AKC Group: Foundation Stock Service
The German Spitz is one of the most ancient dog breeds. Depictions of him appear in many Central and Eastern European artifacts. The province of Pomerania was the home of many early members of the breed. In fact, the Pomeranian is the name of the toy German Spitz. On boats, the German Spitz would protect the goods. On a farm when they sensed danger, they would alert their family with their high-pitched bark. In Germany they are known as “Mistbeller” (“dunghill barkers”). They became a favorite among British royalty, especially pure white German Spitz.
Size: Toy — 9 to 11 inches high; 18 to 22 pounds. Standard — 11.5 to 14 inches high; 23 to 41 pounds. Giant — 16 inches tall; 38 to 40 pounds.
Color: Black and tan; solid black; gray; silver or red.
Life span: 12 to 15 years
Health problems: Dental problems; luxating patella, patent ductus arteriosus (a congenital heart defect), progressive retinal atrophy, tracheal collapse.
The German Spitz is a confident, refined, child-like dog. They are anxious to please you while they secretly are trying to get what they want. They are alert, watchful and affectionate (to their family). They enjoy exercise time as much as cuddling time. They’re a happy, bouncy dog that yearns for your attention. Some dogs may never like strangers or other dogs, some are very yippy (this can be somewhat overcome by not allowing to bark). What they don’t like is training and grooming time.
The German Spitz is a fluffy, high-feathered dog with a large coat that requires maintenance to avoid matting. They need to be brushed every day with a soft brush (the softest you can find). Realize that most brushes labeled for grooming will be too harsh for them.
Training should begin as early as possible. The German Spitz is not a naturally obedient dog and hate being told what to do. You’ll need to be firm and employ positive training methods. Discourage barking at all costs! They are easily bored with repetition, so you’ll frequently need to change things up to keep your Spitz engaged and invested.