Japanese Spitz general features, temperament, health

Japanese Spitz dog breed photo

FCI # 262, Origin: Japan, Group 5.5 Asian Spitz and related breeds.

Height: 12-15 in, Weight: 11-20 pounds

Grooming: Medium, Shedding: Medium, Coat: relatively long on the body and short on the legs.

Color: white.

Ease of training: High, Energy level: Medium, Span of life: 12-16 years.

Breed: There are several theories on the Origin of the Japanese Spitz. The standard briefly discusses the history of the breed forming and subsequent historical description is largely restricted to a single version.

It is believed that the Japanese Spitz originates from the German big white Spitz, and that he came to Japan approximately in 1920 through Siberia and Northeastern China. In the subsequent time until 1936 white Spitz-type dogs were imported from Canada, USA, Australia and China and through the crosses between those dogs the breed was improved.

Thus, some Spitzes through China and Manchuria came to the Japanese Spitz kennels, as well as the American Eskimo Dogs. Even if a small Japanese Spitz "smiles" just like Samoyed, he is not a relative of a Samoyed.

In 1948 the Japanese Kennel Club had made a single standard, which is working until now (but in the modified form since 1987). The first recorded Japanese Spitz named Hakura was born in August 1947.

This breed was especially loved in the 50s, and the breeding of the Japanese Spitz has been successful - annually there were registered nearly 4500 pups. However, with economic and industrial boom in the coming decades the Japanese Spitz has lost his appeal, he was no longer used as a guardian of the owner's property, and in the big cities there was no enough place for him.

A large decline was observed in breeding and in the 70s there were registered less than 500 puppies. Only when the Japanese Spitz was "rediscovered" as a home dog and a companion of his master, the number of the breed representatives could again be restored, and today it is a very popular breed.

Japanese Spitz dog breeds

In 1994 and 1995 the Japanese Kennel Club registered, respectively, 1784 and 2059 pups. In his homeland Japanese Spitz (Nihon Supittsu) is taken care of thanks to the Japanese Kennel Club and the Association of Japanese Spitz, founded in 1959.

Although Spitz is one of the oldest breeds, however, it was quite difficult for the Japanese Spitz to achieve recognition. While in Germany the white Spitz of a medium size was not considered independent breed up to 1970, although this dogs have always lived in the country, Japanese breeders filled this gap by breeding the Japanese Spitz.

General Features: Japanese Spitz has the classic look of the northern sled dog, that is so much loved by many dog breeders and dog fanciers. His fluffy white coat is long and thick, sticking out. Looking at this coat you physically feel, how warm it is. Tail of a Japanese Spitz is also in the style of northern dogs - curled over the back in a ring. The lower part of limbs is covered with the short hair, fluffy "pants" on the hips, fine feathering on the back of a front legs. Ears of the Japanese Spitz are always pointed and erect. Muzzle is slightly tapering. Eyes are dark, eyelids are always black, nose and lips create a vivid contrast with the snow-white coat of a Japanese Spitz.

Temperament: It is true that still many people, when they see the Japanese Spitz are tenderly exclaiming: "What a nice Samoyed! Very pretty!" And he is not the Samoyed and he is not a Husky. Although, of course, he looks like the classic northern dog, because he has all the required attributes of the northern breeds, namely, very fluffy and thick coat, erect ears and a tail curled over the back like a wheel. However, it is unlikely, that the Japanese Spitz is able to work as a sled dog, this is because of his dimensions: this dog weights 6-8 kilograms and at the withers he is approximately 38 centimeters. Due to his fluffy coat, he looks much bigger, but still to put the Japanese Spitz in the sled harness would be at least strange and even inhuman, the same as to put there a cat or a rabbit.

It is not excluded that in fact many people would like to have a Japanese Spitz as a pet, but most of those people are afraid that it will be too much trouble with his white thick coat. But in fact it is not exactly like this. Indeed you will need to brush your Japanese Spitz quite often - especially in the shedding time (but actually it is quite common with most of dogs).  But it is not too burdensome. As for their magnificent whiteness, these dogs are able to maintain it without any help from their owner - their wool is not getting dirty so easy, as you may think, besides the dirt is falling off by itself, when your Spitz is getting dry, and once again he is white, like a snowball. So the Japanese Spitz requires no grooming (meaning trimming or clipping), so actually you will not have much trouble with their coats and your dog will always look stunning. The only thing, that is better to watch for - is the diet: the food of Japanese Spitz should not contain much iodine or seaweed, or the coat color will change. However, there is a pet food made especially for dogs with the white coats, so this should not be your major concern.

