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How Do You Take Care of a Japanese Spitz (Brushing, Washing, Grooming, Cutting, and Shaving)?

Widely known for its stunning, full white coat that really doesn't require a great deal of brushing, washing, or cutting, the Japanese spitz is without a doubt among the most sought out dog breeds today. However, since it is natural for them to shed an awful lot, their owners will have no other choice but to maintain their coats just the same.
How Do You Take Care of a Japanese Spitz

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The fact that Japanese spitz dogs are capable of maintaining their coat nice and clean on their own does not negate the fact that they need help from their humans in carrying out certain tasks that involve the use of opposable thumbs. This will include brushing their teeth and many other aspects of concern in canine grooming.

The underlying reason why you need to give your Japanese Spitz dog proper brushing, alongside many other good grooming practices is simple and clear, their outward condition and appearance will have a significant impact on the way they feel. It’s not uncommon for this particular breed to behave poorly because they don’t receive the proper grooming and care they need.

Professional dog groomers unanimously agree that brushing is a crucial part of the dog grooming process. So, if you are planning to own a Japanese spitz dog anytime soon, you and your future furbaby will benefit from getting acquainted first with the different aspects of dog grooming, care and maintenance.

Are Japanese Spitz Easy or Hard to Take Care of?

Although their fluffy coat may give us the impression that they require a lot of grooming and care, the truth is that their grooming requirements are actually quite low or even moderate. Despite the fact that Japanese spitz dogs come with a pearly-white coat, dirt does not adhere to it. Besides, these dogs are naturally clean and surprisingly does not have the characteristic doggy odour that certain dogs have.

Japanese spitz dogs do have what can be best described as an extremely dense, soft undercoat, but their straight stand-off topcoat is longer over the shoulders, chest, and neck forming a ‘mane’.

To keep their coat free from tangles and matting, brushing it at least once every other day is highly recommended, but you need to increase the frequency of your brushing during their moulting or shedding season. Now as for their bathing and washing needs, since their coat is naturally “dirt-proof”, they may only require 2 or 3 times a month.

Before giving these dogs a full bath, we encourage you to comb their coat first to remove all mats. Bathing them without doing so runs the risk of creating more tangles and matting in their fur. It is also very important to rinse all soap/shampoo residue and suds. They tend to magnetize dirt and other foreign matter when they dry up.

How Do You Brush a Japanese Spitz?

A pin brush would be most helpful when brushing your loving Japanese spitz. You start brushing from his tail first, then work your way up to his head. Make sure to go against the hair growth, hence you start from the surface of the skin, then work your way out. As for the slicker brush, use it to work any knots out of the fur, separating small amounts at a time until there is nothing left.

If your pup’s coat looks like it has been brushed out, go through it with a steel comb to ensure you didn’t miss any tangles or small knots in the hair. Last but not least, grab your deshedding tool. You will use your deshedding brush tool to remove any leftover hair that might have remained in the undercoat.

How Often Should You Brush a Japanese Spitz?

A mature or adult Japanese Spitz needs grooming work at least once a week. Unless they are shedding their coats, in which case you need to brush them more often for the entire duration they are dropping coats. While they are still puppies, you can groom them for around 5 to 10 minutes to help them get used to the process of grooming and the brush.

Giving your Japanese spitz regular grooming is important. Bathe them, though, only when absolutely necessary because these dogs don’t get themselves soiled. If your dog is shedding or has entered into its moulting period, a comb with a double row of metal teeth is most helpful in removing their loose hairs which also helps in the even distribution of their skin’s natural oils across their coat.

What Is the Best Brush for a Japanese Spitz?

Giving your Japanese spitz dog the brushing care it needs is simple and easy when you know the right tools to use for the job.  Here’s a quick rundown of dog brushes most suitable for a Japanese spitz.

  • Slicker brush Ideal for medium-long haired dogs. Their short wire bristles will not harm your pooch and are helpful in removing tight knots and matting in your dog’s fur.
  • Pin Brush They usually resemble the human hairbrush and are made of wire bristles. The rounded pins on the top make it possible to give your pooch the delicate brushing it needs. They also work great if you want to remove excess fur right before it lands on the floor or your furniture.
  • Rake Brush Rake brushes are ideal for detangling and removing extra fur from the undercoat of your furry pet. They are suitable for dogs with dense undercoats and thicker coats. Additionally, they promote the removal of dirt and debris from the undercoat.
  • Comb A comb is precisely what its name implies. Dog combs come with two distinct sets of teeth to provide help in many different ways. They are usually made from stainless steel or wire.

