German Spitz

Type: Spitz Non-Sporting

Height: Giant Spitz: 16 inches; Standard Spitz: 11.5 - 14 inches; Toy Spitz: 9 - 11 inches.

Weight: Giant Spitz: 38.5 - 40 lbs.; Standard Spitz: 23 - 31 lbs.; Toy Spitz: 18 - 22 lbs.

Life Span: Giant Spitz: 12 - 13 years; Standard Spitz: 13 - 15 years; Toy Spitz: 14 - 15 years.

Litter Size: Average litter size is 2 puppies.

Country of Origin: Germany

Activity: Medium

Watch-dog: High. German Spitz are alert and sensitive to their surroundings.

Guard-dog: Low

Description: The German Spitz is actually a close relative to the Pomeranian, resembling them closely in size and appearance. Spitz come in a variety of ways, different in colors as well as sizes. There are three sizes of the German Spitz: giant, standard and toy. The giant actually isn't giant at all compared to other Mastiffs and Samoyeds that developed around the same areas. They are fluffy, highly-feathered dogs with perfectly proportioned bodies. They have a large coat that requires quite a bit of maintenance, but most are unable to resist their "smiling" faces. German Spitz are a confident breed, doing well in the show ring, as long as you can train them. They are not as obedient as other breeds, however, so training must begin early. They are affectionate and loving, demanding attention when they want it. Some say the German Spitz is like a child, anxious to please, yet pushing for their own way, and manipulating to get it. Some have been known to be aggressive towards strange dogs or strange people, making them good watch dogs. They are active, intelligent, alert and independent, yet still cannot resist the attention of their owner. Charming and adaptable, the German Spitz is the perfect companion for an owner with a lot of care.

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Other Names: Deutscher Spitz Klein (small), Deutscher Mittel Spitz (standard), Deutscher Gross Spitz (giant)

Colors: Giant Spitz can be solid colors only, including black, white or brown. Standard Spitz can be solid colors as well, being white, black, brown, orange or wolf gray. Toy Spitz can be simply all solid colors. The Pomeranian (small) can be solids in black, white, brown, wolf gray or orange, as well as parti-colors.

Coat: German Spitz' coats are long, dense, double coated and stand off fur. They are fluffy and soft to the touch.

Temperament: German Spitz are confident, refined, and are happy to join you on a long walk. They have been said to behave much like a child: anxious to please, yet still trying to get what they want. Some are not happy around strangers or strange dogs, and they are not easily trained. Some are yappy if not taught when barking is ok. German Spitz are alert, watchful and affectionate to their owners. They will enjoy exercising or cuddling by the fire. They have a hierarchy among the breed, allowing the youngest adult to play with puppies when a litter is present. They are happy and bouncy, always yearning for attention. They are active, intelligent and devoted to their owners. They are often reluctant towards grooming.

With Children: Yes, they do well with children if they are raised with children. If not, they do better with older children.

With Pets: Yes, gets along with most other pets, although some males do not do well with other males.

Special Skills: Companion, watchdog and family pet.

Care and Training: German Spitz require quite a bit of grooming, or their coat can get matted. They should receive vigorous daily brushing of the coat with a softer brush. Most grooming brushes for dogs are too harsh for this breed. They rarely need baths, and should not have a doggy odor. They should be exercised only moderately, with a daily walk as a good exercise. Training should begin early in life, as they are not easily obedient. They need firm positive training, and if not trained they will probably yap a lot. They are easily bored with repetitive tasks, and therefore should be kept entertained.

Learning Rate: High. Obedience - Medium. Problem Solving - High.

Special Needs: Grooming, socialization and training.

Living Environment: Pomeranians can do well in an apartment if they receive exercise. They are good in the city, suburbs or rural areas. Some do better with adult-only households. If kept in an apartment, they should be trained not to yap. The best owner for this breed would be an adult, firm but positive training-experienced person living in the city or country.

Health Issues: Dental problems, luxating patellas, patent ductus arteriosus (congenital heart defect), PRA (Progressive Retinal Atrophy), and tracheal collapse.

History: German Spitz have been around since at least 1450, when they were recorded in German literature. In 1750, Count Eberhand Zu Sayre Buffon wrote in his National History of Quadrupeds that he believed the Spitz was the ancestor of all domestic breeds. The Spitz breeds probably descended from dogs brought to the Germany and Holland, or Scandinavia, by Vikings who plundered and purged the cities during the Renaissance era. It was said that the white spitz lived in Pomerania, while the black ones resided in Würtemberg. Several breeds came from these dogs, including the Keeshond, Wolf Spitz, Giant, Standard and Small German Spitz, as well as the Pomeranian, also known as the Toy German Spitz. The toy Spitz went on to be imported in Great Britain at least 100 years ago, and was from Pomerania in Germany, thusly being renamed the Pomeranian. Today the toy Spitz and the Pomeranian are considered different breeds. Queen Victoria took such delight in these dogs that at one time they were called Victorian Poms. Many of the breeds were recorded in paintings as well. In 1899 the German Spitz Club was formed, and the breed was official. Smaller and smaller Pomeranians began to dominate the show ring in England, and some began to miss the larger breed, the Giant German Spitz. The dogs got so small to the extent that the show ring cancelled any classes for Pomeranians over 7 lbs. in the 1940s! Soon breeders became discouraged with the smaller breeds and decided to bring the Giant back. Janet Edmonds and Averil Cawthera decided to bring the standard (Mittelspitz) and small (Kleinspitz) sized breeds from their native country, and reestablished the breed once again. They arranged for the British Kennel Club to, for 6 months only, allow people with Pomeranians that had one or more of the original German Spitz dogs in their pedigrees to re-register as German Spitz.

First Registered by the AKC: FSS (Foundation Stock Service - not yet eligible for the AKC)

AKC Group: Non-Sporting Group

Class: Non-Sporting

Registries: FIC (Group 5), FSS, ANKC (Group 7), KC (UK), NZKC