When it comes to buying a dog breed, it is always imperative to obtain as much information as you can about the dog breed’s temperament, friendliness, ability to get along with other pets or kids around the house, ability to adapt to its environment, level of aggression, ideal diet, size as well as its life expectancy.
But most importantly, you have to know if the dog is of low or high maintenance. A lot of people have pointed out the Japanese Spitz need for grooming and hair shedding as one of the high maintenance breeds out there.
In this post, we want to give you the maintenance details of this breed to set the records straight.
Are the Japanese Spitz high maintenance?
The Japanese Spitz is a high maintenance dog breed and this is due to a couple of factors. First of all, the breed needs a lot of grooming. The Spitz needs to be brushed weekly. If the breed is in its shedding season, which takes about a week or two, you will need to brush it on a daily basis to get rid of all that dead hair.
Along with that, the Japanese Spitz requires regular bathing, nail-clipping and drying. Also, you are supposed to socialize the breed, exercise it and give it the proper diet.
The Japanese Spitz is a very active dog. This typically means that they need to be exercised on a regular basis. They also require a large backyard where they will often be seen playing with themselves.
You need to be taking them out too. Spitz breeds love to go into the great outdoors. You can take them for a walk around the block or take them to the park, as a way of socializing them with other dogs.
Diet in dogs is just as important as it is to us. Your dog needs to be fed well. Typically, the amount of food your dog is given depends on the dog’s age.
Puppies require 3 meals a day until they are at least 4 months of age. After that, you can move to 2 meals a day until 8mths of age and then 1 meal a day from then on.
When they are puppies, ensure that they are getting all the vitamins, minerals and supplements that they need to grow up healthy.
Because the breed is very intelligent, the Spitz is very easy to train and it can pick up commands very quickly. Though, when training them, you have to avoid getting angry and yelling at the dog when it the dog isn’t paying attention.
Instead, use positive reinforcements such as treats to keep your dog focused on what you want him to do.
An adult Japanese Spitz typically requires grooming about once a week. But when they are shedding, you have to increase the brushing frequency to daily. If it a puppy, you have to brush him/her daily to help them get used to it.
How can you properly groom your Japanese Spitz?
Grooming your Spitz involves 5 main stages.
1) Groom the coat
Here’s a list of the things you will need
- Wide Tooth comb
- Toenail clippers
- Ear Cleaner & Cotton Wool
- Slicker brush
- Small pet toothbrush and doggy toothpaste
- Jug or container for diluting shampoo
- Fine Tooth comb
- Hair Dryer
- Single edge thinning scissors
- Small straight scissors (5-7 inch)
Preparing your dog for Grooming
Before you start grooming your Spitz, it is important to secure him on either a grooming table or a bench. Also, make sure that it is a non-slip surface, because you have the chance to see what you are doing very clearly.
Besides that, the dog will likely feel very secure on that surface. Using tables can easily cause the dog to slip. So if you are planning on using a normal table, you will need to place a rubber mat onto the surface. Once that is set, you can move on to grooming.
Groom the coat
It is advised that you should start grooming from the neck down to the center of the back, front legs, sides and hind legs. Here, you have to use your soft slicker brush.
After covering those areas, focus on the ruff as well as the mane. This part of the coat is heavily coated and may become dirty with food and saliva.
While you are at it, make sure that you check behind the ears for any signs of infection. Japanese Spitz and many other long-haired breed are prone to knotting, which commonly develops behind the ear. As such, comb this area using the fine tooth comb.
The whole point of brushing the coat is that we want to ensure that any dirt and debris is removed from the coat. This can be somewhat challenging, especially on long-haired breeds.
Usually, with long-haired breeds, the top inch dries faster than the undercoat. This means the top layer may be perfectly groomed while the undercoat is matted.
As such, it is essential to part the hair and brush from the root to the tip of the coat, meaning that you are taking care of both layers.
So when you are grooming your dog, make sure that you are practical. All sections should be covered. When you finish brushing, repeat the same process with the comb until the comb slides through the coat easily. Oh and don’t forget to brush and comb the tail as well.
On top of that, you need to check under the stomach area. Encourage the dog to lie on its back and brush the hair. There is usually very little hair in this area, so it shouldn’t be hard to handle. However, make sure that you brush the hair very gently. After brushing the coat, you can then move on to the nails.
Most people fear and avoid trimming their dog’s nails. But it is a very important part of your grooming routine. However, you have to be very careful around the nails. When cutting your dog’s nails, leave a small amount of the nail visible.
Cutting the nail right to the bottom can leave your dog sore. Also, there is a very high chance that you could harm your dog.
What’s the best way to trim your dog’s nails?
When trimming, make sure that you do it with the dog facing in the same direction for each foot. If you are right handed, your dog should be facing to the right and vice versa.
Carefully lift each foot up, turn it then trim off the nail off level as you don’t want to affect the way the dog will naturally wear the nails.
If you accidentally hit the skin, the dog might bleed very heavily. If the dog starts bleeding, apply a coagulant powder that will stop the bleeding instantly. For the most part, it is always important to have a first aid kit on you. Having trimmed your dog’s nails, it’s time for the big splash.
How to Bath your Japanese Spitz
You always have to bath your Spitz prior to bathing it.Here are the steps that you should follow on bathing your Spitz
1) Get your dog fully wet
Your dog has to be wet before you apply a shampoo, mainly because this will save the amount of shampoo that you have to use.
2) Apply shampoo
After your thoroughly wet your dog, you can then apply the diluted shampoo to the coat.
3) Massage the coat
You should then gently massage the coat to spread the shampoo. A comb should spread the shampoo better, while detangling your dog’s coat.
4) Rinse off the shampoo
Once you are satisfied that the shampoo has reached the entire coat, thoroughly rinse all traces of shampoo.
This is a very important part. If there is some residual shampoo on the dog’s coat, your Spitz will look dull & greasy. On top of that, the skin will be irritated.
5) Towel dry
Use the towel dry up some of the water from the coat. Since this is a long-haired breed, a towel won’t be enough to eliminate all the water and moist from both layers of coat. Which brings us to our next point.
While it might sound easy, drying your dog is a very difficult and crucial stage. Your Japanese Spitz must be blow-dried. When you are drying, you need to brush and you blow dry the dog. If you let your dog to dry naturally the dog’s coat will become flat.
Before you begin to blow dry you dog, put him dog on a table or bench and direct the dryer at a small area of the coat.
You will then start brushing from this area, moving from the root to the tip of the coat. Here, make making sure that the coat is straightened and detangled.
Drying the Spitz completely is quite a long job, so you don’t need to be patient and thorough. Dry each side of the coat, then the tail, ruff and mane and finish down the center of the back.
Compared to most breeds of their size, the Japanese Spitz are considered to be high maintenance breeds. This all comes from the fact that they need to be groomed regularly, during which you are supposed to clip their nails, brush, wash and blow dry their coat.
On top of this, you have to exercise them. Training them essentially involves house training and socialization.
It may all seem overwhelming, but it’s the price you have to pay to keep these beautiful white Japanese Spitz. If you ask me, it’s worth it.