If you love your Japanese spitz dog that much, it is crucial to have a tool that can easily brush through its undercoat.

Do Japanese Spitz Clean Themselves?

As with cats, one natural distinct habit of Japanese spitz dogs is that they lick themselves clean since they despise being unclean. They also shed or moult twice a year, which lasts for about 1-2 weeks. Despite their lovely, immaculately white coat, these dogs require little care or maintenance since their fur tends to repel dirt and debris, and they rarely have that distinct doggy odour.

But if you notice that they self-lick excessively, have them examined by a reputable veterinary clinic near you to rule out any pain or possible medical concern. If your pooch’s self-licking persists to a disturbing degree and possible medical issues have been ruled out by a trusted vet, then possible behavioural options may be looked into.

How Do You Clean a Japanese Spitz?

Keeping a Japanese spitz clean and smelling good is not going to be a major concern if you are going to have this breed in your home anytime soon. But like any other canine breed, there are many different aspects of dog grooming that Japanese spitz owners should know about. Proper dog grooming is not solely confined to giving your pooch a proper bath and trimming their coats, but we can safely say that these areas are equally important, too.

  • Use pet wipes These over-the-counter pet care products are portable and handy, and a must-have for any fur parent. If you don’t have immediate access to doggy wet wipes, you may temporarily make use of ordinary baby wipes. Just see to it that you avoid using them around the eye area.
  • Brush your pup  It is crucial for the spitz breed of dog to have a grooming program in place. It will help reduce the amount of dirt and irritants that can get lodged into your dog’s fluff, which helps them remain cleaner overall.
  • Use dry shampoo Deodorizing your puppy or removing their signature “dog smell” is easy with the help of cornstarch and baking soda. Make use of a dry towel to work the powder into your dog’s coat.
  • Clean Your Pooch’s Stuff  Always clean and deodorize your pooch’s toys, food and water bowl, blankets, and bed. If you keep this measure a habit, you will keep both your pooch and your home smelling good all the time sans the signature doggy odour!
  • Clean their Ears  Dogs have varying ear sizes and they have a purpose to serve. To clean their ears, you can make use of baby oil to clean their ear canal. Observe great caution, though, because just like the human ears, the components inside the ears of our canine companions are extremely sensitive, too. Thus, you don’t want them to get damaged.
  • Freshening Foams or Sprays  Dog sprays can be used to freshen up the smell of your dogs’ coats. Furthermore, they can also help untangle your dog’s fur in conjunction with regular brushing.

How Do You Wash Japanese Spitz?

Experts in this area recommended that you bathe your Japanese spitz with water and shampoo that’s specifically formulated for them.

First, you need to calm down your dog before giving him a bath. Make use of a gentle tone of voice to soothe his initial fear of water.  Once your dog is still and calm, pour some water on his head, little by little.

  • Wash your dog’s head first.
  • Then spritz your pooch with nice, warm water, avoiding the eye area.
  • Apply shampoo to the neck and create a lather.
  • Give his head a good rinse, preferably with a showerhead.
  • After that, apply shampoo to his body, paying attention to the tail and the undercoat areas.
  • Create a lather by rubbing the shampoo against the coat and then rinse the shampoo suds.

Grab a nice and dry cotton towel to dry your dog’s coat. You can take advantage of a regular hair drier to hasten up the process, but take caution with this as your pooch might get frightened of the whirring sound it will create.

 How Often Should I Bathe My Japanese Spitz?

If you have a Japanese spitz dog and you know your pooch is not in the habit of walking in the mud or has no way of swimming in a lake, you can wait for that moment until it becomes really dirty to wash/bathe them. If they smell so good and their coat looks immaculately clean, you don’t need to bathe them yet.

In contrast, if your Japanese spitz gets dirty most of the time, limit their washing/bathing frequency to every 4 or 6 weeks. To maintain a healthy skin condition, veer away from washing your pup more than once a month. You can start washing young Japanese spitz puppies at 3 months old.

Can You Clip a Japanese Spitz?

No clipping is necessary when you have this type of dog under your care. The hair between their paw pads may be the only area that may need clipping from time to time. This will require trimming around every two weeks, along with their toenails, which you can do on a biweekly basis.

