The German Spitz is one of the known ancient small dog breeds. Affectionate, full of energy, devoted, and kid-friendly, this wonderful dog can be stubborn and averse to strangers, barking at them with a high-pitched yap. This adorable little dog loves unconditionally and is a beautiful addition to any household.
Origin & History
The German Spitz is also referred to as Spitz, German Spitz Mittelspitz, Mittel Spitz, and Deutscher Spitz is native to Germany.
The Spitz ancestry is ancient and has been mentioned as far back as 1450 in Germany. Peasants loved this small dog breed for being alert and having an acute sense of hearing.
The origin of the Spitz was somewhere between Poland and Germany, in a region called Pomerania. With King George I getting married to a German wife, it became more popular with the royal courts in England.
Alert and vocal, the German Spitz would be taken as watchdogs on the fishermen boats to guard their goods. On the farms, these dogs would keep watch and alert their owners of any intruders.
The German Spitz is miniature, with a wedge-shaped head. His ears stand erect, and he has big almond-shaped eyes. And though this breed has some similarities to the Pomeranian, the Spitz has a longer muzzle, curly tail, and is taller.
This small dog has a double coat. The topcoat is long and straight, while the undercoat is short and woolly. The German Spitz’s coat is thick and fluffy, and it goes around the pup’s neck, chest, and paws.
The coat comes in different colours:
- Wolf grey
The fact that the Spitz’s bushy tail curls over its back set it apart from the Pomeranian small dog breed, which is more widely known.
Size & Weight
The Spitz can be 12 to 15 inches (30 to 38cm) tall and weigh between 21 to 29 pounds (9 to 13kg).
Character & Abilities
As with most small dog breeds, the Spitz is amiable to family and children, even though the ancestors were fierce home and field guardians. However, this breed can be wary of strangers and may bark at them, providing a sense of security to the owner.
With high energy levels and attention-seeking tendencies, this small dog breed would instead run around the yard or chase things outside than cuddle inside. And though the German Spitz is intelligent and trainable, he can be stubborn.
A word of caution while keeping a Spitz is the fact that he has a high game drive. So, keep away bird pets, cats, and other dogs away from this small dog breed, and never leave him idle as he tends to barks a lot.
Exercise & Nutrition Needs
The German Spitz has high energy levels and, because he is agile, needs thirty minutes to one-hour daily exercise.
As compared to the Pomeranian, the Spitz requires a lot of exercise. And though these two breeds have been classified as requiring moderate activities, by no means do they live idly on the laps of their human companions.
When the German Spitz is left to get bored, he can become destructive. To avoid this, ensure to exercise this small dog breed by:
- Thirty-minutes daily walks
- Using toys that match his size
- Allowing it to run around the yard
The Spitz tends to put on weight quickly, so how you feed him matters a lot. To ensure that the dog enjoys overall good health and well-being, aim for premium dog food that eliminates the guesswork.
The German Spitz puppies should be fed four times daily, and the quantity should be reduced by one cup every six months until he grows into an adult.
As with all small dog breeds, the German Spitz is wary of grooming sessions. To make this easier for you, use a reward system to help the dog cooperate.
With his thick, fluffy double-coat, grooming a Spitz is of utmost importance. This coat tangles and mats easily. Using a pin brush, comb, dematter, and detangling shampoo is recommended.
Because of the double coat, wet the Spitz generously to ensure water reaches the dog’s skin. After that, apply the shampoo all over the coat, not forgetting the back of the ears and between the toes. Having properly rinsed the Spitz, use a blow-dry or a towel to dry it properly.
Trainability & Intelligence
The German Spitz is intelligent, alert, and agile means that he can be trained to take orders. However, this small dog breed can be stubborn, as are all small dog breeds when it comes to accepting and following orders.
To successfully train your German Spitz, you will need to use positive reinforcement and rewards as the dog responds to these techniques positively. Two problems, sadly, exist with this small dog breed during training.
- Barks a lot: It barks because of its ancestry, having been used as guard dogs.
- Always wants to lead: Taking orders from humans is a challenge for the German Spitz.
To overcome the challenges, apart from rewards, early training can work wonders. But, first, the Spitz needs to know that the human owner is the leader and that he won’t always be getting his way.
Some owners take their German Spitz to obedience training sessions to teach their role in the family and outside the home. Your German Spitz can easily be taught essential commands like sit, down, come, and leave during these training sessions.
Living Conditions & Adaptability
Health & Life Expectancy
The German Spitz is considered healthier than other small dog breeds, but he still suffers from some health problems. The most common health concerns you should know about are:
- Patellar Luxation
- Hip Dysplasia
- Persistent Pupillary Membrane
- Collapsed trachea
- Progressive retinal atrophy
When in good health, the German Spitz can live 13 to 15 years.
The German Spitz is a beautiful small dog breed that can sometimes be smaller or larger. Energetic with a pleasant personality, this dog loves to play games while being the centre of attention. This breed is well suited for families of any size.
Here at All The Small Dog Breeds, we provide breed-specific information to help dog parents with their selection process. Our small dog breed descriptions make finding a compatible dog or puppy fun and easy, bringing together all the factors to consider before visiting your local animal rescue or reputable breeder.