30 Questions To Consider Before Getting A Japanese Spitz
If you’re looking for a small-to-average dog that’s both gorgeous and easy to care for, you should consider the Japanese Spitz. This is a criminally underrated breed that can’t even be seen on most dog breed popularity charts even though it’s been recognized by kennel clubs worldwide for decades.
Still, the breed has been steadily rising in popularity in the west due to its great pet qualities. Basically a larger cousin of Pomeranian dogs who are toy versions of the Spitz, this Japanese dog makes for a fantastic family and apartment pet. If you’re curious, here are our answers to the most common 30 questions to consider before getting a Japanese Spitz.
1. Is the Japanese Spitz a good pet?
The Japanese Spitz is more than just gorgeous to look at. These dogs are very intelligent, easy to train, lower maintenance than you might expect, and are great with families of all sizes. They are surprisingly underappreciated as pets, probably because they look like they’d be harder to look after than they actually are.
2. How big is the Japanese Spitz?
The average height of an adult Japanese Spitz is 12 to 16 inches (30 to 40 cm) at the shoulder with males being about an inch taller than females. As for weight, an average adult Spitz will weigh anywhere between 15 and 30 pounds (7 to 13.5 kg), depending on its height and physique. This puts the Spitz (mostly) in the “small dog” category which encompasses everything between 0 and 25 pounds (11 kg).
3. How long does a Japanese Spitz live?
The average expected lifespan of this breed falls somewhere between 12 and 14 years. This is very much in line for a breed of this size and is longer than the average for most larger breeds. Plus, a purebred Spitz can live even longer than that with good care.
4. How much is a Japanese Spitz puppy?
The average price of a Japanese Spitz varies between $1,000 and $2,500 depending on who you buy the pup from. We do recommend looking for purebred puppies from reputable breeders as that guarantees good health. And good health pays for itself later on.
5. Are Japanese Spitz dogs healthy?
This is an impressively healthy breed that shouldn’t have any issues with the right care. The main problem to watch out for is Patellar luxation. Other potential issues include allergies and runny eyes.
6. How much exercise does a Japanese Spitz need?
This breed should be able to stay in perfect shape with about an hour of active outdoor time per day. That can be divided into two 30-minutes walks. Just make sure that they are brisk walks so that you Spitz gets some actual exercise. The rest of the dog’s energy can go to indoor playtime.
7. Is the Japanese Spitz an indoor dog?
Almost exclusively, yes. Of course, a Spitz will love it if you have a well-fenced yard to play in but there’s no real need for that. This breed will also be more than happy to run and play indoors too.
8. Is the Japanese Spitz breed social and friendly?
This Spitz is a highly social and joyous breed – even toward strangers! This naturally makes them bad guard and watch dogs but excellent family pets. Of course, some socialization is still required but should be more than enough to make your dog exceedingly friendly toward everyone it meets.
9. Do Japanese Spitz like to cuddle?
More than just social and friendly, this Spitz also isn’t too fuzzy about its personal space. This makes the breed perfect for cuddling, be it on the couch, sofa, or bed.
10. Are Japanese Spitz good with kids?
The Japanese Spitz is one of the best breeds for families with children of all ages. Not only is the dog social, playful, loving, and gentle, but it’s also small enough to not hurt your child accidentally.
11. Are Japanese Spitz good with other dogs?
The breed doesn’t tend to exhibit too much aggression toward other canines which makes it a good choice if you want more than one dog in your home. Some adequate socialization between the two dogs will still be needed but that’s normal.
12. Are Japanese Spitz good with cats and other pets?
The Japanese Spitz will almost always get along with cats provided that neither of them has an atypically and overly aggressive character. Especially if the two animals have been raised together, there should be no problems between them.
13. Is the Japanese Spitz a Pomeranian?
Both the Pomeranian and the Japanese Spitz are descendants of European Spitz breeds. Pomeranians are essentially a toy version of the German Spitz while the Japanese Spitz is a mix of several other Spitz breeds.
