The first mention of the German Spitz comes from German literature from 1400s, but the breed is most likely much older than that. It is believed, that this breed evolved from Nordic Spitzes, which were also ancestors of dogs like Finnish and Swedish Lapphunds and that spread throughout the Northern Europe with Vikings. Than the German Spitz most likely developed in the area of Pomerania, which is located on the borders of today Poland and Germany on the shore of Baltic Sea.
2) Two sizes
There are different breed standards for this breed and they provide different information about the breeds size. Most often, the breed is divided in to two size categories, the Klein, or small German Spitz with height between 23-29 cm, which is 9-12 inch and Mittel or Medium German Spitz with height between 30-38 cm, which is 12-15 inch. The FCI also recognizes the Giant Spitz with height between 40-55 cm, which is 15-22 inch.
Today, the German Spitz is most often kept as a companion and family pet, but throughout its history, these dogs were most often kept on farms where their duties were protecting and herding. And these dogs actually makes very good watchdogs or guards, because they are naturally alert and they have protective instict. But, they should never be agressive without a reason. These dogs also traveled with fishermans on boats, where they were guarding the goods and in the 18th century, these dogs were also popular among nobility and for example English King George I kept several German Spitzes.
As i mentioned earlier, today, these dogs are most often kept as family pets, and they do make excellent playful, lively and loyal companions! German Spitzes are definitely very fun to be around. These dogs are also quite smart, but they also can be little bit independent, which can make the training little bit challenging, but they are definitely capable of learning all the basic obedience commands easily. Even though reserved and alert towards strangers, these dogs truly love its whole family, including kids, but of course, the kid should be old enough to know how to treat dogs gently.
The German Spitz has all the typical Spitz characteristics and you can tell on the first sight, that this is a true Spitz! The appearance characteristics include thick and dense coat, fox like head, tail, that curls over the body, small, triangular and erect ears and dark eyes, which gives the dog smart and alert expression.
The first thing you will most likely notice about this breed is its beautiful fluffy coat. It is a dense double coat consisting of soft woolly undercoat and long harsh textured perfectly straight top coat covering the whole body. The coat is even thicker around the neck and forequarters. These dogs come in many different colors, most common would be white, black, brown, orange and grey, but they can be in almost any color.
The German Spitz is quite vocal dog breed and it is important to be prepared for it. They just like to bark and thanks to that, they are good watchdogs, as you can be sure they will alert you when they will hear or see something suspicious. In the past, they also got a nickname Mistbeller, or dung-hill barker, for their tendencies to sit somewhere high like a hill and keep watch and bark if needed.
8) Prey drive
The German Spitz is a hunter at heart and majority of them have higher prey drive, which is why they are not the best partners for smaller household pets, as they just might to chase them. Of course, this is vastly influenced by early socialization. Because they like chasing things a lot, they just love different games with their people, where they can chase different toys.
The coat of German Spitz is very abundant, but it does not require as much grooming as you might think. A quick brush couple times a week accompanied with a proper brush once a week should be enough to keep the coat in great condition. Of course, these dogs do shed and regular brushing will not only keep the coat clean and tangle free, but it will also minimize the shedding, but it is impossible to stop it. Just like with all dogs, you should also regularly check the dogs ears, eyes, nails and teeth and clean them or clip them if needed.
This is generally pretty healthy dog breed with average lifespan between 13-15 years. The lifespan depends a lot on the size of your German Spitz and as usual, smaller dogs live little bit longer than larger dogs. Of course, they may suffer from some health issues, just like any other breed in the world and those might include epilepsy, patellar luxation, collapsing trachea or progressive retinal atrophy.
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