German Spitz: All About this Breed

The German Spitz is a happy and loyal dog that requires specific care for its coat and when it comes to socializing. If you want to know more about this friendly breed, read on.
German Spitz: All About this Breed

Last update: 20 November, 2021

The German Spitz is an ideal dog to keep in a flat and perfect for older people or those who prefer shorter, slower walks. People love its fluffy hair and loyal character.

If you’re thinking of welcoming one of these dogs into your home, here’s all the information you need to familiarize yourself with their characteristics and needs. With good care, this breed is one of the best companions you could find.

Physical characteristics of the German Spitz

What is commonly known as German Spitz is a group of breeds that only differ in size and small characteristics, but with almost identical genetics. The breeds considered under this denomination are the following:

  • Keeshond
  • Big Spitz
  • Medium Spitz
  • Small Spitz
  • Dwarf Spitz or Pomeranian

The most striking feature of this canine variant is its dense, fine coat. The mantle is formed by two layers of hair: the internal layer consists of short, dense, and woolly hair, while the external layer is composed of long hair, separate and slightly rigid.

Un spitz alemán.

The shape of his head is also striking, with a pronounced nasofrontal depression and a profile similar to foxes. The ears are triangular, pointed, erect, and set high. The height to the withers ranges from 23 to 50 cm (9 to 20 inches), depending on the breed. The same happens with the weight, which can go from 3 to 10 kilos, approximately (6.6 to 22 pounds).

The character of the German Spitz

Each dog has its own personality which is unique and unrepeatable. However, thanks to artificial selection, there are certain behavioral tendencies linked to the breed. In the case of the German Spitz, a cheerful, alert and active character has always been sought after.

These dogs are reserved with strangers and other dogs, as they form a strong bond with their owners and can be somewhat overprotective. However, this is a tendency that is easily worked on with good socialization.

The German Spitz is not the first choice for homes with small children, as they’re somewhat reactive dogs. Unless the children know how to deal with dogs (i.e. slightly older children), the risk of an accident increases compared to other more patient breeds.

Special care

Apart from a good diet and daily exercise, common to all breeds, the German Spitz requires some specific care, such as the grooming of the coat. Here are all the specifications for this breed.

Hair care

The fine, dense hair of the German Spitz requires daily brushing, sometimes more than once a day. It tangles easily, and if you don’t want dreadlocks to form, you must comb it regularly, otherwise the skin won’t be able to breathe properly.

These breeds tolerate cold climates well, but not so much heat. Shaving the dogs is not an option for hot seasons, because you’ll only destabilize their thermoregulation.

Emotional needs of the German Spitz

The small and medium-sized breeds in this group can be kept perfectly well in flats and houses without a garden. However, this doesn’t mean that they should be left alone at home for long periods of time, as these dogs have a great need for socialization with their family.

If you neglect this aspect of their health, you’ll face the risk of the dog developing disorders such as separation anxiety.

Spitzes are easy dogs to train through the positive strategy, as they respond very well to the use of the clicker and reinforcement. They should be taught not to have overprotective responses to their owners, as well as not barking excessively, as they’re quite vocal!

German spitz health

This breed has no major problems associated with their genetics. However, and although its incidence is low, some disorders linked to its size and coat can be found. We can highlight the following:

  • Hip dysplasia: This occurs when the femur is displaced from the hip joint, since the cavity where it fits doesn’t completely cover the head of this bone. This disorder is most often found in large breeds.
  • Skin problems: This usually occurs when the coat isn’t properly cared for. If the skin doesn’t breathe sufficiently, the dog will develop wet dermatitis and other ailments.
  • Idiopathic epilepsy: This is a neurological disease that causes seizures, loss of consciousness and subsequent disorientation and lethargy. It’s due to excessive electrical discharges of certain groups of neurons.
  • Patellar luxation: Although it isn’t very frequent, the German spitz has a somewhat higher incidence of this problem, which consists of the patella moving out of its normal position. It’s easy to detect, as it produces a noticeable lameness.

In short, if your lifestyle fits well with a dog that requires little exercise, but has a happy, alert attitude, then the German spitz will be a good choice. Always remember that it’s better to adopt than to buy: by adopting you save two lives, that of the dog you take in and that of the one that enters the shelter in its place.

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