German Spitz Dog Breed: Pictures, Colors, Bark, Characteristics, and Diet

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The German Spitz or Deutscher Spitz is one of the oldest dog breeds used as watchdogs since the middle ages. It’s small to medium size, usually mistaken as a Pomeranian breed.

No wonder, though, as they are the ancestors of Pomeranian, the smallest Spitz breed.

A German Spitz puppy running outdoors
A little, beautiful German Spitz puppy

German Spitz has five more varieties based on size and color, namely Giant German Spitz, Wolfsspitz (Keeshond), Mittel Spitz (Medium), Klein Spitz (Miniature) and Zwergspitz (Toy Spitz or Pomeranian).

However, only the Giant, Medium, and Miniature are recognized in the US as German Spitz. Although the Keeshond and Pomeranian have a resemblance with them, they are considered a separate breed.

Male German Spitz has a standard weight of 24 to 33 lbs (11 to 15 kg), and female German Spitz is 18 to 27 lbs (8 to 12kg).

Their height also varies by gender. Males can grow as far as 19 to 23 inches (48 to 58 cm), and females are around 15 to 19 inches (38 to 48 cm).

The German Spitz dogs are loyal, energetic, and attentive while also being protective of their families.

They are active dogs, but they don’t need specific or plenty of exercise. A run or a walk in the park will do. 

When bored or without proper training, Deutscher Spitz is a frequent barker. They have high-pitched vocals so they can bark loudly. Their bark is an asset, though, as it makes them a reliable watchdog.

Overall, German Spitz is a type of breed you would like to adopt. They can live up to 10 to 15 years.

They are not picky about food, so they eat veggie, meat, and any high-quality dog food for small breeds.

With a German Spitz’s large and fluffy coat, it’s easy to fall for their cuteness, too. Not to mention the beautiful physical features they have: a fox-like head, large round eyes, pointed ears, and short legs.

You can also see them in all colors from white to black and in shades of gray, cream, orange, brown, gold, and blue.

If you are interested in adding German Spitz to your family, read on to know them better.

What is a German Spitz?

A black Mittelspitz in a field
Jippi, a black Mittelspitz, loves being in the field – Image source

The German Spitz is a small to medium spitz-type dog breed that originated in Germany. Though they’re small in size, they make up for alertness and voice.

German Spitz dogs were used by fishermen and traders as alert watchdogs for their goods. They also used to do farmwork, alerting the farmers of any nearby intruders.

Why Are They Called German Spitz Dogs?

German Spitz come from its German name Deutscher Spitz. Deutscher means German or native of Germany, while Spitz refers to a type of dog breed.

Besides German Spitz, some famous Spitz-type species are Chow Chow, Akita Inu, and Pomeranian.

The name German Spitz came from its country of origin, Germany. The first person to mention such a name is Count Eberhard Zu Sayn from Germany in the 1740s.

During the 1750s, the latter wrote that Spitz dogs are the ancestors of all German dog breeds.

Where Did the German Spitz Come From?

Historically, German Spitz comes from Pomerania, Germany. A document found in the region of Pomerania mentioned that the breed originated in it. 

However, it’s also reported that German Spitz descended from Nordic dogs, taken to Germany by the Vikings during the middle ages.

This breed spread out across Europe, resulting in the foundation of the Spitz breed.

A white German Spitz sitting outdoors
Chico, a white German Spitz, loves going outdoors – Image source

When Did the German Spitz Originate? 

German Spitz originated in the 1940s. While Spitz’s history dates back hundreds of years, they are only starting to get famous in the United States.

The American Kennel Club has not recognized them yet, but they are already considered by AKC Foundation Stock Service, the first step to its full recognition.

However, at the moment, the breed is recognized by the International Kennel Club Fédération Cynologique International and United Kennel Club.

By the 1700S, Spitz became known in British Society through the royal family.

Queen Victoria has several German Spitz taken from Pomerania. Her Spitzes weigh between 20 to 30 pounds, which is the size of a Mittel German Spitz.

How Many German Spitzes Are There in the World?

The exact population of the German Spitz is unknown and it can’t be estimated due to the vast distribution of this dog breed from Germany to Europe and America.

German Spitz is also a rare breed and not included in the list of the most popular breeds of AKC in 2020.

What Are the Different Types of German Spitz Dogs?

In Germany, German Spitz has been categorized into five types such as German Giant Spitz, German Wolf Spitz (Keeshond), German Medium Size Spitz (Standard or Mittelspitz), German Miniature Spitz (Kleinspitz), and German Toy Spitz (Pomeranian).

