;
- rounded head;
- visually plump cheeks (the illusion is achieved due to thicker hair on the cheekbones);
- close-set round eyes;
- a raised chin and a raised nose.
Dogs of this format resemble teddy bears or a mini version of a chow chow. The downside of such a charming appearance is various pathologies that develop as a result of deliberate flattening of the muzzle. Shortened nasal passages prevent a stable supply of oxygen, provoking the development of heart and tracheal diseases.
The toy or doll type is the work of the Japanese. It is close to the bear’s, but is distinguished by a flatter muzzle, smaller dimensions and wider eyes. Initially, this variety was presented exclusively in white color.
The toy type, like the bear type, is not recognized by canine organizations. The main reason is the high likelihood of health problems due to an excessively shortened muzzle.
Large varieties of Spitz
Based on the classification of German Spitz, large breeds include varieties with a height of more than 40 cm. Unlike tiny “Pomeranians”, such pets are not particularly suitable for living in an apartment and require longer walks.
Samoyed Spitz (Samoyed)
According to one of the popular canine theories, it comes from the Nenets Laika. Named in honor of the indigenous Siberian people – the Samoyeds. These people were the very first owners of the breed and used it for hunting, herding deer, transporting goods and keeping small children warm in the tent.
The average height is 54-60 cm, but may deviate by 3 cm up or down. These pets are notable for their abundant snow-white fur and signature “smile”, formed due to the slightly upturned corners of the mouth.
Samoyeds are amazingly kind and smart animals, completely human-oriented. They are not prone to conflict behavior and completely trust any people, including strangers.
Bred in the 60-70s of the 20th century on the basis of the Wolfspitz and Chow Chow. A little later he also adopted the Samoyed genes. The main goal of the creation is to eliminate excessive gullibility in strangers while maintaining general good nature and ease of training.
Adult Eurasiers reach 52-60 cm at the withers and weigh about 25-32 kg. They have moderate high legs and a stocky build. Their name is a derivative of two words: “Europe” and “Asia”. The first part of the world indicates a relationship with the Wolfspitz, and the second indicates a relationship with the Chow Chow.
Unlike most dogs, Eurasiers do not become attached to just one person. They respect all family members and are suitable as a first pet. The manifestation of stubbornness and independence on their part is usually observed only in adolescence.
A direct descendant of the ancient peat dog, which came to Europe along with the northern nomadic peoples. For a long time it was used by peasants to protect farms and vineyards.
– the largest representative of the German group. Its height is 43-55 cm, and the only acceptable color is zone gray, or wolf.
The double name of the breed is the result of the formation of two breeding lines: German and Dutch. The first focuses on working qualities, that is, a developed guard instinct, and the second – on exhibition qualities, that is, exterior. The Dutch breeding line is followed not only in the Netherlands, but also in England and the USA. Dogs from these countries are distinguished by a more compact body, more “elegant” coat and more variable colors.
Despite some differences, Wolfspitz and Keeshond still belong to the same breed and have a similar character. They are peaceful and very emotional. Such pets easily get along with other pets and greatly value human company.
Descended from aboriginal dogs that inhabited the northern regions of Central Russia. The first written mention of animals with a similar exterior dates back to the 17th century. At that time, modern ancestors were used for hunting. Representatives of the breed were very different from each other due to the autonomy of regions remote from each other.
At the end of the 19th century there was a large-scale launch of trains. The distance between cities has lost its former importance. The resulting freedom of movement led to uncontrolled crossbreeding of dogs and the gradual disappearance of the classic “Finns”. The animals were saved from oblivion by breeders from Finland, who selected several purebred individuals for official breeding. In 1954, the standard they developed was recognized by the FCI.
The average height of “Finns” is 42-47 cm. A deviation of 3 cm in any direction is allowed. The only approved color is red or golden red.
“Finns” are like-minded people, so you shouldn’t expect excessive meekness and silence from them. Their voice is an important instrument used during hunting. It ranges from a short, sharp bark to a high-pitched, hound-like yodel.
Norrbottenspets – Nordic Spitz
The Nordic Spitz is the smallest representative of the group of huskies. Despite this, its height is 42-45 cm and can deviate in any direction by 2 cm. The main feature of this dog is its invariably white color with reddish-yellow spots.
