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What Type of Dog Is Japanese Spitz (The Breed and the Look)?

The Japanese Spitz is a breed of dog that was developed in Japan. The term "Spitz" is derived from the German word "spitz," which means pointed, and refers to their pointed ears. These dogs are medium-sized with an average weight of 15 lb. They have thick and fluffy coats that come only in a dazzling white appearance.
What Type of Dog Is Japanese Spitz

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Japanese Spitzes are sought out by many people all over the world to become an additional member of their families as house pets. The topmost reason why they are highly favored by the global pet loving community is due to their high level of doggy intelligence and docility.

Are Japanese Spitz Rare?

Japanese Spitz dogs and their puppies are extremely rare. There are a few underlying factors for their scarcity and for that there is also a very slim chance that you will easily find this canine breed even if you try to scour the local animal shelters near you. This, in conjunction with a litter size of one to six puppies only, makes it even harder for them to increase in numbers.

If you’re interested in adopting this type of dog in the Spitz canine family, you will probably have a difficult time finding a canine rescue organization that specializes in caring for this breed.

In a different context, we say that the Japanese Spitz dog is rare in the sense that it is the only canine breed with long, luxurious fur that requires very minimal care or little maintenance.

Despite having white coats throughout their bodies, Japanese Spitz require a little amount of washing and cleaning. It is because, just like Teflon, it repels dirt, dust, and debris. Besides, these dogs are generally clean on their own and thus don’t have that distinctive “doggy smell” we are all familiar with.

Other canine breeds with similar long coats usually require a high level of maintenance and care. Purebred Japanese Spitz dogs only come in snow-white fur, which is straight and smooth-flowing.

How Uncommon Is a Japanese Spitz Dog?

Anywhere in the world, you may be, you will find it very challenging to find a purebred Japanese Spitz, with all their ideal physical attributes intact. Even if you try to look for young puppies in your nearby local animal shelter, there is a very slim chance you’d find some.

And if by sheer luck you were able to find one, make sure that

The mere fact that this particular canine breed can produce a litter size of 1 to 6 puppies only, the odds that they will increase in numbers, as any other dog breeds, has a very slight probability. Additionally, the scarcity of Japanese Spitz outside their native Japan is also one of the reasons why purebred Japanese Spitz puppies are very expensive.

Is  the Japanese Spitz a Small or Medium Dog?

The Japanese Spitz is a small to medium-sized dog whose origins can be traced back to Japan, where it was developed by crossbreeding white Spitzes. There are numerous variations of the Japanese Spitz, though, it stands about 13 inches tall and weighs between 11 and 20 pounds on average.

The height of this dog varies by location. For example, as stated in the UK code, they should be a minimum of 13.5 and a maximum of 14.5 inches tall. However, the American standard is a bit different although much more stringent on this aspect, calling for a height of at least 13 inches.

Aside from the points given above, the males tend to grow larger in terms of size than the females, making the perfect size of pooch for jumping between your legs during a game of fetch or during cuddle time on the couch.

Where Did Japanese Spitz Come From?

Historically, Japanese Spitz is believed to have descended from white German Spitzer imported from Siberia and China around 1920. It’s sad though that it is impossible now to know the exact full history of the breed since no records were left due to the massive destruction of public records in WWII.

Nonetheless, it is known that the first Japanese Spitz was showcased in Tokyo in 1921 and two white ones were imported from Canada in 1925. Among the additional white spitz imported was the white Klein Wolfsspitz (Keeshond) from Canada, the US, Australia, and China between the mid-1920s and mid-1930s.

In 1948, the Japan Kennel Club established the breed standard for the Japanese Spitz based on the offspring of the said cross breedings.

Are Japanese Spitzes Snow Dogs?

No, unlike other types of the Spitz breed, this canine group is not to be considered as a snow dog. When a canine group is dubbed as a “snow dog” breed, it means that their bodies are most suitable to cold climates. However, it is not the case with the Japanese Spitz.

While Japanese Spitzes can tolerate cold weather, they prefer to live inside the confines of their human family’s home. Such indoor spaces are naturally warm in the winter and cold in the summer. Even though these dogs can live in apartments or condominium units, their owners are encouraged to allow them to roam on their own in a safe environment off-leash. Ideally, in a dog-friendly park or any similar open spaces.

