Japanese Spitz

While the Japanese Spitz is new to the dog kingdom, its ancestry dates back to thousands of years ago. Although it isn’t clear of this breed’s “true DNA,” there have been some who can reduce the possible progenitors to a few types. 

Outside of Japan, the breed has just began to scratch the surface. Although they haven’t yet seen recognition by America’s biggest kennel club — a simple internet search will remind dog lovers all over just how popular the Japanese Spitz is.

Fluffy and kind, this breed’s purpose was always to steal the affection of its owner. Their popularity will continue to rise as more and more people find out about them.

So what is it that people love about this breed? 

Here is what you need to know about the Japanese Spitz.

History

At first glance, you may believe you’re about to pat an American Eskimo or a mini Samoyed, but you would be wrong. Indeed, this is a breed of its own accord. As recent, the breed’s original development took place during the beginning of the 20th century. Most prominently in Japan, they didn’t begin to surface outside of the country until the mid 1900’s.

Japan can claim the Japanese Spitz, thanks to contributions of several various spitz types, presumably the white German Spitz dog. In the 1920’s, from the hands of North China and Siberia, Japan would begin developing their dog.

Strictly a companion dog, without much record or history of other purposes, the Japanese Spitz really didn’t emerge outside of Japan until the 1950’s. Despite appearing in 1921, at a Tokyo dog show, nobody knew about this breed. 

The first to recognize the breed was Japanese Kennel Club in 1948. Shortly after, exporting the breed into Sweden, subsequently the United Kingdom, would help propel the breed forward into the picture. In fact, the Kennel Club of England gave the Japanese Spitz recognition in 1977. Oddly, the breed is rather rare today in England.

Ever since, the breed has had a modest existence. Most major kennel clubs including the Continental Kennel Club, the Canadian Kennel Club and United Kingdom, has given the breed recognition. All with the exception of the American Kennel Club.

Today, the breed is still a force in Japan as a faithful and kind companion. 

Size

A small breed, the male Japanese Spitz may stand between 12-15 inches, and a female can reach from 12 to 14 inches. This is the standard of the United Kennel Club.

There is some disagreement of the ideal weight a Japanese Spitz may be. What is clear is that the breed can weigh as little as 11 pounds, and be as heavy as 13 to 20 pounds.

Personality and Temperament

Some of the leading adjectives describing this breed are: intelligent, keen and cheerful. Indeed, most owners remark about the upbeat and bright temperament of the Japanese Spitz. An affectionate type, the Japanese Spitz values time with their people and happiest with family.

Aside from demanding inclusivity with family, this breed can get along just with about anything and anyone. Although their alert and good hearing makes them fine watchdogs, they are likely to vocalize approaching strangers rather than impede or confrontation.

This breed can adapt to many environments but ultimately is most comfortable in mild temperate climates. Fine for apartment living, the elderly or any level of ownership experience.

All that aside, the Japanese Spitz main role in life is to give and receive companionship. The measurement to their happiness is a faithful and long running bond. An all family dog, that won’t give you many working dog or show dog qualities. Although they do enjoy obedience and agility exercises.

Health

One of the reoccurring themes about the Japanese Spitz is their health. Many appear to regard them as very healthy. While that is likely, it is also likely that there isn’t a ton of information regarding the breed’s health.

When you buy a Japanese Spits — it is important to do the proper research. That is, ask the tough questions, read the reviews and seek clarity. Any reputable breeder should have no problems handing out health clearance and reports.

In addition, you should schedule regular visits with the veterinarian to maintain your dog’s well-being. If you do that, most experts say that the Japanese Spitz can live between 12 to 16 years on average.

The biggest concern of general consensus seems to be Patella Luxation.  Patella Luxation can be difficult and a trying disorder for the dog to live with. This disorder is when the patella dislocates from the femur causing a great deal of pain, lameness and other orthopedic issues down the road. Corrective surgery and management can help with this issues when veterinarians treat it. 

Allergies and epilepsy are some areas to be cognizant about, but there are no studies to indicate a major precautionary effort. In addition, as a puppy, one may encounter tear staining from what some believe is a result of small tear ducts. This is more of a cosmetic ordeal for the all white breed.

Care

From the looks of them, you may think a great effort entails ownership. That may be presumptuous at best. Their coats aren’t that messy, while they do shed, again, there isn’t much effort to the grooming process. 

One of the good qualities is that this a low key and far from hyperactive breed. Typically, the Japanese Spits needs affection, intolerant of incessant alone time, and wants to feel like a part of the family. 

A daily stroll or two or activity up to an hour should suffice. Early socialization and training will help them later on regarding interaction with other beings and things. 

Stray from excess heat, check ears routinely for bacterial buildup, look for split or crack nails or reduce those chance from regular nail trimming.

Feeding

A high quality should suffice this breed’s dietary needs. The Japanese Spitz is like any other breed, in the sense, that their health will appreciate a balance of quality protein, crude fat, vitamins and minerals.

Most people tend to recommend a half cup per day of top quality dry kibble. Two smaller meals instead of one big one proves to help with a fatal condition, Bloat. 

As always, you should provide your Japanese Spitz with fresh drinking water.

Coat

One of the visual appeals of the breed is their thick double coat. The undercoat consists of a durable, dense, shorter in length and soft on touch. The overcoat consisting of fur that stands off the coat, longer in specific areas and shorter in other regions, and will typically appear straight.

Certain people believe daily brushing is best. This will prevent undercoat matting. Regular grooming is necessary. 

There is one color that is acceptable and that is pure white.

Japanese Spitz Fun Facts

  • Some other names or nickname you may hear in reference to the Japanese Spitz include: mini-Samoyed, and Nihon Supittsu.
  • A puppy of this breed will usually go for $1200 to $1800.
  • According to the site, Japanese Spitz HQ, you will likely spend $10-$15 per week feeding them.
  • One reason the breed still hasn’t gained recognition with the AKC is due to the belief that the Spitz has a strong resemblance to the American Eskimo Dog.

Closing Words

Caring and a cuddle bug, loving and leaving their hearts on the line, a Japanese Spitz is a dog you get when looking for the entire family. They are kind and gentle, the sort of type best for an older person.

While their history doesn’t fill the screen with accomplishment or valor, they are consistent and growing in popularity. If easy going and simple to care for is your thing, then the Japanese Spitz has a home in its heart for you.