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Photo Credit: misselvine via Compfight cc
For our pet profile this week, we check out the Japanese Spitz. These dogs are quite intelligent, playful and friendly dogs. They waltz around the place with a plush coat as white as snow. This particular canine is generally described as having a ‘big dog’ personality in a small body! 
Background

There is much debate over the origins of the Japanese Spitz. Researchers debate that the Japanese Spitz is connected to the Samoyed but bred as a smaller version of the breed. Other people believe that it is derived from the Peat Dog. The Peat Dog originally resided in Finland but then spread out to Japan & China around 400 AD. Regardless of its beginnings… we have before us today a delightful boisterous canine!  

Most of the major kennel clubs recognise the Japanese Spitz with the exception of the American Kennel Club. The American Kennel Club claim that it looks too alike the white Pomeranian dog, American Eskimo dog and Samoyed dog. 

Japanese Spitz numbers are declining in Japan today but the breed is becoming increasingly popular as a pet in North America and Europe. 

Physical Characteristics

Japanese Spitzs have a wedge-shaped face accompanied with large, dark and slightly slanted oval eyes and small pointy ears. Their pure white coat is quite long except on the hind legs and their tail usually looks curled over onto their back. The bottom of their feet, nose and lips are black which looks striking against their lavish white fur. 

Japanese Spitz’s are more on the smaller size of dog breeds. Males are generally between 34 to 37cm in length in comparison to females who are 30 to 34 cms. They typically weigh around 5 to 10 kgs. 

Temperament

Japanese Spitzs are exceedingly affectionate, spirited and devoted to their owners. They are ideal dogs for families with small children or older people as they are not heavily built. Their keen attention to detail make them the perfect watch dog. These dogs love to be part of the family and will always try to be engaged in household activities! 

Japanese Spitzs get along with other pets in the household but will try to assert leadership… even against the gigantic dogs!! Yep. They aren’t scared off by larger dogs and love to be the dominant pet.

These dogs are highly intelligent as well.  They can be easily taught to fetch frisbees and sticks as long as you stay persistent and patient with them!

Exercise requirements

It is recommended that you take your Japanese Spitz on regular walks to maintain their healthy physique. Although if you are a relatively busy person they are content being left alone to their own devices periodically and would just end up playing with other pets in the household. They also love the opportunity of running around without a leash so take them to dog friendly parks if possible!

Fun Fact

Japanese Spitzs are quite averse to getting their fine coat dirty. They even lick themselves clean just like a cat! 

Nutrition

It costs about $5 to $10 to feed a Japanese Spitz per week. These dogs are relatively easy to feed as they are not fussy eaters. They also do not tend to suffer from digestive issues. 

Grooming

Since these dogs coats are considerably long, they should be brushed twice a week to prevent tangling and/or matting of the fur. As mentioned earlier, these pooches prefer to keep their fur immaculate instead of rolling around in the dirt. This means most people tend to wash their Japanese Spitz around twice a year! 

Life expectancy

Japanese Spitzs tend to live quite a long time in comparison to other dog breeds, averaging around 13 to 17 years. 

Health Issues

Japanese Spitzs are usually very healthy and fit dogs. An excellent fact to be aware of is that they are the least likely out of all dog breeds to suffer from hip dysplasia and progressive retinal atrophy. 

A major health concern is your dog suffering from Patellar luxation. This involves the kneecap dislocating from its normal position is exceedingly painful. If you are worried your pet has this condition, we recommend contacting your local vet for further assistance and treatment.

Is a Japanese Spitz the right pet for you?

Comfortable within a small apartment or large home with back garden, these particular dogs are suitable for mostly any type of person. For people with lodgings on the small side, taking your pet for walks twice a day is highly recommended. It also prevents your pooch from getting too bored. Friendly and sociable pets, they get along with all family members including other pets in the household. As generally advised for people with small children, supervise your Japanese Spitz when he/she is in contact with your child at all times. These dogs are trusting of most strangers, so they may be good as a watch dog but not ideal as a guard dog.  If you decide to adopt a Japanese Spitz into your home, you would definitely have a cute and cheerful wake up call every morning!