Japanese Spitz

Japanese Spitz looking forward

Quick Facts


10 to 25 pounds


12 to 15 inches at the shoulder

Average Lifespan:

10-14 years

Known For:

Funny, loyal and smart companions. They will enjoy hiking, car ride or walking on the beach.


Welcome to the delightful world of the Japanese Spitz, a breed that epitomizes the joy of companionship and the spirit of a fluffy, affectionate friend. Known for their bright, white coat and an ever-smiling face, the Japanese Spitz is a heart-stealer. This breed originated from Japan in the early 20th century and has since woven its way into the hearts and homes of pet lovers around the globe. Recognized by major kennel clubs, including the Japan Kennel Club and others, the Japanese Spitz is often praised for its intelligence, agility, and amiable nature. As a breed, they are not just pets; they are family members who bring an abundance of joy and liveliness to every household they grace. This guide aims to take you on a journey through the life, characteristics, and care of this admirable breed, ensuring you understand the joy and responsibility that comes with welcoming a Japanese Spitz into your life.

History and Origin

The story of the Japanese Spitz is as fascinating as the breed itself. It’s believed that the journey of this captivating breed began in the 1920s to 1930s in Japan. Breeders aimed to develop a small, white, and adaptable family dog, leading to the inception of the Japanese Spitz. The breed is said to have been created through the careful and selective breeding of white German Spitz dogs imported from China and other spitz-type dogs. It wasn’t long before the Japanese Spitz gained recognition for its elegance, intelligence, and amicable disposition.


The breed made its way to Sweden and England after World War II, where it continued to charm dog enthusiasts, leading to its spread across Europe and later, the world. The Japanese Spitz was officially recognized by the Japan Kennel Club in 1948, further solidifying its status as a beloved breed.


Though there may not be a Japanese Spitz that has gained worldwide fame, the breed itself is a celebrity in the hearts of those who have had the pleasure of their companionship. The Japanese Spitz has been a part of many cultural events and shows, representing not just the beauty of the breed but also the rich culture of Japan.

Breed Characteristics


Barking Tendency

Dog Friendly

Health Issues

Shedding Level









Cat Friendly

Exercise Needs


Social Needs








App. Friendly

Child Friendly


Energy Level

Stranger Friendly

Watchdog Instincts







Appearance and Size

The Japanese Spitz is a vision of fluffy beauty. With a height ranging typically from 12 to 15 inches (30 to 38 cm) and weighing approximately 11 to 20 pounds (5 to 10 kg), this breed is the epitome of a lap-sized companion. The most striking feature is undoubtedly their pristine, white double coat that feels like touching the clouds. This profuse coat serves not just as a beauty trait but also as insulation against cold and heat.


Their deep, dark eyes, contrasted against their white fur, radiate intelligence and curiosity. Their pointed ears stand tall, always alert and responsive to their environment. The Japanese Spitz’s muzzle is pointed, and their nose is black, which stands out against their white fur, giving them an expression of perpetual elegance.


Despite their modest size, they have a robust and symmetrical build that denotes their agility and adaptability. Their tail is high-set and often curls over their back, adding to their distinctive and attractive appearance. While the coat is predominantly white, you may find slight variations in shade, but this does not diminish their stunning allure.


The next sections will delve deeper into the personality, temperament, health, and care of this wonderful breed, ensuring you’re well-informed about the delightful journey that awaits you with a Japanese Spitz.

Personality and Temperament

The Japanese Spitz is much more than a pretty face; it possesses a personality that’s truly captivating. These dogs are renowned for their joyful disposition, intelligence, and loyalty, making them excellent companions. They are spirited and playful, always ready to engage in games or activities with their family members. Despite their small size, they have a big-dog attitude, often fearless and bold, yet without the aggression.


Their intelligence is not to be underestimated. The Japanese Spitz is quick to learn and eager to please, making training a delightful experience. They respond well to positive reinforcement and enjoy the mental stimulation that comes from learning new tricks or commands. This breed is known for its alertness, making them excellent watchdogs. They will promptly notify their family of any unfamiliar presence, though their friendly nature often takes over once introductions are made.


Perhaps one of the most cherished traits of the Japanese Spitz is their affectionate nature. They form strong bonds with their family members and are known to be particularly gentle and patient with children. However, like all breeds, early socialization and training are crucial to ensure they grow into well-adjusted and well-behaved adults.

Health and Lifespan

When it comes to health, the Japanese Spitz is generally a hardy breed with a lifespan of approximately 12 to 16 years. However, as with any breed, they are predisposed to certain health conditions. Owners should be mindful of issues such as patellar luxation (kneecap dislocation), progressive retinal atrophy (an eye condition), and allergies, which can manifest in skin irritation or dietary sensitivities.


