The German Spitz: A Complete Guide

The first thing to be aware of when looking at the German Spitz is that some people will refer to it when describing an entire family of dogs.

However, we are focusing on the small breed of dog that has this name throughout this guide.

This breed of dog has been a close companion to us for at least 5000 years. Originating in what we now know as Germany, it has a number of close cousins of various sizes.

The breed itself is also known by a number of other names but generally speaking, you are looking at two distinctive types known as ‘Klein’ and ‘Mittel’.

This refers to their size, but we are really talking about the same dog with just a few differences between them.

There is no doubt that people have a difficult time trying to determine which member of the breed they are actually dealing with. However, that is where this complete guide will prove to be rather useful.

The hope is that this guide will answer a number of the key questions that you may have regarding the breed, and by the end of it, you will know if you should press ahead and become a proud owner of a German Spitz.

German Spitz Puppies – Before You Buy…

German Spitz
German Spitz is certainly a fun dog to own.

Prior to buying any kind of puppy, there is a very real need for you to know and understand a number of key points.

After all, if you want to be a responsible owner, then you must have a good idea of not only your own capabilities, but also what is expected of you from the breed.

In this instance, we are not too concerned about the size as they do tend to be on the small side, and some are indeed very small.

That being said, you still need to be honest about what is required of you.

For example, are you aware of any health conditions that tend to plague the breed?
Do you know of any dietary requirements that will mean they live longer, and happier, lives?
Are you aware of the amount of exercise that they need on a daily basis?
What is their grooming habit actually like?

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Those are just a few examples of the kinds of questions that you should be asking yourself before you purchase a puppy. However, we are going to cover them, and a whole lot more, throughout this guide.

What Price are German Spitz Puppies?

First of all, let’s look at the price of German Spitz puppies. You want to know that you are able to afford the puppy in the first place, and the price is going to vary quite considerably.

One of the key factors that will influence the price is whether or not the puppy is KC registered.

While this gives you a number of guarantees about the breeder, and it should mean you have a more stable puppy, things can still go wrong further down the line.

A KC registered breeder should also be able to tell you more about the pedigree of the parents. The better the pedigree, then the higher the price that you need to be prepared to pay.

That being said, there are different prices out there for you to be aware of.

In the UK, a German Spitz puppy will cost you in the region of £650. In the United States, this price can be anywhere between $400 and $700.

The main difference is the breeder and pedigree of the dog, so if you want to reduce the chances of owning a puppy that has a few issues, then be prepared to pay a bit more.

How to Find Reputable German Spitz Breeders?

You should always be on the lookout for a reputable breeder for your German Spitz as that should really mean that you will be the proud owner of a healthy puppy.

Everybody should make contacting the Kennel Club in their country the first port of call.

The KC has a list of breeders that it trusts and respects, and if you tell them about the breed that you are interested in, then they will help point you in the correct direction.

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Aside from the KC list, you should also consider getting in touch with other German Spitz owners and asking them for some advice.

There should be no problem in them telling you the name of the breeder that they went to, and this personal recommendation will always work well.

3 Little-Known Facts About German Spitz Puppies

German Spitz
German Spitz dogs love the sound of their own voice.

There are actually a number of rather interesting facts connected to the German Spitz that you might want to be aware of.

  • They act as if they are bigger than they really are.

The German Spitz is the classic example of a small dog that believes it is bigger in size than it really is.

They are not scared, can be loud and try to impose themselves, but this is all part of their breeding.

  • They loved mounds of dung.

There are stories going back into historical times regarding this species that contribute to some of their nicknames.

One story was that they would climb upon piles of dung and bark, but who knows why they did that or even if it is true.

  • It was also known as the American Eskimo Dog.

This particular breed had to undergo a name change in 1917. It was decided that no dog should really have ‘German’ in the name due to WW1, so it was changed quite quickly.

However, people did revert back to its original name a few years later.

Physical Traits of the German Spitz

If we can put the slight variations of their size to one side for a moment, and concentrate on other aspects connected to their physical traits.

This breed is often quite compact in size, with a variety of options when it comes to their coat. However, they do tend to have a large, soft coat for their size which does require quite regular grooming.

