Dog Breeds 101: Japanese Spitz

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Dog Breeds 101 – Japanese Spitz
Photo – Wikipedia – lic. under CC 3.0

The Japanese Spitz live for human companionship and always want to be involved in everything that is going on inside the house. These dogs are protective and territorial and they are effective watchdogs due to their loud bark. They love to be the center of attention and hates to be left alone even for a short period. When ignored, they become listless or even depressed. Their ideal owner should be someone who is always present and willing to shower them with affection and attention. [1]

This is a small dog which can only grow up to 13 inches at the withers. The breed has an average life span of 10 to 16 years making it one of the longest living dog breeds. The most common health concern of the Japanese Spitz is it is prone to develop patellar luxation, a condition where the kneecaps dislocate from the normal position. It looks like the typical Spitz; fox-like face, triangular, peaked ears, black nose and dark eyes. The most recognizable feature of the breed is the all-white and fluffy double coat. The coat on the neck is thicker making the dog look like it has a mane; the fur is shorter on the legs and longer on the tail. Keeping this dog means there is going to be dog hair all over the house so regular brushing is needed to reduce shedding. [2][3]

The breed was developed by crossing various Spitz-type breeds starting from the German Spitz bred to the smaller, all-white Spitz breeds. The dogs became popular in Japan, where most of the breed’s development took place. The breed standard was published after World War II and the Japanese Spitz gained recognition from the Kennel Club in 1977 where it was placed under the Utility Group. The American Kennel Club does not recognized the Japanese Spitz due to its close resemblance in appearance and temperament to the American Eskimo Dog. [3]


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