The Japanese Spitz is a small- to medium-sized dog breed that belongs in the Non-Sporting family of breeds. The Spitz is well-known for its long hair, gorgeous appearance as well as its lively temperament, and intelligence.
Apart from seasonal shedding, these dogs are also low-maintenance and healthy. Generally speaking, Japanese Spitz breeds are best suited for families with children, busy singles, or simply any seniors who need a companion around in their home.
The fact that these dogs are popular means that they can be found just about anywhere. And these days, it is very easy to purchase or adopt a mixed breed under the impression that it is a purebred, especially if you don’t know how you can recognize the pure breed.
In this article, we want to find out more on how you can how you can select a pure breed Japanese Spitz to welcome into your home.
How can you tell if a Japanese Spitz is a purebred?
The Purebred Japanese Spitz has a longhaired coat that is always pure white in color. The breed is double-coated and sheds moderately compared to other breeds. The tail is carried curled over the back and is covered with long hair like the rest of the body, except on the bottom half of the legs and the feet which are lightly-feathered.
The ears of the purebred Japanese Spitz are always pointed upright and fairly small, and the muzzle points out slightly. It also has large, oval eyes that are dark and slightly slanted. The nose and lips, however, are solid black. Also, the purebred Spitz has a wedge-shaped face.
The Spitz and its Origin
The exact origin of the Japanese Spitz (pronounced as jap-uh-neez spits) is unknown, except for the fact that they originated in Japan, which is rather obvious. But there are a few interesting stories that go around.
First off, most people claim that the Spitz descended from the native Siberian Samoyed. This theory is highly debated, but those who believe it claim that the Samoyeds were strictly bred for smallness and to be a companion breed, with the end result being the Japanese Spitz.
This story simply suggests that the Japanese Spitz is actually a small version of the Samoyed. It is also believed that the actual creation of the breed commenced in the late 1800s.
Although the breed’s numbers in its native land (Japan) have gradually declined over the last decade, it has become increasingly popular in Europe as well as North America.
The Japanese Spitz is also known as the Nihon Supittsu
The Japanese Spitz is one of the most high-spirited, intelligent and playful dogs you can ever encounter. They are also quite alert and will alert its owners when it feels it is necessary, which is why these bold little dogs make good watchdogs.
Because they are so intelligent, the Japanese Spitz are very easy to train as long as the owner is always consistent and patient with them.
In regards to the training, this breed learns quickly and can memorize a command after a few tries. But, these dogs’ personalities blossom best if you start training them while they are still puppies.
Here, you can teach them proper obedience by using firm, consistent, repetitive commands.
However, if your Spitz is not trained or properly disciplined, and is allowed to “rule the house”, it can develop a common condition known as Small Dog Syndrome.
It also enjoys agility and playing games of catch with balls or Frisbees. The dog can get along with just about anyone. For the most part, this dog is tough and like to act as a house protector and guardian- yet some other characteristics that make it an excellent watchdog.
But you should never let your dog to take over your home as it can become an inveterate barker if you do so.
So if you dog starts to bark very loudly and obsessively, be sure to tell your dog to quiet down or you will lose control. Always make sure you are the pack leader to avoid the Small Dog Syndrome.
When dogs become pack leaders to humans, they tend to develop many types of behavior issues, such as being suspicious of and barking at strangers, guarding, separation anxiety as well as destructiveness.
The Japanese Spitz can live for up to 12 years of age.
The Japanese Spitz should be combed and brushed on a regular basis. These dogs require very little bathing, though. For the most part, they are only bathed when it is necessary (for instance, when they get muddy or roll into something stinky)
However, the Spitz does shed. The number of times they shed typically depends on their gender. Male Spitz shed once while female Spitz shed twice per year.
The shedding season usually lasts anywhere from 1-2 weeks, which is usually during the warmer seasons.
During this shedding season, the Spitz breeds are supposed to be groomed as frequently as possible, using a comb with a double row of metal teeth to remove loose hairs from the under-layer. That said, it is only the undercoat that sheds.
Pros and Cons of the Japanese Spitz
In this section, we will be looking at all the advantages and disadvantages that come with this breed.
Why should you get a Japanese Spitz? (Advantages)
Japanese Spitz breeds are:
- Very affectionate with their owners
- Fewer health problems compared to other Spitz breeds
- Really Playful and active
- Extremely tidy; the dogs like to keep themselves clean
- Excellent watchdogs
- Easily trained, since they are intelligent breeds
- Very Loyal to their owners
- Great with children and socialize well with other pets
- Able to adapt to almost any kind of living environments (either in a home or apartment)
Why you shouldn’t get the Japanese Spitz (Disadvantages)
Japanese Spitz breeds are:
- Loud barkers and they have a high barking tendency
- Moderate to high exercise requirements
- Can sometimes be aloof towards strangers
- Inclined to the development of Small Dog Syndrome, and requires early training and socialization
As we can see, the benefits of having this dog certainly outweigh the costs.
Japanese Spitz Size
The size of the Japanese Spitz can vary slightly between the two sexes. Male Spitz males are usually 13-15 inches at the shoulders in height, and 17-20 pounds in weight while the females have a height that ranges from 12-14 inches and 10-14 pounds in weight.
Japanese Spitz Variations
There are no identified variations in the size or coat of this breed- at least not that we know of. Although some owners may claim to have a “toy”, “teacup” or a “miniature” Spitz, this is a poor description. The dog may just be small or a Pomeranian.
All purebred Japanese Spitz are longhaired and they shed very little fur, except during the shedding seasons. Because they have a double coat, Japanese Spitz breeds shouldn’t be clipped or trimmed.
Children and other pets
The Japanese Spitz likes to play with its owners, and they are very active in nature. Also, they loving playmates to children and adults alike. Besides kids, these dogs can get along well with other pets in your home.
As we mentioned earlier, the Japanese Spitz was originally bred as a companion breed, and as companion breed, the dog is always happiest if it is treated like a member of the family.
These breeds like to be the center of attention. So if the dog feels ignored very much, he/she might likely exhibit an unwanted behavior, such as continuous barking, destructiveness.
On top of this, they may also might be unfriendly to unknown people, though they are typically sweet natured.
The Japanese Spitz can adapt to any living situation. Whether you live in apartment or a freestanding house, your Spitz will be fine, as personable dogs, just as long as they receive proper attention.
And while they like playing outside, Japanese Spitz breeds must always live indoors with the family as opposed to being kept in a yard.
While the dog is known to be self-cleaning and overall tidy, the Spitz is a not is not a hypoallergenic breed. Indeed, they do shed very little, but they are simply not be the best choice for allergy suffers, or for anyone who isn’t ready to be dealing with unwanted pet hair around the house.
Recognition of the breed
- American Canine Association Inc. (ACA)
- American Canine Registry (ACR)
- American Kennel Club (AKC)
- American Pet Registry, Inc. (APRI)
- Australian National Kennel Club (ANKC)
- Continental Kennel Club (CKC)
- Dog Registry of America, Inc. (DRA)
- Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI)
- Kennel Club of Great Britain (KCGB)
- National Kennel Club (NKC)
It is always important to get yourself a purebred dog, mostly because they usually have less health issues than mixed breeds (which often take on hereditary diseases of both of their parent breeds).
So if you are planning on buying a Japanese Spitz, go for a pure breed. It won’t be hard to find them as these breeds are longhaired, pure white dogs that have a wedge-shaped face.
They have a tail that is curled over the back. They have upright ears that are fairly small, along with a short muzzle. They also have large, oval eyes that are dark and slightly slanted. The breed’s nose and lips maintain a black solid color.