Japanese Spitz

Are you looking for a family pet that is small, friendly, and easy to care for? If so, the Japanese Spitz might be the perfect breed for you! They’re small, friendly dogs that are known for being very gentle and affectionate and having a big personality. They are very smart and eager to learn, and will make good family pets.

The Japanese Spitz is a small, white dog with a thick coat of fur. They are known for their intelligence and loyalty, making them great companions. They are also very active and love to play.

The Japanese Spitz is a great breed for first-time dog owners. They are easy to train and can be taught basic commands quickly. They are also very social and love spending time with their family.

Japanese Spitzes are small dogs that originated in Japan. They are known for being friendly, outgoing, and energetic. They are also very intelligent, and can be trained to perform various tasks.

Japanese spitzes are very agile and athletic, and will enjoy running around and playing fetch. They are also very good swimmers, and will enjoy swimming laps in the pool. They are also very curious, and will enjoy investigating everything around them.

The Japanese Spitz is a low maintenance breed that doesn’t require much grooming or exercise. They do need regular brushing to keep their coat healthy, but they don’t need to be taken on long walks or runs.

Japanese spitzes are very loyal and affectionate, and will form strong bonds with their owners. They are also very smart, and will learn tricks very quickly. They are very independent, and will enjoy having their own space. They are also very hardy dogs, and can handle cold temperatures well.

They are also very adaptable, and will thrive in a variety of environments. They are very quiet, and will make a nice companion for anyone living alone.

The Japanese Spitz is a great choice for families with children. They are very gentle and patient, and they love to play with kids. They also get along well with other pets, making them a great addition to any home.

Overall, the Japanese Spitz is an excellent breed for first-time dog owners. They are loyal, intelligent, and easy to care for. They are also great with children and other pets, making them a perfect family pet. If you’re looking for a small, friendly dog that is easy to train and maintain, the Japanese Spitz might be the perfect breed for you!

Japanese Spitz Information

  • Average Height: 10 to 16 inches.
  • Average Length: 11 to 17.5 inches
  • Average Weight: 10 to 25 pounds.
  • Coat Type: Long length.
  • Coat Appearance: They have a rich textured double coat with a thick undercoat and a long outer coat.
  • Coat Colors: White
  • Grooming Needs: Low
  • Shedding: Medium Shedding
  • Brushing Requirements: They need to be brushed twice a week.
  • Sensitive to Touch: No
  • Excessive Barking: Yes
  • Tolerance to Heat and Cold: Yes
  • Good Pet: They are playful and friendly with their owners, so yes!
  • Safe with Children: They are small in size and good tempered, so yes.
  • Good with Other Dogs: Medium
  • Good with Other Pets: Medium
  • Suitable to live in an Apartment: Yes
  • Good for Less Experienced Pet Owners: Yes
  • Training: They are intelligent and easy to train
  • Exercise Needs: Medium
  • Weight Gain: Medium
  • Health Concerns: Patellar luxation, frequent runny eyes, and dry skin being the only health concerns.
  • Allergies: None
  • Average Life Span: 12 to 14 years

Physical Appearance of a Japanese Spitz

a Japanese Spitz outside watching something

A Japanese Spitz is a small-sized dog with a somewhat square-shaped body. Their neck is muscular and a little longer than other smaller breeds. Their chest is deep and broad. They have a moderately long tail that curls up onto their back. The Japanese Spitz has cat-like feet with thick paws.

Their head is broad and round. They have a small black pointed snout. They have medium sized dark black almond-shaped eyes. They have small triangular ears that stand erect and are slightly bent forward.

The Japanese Spitz has a pure white double coat that is very fluffy. Their outer coat is straight and long while the undercoat is soft and dense. They have short hair on their legs, ears, and lower part of the legs with long hair on the rest of their body. The hair on their neck and tail are extremely fluffy.

Temperament of a Japanese Spitz

The Japanese Spitz is a smart and playful dog that is friendly and loyal to their owners. Though they look small, they have a good amount of energy and love to play with their family.

They are also courageous and protective and this will usually be the reason why they bark at strangers. While they love barking at strangers, they are obedient and will calm down if their family reassures them. They seem to hear just about everything which makes them great watchdogs.

They are great companions and with some training can learn to mix well with strangers and other pets.

Training a Japanese Spitz

a Japanese Spitz suspiciously eyeing their owner

These dogs are intelligent and obedient which will help speed up their training. Positive reinforcement and lots of praise while you teach them your training sessions go better. Start training them early for the best results.

Clicker Training

Japanese Spitz need to be trained to understand what is good behavior and what is not OK. Clicker training will help them understand what is good behavior. Clicker training has you make a noise with the clicker when the desired action is done. In addition to the click you’ll give them a treat, at least while you train them. Every time your dog hears the click they’ll know they did a good job and you are happy.