14. Do kennel clubs recognize the Japanese Spitz?
The Japanese Spitz has been around since the 1920s and 1930s when Japanese breeders mixed several other Spitz breeds to create it. The breed is widely recognized by most kennel clubs worldwide.
15. Why can’t I see the Japanese Spitz on most breed popularity rankings?
Most Spitz breeds are curiously skipped in breed rankings. For example, the only Spitz breeds we see on this AKC list are the Finnish Spitz, the Samoyed, the Husky, Keeshond, and the Pomeranian. There’s no mention of the Japanese Spitz, the German Spitz, the Indian Spitz, or some Spitz-related Elkhounds. These breeds are still recognized by the AKC, however.
16. Are Japanese Spitz barkers?
17. What is “Little Dog Syndrome” and does the Japanese Spitz have it?
Some small dog breeds are known to have “Canine Napoleon Syndrome”. That’s the notion that they are bigger than they actually are and they “run the show”. A Japanese Spitz can have that if not properly trained. However, good obedience training early on will prevent this from happening.
18. Is the Japanese Spitz a lap dog?
This Spitz is a little too big to be a “lap dog” but it’s definitely a cuddly breed.
19. Does the Japanese Spitz have an undercoat?
Yes, the Japanese Spitz has a double coat which means that it sheds twice a year – in the spring and autumn seasons.
20. Does the Japanese Spitz shed a lot?
This breed will blow out its coat twice a year which can be a sight to behold. Good grooming will take care of most of the issue, however. The rest of the year there should be very minimal shedding.
21. Can I shave my Japanese Spitz?
Cutting your Spitz’s hair is ok as are other grooming methods. Shaving is not recommended, however, as the Spitz needs its undercoat to keep cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
22. Are Japanese Spitz dogs hypoallergenic?
Definitely not. No dog is truly 100% hypoallergenic but the Japanese Spitz isn’t even “a little hypoallergenic”.
23. Does my Japanese Spitz need a professional groomer?
Need? No. But it can certainly benefit from a few trips to the groomer, especially before the spring and fall shedding blowout.
24. How often should I wash my Japanese Spitz?
Once a month or so should be enough for the Spitz. This is a mostly indoor breed so it shouldn’t get too dirty anyway.
25. What color is the Japanese Spitz?
Unlike other Spitz breeds, the Japanese Spitz is always white from head to toe.
26. Are Japanese Spitzs rare?
They are, to a certain extent, especially in the US. As of the writing of this article, there are only 4 recognized breeders of the Japanese Spitz in the US.
27. How can I tell if my Japanese Spitz is pure?
A purebred Japanese Spitz will have shorter hair on the lower half of its body, short and pointed ears, and a wedge-shaped face. The eyes should be large, black, and slanted. But to be sure that your Japanese Spitz is pure, just ask for a health and hereditary certificate from the breeder.
28. Can a Japanese Spitz swim?
They can and they will often enjoy it too which isn’t typically for some of the other Spitz breeds such as Huskies or Samoyeds. All dogs can be taught to love swimming, however, if they are introduced to it properly.
29. What does a Japanese Spitz eat?
The Japanese Spitz doesn’t have any specific dietary requirements unless your dog happens to be allergic to something. These dogs aren’t too prone to getting obese but it’s still wise to avoid overly fatty foods.
30. Why you should not get a Japanese Spitz
The only reason not to take this breed to your home would be if you are an especially outdoorsy type of family and you want a dog with more stamina. The Spitz is quite energetic but will usually tire quickly if given more than an hour of intensive outdoor exercise.
As you can see, these large Japanese cousins to the Pomeranian have everything the popular toy breed does but in a larger package. The Spitz’s gorgeous and fluffy coat is surprisingly manageable and its social and playful personality makes it a fantastic breed for most families.