The place of origin of the Nordic Spitz is Scandinavia. It was here that their ancestors, who arrived along with the first settlers, settled. Until the 20th century, these dogs were used to hunt fur-bearing animals, and after the ban on hunting they had to retrain as companions.
Norrbotten Spitz are very playful and easily get along with their relatives. They have a strong territorial instinct and are suspicious of strangers. In everyday life, these dogs use their barking to attract the owner’s attention when strangers appear and to scare away potential enemies.
German Spitz (Deutscher Spitz)
The last large representative is the Grossspitz. He, like the Wolfspitz, belongs to the German varieties and reaches 40-50 cm at the withers. Acceptable colors include black, brown and white.
Initially, Grossspitz dogs were used to guard houses and fight rodents. Until the 18th century, they were in demand exclusively among low-income segments of the population, but ultimately received the attention of the European aristocracy.
Grossspitz are not couch dogs. They do not like to idle and are constantly in a hurry to get somewhere. Also, these pets are jealous and may not tolerate competition from other pets. Conflict-free living is possible only with competent socialization and growing up together.
Medium and small Spitz dogs
If the height at the withers is less than 40 cm, then the Spitz dog is classified as a medium variety – or even small. The first group includes pets with a height of 30-40 cm, and the second – within 24-30 cm. All others, including “Pomeranians”, are classified as miniature, or toy-type.
Mittelspitz – German Spitz Mittel
Another variety from the German group, but of medium size. The height of these dogs is 30-40 cm. In addition to their size, they are distinguished by a more variable palette of colors. Mittelspitz can be not only black, brown and white, but also red, zone-gray and even spotted.
The history of the origin of the Middle Spitz is still the same. Medium-sized representatives turned out to be more attractive to aristocrats than large ones, although they lost in popularity to smaller individuals.
Mittelspitz are typical “energizers”. They remain active even into old age and become strongly attached to their owners. A change of family for such pets is extremely undesirable. Against the backdrop of separation, they develop severe stress, which worsens their overall health.
Like the Eurasier, it belongs to the group of Asian representatives. It was bred in the 20-30s of the 20th century by Japanese dog breeders based on other small varieties with a white color. Due to its strong external resemblance to the American Eskimo Dog, it is not recognized by the AKC.
Reaches about 30-38 cm in height at the withers or slightly less. Notable for its monochromatic snow-white coat without yellowness, elongated body and emphasized oriental eye shape.
Despite their very soft and friendly appearance, they are not without an Asian mentality. They are not prone to fuss and idleness. Fluffy dogs dose their emotions very competently and carefully, trying not to bother the owner with their attention.
Volpino Italiano (Italian Spitz)
This miniature dog strongly resembles a Pomeranian, but is distinguished by its larger dimensions. Its weight and height are 4 kg and 25-30 cm. It is found in milky white and solid red color.
The external resemblance to the “Pomeranian” is not accidental, because these pets have the same ancestor. Despite the almost identical exterior, the breed is rare and is mainly found only in Italy.
sensitive to loud sounds. Any knock or bell on the door is immediately accompanied by vigilant dogs with loud barking. They are also very playful and intelligent. They are easy to train and can be taught agility or dog frisbee.
Kleinspitz (small German)
This is the last representative of the German group. It is located between the Middle Spitz and the Pomeranian. Its height varies between 24-30 cm.
Kleinspitz breeding was mainly carried out in Pomerania, a territory located between Germany and Poland. Larger representatives (Middle Spitz and Gross Spitz) were concentrated in the southwest of the country – in Württemberg, and Wolfspitz – in the cities of Aachen, Düsseldorf and Krefeld.
Like the rest of their relatives, Kleinspitz are quite good-natured and energetic, but if not trained they can become disobedient and irritable. Also, these dogs are very easily injured and require increased attention.
American Eskimo Spitz
This breed should be identified separately. It is not recognized by the FCI and is descended from a white-coated German variety brought to the United States by settlers. Its standard is adopted by the AKC and includes 3 types:
- toy – 22.9-30.5 cm;
- miniature – 30.5-38.1 cm;
- standard – 38.1-48.3 cm.
Variability in growth is not the only difference from the “Japanese Spitz”. The standard provides not only white color, but also light cream, although the first option is more common.
If we compare the breed with the “Germans”, it is important to note a more accommodating and affectionate character. “Americans” are much more obedient and sociable. They do not conflict with other dogs and willingly interact with them.