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German Spitz

Other names : Deutscher Spitz, Wolfspitz, Keeshond, Pomeranian, Toyspitz

German Spitz
German Spitz
Puppy

There are five different sizes of the German Spitz dog, ranging from the smallest, the Toyspitz or the Pomeranian, to the largest, the Keeshond. They are all cheerful, jovial and affectionate but reserved around strangers, which makes them good guard dogs.

They are intelligent and docile, making them easy to train and suitable for many households, especially those with children.

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Key facts about the German Spitz

  • Life expectancy : Between 12 and 16 years
  • Temperament : Affectionate, Playful, Intelligent
  • Size : Medium
  • Type of coat : Long
  • Price : Between £580 and £670

FCI Group

FCI Group

Group 5 - Spitz and primitive types

Section

Section 4 : European Spitz

Physical characteristics of the German Spitz

Adult size

Female dog Between 7 and 22 in
Male dog Between 7 and 22 in

The Wolfspitz measures on average 19 inches, the large Spitz one is 18 inches, the medium Spitz 13 inches, the small Spitz 10 inches and the smallest 8 inches at the wither.

Weight

Female dog Between 7 and 44 lb
Male dog Between 7 and 44 lb

Coat colour

Each variety is divided into sub-varieties according to their colour.

  • Wolfspitz: grey.
  • Large Spitz: white, brown or black.
  • Medium and small Spitz: white, brown or black, orange, grey and other colours.
  • Pomeranian: all colours are accepted.

The white German Spitz and the black German Spitz are not the most common colours but are nevertheless highly appreciated by breed lovers.

Type of coat

The coat is long.

The coat is smooth and dense, a thick undercoat, with a collar around the head and a thick plume on the tail.

Eye colour

Eyes are dark in colour.

Description

The head is reminiscent of that of a fox, with upright and triangular ears; the eyes are almond-shaped and the forehead broad and round. The muzzle is not very long and narrows from the skull to the tip of the nose. The legs are of medium length, well proportioned with the body which fits into a square, and is perfectly perpendicular. The tail is carried gracefully wrapped over the back.

Varieties

Keeshond or Wolfspitz

Giant Spitz

Medium Spitz

Small Spitz

Pomeranian or miniature Spitz

Temperament

Affectionate

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Whatever the variety, this is a particularly loyal dog that is attached to his or her owner. They are particularly recommended for single people as they are so kind and jovial.

Playful

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This is a lively and cheerful dog who never refuses a play session because their need to let off steam. Very playful, a game can also be a good way to start learning.

Calm

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During any activities the Deutscher Spitz is a very active dog, but when resting, you shouldn’t expect to disturb this breed because they will ignore you and rest quietly.

Intelligent

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Their intelligence is mainly characterised by their great ability to listen and to adapt. Indeed, these dogs can quickly take on what is expected of them and can adapt to many lifestyles.

Hunter

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Despite not having a hunter’s instinct, this dog must be trained to come when called in order to be let off the lead on walks.

Fearful / wary of strangers

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This dog is always wary around strangers. A very suspicious dog who does not easily trust new people.

Independent

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A German Spitz is usually very close to their owner and will have a great admiration for you, if you are benevolent and respectful.

Behaviour of the German Spitz

Tolerates solitude

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These dogs can tolerate the absence of their owners if they are not too prolonged. It is important to train your puppy from an early age to get used to being left alone. This should be done progressively and with a positive attitude.

Easy to train / obedience

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Very attached to their master, these dogs want to learn and spend time with their owners. 
Naturally, this facilitates education and training. 

However, they are very sensitive and will not accept or forgive any form of brutality. Therefore, patience, consistency and care must be demonstrated during training sessions.

Barking

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Their bark is high-pitched and powerful; they raise their voice as soon as they hear an unusual noise or a suspicious person approach.
Training your dog to stop barking when desired will help.

Tendency to run away

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Because they’re so loyal the German Spitz does not wander astray.

Destructive

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This dog can be destructive when bored or under-stimulated. Otherwise, if all needs are met, the Spitz is wise and balanced.

Greedy / Gluttony

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The German Spitz is not the greediest of the species, but beware, they will never refuse a treat and in the long run they can become overweight.

