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.