If exposure to cold weather is inevitable, they should be kept as warm as possible inside the house. The Japanese Spitz dog can adapt well to a range of diverse living environments because they are not picky or fussy about their living space. Remember, for as long as these dogs are in the company of their human family, these pooches can’t ask for more.

The million-dollar question here is, do they like cold weather conditions? Or can the Japanese Spitz survive living in a tropical climate? The answer to both has something to do with this dog’s level of adaptability, which is one of the strongest traits of the Japanese Spitz breed.

No matter what their surrounding environment is, the Japanese Spitz can adapt. However, they are more tolerant of cold weather conditions than hot weather. Since this canine breed is a social animal at heart and thrives primarily on human contact and affection, they cannot tolerate prolonged periods of solitude. Therefore, you can’t keep these dogs outside your house otherwise they will feel distressed which is a precursor to disruptive behaviours like digging.

As a double-coated pooch, the fur of a Japanese Spitz dog works as the “natural insulator” for their bodies. Their coat keeps them cool during hot summer days and comfortably warm when it is wintertime. This explains the reason why Japanese Spitz owners are discouraged, as much as possible, from clipping their dog’s fur. Doing so actually runs the risk of inducing their dogs to feel distressed.

Can a Japanese Spitz Dog Live in Hot Weather?

A Japanese Spitz dog can withstand heat and humidity well and so will be fine in a hot or tropical environment. They’re also a Spitz breed, which means they’ll adjust to a cold climate in a snap. Their double coat fur protects them from inclement weather conditions due to extreme temperatures, which can be high or cold.

Furthermore, their white coats serve to their advantage in hot weather. Their white coats don’t trap heat as readily as darker or black ones would (but they do so). However, under exceptional heat, all dogs are vulnerable to overheating and even heat stroke. As a result, dog owners need to have a thorough understanding of how their dog’s body would react to a warm or cold environment.

Is the Japanese Spitz a Husky?

No, it is not accurate to say that Japanese Spitzes are huskies. Siberian Huskies and the Japanese Spitz belong to the Spitz canine breed. Aside from those two, there are a handful of other dog breeds that belong to the Spitz canine group and this includes the Pomeranian, Samoyed, American Eskimo dog, Chow-chow, Indian Spitz, Finnish Lapphund, Norwegian Buhund, Icelandic Sheepdog, Greenland dog, Volpino, Hokkaido, Kishu, and many more.

H2 What Does a Japanese Spitz Look Like?

The Japanese Spitz is a tiny breed with big oval eyes that are similar in shape to the ginkgo seed. Their pair of eyes are lively, large, dark, slanted in an unusual manner, and oval-shaped. They also have white lashes which are not typical to see in the canine world.

The most apparent difference between this breed of dog and its white Pomeranian relative is the black nose, lips, and eye rims. They have a long tail but are constantly curled up, which is another telltale sign that they are a qualified watchdog for your home.

The Japanese Spitz has got some coat on the forelegs and breeches on the hind legs. Their ears may be tiny in terms of size, but they have always pointed straight ahead, signifying the attentive attitude and alertness of these dogs. As for their muzzle, that somewhat tapers. Dark, slightly slanted large eyes are a feature of this breed’s face with a somehow wedge-shaped face.

What factors Tell You About Your Japanese Spitz’s Purebred status?

Just merely looking at your newly acquired Japanese Spitz dog will tell you and help you determine if it is indeed a purebred Japanese Spitz. So how can you tell that your pooch is an authentic breed? They are supposed to have a short coat on the lower half of their legs and this is during their first year.

Their hind legs have breeches and have fur on the forelegs, too. Their ears are small and slender, and their muzzle is slightly tapered. They are gifted with large oval eyes that are accentuated by black lips and a black nose. Japanese Spitzes, in contrast to Asian Spitzes, are made distinct by their wedge-shaped faces.

Typically, male Japanese Spitzes have a thicker, more luxurious coat, although this varies by breed. While breeders continue to debate about what should be their ideal size, for pet owners, the differences between what various Japanese Spitz clubs prefer will not affect how a Japanese Spitz dog fits into their family.

