Japanese Spitz

Japanese Spitz

The Japanese Spitz is a small dog with a square body, deep chest, short legs, and a distinctive white fluffy coat. Created in 1930 by breeders who crossbred different types of Spitz dogs, the Japanese Spitz is a loyal and friendly companion dog. Despite its small size, the Japanese Spitz is known for its courage and bravery, making them an excellent watchdog for people living in flats or smaller houses. The Japanese Spitz is a  very social dog with a genuine fondness for children of all ages.

Key facts about the Japanese Spitz

Life expectancy :

7

19

12

14

Temperament :

Affectionate Playful

Size :

Origins and history

The Japanese Spitz was breed from the much larger white German Spitz breeds and was first exhibited at a Japanese dog show in 1921. The final standard breed was accepted by kennel clubs in the 1950s, and it wasn't long before the Japanese Spitz became a popular companion dog for animals lovers in many parts of the world. As of today, the Japanese Spitz is not the most popular choice for UK dogs owners, but their numbers are gradually increasing as the British public become more aware of this playful breed with a big personality.

FCI breed nomenclature

FCI Group

Group 5 - Spitz and primitive types

Section

Section 5 : Asian Spitz and related breeds

Physical characteristics of the Japanese Spitz

    Adult size

    Female : Between 11 and 14 in

    Male : Between 12 and 15 in

    Weight

    Female : Between 13 and 22 lb

    Male : Between 13 and 22 lb

    Coat colour

    White

    Type of coat

    Long

    Eye colour

    Brown

    Description

    The Japanese Spitz is a small, sturdy dog with a unique white coat that requires lots of grooming. They have short, pointed muzzles and triangle-shaped ears that point upwards. They also have long tails that tend to curl back on themselves, an unusual trait in Spitz breed. They have dark eyes and small, black noses.

    Good to know

    Japanese Spitz are generally very obedient, although they can have their stubborn or moody periods. 

    They will require a lot more grooming than most other dogs, which can be expensive and time-consuming. 

    They also have one of the longest lifespans of any breed, with many living up to 16 years old. This is a serious commitment by anyone's standards.

    Temperament

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      Affectionate

      Bred as a companion dog, the Japanese Spitz is well-known for its loving and affectionate nature. These highly social dogs require lots of human company and attention and will happily spend hours curled up on your lap.

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      Playful

      They might be small in stature, but the Japanese Spitz is full of energy and loves to play. But be warned, their playful natures can soon tip over into mischievous if you let them get away with too much.

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      Calm

      The Japanese Spitz is a high-energy dog, but they still know how to relax. A Japanese spitz will keep you entertained without wearing you out or testing your patience. However, they tend to get over excited by “unexpected” visitors and can sometimes become confrontational when ”strangers” knock on the door.

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      Intelligent

      The Japanese Spitz was developed by crossbreeding different Spitz breeds, which were bred from highly intelligent working dogs like the Akita and the Husky. Unsurprisingly, the Japanese Spitz also has a high level of intelligence. This makes them interesting companions that respond really well to training. Although, like many "smart" dogs, they can display a strong, independent streak.

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      Hunter

      They may have inherited many qualities from their larger, more powerful relatives, but hunting ability was not one of them. In fact, the Japanese Spitz is more likely to see smaller animals as potential playmates rather than prey.

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      Fearful / wary of strangers

      Very suspicious of foreigners, he does not trust easily. A good socialisation is necessary to prevent it from becoming fearful.

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      Independent

      Like many other intelligent breeds, the Spitz can display some independent behaviour which can soon turn into stubbornness. Such characteristics are part of the Spitzs unique personality, but they must be managed with the right training methods and early socialisation.

      Behaviour of the Japanese Spitz

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        Tolerates solitude

        No dog should be left alone for long periods of time, but the Japanese Spitz does have a high-tolerance for solitude. This makes them a good choice for those with busy lifestyles and hectic work schedules.

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        Easy to train / obedience

        As long as you use the right techniques, most Japanese Spitzs will be very easy to train. But keep the training sessions short and fun. Otherwise, you’ll have a difficult time keeping the dog focused on the task at hand. 10-15 minutes a day is enough to start with. And make sure you give them lots of praise.

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        Barking

        This vocal little breed really enjoys the sound of its own voice. As a natural watchdog with an alert nature, they'll never shy away from warning you about potential invaders and will often express their "views" on the arrival of unexpected guests. They also tend to get quite yappy during playtime.

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        Tendency to run away

        Japanese Spitzs have neither the physicality or the curious natures that can make other breeds much more likely to run away. That being said, it's always a good idea to keep them on a lead in unfamiliar places. Outside home-spaces, like your garden, should always be properly fenced off.

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