AKC Dog Breeds: German Spitz

Post Pic

As dog owners and people who care deeply for animals and wildlife, we wanted our Dog Encyclopedia to be a website that could empower pet owners to create the most positive, loving environment for their dogs. Dog Encyclopedia realizes that owning a dog is like adding a new member to your family.

Foundation Stock Service® Breed
Height: Giant Spitz: 16 inches; Standard Spitz: 11.5 - 14 inches; Toy Spitz: 9 - 11 inches   
Giant Spitz: 38.5 - 40 lbs.; Standard Spitz: 23 - 31 lbs.; Toy Spitz: 18 - 22 lbs. 
black, white, orange, wolf gray or brown

European Spitz-type dogs have been in existence for more than 6,000 years. Up until the 19th century, the adaptable German Spitz was bred to be a hunter, herder and watchdog. Over the years, different communities bred different types of Spitz dogs, including Giant German Spitz (for working, herding and guarding) and the Toy German Spitz (for companionship). All of the German Spitz’s sizes come from herding dogs, such as the Samoyed.  They were brought into Europe by the Vikings who regularly crossed onto the mainland to plunder towns.  Records of the German Spitz in writing can be found in Germany in the middle of the 15th century.  The toy version of this breed is actually the ancestor of the modern Pomeranian which developed separately after the dog was sent to Queen Victoria from Pomerania, Germany.  Today, none of the German Spitz sizes are common even in Germany.

General Appearance

Medium-sized, sturdy and fluffy with a slightly rounded, wedge-shaped head, straight muzzle and pointy ears, the German Spitz has a fox-like appearance. It has dark eyes with an alert and outgoing expression. Its coat is rough, profuse and puffy, while its feathered tail curls over the back. The German Spitz comes in many colors, but the most common are gray, orange, off-white, brown and black. Overall, the German Spitz has a proud and lively look. The German Spitz is actually a close relative to the Pomeranian, resembling them closely in size and appearance. Spitz come in a variety of ways, different in colors as well as sizes. There are three sizes of the German Spitz: giant, standard and toy. The giant actually isn't giant at all compared to other Mastiffs and Samoyeds that developed around the same areas. They are fluffy, highly-feathered dogs with perfectly proportioned bodies. German Spitz' coats are long, dense, double coated and stand off fur. They are fluffy and soft to the touch They have a large coat that requires quite a bit of maintenance, but most are unable to resist their "smiling" faces. Covering its head is a fluffy mane. Skinny legs are the only area of their body not completely covered with fur.  On their back is a ball of fur which is actually their tail.  The fur covering their body is soft and very full. 

German Spitz' are loving dogs with a cheerful personality. German Spitz are a confident breed, doing well in the show ring, as long as you can train them. They are not as obedient as other breeds, however, so training must begin early. They are affectionate and loving, demanding attention when they want it. Some say the German Spitz is like a child, anxious to please, yet pushing for their own way, and manipulating to get it. Some have been known to be aggressive towards strange dogs or strange people, making them good watch dogs. They are active, intelligent, alert and independent, yet still cannot resist the attention of their owner. Charming and adaptable, the German Spitz is the perfect companion for an owner with a lot of care. Not friendly with animals, strangers, or young children, this breed yaps continually at anything that seems threatening.  This breed would be a great companion for elderly people and can easily live in an apartment. 


German Spitz require quite a bit of grooming, or their coat can get matted. They should receive vigorous daily brushing of the coat with a softer brush. Most grooming brushes for dogs are too harsh for this breed. They rarely need baths, and should not have a doggy odor.

Health Problems and Life Expectancy

The German Spitz has no common diseases in any of the sizes, but they can become obese easily if not exercised or if they are allowed to eat too much. The German Spitz can live as long as 15 years with relatively few genetic health problems.

Activity Level
The German Spitz needs daily exercise, but it will be happy with a little or a lot. To keep any dog healthy, some exercise is needed but the German Spitz is not an extremely active breed.  Short walks, play sessions, or off leash runs will all make this breed stay fit and happy.  However, taking them jogging or on long walks will be just as good.


Dog Breeds:

Dog Encyclopedia has added beautiful dog photographs on each of our Dog Breed pages to enhance your experience. Each section in Dog Encyclopedia helps to educate pet owners, enabling both the dog, and the owner to have a safe, high quality experience

Snickers have a swim and relaxingYorkshire Terriers are a great pet choicebichon frise make adorable petsfrench bulldogs are a favorite dog breeddalmations are often known as firehouse dogsold english sheepdog look they cant see

German Spitz dog featured in dog encyclopedia
German Spitz profile on dog encyclopedia