Japanese Spitz – A Young Breed is Conquering the World

In every corner of the world, dog lovers breed their own white Spitz: on the street, the Japanese Spitz is almost indistinguishable from other white Spitz breeds such as the American Eskimo Dog or the German Mittelspitz. Nevertheless, there are small but fine features and properties that make the slim Japanese Spitz something special. We compare different tips to make your purchase decision easier.

External Characteristics of the Japanese Spitz

German lace comes in all colors and sizes. White Spitz used to be preferred abroad, which led to the formation of several independent white breeds that are closely related and therefore hardly differ from each other. In fact, it is not easy to identify the Japanese Spitz among its international relatives.

Compared to other Spitz, the Japanese Spitz is rather elongated: the ratio between the height at the withers and the length of the body is about 10:11, while another Spitz is more square.

  • Kleinspitz and Zwergspitz (Pomeranians) are significantly smaller than their Japanese relatives, with a height at the withers of less than 28 cm.
  • The Japanese Spitz can only be distinguished from the white Mittelspitz by its slimmer physique. Both reach a height of 30 to 38 cm. Offspring of purebred Japanese Spitz are always white, while Mittelspitz comes in all colors.
  • With a height at the withers of between 42 and 50 cm, the white Great Spitz is significantly larger than the Nihon Supittsu and also comes in black and brown.
  • The Siberian Samoyed is also only bred in white, but it is significantly larger and more powerful than German and Japanese Spitz.
  • The Volpino Italiano is very similar to the Japanese Spitz, but is somewhat smaller and more delicately built, and the tail also appears longer.
  • Outwardly, American Eskimo Dogs are virtually indistinguishable from Japanese Spitz. While the Japanese are only bred in one size, the Americans come in toy, miniature, and standard (up to 48 cm at the withers).

The Breed Standard

  • The head is widest at the back and goes into a moderately domed forehead. The stop between the eyes is well defined but does not form a crease as in apple-faced dogs.
  • The muzzle tapers in front and ends in a rounded point with a round, black nose. The flies should also be black and lie tight.
  • A straight scissor bite and white, healthy teeth are part of the breed standard.
  • The edges of the lids around the dark-colored eyes are also pigmented black so that the friendly facial expression stands out well against the white fur. The almond eyes are inserted at a slight angle.
  • The close-set ears are set high on the skull and taper to a triangular point. They have shorter hair than the rest of the back of the head and are carried facing forward.
  • The neck and back are moderately long and muscular. The loins and chest are broad, which is hardly recognizable by the protruding fur. The belly is well drawn up and the dogs are very agile.
  • The shoulders are sloping and the elbows are close to the body. The legs are very well muscled behind and slightly angled at the hocks. Black claws should preferably grow on the cat’s four paws.
  • The high set tail should not be too long and should lie in an arch on the back. It is well feathered and forms the Spitz-typical silhouette of the breed since it can hardly be distinguished from the protruding back fur. A curling rod is not desired.

Wrapped in cotton: properties of pointed fur

All Spitz breeds have stick hair consisting of two densely growing layers: The fluffy undercoat grows so densely that the harder and straight topcoat sticks out in all directions. The coat of the Japanese Spitz is white throughout, with no tinges of yellow, cream, or grey. The following beauty features are typical of the breed and must not be missing from purebred Nihon Supittsu:

  • Short hair below hocks, fronts of legs, face, and ears
  • Naturally grown, beautiful frills around the neck, shoulders, and neck (for males and females)
  • Pants on the backs of the legs
  • A lushly hairy rod

The History of the Modern Race

The Nihon Suppitsu (loosely translated as “Japan brush”) was first developed in Japan in the 1920s but has been able to conquer the whole world in the last 100 years. The breed originated from various white Spitz from Europe and the American continent: A few German Großspitz imported from China, which was exhibited in Tokyo for the first time in 1921, are considered the progenitors of today’s Japanese Spitz. More white tiptoes were imported, including from Canada and the United States, where the white coat color was also preferred.

  • A mix of white and white: crossed breeds
  • White Canadian Eskimo Dogs
  • American Eskimo Dogs
  • Possibly Samoyeds and Pomeranians too

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