The Japanese Spitz is a truly adaptable dog that can live happily in the coldest and hottest climates around the world?
Often confused with the American Eskimo, the Japanese Spitz is actually a descendant of the Siberian Samoyed. So similar are its characteristics that these dogs are often referred to as miniature Samoyeds. However, the energy level is much less "wired" than the American Eskimos. The JS will can do agile events with you, or is quite content to sit on the couch beside you, while you watch TV or read--his energy level is yours. The other major difference is that the JS is always white and always small, to achieve this in the American Eskimo is less common, they come in many colors and not generally small in size. Development of the Japanese Spitz began in the late 1800s, but it wasn't until 1921 that the breed was first exhibited at a dog show in Tokyo. Bred for their smaller size, these dogs made wonderful companion dogs and were especially favored in Japan in the 1950s. Their friendly personalities made them the perfect family pet and their smaller size made them extremely convenient. Today, the Japanese Spitz has become increasingly popular in North America and Europe.
As a family pet, the Japanese Spitz excels. Lively, affectionate, and quick to learn, this breed aims to please and take part in family activities, loves children and will happily play for hours. These are all-round good companions. Whether you're watching TV on the couch or playing Frisbee in the park, this dog simply thrives on human company.
Consistent and gentle training goes a long way with this breed. The Japanese Spitz enjoys agility, games, and learning tricks. They are obedient and will get along with other household pets. A small dog with big attitude, the courageous Japanese Spitz also makes a good little watchdog. Most are suspicious of strangers, and may have a tendency to be more sensitive to strange sounds and let you know.
Fairly active, even indoors, the Japanese Spitz will do fine living in an apartment. However, these are athletic dogs and do need a long daily walk, as well as regular opportunities to run in an enclosed area.
Their thick and pure white coat needs is "Teflon like" and a short daily brushing/combing is all that is necessary. The texture of the outer coat allows dirt and mud to drop off as soon as it dries, so bathing once or twice a year will be sufficient.
This is generally a healthy breed. There have been cases of patellar luxation, so be sure that breeding stock is checked for this condition. As with all white breeds, sometimes cosmetic staining around the eyes may be noticed.ADDRESSING THE STAINING
An assortment of remedies have been suggested to resolve the cosmetic reddish stains that result from tear drainage on white furred animals. Our genetic lines are bred with a wider nose resulting in no staining. Here are some comments or suggestions that we have heard:
Q1. Are these dogs suitable for families containing older people or children? Yes, most definitely. Although they are lively, they are not a heavily built dog, and therefore donít knock over frail elderly people, or small children.
Q2. Are they good watchdogs? Yes. They have acute hearing and therefore will warn you of any stranger entering your property.
Do they enjoy the company of other dogs and cats?
That white coat looks as if it requires a lot of maintenance. How much time must I spend on grooming? Believe it or not, a couple of baths a year and ten minutes with a comb twice a week is all that you need. This is because the "Non-Stick Teflon " coat allows the mud and dirt to fall off. Japanese Spitz have no "doggy odor" and therefore there is no need to bath them frequently. Two baths a year is usually enough. They do not need any clipping or plucking.
Wondrous, but true! This pup was transformed from how he looked in the picture on the left, to the pristine fellow on the right, just by allowing him to dry in a warm environment for 30 minutes. All the mud dropped off his coat; and in true Japanese Spitz fashion, he licked his legs and feet clean.
Q5. What about exercise requirements? This is really up to you. Whilst they like frequent walks for socialization and to enrich their life, they can amuse themselves, particularly if they have another dog to play with. As long as you spend time with them, even if it is at home, they are content. If you have a family member who enjoys long brisk walks ,or even jogging they will love to accompany them. Agility events can be fun for them and their owners as well.
Q6. What about feeding them? Once they are adults they are inexpensive and easy to feed. They arenít fussy eaters, and donít have digestive problems.
Q7. Do they suffer from heart or ear complaints? No, There is nothing shown to be breed specific.
Q8. Are they easy to train? Yes, being very intelligent they are easy to train. However dogs donít train themselves! As with any dog, you have to put in some time showing them what you want of them. A Puppy School (or Dog School) will help. In addition, you can obtain some very good books on how to make your dog a pleasure to live with. It might be worth noting here, that, between the age of 3 and 9 months, any pup requires a high level of socialization.
Q9. Is this breed prone to skin complaints? Skin problems are extremely rare.
Thank you for visiting the Excalibur Japanese Spitz Web Site.