However, the Pomeranian and Keeshond are recognized as two different breeds in the US. So only the German Giant, Mittel, and Miniature Spitz are considered German Spitz.

1. Giant German Spitz (Großspitz)

Giant German Spitz or Großspitz is the oldest and biggest German Spitz variety. It has an average length between 17 to 22 inches (43 to 55 cm). On the other hand, their weight is around 37 to 40 lb (17 to 18 kg).

A white Giant German Spitz puppy standing outdoors
A beautiful white Giant German Spitz puppy – Image source

2. Medium German Spitz (Mittelspitz)

The Mittelspitz looks like its ancestors, the Nordic herding dogs. Their weight is around 23 to 25 lb (10.5 to 11.5 kg) and their height is around 12 to 16 inches (24 to 30 cm). They are formerly known as herding dogs. Nowadays, they are known as companion dogs.

A Mittelspitz standing in the snow
A Mittelspitz playing in the snow – Image source

3. Miniature German Spitz (Kleinspitz)

Kleinspitz is the smallest German Spitz. They originated around the 15th century. This adorable breed measures between 9.4 to 11.8 inches (24 to 30 cm) and weighs around 18 to 22 lb (8 to 10 kg). This breed of toy-like dog resembles a Pomeranian. They were formerly popular among the high classes, but nowadays, they are endangered, even in Germany.

A brown Kleinspitz sitting in the snow
Teodor, a brown Kleinspitz, sitting prettily in the snow – Image source

What are the Characteristics of German Spitzes?

German Spitzes are adorable little puffballs having some of the best characteristics you would want for a pup. However, like any other dogs, they have bad sides too.

Here are some notable behaviors of German Spitz:

A German Spitz puppy inside a car
A German Spitz ready for an adventure
  • Extrovert: German Spitzes are curious and vivacious. They love to be outside than staying in or lying with you. They love to see people, animals, and nature. 
  • Alert: This breed doesn’t trust strangers. They are suspicious of new people and quickly alert when hearing foreign noises.
  • Stubborn: Spitzes always want to get what they want. They want to be the center of attention. They are obedient, but they can be very stubborn if they don’t like how you command them. They need a lot of patience from you.
  • Cool Temperament: German Spitz is naturally gentle and calm. They are playful and willing to approach their family to be held by them. They can sit nicely on your lap and love to make time with you.
  • Energetic: These active dogs will not thrive in a non-energetic household. They love to be out and about. Otherwise, they will be aggressive and depressive.

Take a look at how we rated the behavioral characteristics of German Spitz:

German Spitz Characteristics Rating
Relation with family 5
Good with children 4
Friendly with strangers 3
Friendly with other dogs 5
Easy to Train 4
Energy Level 5
Barking Level 5
Mental Stimulation Needs 5

What Does a German Spitz Look Like?

German Spitz has long and soft hair with a double-layered coat. They come in various colors and sizes, depending on their variant. Their outer coat is long and cotton-like, while the inner coat is fluffy and smooth.

They have a medium-sized head that looks like a fox head. Their ears are pointed that are slightly near each other. They have a black and small nose.

A white Mittelspitz standing outdoors
Hugo, a white Mittelspitz, looks gorgeous – Image source

The overall body of Spitzes is bushy or feathered. They have short to medium-length legs. They have muscled and well-developed bones.

How big is the German Spitz?

The male and female German Spitzes vary in weight and height. Male German Spitzes weigh 24 to 33 pounds (11 to 15 kg), and female Spitzes weigh 18 to 27 pounds (8 to 12 kg).

They are generally small, but they are bigger than Pomeranians.

In terms of height, male German Spitzes are slightly taller than their female counterparts. Male German Spitz has a length of 48 to 58 inches (19 to 23 cm) while a female Spitz is 15 to 19 inches (38 to 48 cm) tall. 

You can find more detailed physical structures of the German Spitz below:

German Spitz
Physical Features
Male Female
Height  48 to 58 inches
(19 to 23 cm)
38 to 48 inches
(15 to 19 cm)
Weight 24 to 33 lbs
(11 to 15 kg)
18 to 27 lbs
(8 to 12 kg)

How long does a German Spitz dog grow?

It will take 6 to 8 months for German Spitzes to attain their total growth. In general, small dogs like them will stop growing once they reach a year old.

However, while their height may not grow anymore, there can be a lot of body changes that will happen as they grow older.

What is the average weight of a German Spitz dog?

