- Dog suitable for owners with some experience
- Basic training required
- Need to be aware of potential health issues
- Enjoys active walks
- Enjoys one to two hours of walking a day
- Medium dog
- Some drool
- Requires grooming every other day
- Chatty and vocal dog
- Barks and alerts to visitors/anything unusual
- Could have issues with unknown dogs but gets along with known dogs
- Gets along with other pets with training
- May need additional supervision to live with children
- Needs a small garden
- Can happily live in the city
- Can be left occasionally with training
|Lifespan:||13 – 15 years|
|Weight:||7 – 11kg|
|Height:||30 – 38cm|
|Colours:||Comes in a variety of colours and variations|
|Kennel Club Group:||Utility|
|Easy to train:||2/5|
|Tolerates being alone:||3/5|
|Likes other pets:||3/5|
Active and alert, the German Spitz Mittel is a happy, confident dog with an even temper and should show no signs of aggression or nervousness. They adore human company and love to be included in any family activity. They do not enjoy being left alone and do not make a good companion for people who will regularly leave them. Whilst small, they are intelligent and should be kept entertained and content with training and exercise. A bored German Spitz is liable to be a very noisy and irritable house-mate!
History and Origins
Country of Origin: Germany
Descending from larger Nordic herding dogs such as the Samoyed, which were taken to Germany and Holland by the Vikings during the Middle Ages, the German Spitz Mittel is, not surprisingly, the middle sized of the five recognised German Spitz types.
By the 1700’s the German Spitz became a fashionable pet of British society, and were used to produce the smaller Pomeranian (and then later to improve the increasingly tiny Pomeranian then struggling due to its very small size).
There are five sizes of German Spitz types recognised by the FCI, the Wolfspitz (Keeshond), the Giant Spitz, the German Spitz Mittel, the German Spitz Klein and the Pomeranian.
Due to the very close ancestry between the Mittel and the Klein, whilst breeding between the two is no longer permitted, occasionally a Mittel litter will produce a Klein pup, and vice versa.
The German Spitz is generally a relatively healthy breed. Like many breeds they can suffer from hereditary eye disorders and therefore eye testing prior to breeding is advised. Epilepsy and kneecaps that may temporarily slip out of place also occur in the breed. Visit the Kennel Club website and the breed club for up-to-date health testing information
An hour and a half per day, split into two walks will suffice for the German Spitz, as long as there is company, training, games and other entertainment on hand for the majority of the day. This is a multi-purpose companion breed happy to sit on their owner’s knee while still alert to danger and be fun company always up for a game or an outing. Due to the thick coat, exercise should be in the coolest parts of the day in summer.
The German Spitz Mittel will fit into most homes, but a secure garden is important. Space to groom, and to dry off a wet dog should be considered, as their coat does require some care and can hold a surprising amount of water and mud (although they will often avoid the latter). Because of their tendency to alert to suspicious activity, a quiet home will do better than a busy one, and whilst they can fit into an inner-city environment, this may be stressful and overwhelming for them if busy and noisy.
Your dog's diet needs to have the right balance of all the main nutrient groups including a constant supply of fresh water. It's important to conduct regular body condition scores to ensure you keep your dog in ideal shape and remember to feed him at least twice daily and in accordance with the feeding guidelines of his particular food.
As a general rule, a thorough brushing several times a week will ensure the coat stays clean and knot-free. Particular attention should be paid to the ears and elbows where knots can occur more quickly. Males tend to shed once a year and bitches twice a year: this is when most of the hair will be shed but in a warm household, they can shed almost constantly.
Early socialisation and habituation is necessary to build confidence. Using positive reinforcement and motivation, the enthusiastic German Spitz can be taught a range of fun tricks and useful behaviours, and this should definitely be done to keep their active and clever minds occupied. Capable of achieving respectable results in competition at agility and obedience if you want to put in the work, they will enjoy time spent with their owners, no matter what the occupation.
A fun family dog if all the family can be involved in training and exercise. Very small children find it hard to differentiate between ‘small dog’ and ‘stuffed toy’ and as the German Spitz as a puppy is very small and incredibly cute, it may be better to wait until children are older. The German Spitz is very much a companion dog and not well equipped to spend long periods alone, which may well rule out full time working families.
While many dogs are traditionally thought of as being good with children, all dogs and children need to be taught to get on with and respect each other, and be safe together. Even so, dogs and young children should never be left alone together and adults should supervise all interactions between them.
Did You Know?
- Spitz type dogs have been around a long time. Skeletal remains of spitz types have been found associated with human settlements from five to six thousand years ago, throughout Central Europe. Whilst now their behavioural traits can differ from the companion type tiny fluffy spitz’s to the hunting spitz’s willing to take on boar and bear, to the sled pulling spitz’s of the frozen tundra, in form they are all recognisably “spitzy”, with their foxy faces, pricked ears, plush coats and curled tails.