The Japanese Spitz is distinguished by their black eyes, black nose, and immaculately bright white coat with a tail that always tends to curl up at their back.

What Colour Is a Japanese Spitz?

Developed as a companion dog, the Japanese Spitz is a small to medium-sized white dog. Their fluffy white appearance has led the dog-loving community to fondly refer to them as the “Cloud Dogs.”

The Japanese Spitz dog may be the only breed of the canine Spitz that only comes in a pure, dazzling white fur. While the majority of the Spitz family are available in a spectrum of colors, the Japanese Spitz comes only in white. They have a profuse white, double coat, where the outer coat stands out from the softer inner coat.

These dogs are characterized by the shorter fur around their muzzle and ears, while they also have long fur around their neck. Their tails also have long hairs that are curled over so they touch the fur on their back.

Their creamy-white appearance usually gives anyone or onlookers the general impression that they are high-maintenance dogs with a lot of grooming needs. It surprises many people that they do not. Theirs is a coat with a texture that usually repels dirt and debris. Hence, they are low-maintenance dogs with a coat that is comparable to Teflon.

What Breeds Make Up a Japanese Spitz?

The Japanese Spitz belongs to the Spitz family, which includes German Shepherds, Pomeranians, and Huskies. The breed has been around for over 100 years but was only recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1988.

This canine breed comes with a flat muzzle and sturdy body. This physical attribute they have is basically what’s making them strong, reliable hunters. This Spitz type of dog is known to be fiercely protective of its human owners—which makes them great watchdogs! And also, the reason why they are sought out by pet lovers over the years.

A Japanese Spitz dog is thought to be one of the healthiest Spitz breeds, however, they are prone to suffering from eye problems such as PRA (Progressive Retinal Atrophy) or glaucoma. And even though they look like a smaller version of the German Shepherd, the temperaments and personalities of both are quite different from each other.

Japanese Spitzes love to be around people and do not like the idea of being left alone for long periods. Their protective nature may make them seem aloof towards strangers, but once they know they belong to a loving family, there’s no stopping this playful pooch from adoring his human family.

Is Japanese Spitz a Mixed Breed?

Yes, the Japanese Spitz is a mixed breed. It has been developed in Japan, but no records or documentation will tell you where it originated from. The breed was developed to become a companion animal for royal families, especially during World War II, a dismal time in the world when many people were living in shelters or had little money left after the war ended up leaving their dogs behind.

The Japanese Spitz dog looks like a small version of a Siberian Husky, with a long and silky white coat that covers the dog’s whole body except for its snout where you can see the black nose (depending on what color it is).

They have pointy ears and round, expressive eyes that turn up at the ends. Japanese Spitzes are usually about 12 to 16 inches tall and weigh around 14 to 18 pounds, but the male dogs are larger than female ones when they grow up and mature.

They are very active and intelligent dogs, but the problem is that they can’t stay in places where there isn’t much activity (like apartments or any place like that). They need company all day long because they cannot tolerate being on their own.

Constant solitude for these dogs is torture, and it may work against them. Constant solitude may cause them to eventually manifest disruptive behavior, one of which is their insatiable urge to dig anywhere. Hence, when you let them out, their seemingly instinctive action is to dig the ground.

Is a Japanese Spitz a Rare Breed?

Yes, the Japanese Spitz is a rare dog. Experts say that there are only around 600 dogs left in the world and it’s hard to find them outside Japan, where they were originally from. The number of purebreds is likely to plummet even more since many have been cross-bred with other breeds in order to keep the breed alive.

Therefore, if no action is taken to preserve the purebred Japanese Spitzes, the odds are high that sooner or later they will become extinct and into oblivion. What we’ll have left will be the crossbred ones.

A Japanese Spitz dog is a very active pooch, obedient and loyal. They can learn new tricks at lightning speed, which makes them great participants in doggy sports like agility since they come in small sizes and thus can be taken anywhere without any hassle or problem.

Is a Japanese Spitz a Purebred or a Cross Breed?

Despite having a close resemblance to the Samoyed, American Eskimo Dog, and Pomeranian breeds in appearance, dog experts from around the world are pointing out that the Japanese Spitz breed has a history of its own. Besides, they are also identified as a distinct breed by so many kennel clubs from around the globe.

