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Japanese Spitz Information

Description

The Japanese Spitz is one of the northern looking spitz breeds with a dense, all white coat and alert, wedge shaped face. The coat is double, with longer hair on the tail, leggings, front legs and chest and ruff than the rest of the body. The hair is absolutely straight with no wave or curl. The face is almost fox-like in appearance with alert, pointed ears and dark, large oval eyes. The nose and lips are black, which really draws attention to the face area of the breed. They often appear to be smiling as they tend to carry their lips curved up. The feet have a dense covering of hair and the legs are strong yet not overly developed and in proportion to the rest of the body.

Temperament

The Japanese Spitz is an excellent family and companion dog and loves to romp and play with children of all ages. They are highly active when needed but can also be calm and well behaved in a house. A natural watchdog they are sometimes prone to problem barking so obedience training is a must. The breed is great with other dogs and non-canine pets provided there is early and consistent socialization. Known as a very easy breed to train they love to please and will work well for positive praise. Typically the breed prefers to be with the family than away or alone, but they can do well when left for short periods of time. The Japanese spitz is a natural clown and will often play for hours on end chasing a ball or Frisbee.

Grooming & Shedding

The Japanese Spitz is an average shedder with two heavier shedding periods in the spring and fall. They do require regular grooming with a medium toothed metal comb or a heavy pin brush to keep dead hairs out of the coat. They will mat and tangle if not properly groomed, but they are also a very clean dog that will require little in the way of bathing. Care needs to be taken to ensure that debris or tangles don't form in the hair between the pads of the feet.

History

As with many of the spitz breeds there is some controversy as to the origins of the Japanese spitz. Many people believe that it is a miniature version of the Samoyed crossed with some other spitz breed that may have been a native dog. The resemblance to a Samoyed is unmistakable, but there are also some differences that indicate more than just breeding for size involved. The Japanese Spitz was first recognized in Japan but has since spread to other areas of the world where its wonderful disposition has made it a popular breed.

Health Issues

  • Major Concerns: none
  • Minor Concerns: hip dysplasia
  • Occasionally seen: progressive retinal atrophy
  • Suggested tests: hip

 

Characteristics

Height

12-15 inches (30-38 cm)

Weight

11-20 pounds (5-10 kg)

Lifespan

12 years

Exercise

Medium

Apartment

Yes

Families

Yes

Young Children

Yes

Need exercise space

No – with regular exercise

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