They can actually have quite a square look about them from certain angles, and their heads are larger in proportion to the rest of their body.

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You will also find that the top of their skull is quite flat. Their muzzles are also quite long in comparison which does make it a rather distinctive feature.

Their body is sturdy, and their hind legs are particularly strong within the breed. Their feet are smaller than you would expect and are quite cat-like.

Their tales are curled upwards and held high, but they do not flop over their back.

This applies to pretty much every breed that does tend to fall under this particular name.

There are only slight variations according to color and size for you to be aware of, but they do often follow the same general idea.

How Big is a Full-Grown German Spitz?

The question of how big a full grown German Spitz is going to be is clearly going to be slightly harder to answer than on most other occasions.

This is due to the variety of breeds that fall under this name, but you are looking at a size of anywhere between 7 to 22 inches and a weight of 7 to 44lbs also depending on the variety.

What is the Life Expectancy of the German Spitz?

When it comes to the life expectancy of this breed, then you are generally looking at somewhere between 12 and 15 years.

Of course, there are a number of issues that are going to have a direct impact on the extent of their life, but if you follow the information in our guide, then that should make a difference.

Intelligence, Temperament and Personality Traits of the German Spitz

German Spitz
German Spitz will love snuggling up to you for a nap.

The German Spitz is undoubtedly an intelligent dog. However, it also means that you need to keep on top of their behavior or they will attempt to become the alpha dog in the family.

You will also discover that they are extremely curious and will always want to know what is going on from the outset.

They are highly watchful and are quick to react to something new.

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You need to train them from an early age to stop them from reacting to strangers in a negative way, and this should be relatively easy to do.

Due to the nature of this breed, it is perhaps best if this is not the first dog that you have owned or attempted to train.

They will seek to manipulate you as best they can, and if you are not experienced then you could lose some control.

The German Spitz’s Diet

The problem with the German Spitz is that they can be relatively prone to becoming obese if you are not careful with their diet.

They will effectively gorge themselves and just keep eating, so you have to keep close control at all times.

If you have taken ownership of a puppy, then do stick to the schedule as set out by the breeder.

This will help them to grow in the correct manner, and a change in their food at such an early age could prove to be a problem for their digestion.

As they are a small dog, they do not require a lot of food but they will certainly nibble away all day.

Do provide them with a quality dry food that is suitable for their age to make sure that they get the correct nutrients.

Also, you can provide them with some table food with some vegetables and fruits, but only in low quantities.

How Much Exercise Does a German Spitz Need?

A German Spitz is known to have a relatively high energy level, and this does mean that it requires a daily amount of exercise.

It is more than happy to go on a long walk, and you should be looking at a minimum of 30 minutes a day.

They also require a reasonable amount of mental stimulation on a regular basis as well, so take them on a variety of walks in order to keep their interest levels high.

They do have a low prey instinct, so they should be able to be walked off the leash.

German Spitz Health and Conditions

The general health of the German Spitz is pretty good compared to most breeds, but they are certainly not immune to every single disease.

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In fact, they do still have a number of health issues that can be passed down through genetics, and knowing about them will be beneficial.

In this instance, the main issues to be aware of are as follows:

  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy
  • Epilepsy
  • Patellar Luxation
  • Collapsing Trachea

As you can see, this list is small, and it is the PRA that is the most common issue to affect the breed.

Of course, there can always be the risk of allergies, but that can be rather varied in nature, so it may be wise just to be aware of this.

Prior to purchasing your German Spitz puppy, you should always ask the breeder about the health condition of the parents and see confirmation of this.

In doing so, you reduce the chances of something being passed down through their genes.

My Final Thoughts on the German Spitz

The German Spitz is certainly a fun dog to own. They have their own distinct character and are also extremely loyal and loving.

They are huge characters but do be prepared for them loving the sound of their own voice, so if you do not want to suffer that, then start training them as early as possible.

They do not shed a lot throughout the year, and they will undoubtedly be able to put a smile on your face on a daily basis.

Also, they are rightly seen as being exceptionally cute and will love snuggling up to you for a nap throughout the day providing you with a lot of comforts and the feeling that you have a true companion.

Image Sources: 1, 2, 3


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