On average, the male German Spitz is 28.5 pounds or 13 kg. In contrast, the average weight of a female German Spitz is 22.5 pounds or 10 kg.

What is the Average Life Expectancy of German Spitzes?

A white Mittelspitz lying down on a couch
Maya, a white Mittelspitz, resting on a couch – Image source

German Spitzes can live up to 13 to 15 years. They are generally healthy dogs. But like other dogs, there are a few health considerations a fur-parent needs to be aware of. 

Small dogs like German Spitz are prone to orthopedic diseases such as patellar luxation. The dog’s kneecaps move out from its groove resulting in constant or intermittent lameness. 

Spitz may also experience retinal diseases like retinal dysplasia and retinal atrophy (PRA). Both disorders can cause a gradual yet permanent loss of vision.

What Coat Type Do German Spitzes Have?

A red Mittelspitz in the snow
Wilda, a red Mittelspitz, posing in the snow – Image source

German Spitzes have a thick double coat. The overcoat is extended while the undercoat is shorter, softer, and wooly and will be shed out twice a year.

Regular brushing will be needed to remove any dirt, debris, and loose hairs.

What is the German Spitz dog’s coat like?

The German Spitz dog’s coat is thick and looks like a ruff. It makes them look bigger than their actual size.

Their coat helps them withstand the colder climate, but it’s also a disadvantage in tropical countries. Overall, it’s their coat that makes them fluffy and cute.

How long is the German Spitz’s coat?

German Spitzes’ double-layered coats are medium-length. It is longer and abundant in the neck, legs, elbows, and ears.

Their coat can quickly get twisted, so they need to be brushed regularly or at least twice a week.

How is the German Spitz’s coat density?

Like many other double-layered coat dogs, a German Spitz has a highly dense coat. They have dense mesh wool-like skin.

The outer hair has a hard texture, while the inner strand is smooth and silky. 

Do German Spitzes shed much?

German Spitzes shed a lot. However, male German Spitz is a frequent shedder than female Spitz. Male sheds twice a year while females only once a year.

Overall, their hair needs to be brushed at least 30-minutes every week to keep their coat clean, shiny, and knot-free.

Can German Spitzes Live in Hot Weather?

A Mittelspitz standing outdoors
Singo, a Mittelspitz, likes watching the sunset – Image source

German Spitz can live in hot weather, but it’s not advisable. If they can choose where to live, they would choose to be in colder places.

According to American Kennel Club, generally, all dogs can endure up to 85 degrees F.

Meanwhile, German Spitzes can thrive more in cold countries. They have a naturally long and profuse double coat that is great in winter. They can endure up to 5 degrees F.

Do German Spitzes Love Water?

Swimming activities are not for German Spitz. They are not good swimmers, so they don’t like water.

If you have a pool, you need to be extra careful as they might get curious and jump on it. 

It’s also not recommended to take them to the beach or lake. They are naturally not into swimming. However, they will love other fun activities like short runs and hikes. 

What Colors Are German Spitzes?

A black German Spitz at the beach
Hummel, a black German Spitz, hanging out at the beach – Image source

German Spitzes come in various colors: white, black, wolf gray, brown, blue, and orange.

The most popular colors of German Spitz are white, black, and brown. On the other hand, gray and orange Spitz are rare to see.

Their colors also affect how their skin can react to any type of weather.

For instance, a German Spitz with a darker color like black and brown has sensitive skin in hotter climates. Their hair can easily attract heat.

What Markings Do German Spitzes Have?

German Spitzes are classified into three in the US: Miniature, Medium, and Giant. Each variant comes in different colors. 

Both Miniature and Medium German Spitz may be white, black, brown, gray, black and tan, orange-sable, cream, cream-sable or particolored.

Giant German Spitz is usually white, black, and brown.

In general, white German Spitzes have yellow markings usually located on their ears. Black and Brown German Spitzes are typically pure black and dark brown with no markings.

Orange German Spitz, however, is in medium orange color with light orange or cream markings.

Are German Spitzes Good Family dogs?

Small dog breeds, like German Spitz, are naturally sweet and loving. They are meant to be household pets rather than farm or guard dogs.

But despite being lovable, when triggered or threatened, they tend to be bossy, even toward his family.

Below you can find the level of temperament German Spitzes have:

German Spitz’s Temperament Rating
Adaptability 4
Friendliness 5
Mouthiness 4
Playfulness 5
Family-oriented 5
Stranger tolerance 3

Are German Spitzes good with other dogs?