In the 1920s and 1930s, dog breeders in Japan developed the Japanese Spitz by crossbreeding some other Spitz breeds. Breeders started with white German Spitz dogs brought to Japan. Purportedly, these types of Spitz dogs come from northeastern China. The resulting canine from such a dog breeding effort was first displayed at a Tokyo dog show in 1921.

In another story, it is said that the Spitz evolved from the Siberian Samoyed. However, this supposition is widely contested, but proponents assert that Samoyeds were selectively bred for small size and companionability, culminating in the development of the Japanese Spitz.

This story suggests that the Japanese Spitz is a miniature Samoyed. Besides that, it is believed that the breed was developed in the late 1800s.

How Can You Tell if a Japanese Spitz Is Purebred?

The overall aesthetics of a dog is a very important factor to look into when trying to identify its breed, although this won’t suffice. A gamut of dog types and breeds share similar looks and build with your subject dog, and that they come from different breeds which have different characteristics and personalities.

To determine if a Japanese Spitz is purebred or not, you should look into their pedigree and know more about their origins or parentage before knowing what type of character they will have based on their ancestry.

It’s also important to know the basic physical characteristics of this breed, which will help you in making a comparative analysis with other breeds. You should be aware of how they behave or act when compared with another breed because it lets you conclude whether that specific dog comes from Japanese Spitz parents or not.

Why Is My Japanese Spitz Not White?

There are occasions when a purebred Japanese Spitz, instead of having pure white fur, will instead have cream-toned fur up until they reach the age of three years old. After which, the tints of cream on their fur will gradually fade in intensity and will be replaced by pure whiteness. Others will have streaks of red in their coats.

This color is called the “red coat” in Japan, and it is very much loved by the Japanese dog-loving community. Many breeds of Japanese Spitz are actually red or white, but many of them also come with black ears!

These includes:

  • Shiba Inu (the smallest of the six native Japanese dogs)
  • Akita Inu (the national breed of Japan)
  • Kishu Ken (loyal, brave, and small in size)
  • Kai Ken (known for its black tongue and blue eyes)
  • Hokkaido Inu (the largest of the six native Japanese dog breeds)

How Do You Whiten Japanese Spitz Fur?

What is the best way to whiten Japanese Spitz fur? There are a plethora of products on the market that make a high, grand claim that their dog coat whitening soap or shampoo can help whiten up a Japanese Spitz’s fur or something to that effect. However, be careful and take caution about which ones you use!

These products usually have harsh chemical ingredients in them. Some of them even have bleach that may damage or wreak havoc of unimaginable proportions to your dog’s skin.

Before using any product around the face or mouth area, test the product first. You can start by applying a little to a hidden area of the neck. If any redness or irritation results, veer away from that product! Also, avoid bleach products that make use of hydrogen peroxide as their base ingredient. You must avoid using them on your dog at all costs.

Do Japanese Spitz Come in Different Colors?

If you will go back to their genealogy, Japanese Spitzes were bred from white varieties of the Spitz canine family. Hence, it only makes sense that the succeeding lineage can only come in pure dazzling white fur.

However, these dogs can also come in red or cream with tan prints on their heads. This type of coloring in Spitzes has been coined by many Japanese Spitz dog enthusiasts as the “red spitz”.

But the proper term that should be used here is “cream”. The cream color of coats in select Japanese Spitzes is actually an “abnormality” and very rare.

Cream-coat in Japanese Spitzes is a qualified abnormality because it is one of the things that can happen when blood-related dam and sire mated together and their coitus resulted in pregnancy. Besides, as the puppy gets older their fur is not as straight as it should be but are rather wavy or rumpled in appearance.

Is There a Black Japanese Spitz?

A black Japanese Spitz is a possibility somewhere but it is a typical case of one in a million. The most experienced dog breeders say they don’t come as a standard color for this type of Spitz dog, though, and you would have to search far and wide to find one.

Given the rarity of Japanese Spitzes, a black variant would be considerably much more difficult to locate, assuming one exists.

Can Japanese Spitz be Brown?

A brown Japanese Spitz dog should not exist if you dare go back to the original genealogy of this breed.