To ensure your Japanese Spitz lives a healthy and happy life, regular veterinary check-ups are essential. These not only help in early detection and management of potential health issues but also provide an opportunity for owners to consult professionals on the best care practices for their pets.


The lush coat of the Japanese Spitz is more than just beautiful; it also serves as a protective layer. However, it’s important to note that while their coat provides insulation, it doesn’t make them immune to extreme temperatures. Owners should be mindful of their pet’s environment and ensure they are comfortable and safe, regardless of the weather.

Care and Maintenance

Japanese Spitz grooming

Caring for a Japanese Spitz is rewarding and brings immense joy, but it does come with its set of responsibilities. Their beautiful white coat requires regular grooming to maintain its luster and health. Daily brushing is recommended to prevent matting and to keep the coat clean and fluffy. Despite the volume of their fur, Japanese Spitzes are surprisingly low on shedding and are known for being relatively clean dogs with little odor.


Exercise is another crucial aspect of their care. The Japanese Spitz has moderate energy levels and requires regular physical activity to stay healthy and happy. Daily walks, play sessions, and the occasional adventurous outing will ensure your furry friend is physically and mentally stimulated.


When it comes to their diet, a balanced and nutritious diet tailored to their age, size, and activity level is vital. Regular consultations with your vet can help you understand and cater to your pet’s dietary needs, ensuring they get the right nutrients to support their health and energy.


While the Japanese Spitz is an adaptable breed, they thrive on companionship and do not do well if left alone for extended periods.Β 

They are social creatures who seek the love and attention of their human family. In return, they offer unwavering loyalty, affection, and the unique joy that only a happy Japanese Spitz can bring to a home.

Training and Behavior

Training a Japanese Spitz can be a gratifying experience due to their intelligence and eagerness to please. They are quick learners and respond well to positive reinforcement techniques such as praise, play, and treats. Consistency and patience are key, as these fluffy companions thrive on routine and clear expectations.


Despite their amiable nature, early socialization and training are crucial for the Japanese Spitz. Exposing them to various people, pets, and environments at a young age helps develop a well-rounded and sociable adult dog. They tend to be vocal, a trait that can be managed with proper training and socialization.


One common challenge might be their independent streak, which can occasionally come across as stubbornness. However, with a gentle and firm approach, these moments can be effectively managed. Keep training sessions short, fun, and engaging to maintain their interest and maximize learning.

Japanese Spitz and Families

Japanese Spitz with people

The Japanese Spitz is an exemplary family dog. Their affectionate nature and playful demeanor make them great companions for children, provided that interactions are supervised, especially with younger children, to ensure the safety of both the child and the dog. They are known for their loyalty and can be protective of their family members, always aiming to please and bring joy to their households.


These dogs generally get along well with other pets, especially if raised together. However, introductions should be done carefully and gradually to ensure a harmonious household. Their social and loving nature often extends to other animals, making them a friendly addition to a multi-pet home.

Adopting a Japanese Spitz

Adopting a Japanese Spitz can be a life-changing experience, both for the dog and the adopter. If you’re considering bringing a Japanese Spitz into your home, it’s important to ensure that your lifestyle can accommodate the needs of this lively and affectionate breed.


Potential owners should research and connect with reputable breeders or adoption centers. It’s essential to meet the dog in person, discuss with caretakers or breeders, and understand the specific needs and history of the dog you’re considering adopting. Ensure that you’re ready for the commitment of time, energy, and resources needed to provide a loving and stable home for your new furry family member.


When adopting, consider the environment in your home. The Japanese Spitz thrives on companionship and interaction and may not be the best choice for families that are away for long hours regularly. They need space to play and explore but can adapt well to living in apartments if they receive adequate exercise.


Bringing a Japanese Spitz into your home is a journey of joy, companionship, and love. With the right preparation and mindset, adopting a Japanese Spitz can be one of the most rewarding decisions, filled with fluffy hugs, playful barks, and a loyal friend by your side.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the temperament of a Japanese Spitz?

Japanese Spitzes are known for their playful, affectionate, and loyal nature. They are great with families and children, making excellent companions due to their friendly disposition.

How much grooming does a Japanese Spitz require?

Despite their fluffy white coat, they are relatively easy to maintain. Regular brushing a few times a week helps to remove loose fur and prevent matting, with more frequent grooming required during shedding seasons.

Are Japanese Spitzes good with other pets?

Yes, they generally get along well with other dogs and pets, especially if socialized from an early age. Their sociable nature makes them good companions for other animals.

What health issues are common in Japanese Spitzes?

They are a relatively healthy breed with a long lifespan. However, like all breeds, they can be prone to certain conditions like patellar luxation and dental issues.

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