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

The Japanese Spitz is a small Japanese breed of dog.

The average purebred Japanese Spitz is 12 to 15 inches (30.5 to 38.1 cm) tall and weighs 10 to 25 lbs (4.5 to 11.3 kg), with males typically being a little larger and heavier than females. 

A white Japanese Spitz sticking its tongue out
The cute, fluffy Japanese Spitz

They’re born in litters of 1 to 6 puppies and grow to reach their full adult size by around 10 to 12 months.

They have well-proportioned bodies and white double coats that fluff around the neck, chest, and tail.

They also have rounded heads, small, round black noses, almond-shaped dark eyes, and small, pointy ears. 

This companion dog is cheerful, playful, and loving, with an average lifespan of 10 to 16 years.

Caring for a Japanese Spitz includes a nutritionally complete and balanced diet of 0.50 to 1.50 cups per day, 60 minutes of exercise daily, and lots of play and companionship. 

Japanese Spitz dogs also have a bite force of 290 PSI. An average barker, this breed has a surprisingly loud bark. Plus, they can run at a speed of 15 to 20 mph

Keep reading for everything you need to know about the Japanese Spitz breed!

What is a Japanese Spitz?

A Japanese Spitz standing in a park
A Japanese Spitz in a park

The Japanese Spitz was initially bred to be a companion dog. This means that they were bred to be beloved pets rather than help us humans perform a specific job.

They were created by mixing white German Spitz dogs with their closest canine cousins. 

Why are They Called Japanese Spitz Dogs?

The Japanese Spitz dog’s name is very literal; they are a spitz breed native to Japan.

They are a relatively modern breed, and their name translates to 日本スピッツ or Nihon Supittsu in Japanese.

Where Did the Japanese Spitz Come From?

The Japanese Spitz comes from Japan. They were created by mixing a variety of white Spitz dogs, including the German Spitz.

The first of its kind, mainly descendants of German Spitz, debuted at a dog show in Tokyo in 1921, sparking interest in the breed. 

In the two decades to follow, white spitz dogs, including the Keeshond, were imported from around the world to create a “new and improved” variation of the breed – resulting in the Japanese Spitz.

When Did the Japanese Spitz Originate?

A Japanese Spitz standing near a flower bush
A Japanese Spitz playing hide-and-seek

There isn’t a specific date to when the Japanese Spitz was created, but the creation of the breed is thought to have spanned the 1920s and 30s, with a final standard being published and accepted by the Japan Kennel Club in the late 1940s. 

They soon gained popularity around the nation and were exported to Europe in the 1950s.

They made their way to America a couple of decades later, where they have not yet been recognized by the American Kennel Club.

How Many Japanese Spitz Dogs are There in the World?

While it’s not known or estimated exactly how many Japanese Spitz dogs there are worldwide, we know they’re rare.

Moreover, they are not included in AKC’s popularity ranking. The Japanese Spitz Club of the United States only lists six official breeders of the breed.

What are the Characteristics of Japanese Spitzes?

A Japanese Spitz standing and smiling in a park
The friendly Japanese Spitz always greets passersby with a smile

The Japanese Spitz is a lovely, family-friendly dog.

Although every dog is different and their temperaments can depend on their backgrounds, all breeds have specific characteristics that they tend to display.

These are the most common traits in Japanese Spitz dogs. 

  • Friendly: The Japanese Spitz is a very friendly, gentle dog breed. They tend to get on with everyone, including children, strangers, dogs, and other family pets.
  • Loving: Japanese Spitz dogs form close, affectionate bonds with their families.
  • Loyal: They’re devotedly faithful and thrive on companionship. 
  • Playful: The breed is moderately energetic and fun-loving, needing mental stimulation to prevent boredom and anxiety. 
  • Obedient: Bright, docile, and trainable, the Japanese Spitz is known to be relatively great with commands. 
Japanese Spitz Characteristics Rating 
Relation with Family 4
Good with Children 5
Friendly with Strangers 3
Friendly with Other Dogs 4
Easy to Train 4
Energy Level 3
Barking Level 3
Mental Stimulation Needs 3

What Does a Japanese Spitz Look Like?

A white Japanese Spitz standing sideways on white background
A white Japanese Spitz

Japanese Spitz dogs have small bodies with a broad, deep chest and fluffy white coats that feather out around the neck, chest, and tail.

They have rounded heads, pointed snouts, relatively big, dark eyes, and small, upright, triangular ears. 

How big is the Japanese Spitz?

The average Japanese Spitz is 12 to 15 inches (30.5 to 38.1 cm) tall, with males typically slightly bigger than females.

They can live in any sized home, including small apartments, so long as their needs are met daily.

