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  • Temperament: Loyal, Playful, Smart
  • Height: 12-15 inches
  • Weight: 10-25 pounds
  • Life Expectancy: 12-14 years
  • Group: Foundation Stock Service

    The AKC has grouped all of the breeds that it registers into seven categories, or groups, roughly based on function and heritage. Breeds are grouped together because they share traits of form and function or a common heritage.

Breed Standard
Japanese Spitz standing in three-quarter view.
Close-up of a Japanese Spitz head in three-quarter view.
Japanese Spitz walking through a field of grasses outdoors.
Japanese Spitz standing outdoors in three-quarter view.
Japanese Spitz standing outdoors facing left.
Japanese Spitz running down a path outdoors.
Japanese Spitz head portrait outdoors in the snow.
Japanese Spitz standing on a path in the woods.

About the Japanese Spitz

The Japanese Spitz, as a companion breed, enjoy the company of their families and truly are little comedians. They love to please their family and are thus eager to learn; they always have a smile on their face. Distinctive features include their pure white coat that has a mane-like feature about their neck. Also, like other spitz breeds, their tails curl over their back in a beautiful hair plume. A pointed muzzle likens them to a fox with a black nose, black eye rims, and ears of pointed triangles, which stand erect and move like radar towers, hearing everything going on around them and making this breed very alert.

National Breed Clubs and Rescue

Want to connect with other people who love the same breed as much as you do? We have plenty of opportunities to get involved in your local community thanks to AKC Breed Clubs located in every state and more than 450 AKC Rescue Network groups across the country. For interest in the Japanese Spitz, contact the Japanese Spitz Club of USA for more information.
Japanese Spitz puppy outdoors.

Find a Puppy: Japanese Spitz

AKC Marketplace | PuppyFinder

AKC Marketplace is the only site to exclusively list 100% AKC puppies from AKC-Registered litters and the breeders who have cared for and raised these puppies are required to follow rules and regulations established by the AKC.
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Care

NUTRITION

The Japanese Spitz needs a well-balanced diet. A good quality food either store bought or homemade is fine.    Feeding twice daily is the most commonly suggested feeding. Treats can be an important aid in training, but giving too many can cause obesity. Learn about which human foods are safe for dogs, and which are not. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.

GROOMING

The Japanese Spitz has a profuse, white, double coat. The undercoat, which they shed twice per year, is thick and generous, with an outer coat that is longer. When they “blow” their coat (aka shedding), the entire undercoat is shed in the span of about 2 to 3 weeks. Daily brushing will be required to remove the fur, but the hair will inevitably be on your clothes, furniture, and floor. For most of the year though, this breed is low maintenance and only requires a weekly brushing with infrequent baths unless the dog gets into something messy. Bathing too often can cause them to lose their natural oils and can irritate their skin, so once per season is sufficient. Luckily, the Japanese Spitz has a teflon-like coat — that is to say, mud and dirt don’t stick to their fur. If they do get muddy, you simply wait for it to dry and then brush it out. As with all breeds, the Spitz’s nails should be trimmed regularly.

Grooming Frequency

Occasional Bath/Brush
Specialty/Professional
Weekly Brushing

Shedding

Infrequent
Frequent
Occasional

EXERCISE

The Japanese Spitz adapts to many environments. They do well with lots of room to run like on farms and ranches, but also fare well in little spaces like apartments. Either way, they do need regular exercise and enjoy being with their families. A free, interactive run outside or a nice daily walk will benefit them physically and mentally. Afterwards, they will be glad to climb up on the sofa with you while you read or watch TV. An essential thing to remember about Japanese Spitz is that they are companion dogs; they just want you to spend time with them and they will make you laugh and smile in return.

Energy Level

Couch Potato
Needs Lots of Activity
Regular Exercise

TRAINING

The Japanese Spitz is an intelligent breed and their eagerness to please make them highly trainable. They crave companionship and interaction with owners so, if left alone for long periods of time, they may develop problem behaviors. Early socialization and puppy training classes are recommended. Without training they will learn things, but not necessarily what you had in mind.

Trainability

May be Stubborn
Eager to Please
Easy Training

Temperament/Demeanor

Aloof/Wary
Outgoing
Friendly

HEALTH

Japanese Spitz, in general, are a healthy, active breed that can live a happy life of up to 12 to 14 years of age. Some cases of Patella Luxation have been found within the breed and this can be tested for by your veterinarian. Puppies should be bought only from responsible breeders as working with a reputable breeder, prospective owners can gain the education they need to learn about specific health concerns within the breed.

 

Recommended Health Tests:

  • Annual Patella Evaluation (certified testing not required)
Japanese Spitz sitting on a small boardwalk path in a garden.
Japanese Spitz with puppies standing outdoors in a field.
Japanese Spitz standing in the forest.
Two Japanese Spitz standing side by side outdoors.
Japanese Spitz on a lead for a walk outdoors.
Japanese Spitz head portrait outdoors.

History

The Japanese Spitz are believed to be descended from white German Spitz that were brought over to Japan around 1920 via Siberia and China. The full history of the breed is unknown as the records were destroyed in WWII. However, it is known that the first exhibit of the Japanese Spitz was in 1921 at a Tokyo show, and in 1925, two white spitz were imported from Canada. Additional imports of white spitz included the white Klein Wolfsspitz (Keeshond) from Canada, the US, Australia, and China between the mid-1920s and mid-1930s. The offspring of these crossbreedings created the breed standard for the Japanese Spitz that the Japan Kennel Club established in 1948.

Did You Know?

In April 2019, the Japanese Spitz was added to the Foundation Stock Program.
The Japanese Spitz was first exhibited in Tokyo in 1921.
Japanese Spitz prefer to be in the warmth, which makes them great indoor dogs.
The Japanese Spitz is highly adaptable and will be happy living in an apartment with the proper daily exercise or on property where they can run and play.
The Japanese Spitz is a playful, energetic, and affectionate companion dog.

The Breed Standard

Colors & Markings

Colors

Description Standard Colors Registration Code
White Check Mark For Standard Color 199
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