The Japanese Spitz is a small to medium breed of dog of the Spitz type. The Japanese Spitz is small dog a companion dog and pet. There are varying standards around the world as to the ideal size of the breed, but they are always larger than their smaller cousins, the Pomeranian.
They were developed in Japan in the 1920s and 1930s by breeding a number of other Spitz type dog breeds together.
They are recognized by the vast majority of the major kennel clubs, except the American Kennel Club due to it being similar appearance to the white Pomeranian dog, American Eskimo Dog and Samoyed Dog. While they are a relatively new breed, they are becoming widely popular due to their favorable temperament and other features.
The major health concern is patellar luxation, and a minor recurring concern is that the breed can be prone to runny eyes. They can act as reliable watchdogs, but are a type of companion dog and prefer to be an active part of the family. Although they might appear fluffy, they are a low maintenance breed as dirt does not stick to the coat.
Dog breeders in Japan in the 1920s and 1930s created the Japanese Spitz by crossbreeding a number of other Spitz breeds to develop the Japanese Spitz. 5 Breeders began with white German Spitz dogs, originally brought over from northeastern China to Japan; they were first exhibited at a dog show in Tokyo in 1921. Between 1925 and 1936 various small white Spitz breeds were imported from around the world and crossed into the developing breed, with the goal of producing an improved breed.
The final Standard for the breed was written after World War II, and accepted by the Japan Kennel Club. This little dog breed gained popularity in Japan in the 1950s, and was exported to Sweden in the early 1950s. From there the breed went to England, and the Kennel Club recognized the Japanese Spitz in 1977 in the Utility Group.1 The Japanese Spitz has spread around the world including to India, Australia, and the United States and is recognized by most of the major kennel clubs in the English speaking world; by the Canadian Kennel Club in Group 6, Non-Sporting, by the New Zealand Kennel Club (Non-Sporting Group), by the Australian National Kennel Council in Group 7 (Non Sporting), and by the United Kennel Club (U.S.) in the Northern Breeds Group.
The American Kennel Club does not recognize the Japanese Spitz due to its being close in appearance to a U.S. developed Spitz breed, the American Eskimo Dog.The breed is also recognized by minor registries and clubs.
The Japanese Spitz is a small dog, around 33 cm (13 ins) at the withers, with a somewhat square body, deep chest, and a very thick, pure white double coat. The coat consists of an outer coat that stands off from the soft inner coat, with fur shorter on the muzzle and ears as well as the fronts of the forelegs and the hindlegs. A ruff of longer fur is around the dog's neck. It has a pointed muzzle and small, triangular shape prick ears (ears that stand up.) The tail is long, heavily covered with long fur, and is carried curled over and lying on the dog's back.
The white coat contrasts with the black pads and nails of the feet, the black nose, and the dark eyes. The large oval (akin to a ginkgo seed) eyes are dark and slightly slanted with white eyelashes, and the nose and lips and eye rims are black. The face of the Japanese Spitz is wedge-shaped.
They share a common resemblance with the white Pomeranian dog, Samoyed and American Eskimo Dog.