If you’re going to crate train your Japanese Spitz, you’re going to need a 24” crate. 

Japanese Spitz Physical Features Male Female
Height  12 to 15 inches
(30.5 to 38.1 cm)
12 to 15 inches
(30.5 to 38.1 cm)
Weight 10 to 25 lbs
(4.5 to 11.3 kg)
10 to 25 lbs
(4.5 to 11.3 kg)

When is a Japanese Spitz dog fully grown?

The Japanese Spitz dog takes around 10 to 12 months to grow to their full adult size and for their bones to fully develop.

They should reach adolescence at 3 to 4 months of age, become sexually mature at 7 to 9 months old, and reach full mental maturity at around a year old.

How heavy is a Japanese Spitz?

The average Japanese Spitz weighs 10 to 25 lbs (4.5 to 11.3 kg). Their exact weight will depend on their sex, size, and activity level.

You’ll need to maintain a healthy diet and exercise routine to keep your dog at a healthy weight. 

How Long Does a Japanese Spitz Live?

The average Japanese Spitz has an average lifespan of 10 to 16 years with good care.

They are generally healthy dogs, but all breeds are naturally more prone to certain issues than others, and the Japanese Spitz can be affected by luxating patella and runny eyes. 

What Coat Type do Japanese Spitzes Have?

A Japanese Spitz posing sideways and sticking its tongue out
A Japanese Spitz flaunting its enthralling coat

Japanese Spitz dogs have medium-length, thick, fluffy double coats that are pure white in color. Their coat naturally repels dirt, so they don’t need a lot of grooming.

They only need to be brushed with a slicker brush once a week to remove loose fur and tangles and bathed every few months with a natural dog shampoo.

What is the Japanese Spitz dog’s coat like?

The Japanese Spitz’s outer coat consists of fluffy and straight fur. It feathers out around the neck and on the chest and tail.

On the other hand, the undercoat can be described as short and soft.

How long is the Japanese Spitz’s coat?

The Japanese Spitz’s coat is medium-length. However, it’s crucial to note that it’s natural that different areas of the coat are longer than others.

Their coats don’t typically require regular haircuts, trims, or clipping.

What’s the coat density of a Japanese Spitz?

The Japanese Spitz dog has a pristine, thick double coat, consisting of a soft and dense undercoat that sheds twice a year and a top or guard coat that stands off from the undercoat. 

Do Japanese Spitzes shed much?

The Japanese Spitz dog’s undercoat sheds moderately twice a year during the transition from spring to summer and fall to winter.

This should last for about two to three weeks, and during this time, daily brushing will help to lessen the fallout around your home. 

Can Japanese Spitzes Live in Hot Weather?

Two Japanese Spitz dogs standing on a stone bench
Two Japanese Spitzes who like taking walks on a breezy day – Image source

The Japanese Spitz is a very hardy dog that can tolerate both hot and cold weather, but they’re a lot more tolerant of the latter than they are of the extreme heat.

Thanks to their thick, medium-length double coat. So, you should keep an eye on your Japanese Spitz in above-average temperatures and ensure they stay cool and hydrated. 

Specifically, it is safe to say that Japanese Spitzes are best in environments with temperatures between 50 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

Do Japanese Spitzes Like Water?

Yes, Japanese Spitz dogs love water. They love to play in the water and can be pretty good swimmers. So, pools, beaches, and rivers are welcome additions to any Japanese Spitz’s life! 

What Colors and Markings Do Japanese Spitzes Have?

A Japanese Spitz looking up
Meet Marimo, the cutest Japanese Spitz – Image source

The Japanese Spitz dog’s coat is pure white in color. Like a few Spitz breeds, they are solid colored, meaning that they don’t have any markings and don’t come in any other colors.

Are Japanese Spitzes Good Family Dogs?

A Japanese Spitz sitting with its owner
A Japanese Spitz loves being close to its hooman

Japanese Spitzes make wonderful family dogs. They’re loving, loyal, playful, and relatively low maintenance to look after.

They make great playmates for children. They’re also well-suited to homes with other family pets. 

Japanese Spitz Temperament Rating
Adaptability 4
Friendliness 4
Mouthiness 2
Playfulness 4
Family-Oriented 4
Stranger Tolerance 4

Do Japanese Spitz get along with other dogs?

The Japanese Spitz tends to get on very well with other dogs.

They will form close bonds with dogs they are raised with from an early age and should interact well with unfamiliar dogs on walks.

Are Japanese Spitzes friendly with other people?

Japanese Spitz dogs are very friendly with people. They form close, trusting relationships with their human family members and will be affectionate towards their loved ones. 