German Spitz can quickly get around with other Spitz. However, with other dog breeds, they need more time to finally socialize, especially if they are not used to having other pets.

It’s best to introduce them to other dogs at an early age. A German Spitz is not fond of other dogs and wants to be the only pet in a household.

Are German Spitzes friendly with other people?

If German Spitzes are introduced slowly to other people, they can be friendly.

However, when it’s their first time meeting the person, they can be aggressive. Generally, they are only friends with their owners and family.

Can German Spitz dogs get along well with strangers?

Unfortunately, German Spitzes are wary of strangers. They are naturally suspicious of new people they meet. Since they are vocal dogs, they might bite or bark at people they don’t know. 

However, they can easily get used to a stranger, too. Once they meet the person twice or more, they will be clingy.

How do German Spitzes get along with young children?

In general, German Spitzes can get along with children from their families. However, the only problem is that they are tiny, and overly excited kids might injure them.

So they prefer to be around older children who are careful and behave.

Can German Spitzes Adapt Easily?

A white German Spitz playing in a yard
Shiro, a German Spitz, enjoys play time in the yard – Image source

German Spitzes are adaptable. Any first-time owners will not have a hard time taking a German Spitz home for the first time.

As you might have observed, Spitz is one of the most popular pets worldwide. All thanks to their cuteness and calm temperament.

Are German Spitz Dogs Aggressive?

It’s not typical for a German Spitz to be aggressive. The only time you’ll probably see them bold is when they are around strangers. Known as watchdogs, they are always suspicious of new people.

All in all, Spitzes love to be around people. If trained to socialize, they can minimize their aggressiveness toward strangers. 

Are German Spitzes Dangerous?

German Spitzes are not dangerous. However, when they are scared and not used to being around new people, they can be dangerous. But, generally speaking, this dog breed is calm, gentle, caring. 

Do German Spitz Dogs Bite?

German Spitzes do bite. Biting is one of their favorite hobbies. Don’t worry, though, as it’s not their nature to harm other people, especially their owner. 

This breed easily gets bored. They want to be busy all the time. When they have nothing to do, their go-to hobby is biting toys or other objects near them.

The German Spitz, in general, has a biting force of around 210 PSI. In comparison, the Giant German Spitz is 235 PSI, the Medium German Spitz is about 230 PSI, and the Small German Spitz is around 210 PSI.

Are German Spitz Dogs Protective?

German Spitz is known to be protective. The first German person who gave them their names is amazed by their protectiveness.

They are territorial dogs, and that makes them a fantastic watchdog.

Are German Spitzes Affectionate?

A close-up image of a Mittelspitz puppy
Mika, a loving Mittelspitz puppy – Image source

Many pet owners love German Spitz because they are affectionate. Primarily bred as a companion dog, it’s typical for a German Spitz to be loving, sweet, and caring.

They like to please their owner and spend time with them. They are prone to depression when their owner leaves them for an extended period.

German Spitzes are loyal to their masters. Hence, it’s good to have them at a very young age. They can develop a strong relationship with their owner.

So when you have him at an older age, you will have a hard time forming a bond with him.

Are German Spitzes Loyal?

Yes. German Spitzes are loyal dogs. While they are dedicated to the whole family, they are much more devoted to someone whom they see as their master.

If you want to win their hearts easily, regularly give them time, food, and hugs.

Do German Spitzes Like to Cuddle?

German Spitzes like to cuddle but not as much. They are energetic dogs that they would instead prefer running around than cuddling.

They don’t want to stay in the house for an extended period and cuddle. Spitz is bold and independent.

Does the German Spitz Love Freedom?

While German Spitz is independent, they don’t like to be left alone. They don’t enjoy freedom all by themselves.

They are best suited with fur-parent who will make time or provide them company.

A white Mittelspitz on a walk
Molly the Mittelspitz taking a break from her walk – Image source

Are German Spitz Dogs Easy to Train?

German Spitz dogs are easy to train because they are an intelligent breed. You can teach them basic commands and many tricks using positive reinforcement like toys and treats.

They want to please their owners so they will quickly follow your orders.

How Smart is the German Spitz?

Overall, a German Spitz is an intelligent dog. You can efficiently train them with new tricks if he is cooperative. Spitz is stubborn, and you will need positive reinforcement when teaching him.

In general, it’s not due to a lack of knowledge that will make it hard for you to train him. It’s their stubborn personality.

You need to be consistent and reward him with praise and treats to make him follow you.

Can German Spitz dogs be used as working dogs?

