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German Spitz

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German Spitz

Form and Function

The German Spitz is a true Nordic breed with a short, compact and square body, prick ears, beautiful coat and tail that curls over his back. Alert and vocal with a keen sense of hearing, the breed has long been characterized and valued as a valiant defender of field and home. This small breed has two size varieties: the Klein and the Mittel.


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Breed Traits

Energy Level

3 out of 5

Exercise Requirements

2 out of 5


3 out of 5

Affection Level

3 out of 5

Friendliness To Dogs

3 out of 5

Friendliness To Other Pets

3 out of 5

Friendliness To Strangers

3 out of 5


5 out of 5

Ease of Training

4 out of 5

Grooming Requirements

4 out of 5

Heat Sensitivity

1 out of 5


3 out of 5

Breed Attributes




24 to 26 pounds


9 to 11 ½ inches (Klein), 12 to 15 inches (Mittel)


Northern (UKC), Foundation Stock Service (AKC)

Area of Origin


Date of Origin



A relatively new breed in the United States having been imported from Germany, England and Australia, the German Spitz was first documented as a valiant defender of home and field in 1450. Many early members of the breed, considered a peasant’s dog in the early days, were found in the province of Pomerania, from which came the breed’s early name, the Pomeranian. The German Spitz became quite popular with royalty in the 18th century. The breed is recognized with five size varieties in Germany, but when the Toy and Wolfspitz were exported to other countries, they were viewed as separate breeds: the Pomeranian and the Keeshond. In America, the German Spitz is viewed as one breed with two size varieties: the Klein and the Mittel. The United Kennel Club has recognized the German Spitz as a member of its Northern Group since 2006.


Intelligent, active and alert, the German Spitz has a confident, happy disposition. He remains a steadfast and devoted companion, always ready and eager to please his owner. The German Spitz doesn’t trust a stranger, positioning him as an ideal watchdog. Versatile and adaptable, the German Spitz is readily trainable, though he also can be independent from time to time. Proper training and socialization will help him get along well with other people and pets.


The German Spitz’s thick double coat should be brushed a couple of times a week to avoid matting and knotting, and when his coat inevitably sheds twice a year, daily brushing is a must. Occasional bathing is sufficient, as is regular nail trimming and ear cleaning. The German Spitz also requires regular exercise, such as playing a game of hide-and-seek, chasing a ball, going on a short walk or learning a new trick. No fence gap is too wide nor tree too tall for the insatiably curious German Spitz, who won’t stop at anything to find his next adventure. Bodies of water are dangerous to this breed and should be avoided, if possible. Intelligent and alert, the German Spitz is a quick learner and easily trainable. Because he’s a natural watchdog, the German Spitz is keen on barking at anything new or different, thus training is needed to nip this behavior in the bud.


Major Concerns: N/A

Minor Concerns: N/A

Occasionally Seen: Progressive retinal atrophy, retinal dysplasia and patella luxation

Suggested Tests: N/A

Lifespan: 13 to 15 years


Note: While the characteristics mentioned here may frequently represent this breed, dogs are individuals whose personalities and appearances will vary. Please consult the adoption organization for details on a specific pet.

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