Are Japanese Spitz good with strangers?

The average Japanese Spitz dog is relatively friendly. However, they need to warm up to new people. They may bark at a stranger who goes into their territory.

Hence, make sure to make the atmosphere comfortable in the presence of people who are new to them.

Are Japanese Spitz great with kids?

The Japanese Spitz is the perfect breed for families with children, including young children.

They’re gentle and playful, making great playmates for children, but they are easily knocked over due to their small size, so supervision is advised. 

Can Japanese Spitzes Adapt Easily?

A Japanese Spitz smiling with its eyes closed
A Japanese Spitz looking cozy at home – Image source

Japanese Spitzes are pretty adaptable because of their size. They can live in any sized home and any climate, so long as it’s safe.

However, they can become anxious around big life changes if not handled with care.

Are Japanese Spitz Dogs Aggressive?

Japanese Spitzes are not known to be aggressive dogs, unlike most spitz breeds.

However, any dog breed can act aggressively if they need to protect themselves, their family members, or their homes. 

Are Japanese Spitzes Dangerous?

The Japanese Spitz is not a dangerous breed of dog.

That being said, any breed of dog can become dangerous if they are mistreated or mishandled, or under-socialized and can’t read the behavior of others well. 

Do Japanese Spitz Dogs Bite?

A Japanese Spitz biting on a toy
Ingrid, a Japanese Spitz, bites on her toy – Image source

Japanese Spitz dogs have a low tendency to bite. However, adults have a bite force of 290 PSI.

They will bite and chew everything when they are puppies, but this is a normal puppyhood behavior that they will eventually grow out of. 

That said, you should teach your Japanese Spitz pup not to bite you (and others) by yelping and ending your interaction whenever they do it.

This will teach them that biting equals no more attention. 

You can also teach them what isn’t theirs to chew by redirecting “bad” chewing and praising them when they chew their toys.

You can also use furniture repellent spray and teething gel to lessen the urge to bite and protect your home.

Are Japanese Spitz Dogs Protective?

Japanese Spitz dogs are protective of their homes and family members. Despite their small size, they are courageous and will eagerly alert you to any disturbances or threats.

Are Japanese Spitzes Affectionate?

The Japanese Spitz, unlike most spitz breeds, is typically a very affectionate breed.

Although every dog is different, Japanese Spitz dogs tend to form close, loving bonds with their loved ones and always want to be by your side.

Are Japanese Spitzes Loyal?

A Japanese Spitz wearing a tiger costume
Belle, a Japanese Spitz, likes dressing up – Image source

Japanese Spitzes are devotedly loyal dogs. They were bred to be companion animals, so they are faithful by nature, preferring companionship to alone time.

In fact, it’s not recommended that they’re left alone for more than a few hours at a time, as they can easily become lonely, anxious, and unhappy. 

Do Japanese Spitzes Like to Cuddle?

As mentioned above, Japanese Spitzes are typically pretty affectionate dogs that love to cuddle with their owners.

That said, not all dogs within the same breed will be cuddly, and some may prefer to express their affection through play or just being in your company. 

Does the Japanese Spitz Love Freedom?

The Japanese Spitz is an active, fun-loving breed.

They love to explore and go on adventures like the next dog, but they aren’t particularly prone to trying to escape or wandering off on walks.

However, they tend to be independent thinkers.

Are Japanese Spitz Dogs Easy to Train?

A Japanese Spitz looking at its owner
Samson, a Japanese Spitz, always listens to his owner intently – Image source

The Japanese Spitz is known for being an easy breed to train. They’re bright, obedient, eager to please, and quick to learn.

They learn best with early and consistent training, so it’s best to start training your Spitz as young as possible and try to do a little bit every day.

Keep your sessions short, clear, and positive, and use a behavioral marker for quicker results. 

How Smart is the Japanese Spitz?

The Japanese Spitz is an intelligent dog breed, often ranking high on obedience trials. They are also good at agility and other dog sports.

These dogs are also very teachable tricks. This is due to the fact that they’re descended from the Pomeranian and Keeshond, both of which are considered to be highly intelligent breeds. 

Can Japanese Spitz dogs be used as working dogs?

Although the Japanese Spitz was bred as a companion dog and has never historically been used as a working dog, they can make excellent therapy dogs because of their small size, friendly temperament, and fluffy coats.

Also, some compete in dog shows thanks to their trainability and beautiful coats. 

Do Japanese Spitz Dogs Bark a Lot?

A Japanese Spitz barking
Mochi, a Japanese Spitz, greets his owner with a bark – Image source

The Japanese Spitz dog barks moderately.

