Japanese Spitz Information & Characteristics

Japanese Spitz

This small breed is a recent development in Japan where its ancestors have been kept as ‘family dogs’ since ancient times. It is thought that the Japanese Spitz originated from the ‘Peat Dog’ that spread from the Swiss Lakes and from Finland about 6000 years ago, before finally reaching Japan and China by 400 A.D.

Average lifespan
The Japanese Spitz lives from 12 to 14 years of age.

Average size and weight
30cm to 36cm
8kg to 8.75kg

Breed personality, characteristics & temperament
The Japanese Spitz is a family dog and it thrives on human companionship. It is an intelligent breed always eager to please. In temperament, it is wary of complete strangers rushing up to it without formal introduction. It prefers a gentle approach, after that you have a friend for life. It is characterised by its great courage, intelligence and liveliness and is an affectionate, devoted companion.

Compatibility with other pets
As a companion dog the Japanese Spitz should be familiarised with other household pets at an early age and it will then live happily and reliably with them. The Japanese Spitz has a dominant nature and when introduced to a household with other breeds may very quickly become ‘the boss’, even over much larger breeds.

Care requirements
Despite its long, pure white coat the Japanese Spitz is a low maintenance breed. Contrary to most people’’s expectations and belief their coat is very easy to look after. Due to its texture, mud and dirt fall off or can be brushed out very easily. While it loves to play in the dirt, this is a fastidious dog that does not like getting dirty and, like a cat, will lick itself clean. Provided they are kept well groomed they should only require a bath at most twice a year. They shed their coat once a year. The shedding will usually only last about 10 days and the dead hair is easily combed out.

Please take note
They do not need lots of exercise, but they are an active breed and enjoy daily walks. If they are bored they can be mischievous. It is not a dog one can leave in the back yard and forget. They enjoy living both indoors and outdoors, in fact they enjoy being wherever you are as they thrive on human companionship. They can jump very high for their size so fences and gates need to be at least 1.5m to 1.8m high.

Ideal owners
The Japanese Spitz is a family dog seeming to thrive on the different attention and affection from each family member. A young puppy (3 to 12 months) could be a ‘handful’ for children under five years of age without adult supervision. Having said that, they also make an excellent and loving companion for a single person in a flat.

Click here for advice on adopting a rescue dog and finding a breeder. All information has been provided by the Kennel Club.

Want to learn more about different dog breeds? Head over to our breeds category page for more information.

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