One cardinal rule to remember in dog grooming is that the more lush the coat, the more intensive care they require. However, this is not true of the Japanese spitz, who happens to have a seemingly self-cleansing white coat. Their coats tend to shed profusely, which necessitates frequent brushing care to remove loose fur strands.

Do Japanese Spitz Need Clipping?

Clipping coats for double-coated breeds like Japanese spitz is not necessary because it can have a detrimental effect on their coat. Nature designed their coats to insulate them during the cold and warm seasons of the year. Rather than clipping their fur, brushing them regularly is more than enough.

If you clip their coat, you may be doing more harm than good because you will eliminate their body’s natural cooling and heating abilities. Some fur parents believe that clipping their pooch’s coat will stop their shedding. Apparently, it won’t do anything to keep their moulting from taking place.

Can You Trim Japanese Spitz?

There are valid reasons why you shouldn’t trim or clip a Japanese spitz’s coat. It’s for their protection. Their coats, particularly young pups, serve as a life jacket, protecting them from fluctuating temperatures, frost and pesky insects. Taking it away from them makes them susceptible to colds.

The notion of many people giving this type of dog a haircut before the summer season sets in is contentious. It is because these furry animals don’t perspire like humans do to cool down their bodies. Dogs cool their bodies down on a hot summer day by virtue of panting.

Can I Shave My Japanese Spitz?

Shaving double coat dog breeds, like Japanese spitz, can be detrimental to them for the long term. Doing so runs the risk of altering the thickness and texture of their coat for good. It is also possible that their coat will not grow back the same way again or will have what is known as “coat funk”.

Other than for aesthetic purposes, the best way to keep your Japanese spitz cool and comfy is to give them access to cool drinking water all the time and a refreshing bath when absolutely necessary. If their coat is so matted, then that is one valid reason to shave their coat.

Do Japanese Spitz Have Undercoats?

The Japanese spitz sheds infrequently and they have an undercoat that sheds practically year-round. Every hairy animal will shed, but the amount and frequency in dogs vary by breed. Male dogs lose theirs once a year, whereas females lose them twice a year, usually at the start of spring and fall.

If your dog’s undercoat seems to shed more than twice a year or you are seeing that his coat is sparse and drab, take him to the vet. Your dog’s poor coat condition may indicate a possible health issue. It could be a simple case of poor diet or as serious as hypothyroidism.

How Do You Deshed a Japanese Spitz?

A Japanese Spitz dog is among the seasonal shedders in the canine world. So there is no way we can get in the way of their shedding or moulting. Even if you shave your Japanese spitz bald, the shedding of their coat or moulting will still proceed anyway.

Shaving or trimming the coat of the spitz breed of dogs is not at all encouraged. They should be brushed instead. But even so, they require minimal grooming, which is not the case with other double-coated breeds.

Does Japanese Spitz Fur Grow Back?

No, unfortunately, fur that has been shaved will not grow back anymore. Shaving their coat, both their undercoat and topcoat will make them lose their natural layering, rendering them to become uniform in length. The undercoat develops faster than the topcoat, and the topcoat may not be able to catch up to reestablish the space between the two coats.

Some owners believe that, with time and with a professional groomer, their dog’s coat could be restored. You may be lucky enough to get a coat almost as strong as the original topcoat, but with little to no undercoat, leaving only one layer of semi topcoat that does half the work the original top coat was designed to do.

How Do You Groom a Japanese Spitz?

The adult Japanese spitz requires brushing once a week. Except when they are moulting or shedding coats, you need to brush them daily for the entire moulting period. 5-10 minutes of daily grooming is all it takes to get your puppies acclimated to their doggy brush.

The proper way of brushing a double-coated dog like a Japanese spitz is to brush the coat up towards the head,  begin the brushing work at the tail. With the help of a slicker brush, brush the hair down to the undercoat. Brush little rows towards the head, gliding your fingers on the coat to release more hair to brush with the slicker brush. Starting from the tail and travelling up towards the head.

How Often Should I Groom My Japanese Spitz?

The frequency of brushing and grooming any dog would highly depend on its breed. Their coat type, length, and even activity will determine the frequency of grooming care they will require.

Beagles and Labradors require less combing, brushing, and grooming than Poodles, Border Collies, and Pomeranians. It is because their longer coats can tangle and matte very easily and quickly.

When it comes to your Japanese spitz dog, brush and groom them as needed. But one of the best practices you need to keep in mind is to check out their coat regularly and look for any signs of tangles, knots, mats, and dullness.