The German Sptiz dogs comprise five separate breeds that the International Cynopic Federation (FCI) groups under only one pattern, but with differences for each breed. The races included in this group are:
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- Spitz wolf or Keeshond
- Spitz big
- Middle Spitz
- Small spitz
- Spitz Dwarf or Pomeranian
All of these breeds are virtually identical, except for the size and color of the hair in some of them. Although the FCI group all these breeds in only one standard and consider them of German origin, Keeshond and Pomerania are considered by other organizations as breeds with their own standards. According to other canine societies, Keeshond is of Dutch origin.
In this YourCatCareguide race card we will focus on the big, medium and small Spitz .
- Grupo V
- More than 80
Origin of the German Spitz
The origins of the German Spitz are not very definite, but the most common theory says that this breed of dog is a descendant of the Stone Age ( Canis familiaris palustris Rüthimeyer ), being one of the oldest dog breeds in Central Europe. Therefore, a good amount of later races come from this first one, which is classified as dogs of the “primitive type”, due to its origins and characteristics inherited from the wolves, like the ears straight and facing forward of the head, the pointed snout and a long tail on the back.
The expansion of the race in the western world occurred thanks to the preference of the British royalty by the German Spitz, that will arrive at the Great Britain in the luggage of the queen Charlote, the wife of George II of England.
Physical characteristics of German Spitz
The German Spitz are beautiful dogs that stand out for their beautiful hair. All Spitz (large, medium and small) have the same morphology and, therefore, the same appearance. The only difference between these breeds is the size and in some, the color.
The head of the German Spitz is medium and top view has a wedge shape. It resembles the head of the fox. The stop can be marked, but not too much. The nose is round, small and black, except for brown dogs, in which it is dark brown in color. The eyes are medium, elongated, oblique and dark. The ears are triangular, pointed, erect and of high insertion.
The body is as long as its height to the cross, so it has a square profile. The back, loin and rump are short and strong. The chest is deep, while the abdomen is moderately retracted. The tail is of high, medium insertion and the dog has it rolled over the back. It is covered with abundant hair.
The hair of the German Spitz consists of two layers of hair. The inner layer is short, dense and woolly. The outer layer is formed by long, straight and separate layers . The head, ears, forefoot and feet are short, dense and velvety. The neck and shoulders have abundant fur.
The colors accepted for the German Spitz are:
- Large Spitz : Black, brown or white.
- Spitz medium : black, brown, white, orange, gray, beige, beige sable, sable orange, black with fire or stained.
- Spitz small : black, white brown, orange, gray, beige, beige sable, sable orange, black with fire or stained.
Besides the color differences between the different breeds of the German Spitz, there are also differences in size. The sizes (height to cross) accepted by the FCI standard are:
- Spitz large: 46 +/- 4 cm.
- Spitz mean: 34 +/- 4 cm.
- Small Spitz: 26 +/- 3 cm.
Character of the German Spitz
Despite differences in size, all German Spitz share fundamental temperament characteristics. These dogs are cheerful, alert, dynamic and very close to their human families. They are also reserved with strangers and like to bark a lot, so they are good guard dogs, although they are not good protection dogs.
When well socialized, they can willingly tolerate unknown dogs and strangers, but can be conflicting with same-sex dogs. With other pets at home they usually do very well, as well as with their humans.
Despite the socialization, they are not usually good dogs for very young children. Their temperament is reactive, so they may bite if they are mistreated. In addition, the small Spitz and Pomerania are very small and fragile to be with smaller children. But they are good companions of older children who know how to care for and respect a dog.
Care of the German Spitz
The German Spitz are dynamic but they can release their energies with the daily walks and some jokes . Everyone can adapt well to living in an apartment , but it is best if they have a small garden for the larger races (Spitz large and Spitz medium). Races of smaller height, like the small Spitz, do not need the garden.
All these breeds tolerate cold to moderate climates very well, but they do not tolerate the heat very much. Due to their protective coat they can live abroad, but it is better if they live indoors since they need the company of their human families. The hair of any of these breeds should be brushed at least three times a day to keep in good condition and free from knots. In times of hair change it is necessary to brush it daily.
Education of the German Spitz
These dogs are easy to train with positive dressage styles . Due to its dynamism, the clicker training presents itself as a good alternative to educate them. The main problem of behavior with any of the German Spitz is barking because they are usually a breed of dogs that barks a lot .
Health of the German Spitz
All German Spitz breeds are generally healthy and do not have high incidences of canine diseases . However, the most common diseases in this group of breeds, except for Pomerania, are: hip dysplasia, epilepsy and skin problems