The small/medium-sized Japanese Spitz dog breed is typically spitz-like – with a thick, stand-off coat, a foxy face and triangular eyes, and a well-plumed tail that curls over the back. Adult dogs are 34-37cm tall and adult females 30-34cm, and they weigh approximately 5-6kg.
- Category size: Small
- Grooming requirements: More than once a week
- Shedding: Heavy
- Allergies: No
- Noise: Vocal
- Dog Group Kennel Club: Utility
- Alone: 1 to 3 hours
- Other pets: High
- Stability as a guard: Medium
The Japanese Spitz dog breed was developed in Japan, but originally descends from white spitz breeds from Northern Europe and North America, such as the German and Russian Spitz and the Samoyed. The breed that resulted fell into two size categories. The large were called 'Samo' and the small 'Spitz' and it was the latter that became a popular companion dog in Japan, and then Sweden, the rest of Europe, and then the world.
Initially a little reserved with those he doesn't know, the Japanese Spitz dog is affectionate and loyal to his loved ones. Alert and lively, he enjoys keeping watch over his house and garden and will bark if anything unusual catches his attention. A super family dog, he gets along well with people and other animals.
The Japanese Spitz is generally a healthy breed. In common with many small breeds they may suffer kneecaps that temporarily slip out of place (patella luxation).
The Japanese Spitz breed needs about an hour's exercise a day. The gleaming white coat can get mucky in wet weather, but, once dry, any mud brushes out remarkably well, leaving it looking as clean as before.
Small dogs have a fast metabolism, meaning they burn energy at a high rate, although their small stomachs mean that they must eat little and often. Small-breed foods are specifically designed with appropriate levels of key nutrients and smaller kibble sizes to suit smaller mouths. This also encourages chewing and improves digestion.
The soft undercoat is very thick, and the stand-off topcoat is straight and longer around the neck, chest and shoulders, creating a 'mane'. The tail is well covered. Brushing the coat every other day will keep it tangle-free, but daily grooming is needed when the coat sheds.
Is this the right dog breed for you?
All dogs have their own, unique personality, but some instincts and behaviours they’re born with. Try our breed selector and find out which dog breeds better match your preferences and lifestyle. If you and your dog enjoy similar things, you will be more likely to live a happy, fulfilling life together.
What to Consider next
It is incredibly fulfilling to adopt a dog from an animal shelter or rescue organization. It often means offering them a second chance in life. There are many dogs waiting for a loving family, a forever home. Reputable centers will be very careful about matching the right people with the right dogs. Staff learns all they can about the dogs they take in, and will spend time getting to know you, your family and your lifestyle, before they match you with any of their dogs. They’ll also be happy to give you advice and answer any questions you might have before and after the adoption.
Finding a good breeder
If your heart is set on a pedigree puppy, then your best bet is to find a reputable breeder. Contact The Kennel Club or a breed-club secretary who may have a list of litters available, or should be able to put you in contact with breeders in your area. Try to choose a breeder who is part of the Kennel Club’s assured breeder scheme.Visit dog shows to meet breeders in person and inquire about availability of pups of your chosen breed.
Welcoming your dog home
Whether you’re bringing home a tiny puppy or rehoming an adult dog, this is a hugely exciting time for everyone. While you’re waiting for the big day you might need to distract yourself, so luckily there are a few things you need to sort out before you welcome your new arrival. Click here for more information