Guard dog

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Although the small German Spitz are not the most intimidating, the larger ones can be very good guard dogs. In fact, they are naturally suspicious of strangers and bark when alarmed.

First dog

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The 5 size varieties means all future adopters can find their ideal puppy. It is a very good choice for a first adoption because whatever the size, the German Spitz is very loyal, easy to train, sociable and above all, very pleasant to live with every day.

Lifestyle

German Spitz in a flat

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Although they are not afraid of the cold, small and dwarf German Spitz are apartment dogs that can live in an urban environment. The bigger ones can also easily live outside, in the garden. Don’t forget their rustic origins.

Need for exercise / Sporty

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Despite a fragile appearance, this dog is an enduring dog which may surprise many people! More and more of this breed (even the smallest) flourish in agility clubs where they certainly don’t lag behind.
Moreover, walks must be daily, long and rich enough in stimuli to fully satisfy this dog’s needs.

Travelling / easy to transport

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Obviously, the smallest (such as the Pomeranian) are the easiest to transport because they fit easily into a transport bag. However, even the largest can easily accompany their owners on their travels, especially if they have been well socialised and trained to do so since they were very young.

Compatibility

German Spitz and cats

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Cohabitation with a cat is generally not a problem, especially if the two species have grown up together.

German Spitz and dogs

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Very sociable, these dogs cohabit perfectly with their fellow dogs, although an early and a good socialisation is required to allow the German Spitz puppy to develop and strengthen their understanding of dog “codes”.

German Spitz and children

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Very playful and cheerful by nature, this dog is the ideal companion for children if they learn to communicate respectfully with their puppy.

German Spitz and the elderly

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The joviality of this dog is perfectly adapted to the elderly, especially those who are the most isolated. Although their need for walks should not be neglected, they can adapt to a quiet life.

Price

The price of a German Spitz varies according to their origins, variety, age and sex. A dog registered with the KC are generally sold for around £670.
 
To look after a dog like the German Spitz, it will cost about £20 per month for the smallest and up to £35 for the largest.

Grooming

Despite appearances, maintaining the coat of this breed is not complicated but still requires special attention. The coat should be brushed at least once a week and backwards to reach the dog’s dense undercoat.
Frequent baths should be avoided to avoid damaging the protective and aesthetic qualities of the fur. A maximum of two grooming/baths per year is more than enough.

However, for shows, grooming should be carried out by a professional to respect the standard and to avoid distorting the appearance of the dog.

Hair loss

Because of their thick coat, hair loss during the moulting period is significant; brushing should therefore be very frequent, even daily. The rest of the time, hair loss is moderate.

Nutrition of the German Spitz

The dog food industry offers many quality products to meet the needs of the German Spitz. However, due to their rusticity, prepared dishes made from raw meat and fresh vegetables are recommended.
 
Whatever the size, this dog can be satisfied with one meal a day, preferably in the evening, with a daily ration adapted to daily activities.

Health of the German Spitz

Life expectancy

Life expectancy of a Deutscher Spitz is around 14 years.

Strong / robust

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Far from being the fragile dog we imagine, this rustic dog is rather robust.

Withstand heat

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Their thick coat protects them from both cold and hot temperatures. However, be careful not to let them be exposed to the sun for too long to avoid heat stroke.

Withstand cold

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The double coat of this dog, composed of a beautiful outer-coat and abundant undercoat, gives them very good protection against the cold. The larger varieties can even live outdoors.

Tendency to put on weight

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A particular attention has to be given to the food you give to your Spitz since these dogs tend to get fat quickly if their portions are not adapted to their daily physical activities.

Common illnesses

  • Alopecia (skin condition)
  • Tracheal collapse (respiratory tract disease)

Good to know

Famous historical figures were the proud owners of this much appreciated breed, such as Catherine of Russia, Marie-Antoinette, Mozart, Michel Ange and Emile Zola.

Origins and history

They are very old dogs that descend directly from the Canis familiaris palustris rutimeyer that lived in peat bogs in the Stone Age, and from the Spitz that existed in the Neolithic period in the lake cities. The German names of the different varieties are Wolfspitz, Grosspitz (large), Mittelspitz (medium), Kleinspitz (small) and Zwergspitz (dwarf). The FCI officially recognised the breed in 1957.

Names

Good names for a German Spitz: Austin, Elle, Keiko, Shine