German Spitz dogs can be excellent working dogs. They are active dogs that have working backgrounds to help hunters.

However, their bones are too fragile for strenuous activities. They are not advised to be around energetic and clumsy children because they can easily get injured.

They are also known to be protectors of homes and fields. They despise strangers, which makes them excellent as a watchdog.

Thus, German Spitzes are great to be watchdogs and companions dogs than working dogs.

Do German Spitz Dogs Bark a Lot?

A close-up image of a red Mittelspitz
Singo, a Mittelspitz, talking to his hooman – Image source

German Spitz dogs are frequent barkers, especially when they have nothing to do.

To minimize their barking habits, give them toys to keep them busy. Provide them with objects that they can safely bite or give them some mental stimulation to do.

How does a German Spitz bark?

German Spitzes are vocal dogs. They will surprisingly bark louder on strangers who evade their territory.

Their barks are high pitch and usually sound “yappy.” This is not the best choice for you if you prefer a quiet dog breed.

Do German Spitzes Have High Energy Levels?

On a scale of 1 to 5, German Spitzes’ energy levels would be five. This breed is highly energetic.

They like to get everyone’s attention. They play like there’s no tomorrow, so you need to take note of this.

German Spitz doesn’t need a specific exercise. Their playtime is already a good exercise. They like to walk and run in the yard or park.

They are fast runners, too—however, the data concerning their speed is not available. Meanwhile, this fantastic video might give you an idea of their agility.

Are German Spitzes Active?

Yes, German Spitzes are active dogs. They need little exercise for their physical and mental health.

Their favorite physical activities are playing, running, and walking outdoors. He is probably sick or sad if he is not his usual active self.

Are German Spitzes Playful?

Also known for its high energy, it’s not normal for a German Spitz not to be playful. German Spitz loves to be out and about, play games, run, and chase toys.

Allow them to do these things for their mental health. Otherwise, they will be sad or have biting and barking tendencies.

Does the German Spitz Drool a Lot?

If you hate a drooling dog, then you will love German Spitz. This dog breed is a great example of a very low drooling tendency. He only drools after eating/drinking or when he’s excited.

But apart from that, if you see him drooling, then it’s a sign of illness. When this happens, consult his veterinarian immediately.

What Does the Family Life of German Spitz Dogs Like?

German Spitzes love to be around their family. They will do everything to please the household and focus on attention.

They hate being left in an empty house. As much as possible, they need someone to accompany them.

What Kind of Food Should German Spitzes Eat?

A German Spitz with food
Tipli, a German Spitz, excited to nom on his meal – Image source

The ideal food diet for German Spitzes should be any dog food for the small breeds with high energy. They need 1 to 1.5 of high-quality dry food a day, divided into two meals.

In general, they don’t have problems with food, but they tend to become overweight.

You should follow a regular feeding schedule. You should not also overfeed them with treats. They can eat raw food, homemade food, dry and wet food.

What are the Best Dog Foods for German Spitzes? 

The best dog food for German Spitz or any dogs, in general, should be AAFCO compliant, nutritious, safe, affordable, and full of quality ingredients.

Most importantly, the best dog food for Spitz depends on several factors like age, weight, lifestyle, health, and budget.

For German Spitz puppies, we recommend the following:

Meanwhile, adult Spitzes need more proteins and fewer calories. So we advise the following high-quality dog food:

What Other Dog Breeds Look Like the German Spitz?

A leashed Pomeranian standing outdoors
Bonny, a Pom, is ready to take a walk – Image source

According to American Kennel Club, there is around 50 to 70 Spitz type of dog breed. Some are only not categorized by International Organizations. 

Here are some dog breeds that look like the German Spitz:

The Bottom Line: Should You Buy or Adopt a German Spitz?

A German Spitz in a spider costume
Leo, the German Spitz, approves of his Halloween costume – Image source

We know all puppies are adorable, but we also know the German Spitz puppies are a different kind of cute. They are the type of breed that you want to take home.

But before you seal a deal and take ownership, make sure that you can attend to their needs.

Take note that while German Spitzes are loving, gentle, and intelligent, they can be stubborn and extroverted at times.

This breed needs plenty of attention and love from the owner. Whether it’s a challenging activity or a walk in the park, these dogs get so happy when you make time. They get sad when they are ignored or left out.

So long as you give the love and needs of this fluffy little pooch, indeed, you will have a tiny and loving companion for life.

Do you have a German Spitz dog? What do you love most about them? Let us know in the comments!

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