The Japanese Spitz is a small to medium sized dog with the characteristic appearance of a spitz: thick, spiky fur, sneaky face and triangular eyes, and a large fringed tail that curves around the spine.
Adult males measure 34 to 37 cm and females 30 to 34 cm; Its weight is about 5 to about 6 kg.
The Japanese Spitz is a loyal, energetic and affectionate companion, very intelligent and adorable with children.
However, its size varies around the world, due to differences in breed standards.
Although the breed developed in Japan, it originated in the white spitz breeds of Northern Europe and North America, such as German and Russian spits or Samoyeds.
The resulting breed was subdivided into two categories of different sizes. The big one was called “samo” and the little “spitz”, the latter having become a regular pet dog in Japan, then extending to Sweden and, from there, to the rest of Europe and the world.
Even though the exact origins of this breed remain a mystery, the end result is a beautiful little dog.
It was not until the late 1940s that the Japanese Spitz was finally recognized by the Japanese Kennel Club. This breed is now present worldwide and was officially included by the Kennel Club of the United Kingdom in its “utilitarian” group (which includes non-sporting dog breeds) around 1977.
However, because of the similarities in the physical appearance of this breed with the American Eskimo dog, it is not yet recognized by the American Kennel Club.
Character of the Japanese Spitz
The Japanese Spitz is a wonderful companion because it is loyal, energetic, playful and affectionate. Its loving, kind nature means it is also good with young children.
This breed thrives on being close to people and the Japanese Spitz loves to be at the center of its family. It is very loyal and will want to be at your side at all times.
Its sociable nature means it gets on well with other dogs and pets in the house. Despite its “knee-size” appearance, this breed enjoys being active, spending time walking and running off the beaten path. This does not mean that you will not find this your friendly Japanese Spitz curled up on your lap for a while later.
There is no need to invest in a burglar alarm, as this breed is an excellent watchdog and barks easily to alert its family of a visitor’s arrival at its home.
The Japanese Spitz really believes that this is a big dog trapped in the body of a small dog. However, if it does not socialize well as a puppy, this trait can be a problem because it can become too suspicious of strangers.
It is not uncommon for this breed of dog to be initially removed from visitors, but once this dog has relaxed, it will quickly seduce the guests with its vibrant and entertaining personality.
Japanese spitz health
In terms of health, the Japanese Spitz is quite robust and presents virtually no genetic problem; this dog usually has a life of between 10 and 16 years.
The main health problem of this breed is that it can suffer patellar dislocations (temporal displacement of the patella).
The Japanese spitz needs about one hour of exercise a day. The bright white fur is dirty under the effect of rain, but once dry, the mud is removed very well by brushing, leaving the hair as clean as before.
Small dogs have a fast metabolism, which means that they burn energy at a very high rate. This means that with such a small stomach, they should eat little but often.
Small breed foods are specifically designed with adequate proportions of essential nutrients and smaller feed grains suitable for smaller mouths. It also stimulates chewing and improves digestion.
Japanese Spitz Grooming
The soft lower mantle is very thick and the bulky upper mantle is smooth and longer around the neck, chest and shoulders, creating a “mane”. The tail is very dense.
You can brush its hair every two days to help them unravel, but daily brushing is necessary.
Japanese Spitz Dog Breed Highlights
- It does not bother a Japanese Spitz to be left alone as long as it’s never too long.
- This dog is very good with children of all ages.
- In the right hands, it is easy to train.
- Japanese Spitz gets along well with other dogs because it is social by nature.
- It’s a good choice for first time dog owners.
- Japanese Spitz is a natural watchdog.
- The Japanese Spitz requires a lot of maintenance (grooming).
- It has a lot of energy and needs a lot of daily physical exercise.
- This dog is naturally suspicious of people it does not know.
- Japanese Spitz has a sense of prey.
- It is a breed known to love the sound of its own voice.
- Japanese Spitz can be willful and stubborn when the mood takes it.