They will alert you to disturbances in or outside the home, especially at an initial meeting with a stranger, and may growl to let you know what they’re thinking, but they’re not known to be excessive. 

How does a Japanese Spitz bark?

The Japanese Spitz dog has a hitch-pitched bark.

Although nothing is recorded about the exact decibel level, their woof is surprisingly loud for such a small and sweet-looking dog.

Do Japanese Spitzes Have High Energy Levels?

The Japanese Spitz is a moderately energetic dog.

They need a fair amount of exercise and mental stimulation to prevent boredom and anxiety, which can result in destructive behaviors towards themselves and the home. 

Are Japanese Spitzes Active?

A Japanese Spitz dog running
A Japanese Spitz running

The Japanese Spitz is pretty active. They need 1 hour of exercise a day, which is best split into two walks.

They also like running, swimming, playing with other dogs, and playing games of fetch on their walks. It’s also a good idea to vary the location to prevent boredom. 

How Fast Can a Japanese Spitz Run?

The average adult Japanese Spitz dog can run up to 15 to 20 miles per hour over short distances. Most dogs have this average speed, but it’s not too shabby for a smaller breed!

Are Japanese Spitzes Playful?

A Japanese Spitz sitting in a yard
Lemon, a Japanese Spitz, plays in his grandparents’ yard – Image source

Japanese Spitzes are super playful dogs that like to be entertained.

They love to play games and play with toys that engage their brains, so we’ve listed some fun ideas of things to do with your Japanese Spitz below. 

  • Hide and seek
  • Treasure hunt
  • Treat dispensers
  • Puzzle games
  • Sensory toys
  • Learning new tricks

Does the Japanese Spitz Drool a Lot?

If you’re not a fan of droolers, you’re in luck with this breed. The Japanese Spitz is not a big drooler, although any dog might drool a little when they’re around something that smells good!

What Does the Family Life of Japanese Spitz Dogs Like?

A Japanese Spitz sitting on a tree trunk
Mochi, a Japanese Spitz, loves exploring places with his hooman – Image source

The family life of a Japanese Spitz dog is action-packed and full of love; cuddles, walks, games, and more.

They do well with active, fun-loving families, especially those with children and other pets, who will feel their presence most of the time.

What is the Average Cost of a Japanese Spitz Puppy?

The average cost of a Japanese Spitz puppy is between $1,000 to $2,500.

This price range varies depending on various factors, such as the breeder’s experience, the dog’s pedigree, and whether the puppy has been spayed or neutered. 

Generally, Japanese Spitz puppies from experienced breeders with a strong pedigree are more expensive.

Spayed or neutered dogs may also be priced higher since this is an extra cost that the breeder has incurred.

When searching for a Japanese Spitz puppy, be sure to ask the breeder about all of these factors to get an accurate estimate of the dog’s price.

What Kind of Food Should Japanese Spitzes Eat?

Japanese Spitzes are a versatile breed of dog that can do well on various diets. However, choosing the right food for your small dog based on its life stage is essential. 

Puppies need a diet high in protein and fat to support their rapid growth.

On the other hand, adult dogs should have a lower-calorie diet to help them stay at a healthy weight. They should eat around ½ to 1 ½ cups of food daily, split into two meals.

Senior dogs may benefit from a diet rich in antioxidants and fiber to help support their aging bodies. 

Ultimately, the best way to determine what food your Japanese Spitz should eat is to talk to your veterinarian.

They can help you choose a food that meets your dog’s unique needs and ensure they stay happy and healthy throughout their life.

What are the Best Dog Foods for Japanese Spitzes?

A Japanese Spitz with bacon
Anne, a Japanese Spitz, wonders if she can have some bacon – Image source

If you’re looking for the best dog food for Japanese Spitzes, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve included a variety of options to suit every need, from puppies to adults.

Here are our top picks.

For Japanese Spitz puppies:

For adult Japanese Spitzes:

What Other Dog Breeds Look Like the Japanese Spitz?

A Samoyed standing outdoors
A white, fluffy Samoyed looks like the Japanese Spitz

The Japanese Spitz’s beautiful coat is similar to some other small dog breeds. Below, we’ve made a list of a few dogs you could easily mistake for a Japanese Spitz!

The Verdict: Should You Get a Japanese Spitz?

If you want a fierce guard dog, a German Shepherd might be more appropriate.

But if you want a small, protective, lovable furball with a personality twice its size – why not consider getting a Japanese Spitz? 

They’re loyal, fun, easy to train, and friendly, with a sunny disposition that will brighten up your days, so long as you can give them the nutrition, exercise, and companionship they need and deserve. 

Do you have a Japanese Spitz? Tell us what you love about them below.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.