His cheerful nature and his devotion to humans make the German Spitz a good choice for a domestic companion. It is a dog with an alert temperament and a good guardian. It is not uncommon for it to be confused with other varieties, such as the Pomeranian or the Keeshond, as it has a common lineage. Keep reading to know everything about this dog breed.
Many claims that the German Spitz is one of the oldest dog breeds in Central Europe. Among its ancestors are the Torfhunde or the Spitz of the Lakes. Their main tasks were to accompany the sailors on their voyages and protect the farms. It was also common to see them standing guard over the hills, alerting visitors or intruders with a loud bark.
From the 17th century, they became dogs highly valued by German and English aristocrats. King George of England was an enthusiast of the breed and took in several specimens during his reign. Queen Victoria also held them in high esteem. With the arrival of World War I and II, their number was declining in Germany. To give them a new impetus, they were crossed with Keeshond specimens, a Dutch breed with similar genetic characteristics.
These dogs are compact, with a corpulent appearance due to their abundant fur. They have a slightly curved back and a short, straight back. The group is strong and broad, with a broad, well-developed chest and forechest. The belly is slightly tucked up.
The legs are thick and strong, straight and parallel. They have black, tight, and round feet, known as "cat feet". The tail is set high and is usually carried high, rolled over the back.
German Spitz has a wedge-shaped head, which when viewed from the front resembles that of a fox. The nose is rounded, small and black. The eyes are medium, almond-shaped, and dark in color. Their small ears have a triangular shape.
The coat is double-layered, with a short, soft, and thick inner fleece; the outer coat is long and straight. Hair should not be wavy, curly, or parted in the middle. Its abundant necklace stands out on the neck and in the shoulder area. The head, ears, and feet have shorter, velvety-textured hair.
There is a wide range of colors for the German Spitz, such as black, black and tan, white, red, brown, orange, or cream. The gray tone – wolf presents very particular characteristics, with a grayish gradient throughout the body, darker snout and ears, and black “glasses” around the eyes.
The specimens of this breed are energetic and love to please their owners. They are constantly seeking to be the center of attention, through horseplay or barking. Although they tolerate small children, they prefer to share their time with adults and older children.
With strangers, they will behave distantly. They find it difficult to gain confidence and, most likely, they try to control the situation all the time. Therefore, they are good as watchdogs and alert dogs. Socialization is key so that they do not become too cantankerous.
You should know, on the other hand, that they bark a lot and very sharply. This can become an annoying habit for friends and strangers if you don't control it from the beginning. Due to their need to please, they are easy dogs to train. They can be stubborn at times, so you need to be firm and not lose your patience.
Spitzes get along well with other dogs and pets, even small ones. Despite their marked instinct to chase, they can live with cats and rabbits if they have been raised together.
If you live in an apartment, don't worry. A German Spitz can adapt well to small spaces, as long as its exercise needs are met. However, if you live in an apartment, make sure that it is well trained so that it does not bark excessively and annoy your neighbors.
The ideal space to live with one of these dogs is a house with a garden. Chasing balls or running free are their favorite games. They need – at least – an hour of daily activity, which you can divide into two 30-minute walks or fun sessions at home.
During these outings, try to always keep them on a leash, as they are very curious and tend to get into places they shouldn't. In dog parks, you have to watch out so they don't slip through the fences.
Although they adapt well to all types of climates, they prefer lower temperatures. They shed their hair twice a year, usually in spring and autumn, so during these times, you should brush them often to get rid of the loose hair that gets tangled up in their lush coat.
By the way! It is not recommended to cut his fur too short, as it will weaken. Also, you should not bathe them too often. Its coat is repellent and the mud tends to come off easily with a light brushing when it dries.
Dogs with the German Spitz are especially sensitive to eye diseases, such as retinal dysplasia or progressive retinal atrophy. Both conditions are degenerative and, in some cases, can lead to total blindness.
Another breed-related ailment is patellar luxation, a progressive problem in the knee area; They also have a certain tendency to suffer from epileptic seizures.
Also, sometimes they can suffer a tracheal collapse, due to a deformation of the trachea that prevents enough air from circulating. This disease is congenital and degenerative. Its main symptoms are a recurrent cough, strange noises when breathing, and gasping.
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