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German Spitz

German Spitz

German Spitzs are unusual in that the name refers both to a very generally defined breed of dog as well as a “type” of dog. As a breed, they are a group of slightly varying dogs that come in different colors and sizes but share a few important commonalities. They have the upright, curled tails typical of most Spitz type dogs, erect foxlike ears, and plush coats. In simple terms, it is one breed that comes in many different sizes (miniature, standard, and giant).

Illustration courtesy of the Swedish Kennel Club

About this Breed

German Spitzs are unusual in that the name refers both to a very generally defined breed of dog as well as a “type” of dog. As a breed, they are a group of slightly varying dogs that come in different colors and sizes but share a few important commonalities. They have the upright, curled tails typical of most Spitz type dogs, erect foxlike ears, and plush coats. In simple terms, it is one breed that comes in many different sizes (miniature, standard, and giant).

German Spitzs have a long and interesting history. Ancestors of the Spitz dogs can trace their origins to thousands of years ago. In fact, some of the oldest canine fossils ever found, dating back to the Stone Age, have characteristics that can still be found in the German Spitz today. In their more modern form, however, Germany Spitzs can trace their ancestry to 19th century Germany, where they were bred in different sizes and for different purposes. The larger variety was used as both a working dog and a farm dog, whereas the small Spitzs were kept as companion animals. They were brought to the United States in the 1900s, where they were eventually developed and renamed “American Eskimo Dogs” during the First World War because of anti-German sentiment in the United States. Now, though, the American Eskimo Dog is its own separate breed and is considered a different dog altogether.

Caring for and keeping a German Spitz is a different experience depending on the size. While a small German Spitz might fit very well into city and apartment life, the larger varieties might require too much physical activity to be deprived of a yard. Regardless of the size, however, German Spitzs are happy dogs. They are intelligent, friendly, and inquisitive. They generally do well with other dogs and other pets. The smaller varieties may not do well with very young children, given their size, but the medium and larger ones are much hardier and will do well with even young kids. All German Spitzs require daily exercise and early socialization. They also have a tendency to be very vocal, so owners might want to teach them the “quiet” command early on.

German Spitzs are a pretty popular breed in the United States, particularly the smaller varieties. There is a lot of confusion about their relationship with Pomeranians, but don’t be fooled. The German Spitz and the Pomeranian, while related, are now considered two distinctly different breeds.

German Spitzes on Embark

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