If your dog misbehaves, try not to punish them because it can discourage them. Instead, remember the clicker training and divert their attention to something else. You might have to do this several times to make your Spitz understand that they are not supposed to do the undesired activities.

Obedience Training Classes

Obedience training classes are a great way to help your dog learn some basic instructions. Obedience training isn’t just for your dog, it also helps owners learn to teach and control their new dog. These classes can teach you as an owner the best ways to teach your puppy. The amount of time you spend trying to stop your Spitz’s excessive barking can be a lot less if you know the best way to teach them. Because Japanese Spitz love barking, with or without obedience training you will likely spend a good deal of time teaching them to be quiet.

Early Socialization Training

Early socialization is absolutely necessary for Japanese Spitz. They need exposure to different sounds, places, people, other dogs, and pets right when they are a puppy. By being exposed to so many things it will help interact more confidently with others and not be so skittish with strangers or other dogs.

Kennel Training

Kennel training works very well with Japanese Spitz. If done right they will see the kennel as their safe space, and a place that they can relax and sleep. Most dogs enjoy small spaces and will find a sense of security while inside it. Getting them comfortable in a kennel early on will save you a lot of headaches. You know that they can’t get into trouble while you’re sleeping or at work if they’re in their kennel. It’s also a great place for them to dry off after they come into the house when it’s wet outside.

Their Compatibility with Children

a cute Japanese Spitz puppy sitting near some potted flowers

These dogs are gentle and playful, making them great pets for families with children. They enjoy playing with children and love being around them. They rarely act aggressively and are safe to be around kids. They are protective of the kids and tend to guard them when strangers are around. Because they are small, you do not have to worry about them accidentally pushing your child over if they jump on them.

Teach your kids how to interact with Japanese Spitz. If you see your kids trying to pick them up, Tell them not to because they could accidentally drop them. Unless they are puppies, these dogs are too big to be picked up by children.

Teach your kids the best ways to interact with your Spitz. Children should not disturb them when they are eating because they might get bit because your dog thinks their food is being taken away. Until you know how your children and new puppy will react its best to have an adult supervise their interactions. Supervision is the best way to prevent accidents from occurring.

Best Climate for a Japanese Spitz

Japanese Spitz can tolerate both hot and cold weather. They are more comfortable in cold climates than hot. This is because they have a long and dense double coat that protects them from the cold.

But while the Japanese Spitz handles the cold well, they are a companion dog and are generally considered an inside dog. They shouldn’t be kept outside overnight. They are very happy spending most of their time inside your home.

The Attention a Japanese Spitz Needs

Japanese Spitz dogs need a lot of attention. They are companion dogs and human affection is something which they absolutely need. The dog wants to be around their family and may even follow them around the house. They need physical activity for at least 20 minutes, twice a day. Going for walks or playing with them in your yard is great exercise and will keep them happy.

They do not like being left alone or being ignored. Leaving them alone can lead to them developing behavioral problems. Other than during the work day, someone should always be around them if possible. If you have a family that spends most of their day outside the home, then Japanese Spitz is probably not the right pet for your family.

Health Issues

Japanese Spitz dogs are fairly healthy with very few genetic conditions when compared to other pedigree dogs.

Patellar Luxation

Patellar luxation is another joint problem that dogs can develop. Patellar luxation happens when the knee joint slides in and out of place. This can be painful for some, and can cause lameness or abnormal walking. Dogs with this problem will usually hop or skip a few steps while walking. Patellar luxation can be painful for some but most will be able to live normally even after having this condition. The disease can lead to arthritis. 

Depending upon the severity of their disease, surgery could be needed to treat patellar luxation. This problem seems to affect smaller dogs more than larger dogs.


Epilepsy is a neurological disorder that affects dogs and can cause seizures. It’s important to be aware of the symptoms of epilepsy so that you can recognize it and get treatment for your pet.

Symptoms of Canine Epilepsy

The most common symptom of epilepsy is a seizure, which can range from mild to severe. Seizures are associated with uncontrolled muscle contractions, loss of consciousness, and sometimes, loss of bladder and bowel control. Other symptoms can include disorientation, confusion, drooling, pacing, trembling, and even aggression.

If your dog has any of these symptoms, it’s important to take them to your vet right away for a diagnosis. Your vet will be able to determine if your pet has epilepsy by performing a physical exam and running tests such as an EEG or CT scan.

Once your dog has been diagnosed with epilepsy, your vet will be able to recommend the best treatment plan for them. Treatment can include medications to control seizures, dietary changes, and lifestyle modifications. It’s important to follow your vet’s instructions carefully in order to ensure that your pet gets the best care possible.