According to the majority of popular and highly reputable dog breed clubs from many different parts of the world, the first Japanese spitz dogs were bred from white German spitz canines, American Eskimo dogs, and white Russian Spitz. It is generally accepted that they contributed genetically to the Japanese Spitz breed we have today.

They were brought to Japan through northern China sometime around 1920. Therefore, it is very rare for these dogs, or Japanese Spitzes, to come in any color other than white. If their pedigree were of white canine breeds, they would not likely have a black or brown Japanese Spitz.

If by chance, those pooches are not purebred anymore, although they may still maintain the basic characteristics of a typical Japanese Spitz.

Do Japanese Spitz Have Blue Eyes?

No, Japanese Spitzes do not have blue eyes. Their eyes, generally, come in brown, black or amber (yellow) colors. As for their coat, it is usually pure bright whiteness or cream with dark markings on the face and ears.

Their eyes are almond-shaped and made even more distinct by their black rims. They usually feature a dark brown color although they can occasionally come in hues of amber, and their tiny, triangular prick ears are closely set together, standing upright from the top of the head.

How Do You Know if Your Dog Is a Japanese Spitz?

Here is how to know if your dog is a Japanese Spitz.

Inspect Your Dog’s Body Structure

  • Check out your dog’s height and weight. It is not unusual for a Japanese Spitz dog to have a height of about 12 to 15 inches or 30 to 38 cm. They should weigh between 4.5 and 11.3 kg, or 10 and 25 pounds.
  • A Japanese Spitz’ head must be proportionate with their body, and the head is rounded and somewhat broad.
  • Probe the ears. The Japanese Spitz’s ears are always set high, pricked, and somehow in a triangular shape. A purebred Japanese Spitz’s ears are not very far apart from each other, and they always face forward.
  • Look at the dog’s eyes. Japanese Spitz should have dark, almond-shaped eyes, somewhat wide and diagonally positioned.
  • Look at the dog’s tail. A Japanese Spitz’s tail is quite long and high set and long. This type of dog always seems to carry its tail over its back.
  • Inspect your dog’s general appearance. This canine breed has an overall balanced body structure. They are very agile and are known to have an active, quick gait.
  • Scrutinize the ears of your pooch. Japanese Spitz is known for its high-set, small, pricked and triangular-shaped ears. These shouldn’t be very far apart from each other, and they certainly shouldn’t face each other all the time.
  • What do your dog’s eyes look like? This canine breed comes with a pair of dark-colored eyes. Almond in shape, they are diagonally set and somewhat large.
  • Take a look at the tail. This aspect is a distinct attribute of Japanese Spitzes because their relatively high-set, long tail is carried over their backs.
  • Look at the dog’s tail. Japanese Spitz should have a high-set, relatively long tail, and the dog should carry it over their back.
  • Examine its overall appearance. Japanese Spitzes are known for their balanced body structure. They are sought out by dog lovers from all over because they have an active, quick gait.

Check the Coat

Take into account the color of the dog’s coat. The Japanese Spitz’s coat should be entirely white.

  • Examine the coat’s length. Japanese Spitz should have short hair on their ears, undercoat, front of their forearms, below their hocks, and on the top of their head. The dog’s tail should be feathery thick, and the rest of its body should have a lot of furs.

This is most apparent in the dog’s neck and shoulders, as well as their forechest region, where there are frills to its coat.

  • Analyze the overall appearance of the coat. This particular canine breed comes with an overcoat that is distinct and straight. They may have a thick undercoat, but unlike those of other breeds, these dogs are pleasant to the touch.

Observe their Behavior and Temper.

  • Check out how your dog interacts with other canines. Apart from humans, these dogs are very sociable, even with their kind. It is very typical for them to get along really well with other canines.
  • These dogs are fearless; they are not easily daunted. They are daring and brave. They take to heart all the time and are known to defend their human families, even to the point of sacrificing their own.
  • Determine if the dog enjoys being the center of attention. This canine breed loves attention, and they dislike solitude or being left on their own.
  • Is your dog family-friendly? The Japanese Spitz enjoys the reputation of being a family-friendly dog. They do well with children, although it is of utmost importance to teach the kids how to properly handle them.
  • Recognize that this canine breed is among the brightest and smartest of dogs. These dogs are clever and fast learners. Therefore, potty training your Japanese Spitz should be a breeze.