Japanese Spitz breed photo

Despite the relatively small size of a Japanese Spitz, some people in Japan managed to use this dog as a guardian. Of course, the Japanese Spitz is not able to stop the robber (if only the robber is not in a size of a Barbie Doll, which is not happening so often). But it is also true, that the Japanese Spitz is a good keeper: he is alert and he is quite suspicious of strangers. And although today the Japanese Spitz is completely a companion dog, he still believes, that it is his job and his sacred duty to bark at the suspicious strangers. Comparing to many other breeds, the Japanese Spitz is not really very "talkative", but also you can not call him a very quiet dog. To be completely honest, actually things start and end up with baking only - the Japanese Spitz is not a fan of biting and aggressiveness is not in the nature of this breed.

Thus, even chasing the street cat, the Japanese Spitz do not intend to hurt her - and if he did catch up with the cat, he will just stop confused, because he actually does not know, what to do with the cat now. Or he may hope, that now the cat will run after him - Japanese Spitz is always ready to play, but without rudeness. Rude behavior is not something, that the Japanese Spitz will tolerate, no matter who offended him -  people or other pets - Spitz simply will go away - to some place, where he will be understood. So you must teach him all sorts of canine science only with affection and gentle persuasion - sharp commands and punishments will not help. This things will only make the education of your Spitz more difficult. This proud and stubborn dog in principle will not do anything because there is no place for rudeness in his life. Even for a treat the Japanese Spitz will not "sale his soul" - yes, the Japanese Spitz has a fine appetite, but still you can not call him a great fan of food.

Therefore, they can be controlled only by love and understanding. The Japanese Spitz will never be this kind of soldier, that is doing whatever he is ordered. Blind obedience is not for this dog. Receiving a command from the owner Japanese Spitz will first think for a moment - is there any point in those instructions and any good reason. And if there is no such a things (from the Spitz point of view), he will never move a muscle. Because he do not believe, that this is seriously the meaning of his life - to follow blindly any orders.

And generally the Japanese Spitz is a clever little dog, which is, however, easy to read on his expressive face. Among the Spitz family you will rarely meet a fool, but the Japanese Spitz stands out even among these intellectuals. He is more restrained than most miniature Pomeranians, and yet he is more gentle, delicate and not exactly shy, but reasonably cautious.

Japanese Spitz is not a fighting dog and he gets along well with everyone who lives in his house or meet him on a daily a walk, and this means that the owners can be quite confident with him. However, if there are many other animals in the house, the Japanese Spitz may feel jealous - he will not fight, but out of the idea that he is loved less than the others, he may become a little annoying. After all, in fact, these dogs are not delighted with life in a big team, they would prefer to have their beloved owner for themselves, when there is no need to make any competitions. Therefore, this dogs do not like to live in a cages in the large kennels - although their warm coats allow them to easily stay outside, their independent spirit can not tolerate excessive collective life. Japanese Spitz is not so easy to breed on an "industrial scale": captive breeding is stressing them, and most breeders keep these dogs not just in their homes, but almost under their blanket. And this dogs are just happy to live this way, because they consider themselves born precisely in order to pursue their lives in the owner's arms.

However, the Japanese Spitz can not be called "a pocket dog": it is not so easy to carry him in your arms everywhere and always, besides, he needs his walks for exercises and for his coat to look good. And he just loves to walk - not so much to meet the new dogs, but to run, play and just be with his people. Strong, happy and cheerful, playful, mischievous and affectionate, the Japanese Spitz has an excellent health. He cheerfully follows his master, and people ask: "This puppy will grow up?" And a "puppy" is almost 15 years old. He runs happily through life, looking around with his shiny black eyes, he smiles for everyone, and the gray hair on his white coat is completely unnoticeable.

Health problems: Generally the Japanese Spitz is a very healthy breed.

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