Runny Eyes

Runny eyes can be caused by a variety of conditions. Some common causes of runny eyes in dogs include allergies, eye infections, and eye irritations. Allergies are a very common cause of runny eyes in dogs. Dogs can be allergic to anything from food to environmental allergens such as dust or pollen. 

Eye infections can also cause runny eyes, and they can be caused by bacterial or viral infections. Eye irritations can also be a cause. Eye irritations can be caused by foreign objects like dirt or dust getting into their eye, or from something like chemical irritation due to a shampoo or other product.

If your dog’s runny eyes are persistent or if you suspect an underlying condition, it’s important to visit your vet for further evaluation and treatment.

Dry Skin

Dry skin is a common problem for many dogs. It can be caused by a variety of factors, including environmental conditions, diet, and genetics.

Symptoms of Canine Dry Skin

  • Flaking
  • Itching
  • Redness
  • Irritation

These can lead to secondary infections if they’re not treated properly.

Periodontal Disease

Domesticated cats and dogs can get periodontal disease if their oral health is not taken care of. Periodontal disease is a tooth and gum condition that can become serious in a few ways. One of the biggest problems is that this disease can destroy the gums and teeth of your pet if left untreated.

Another major problem if the bacteria in the mouth enters the bloodstream. Plaque build-up in the mouth can damage the gums and let bacteria enter the bloodstream. If this happens it can cause kidney and liver diseases and narrow their blood vessels which can lead to heart problems.

One of the easiest ways to prevent periodontal disease is to regularly brush your pet’s teeth. More than likely they won’t like it, but regular brushing is the best way you can prevent plaque buildup in your pets mouth.

Bathing, Coat, and Cleaning

a beautiful and fuzzy Japanese Spitz sitting in front of a blue background

Looking at their rich textured white coat you might expect to be brushing them a few times a day. Surprisingly the Japanese Spitz has low grooming needs. Brushing them twice a week is enough most of the year. A pin brush works well on their fur to remove the loose fur without pulling much on the rest. For sensitive areas like behind their legs and face, use a soft slicker brush.

Their coat naturally repels water and dirt so they shouldn’t need regular bathing. You will only have to bathe them when their coat gets dirty, or if they start to smell bad. When you bathe them, remember to use only a high-quality dog shampoo.

Clean their ears once a week with a moist cotton ball. This will help to remove the dirt and any discharge from the ears. Spitz are known for having runny eyes, if there are any stains use a moist cotton cloth to gently remove the tearing. Removing any tearing or eye goo is necessary to keep their white coat clean.

Check their nails every other week and trim it if necessary.

Every week it is important to check their nose, paws, and other areas of your dog while brushing them for signs of redness or other infections. If you see any signs of infection, call your vet immediately.

Feeding A Japanese Spitz

a close up of dog food pellets

Japanese Spitz needs 1 to 1½ cups of dog food every day, split into two meals. You should not leave the food out in the open so your dog can eat it whenever they want. If they don’t eat it all after it is put out, simply put the food away until the next scheduled feeding time.

Avoid feeding table scraps to your Spitz. If you want to feed them people food, consult your vet before giving them any. They are a small breed and their food needs are minimal. Eating more than what they are supposed to can cause them to put on weight or lead to negative health conditions.

Related Questions:

How did the Japanese Spitz originate?

The Japanese Spitz dogs originated from the white German Spitz. The German Spitz was brought from China to Japan in the early 1900s. This was followed by several other Spitz being imported to Japan. These imported breeds were crossbred to produce desired features that emerged to become the Japanese Spitz. In the 1950s, these were exported to Europe and eventually to America. This breed is still not recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC). They have been recently categorized under the Foundation Stock Service in 2019. This is a record-keeping program for rare pedigree dogs created by AKC.

Are Japanese Spitzes Expensive?

Yes, the Japanese Spitz dogs can cost you between $1,000 to 2,500. They are expensive because they are very rare and difficult to find. There are not many breeders or rescue groups who can provide you with a Japanese Spitz. If you really want a Japanese Spitz, you can check the American Kennel Club website. They have a list of reputable breeders who might be able to get you a Japanese Spitz puppy.

Are Japanese Spitz Good Pets for Senior Citizens?

Yes, their affectionate and loyal behavior makes them excellent dogs for senior citizens. They do not need a large place to live. Their ability to live in smaller homes is why this dog is sometimes found in assisted living facilities. It is important to note that they are not recognized as service dogs or therapy dogs. While they can provide comfort, they are not very useful for people with disabilities.

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Maryna is an animal expert that has had dozens of animals in her life over the years. She has never found an animal that she didn't love immediately. It seems like every year she finds kittens that have been abandoned by their mom and she nurses them to health and finds homes for them. She contributes her vast knowledge about animals and family pets to our website and we're forever grateful to have her working with us. She's also an amazing graphics designer and has designed all of the social media images that we use across all platforms.