German Spitz Dogs

Intelligent, busy and curious, the German Spitz is lovably independent. But it craves attention and playtime, sometimes responding by standing on its hind legs and barking happily.

German Spitz

German Spitz Pictures

  • German Spitz dog named Blaze Lockwood
  • German Spitz dog named Basil
  • German Spitz dog named Boots
  • German Spitz dog named Tiki
  • German Spitz dog named Ted
  • German Spitz dog named Spider
see German Spitz pictures »

Quick Facts

  • 38.5 – 40 pounds | Giant
    23 – 41 pounds | Standard
    18 – 22 pounds | Toy
  • 16 - 17 inches | Giant
    11.5 - 14 inches | Standard
    9 – 11 inches | Toy

Ideal Human Companions

    • Families
    • City dwellers
    • Active singles

German Spitzs on Dogster

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Trademark Traits

    • Lively
    • Outgoing
    • Sensitive
    • Great sense of humor
    • Curious

What They Are Like to Live With

The German Spitz can grow very attached to its owner, becoming slightly suspicious of strangers. This not only makes for a loyal, tried-and-true companion, it makes for a superb watchdog. The German Spitz can really belt-out the barks when a stranger approaches the house.

Things You Should Know

The German Spitz can live as long as 15 years with relatively few genetic health problems. They are fairly easy to groom, needing just a good brushing several times a week to prevent matting. The German Spitz needs daily exercise, but it will be happy with a little or a lot. If you’re a dedicated jogger, it will match your pace. If you prefer quiet walks around the block, the German Spitz will be happy with that as well.

German Spitz History

European Spitz-type dogs have been in existence for more than 6,000 years. Up until the 19th century, the adaptable German Spitz was bred to be a hunter, herder and watchdog. Over the years, different communities bred different types of Spitz dogs, including Giant German Spitz (for working, herding and guarding) and the Toy German Spitz (for companionship).

The Look of a German Spitz

Medium-sized, sturdy and fluffy with a slightly rounded, wedge-shaped head, straight muzzle and pointy ears, the German Spitz has a fox-like appearance. It has dark eyes with an alert and outgoing expression. Its coat is rough, profuse and puffy, while its feathered tail curls over the back. The German Spitz comes in many colors, but the most common are gray, orange, off-white, brown and black. Overall, the German Spitz has a proud and lively look.

Talk About German Spitzs 

Two speeds -- running and passed out

In Germany I believe this is called a Kleinspitz. Many dogs that are registered as Poms from puppy mills are actually Kleinspitz. That is how we received ours when we rescued him from a pet shop. As soon as he got home, we knew he was not a Pom because I had seen the Klein during the Crufts dog show.

I have never seen any dog/breed with as many expressions as he has. You know what he is thinking. He has two speeds -- running and passed out. He also is being treated for epilepsy, which I found is not uncommon to the European litters. We can not have anything hard in the house that he can pick up and shake, as he gets so intense with this antic and ends up throwing it. We have found balls and toys on top of six-foot bookcases.

What really scares me is that enough people and shelters are not as aware of the German Spitz and often call it a Pom. The activity and personality between a Pom and a German Spitz are 180 degrees from each other. I have had big dogs, little dogs, hunting dogs, bird dogs, etc., from childhood, and realize each breed has its own foibles.

German Spitzes have a short attention span. They don't mean to do something wrong, but they forget, just like a 3-year-old kid. The expression on their face is about the same -- and priceless! They aren't stupid (mine lets me know if he needs his Rx ahead of time) by any means, just distracted and forgetful.

Please, is there a way to get more information out about the difference between a Pom and a German Spitz to the shelters? A lot of people cannot handle the clownish behavior of this breed, nor are they ready to accept it as normal for the breed. My poor guy went through three homes in a month before I took him over, and he was only 3 months old.

~Patricia T., owner of a German Spitz