By

Macy Gen
Last updated: 28th October 2022

Japanese Spitz

By

Macy Gen
Last updated: 28th October 2022

The Japanese Spitz is a small or medium-sized dog that resembles the Samoyed, Pomeranian, and American Eskimo dogs because of its white body. Though a relatively new dog, its appealing appearance and gentle demeanor have made it immensely popular over the years. Their pure white, fluffy coat makes them look immensely adorable. Other features of the Japanese spitz include a pointed muzzle, small prick ears, and a furry tail curled upwards.

Japanese Spitz Pictures

Quick Information  

Other NamesNihon Supittsu
CoatDouble coat – Undercoat: Fluffy and profuse; Outercoat: Long
ColorWhite
Breed  TypePurebred
GroupCompanion Dogs, Spitz
Life expectancy  10-14 years
SizeSmall
Height12-15 inches
Weight10-25 pounds
Litter Size1-6 puppies
Behavioral characteristicsAffectionate, courageous, playful, loyal, intelligent
Good with ChildrenYes
Barking TendencyLoud and clear emitted when left alone or agitated
Climate CompatibilityModerate; tolerant towards cold weather than the heat
Apartment CompatibilityHigh; adjusts well in an apartment, being great companion goods
Do they shedModerate throughout the year; or high during the shedding season
Are they HypoallergenicNo
TrainabilityEasy
How much do they cost$1,000 to $2,500
Competitive Registration Qualification/ InformationJapanese Kennel Club, FCI
CountryJapan

History and Origin

The origin of the Japanese Spitz dates back to the 1920s and 1930s, when breeders in Japan developed this breed by crossing several spitz breeds. They owe their ancestry to the white German spitz breeds imported to Japan from northeastern China. The Japanese spitz was exhibited at a Tokyo dog show for the first time in 1921. From 1925-1936 several white spitzes imported from worldwide were crossed with the Japanese spitz to develop the breed further. The Japanese Kennel Club accepted the breed’s standard written after the Second World War.

Besides gaining popularity in Japan, the breed attained fame elsewhere, like in Sweden, England, India, the United States, and Australia. The Kennel Club of the UK gave it recognition in 1977 under the Utility Group. The Canadian Kennel Club, Australian Kennel Club, and New Zealand Kennel Club recognize it in their Non-Sporting group. The American Kennel Club added it to their Foundation Stock in 2019.

Temperament and Personality

The Japanese terrier is a great companion dog because of their loyal, devoted, lively, and friendly nature, especially when in the company of their kith and kin. They enjoy their master’s company, often climbing onto the sofa and clinging close to him when the latter is engrossed in reading a book or watching television. The adventurous dogs they are, the Japanese spitz would enjoy tagging along with the family on a beach trip or a hike.

The Japanese terrier is a great companion dog because of their loyal, devoted, lively, and friendly nature, especially when in the company of their kith and kin. They enjoy their master’s company, often climbing onto the sofa and clinging close to him when the latter is engrossed in reading a book or watching television. The adventurous dogs they are, the Japanese spitz would enjoy tagging along with the family on a beach trip or a hike.

However, with strangers, they get highly reserved, especially if encountering someone unknown to them for the first time. They mostly intimate their master about the intruder’s arrival by letting out a loud, clear bark, thus excelling to the status of an efficient watchdog.

 They even make for a loving playmate for kids, though older ones are preferable since the younger ones could knock down these little dogs in pursuit of play. The Japanese spitz shares a good rapport with dogs and even cats of the family.

Care

Exercise

Owing to their high energy needs, the Japanese Spitz needs a sufficient amount of exercise, for around 45 minutes to an hour. Take them out on a 10-15 minute walk at least twice daily. You could even arrange for an interactive play session of frisbee or fetching the ball within a fenced yard to keep your Japanese spitz entertained.

They are adaptive and cope with any environment you put them in, from big spacious areas on ranches or farms to a confined space within an apartment.

Grooming

They are a low-maintenance breed, sufficing with a weekly or bi-weekly brushing throughout the year and occasional bathing only when they get messy enough. However, these dogs shed their thick undercoat during the shedding season in spring and autumn. The entire process takes around 2-3 weeks.
 
So during this time, you should take extra care and brush them daily using a pin brush to eliminate the formation of knots or tangles. Another interesting fact about their coat is its non-sticky texture, like a Teflon.

Hence, there is a minimum scope for dirt or mud to stick to the coat. Do not miss out on regularly cleaning these dogs’ eyes and ears to keep infections at bay. Also, brush their teeth daily, and trim their nails at least once a month or when it gets long.

Health Problems

Though a healthy breed with a standard lifespan of 12-14 years, one of the most typical conditions most Japanese spitz suffers from is patellar luxation. Most of this breed could even get runny eyes caused due to small tear ducts, stress, or an allergic reaction to grass.

Feeding

These small-sized yet energetic dogs need a nutritious diet to meet their daily dose of calories, vitamins, and minerals. If you decide for a homemade diet, consult the veterinarian to select the quantity and types of food you can give them. They aren’t picky about eating and would enjoy the portions of fruits and vegetables offered to them. You could opt for brands like Addiction Mega Dry Dog Food and Royal Canin when choosing store-bought food.

Training

Training the Japanese spitz is not too mammoth a task since they are quick learners, obedient, and always looking to please their owners.

Socialization:  You should start socializing the Japanese terrier puppies by exposing them to different types of people and situations. Thus, they would learn to differentiate the good from the bad and not consider every stranger they see as a threat. Also, invite people close to you and talk to them when your dog is around. Introduce your pet to the people unknown to him slowly and gradually and reward them with a treat if the latter behaves well. In this way, your dog would get acquainted with people known to you and not react indifferently if they come in your absence or when you aren’t around.

Leash: Though these dogs aren’t chasers, teaching them to wear a leash since their puppyhood would help you keep them under control when you take them out.

FAQs

Q. What is the difference between the Japanese spitz and American Eskimo dog?

The Japanese spitz has similarity with the American Eskimo dog in several aspects, yet both have visible physical differences. The American Eskimo comes in three sizes – standard, miniature, and toy. The Japanese Spitz, on the other hand, comes in just a single size, small. Both have a white coat, though the American Eskimo can even appear cream.

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