German Spitz – Full Breed Profile

Written by: Bojana Radulovic
Do you fancy having a small-size dog with a big personality? If so, you should learn more about the popular German Spitz. Discover how to groom and train this breed. Read on.
Dog Breed Group:
Companion Dogs
12 to 15 inches
21 to 29 pounds
Life Span:
13 to 15 years

Breed Characteristics:

Apartment Friendly


How well will this breed adapt to apartment living? Is the apartment size the most important factor when it comes to proper living conditions? Is the breed suitable for apartment living?

Good For First-Time Owners


Some dogs aren't suitable for first-time dog owners. Is this breed a good match for someone with no dog experience? Can training help them be on their best behavior with owners with no dog experience? Are they suitable to be handled by someone who is just entering the canine world?

Overall Sensitivity


Some dogs are sensitive. Certain breeds are rough on the outside, while having the softest heart on the inside. In other words, some dogs are 'thick-skinned' while some are 'easygoing.' Is this breed prone to sensitivity?

Tolerates Being Alone


Separation anxiety in dogs is a serious condition that can affect a dog's life quality. Is this breed prone to this condition? Can you leave him alone for hours? How destructive this breed can become when bored, neglected, or not loved enough?

Affectionate With Family


How affectionate this breed will be around his humans? Will he welcome new family friends easily or he will choose to be shy? Some breeds can be clingy with owners, while others don't attach a lot. Will this breed act as the family's best friend?



Some dogs will tolerate children, while others will adore well-behaved ones. Dogs and children should always be supervised, no matter how well trained the dog might be. Will this breed act as a nanny dog or he will stay away from children?

Friendly Toward Other Dogs


Some dog breeds cannot wait to run to the dog park and run with others. Others prefer to be with their humans, and not to be a part of a multi-pet household. Is this breed dog lover or not? How friendly this breed will be toward other dogs?

Friendly Toward Strangers


Some dog breeds tend to be reserved toward strangers and highly suspicious. Others are fast to walk away with them easily. How welcoming this breed is toward strangers?

Drooling Level


If you love to clean all the time drooling level in dogs is a trait that you should mind. Is this breed less likely to drool, or you will always need a towel on hand?

Easy To Groom


Heavier shedding during the shedding season is something that every dog needs to go through. However, some dogs shed just a bit all year round. Is this breed one of them? How often should you groom this dog?

Overall Health


What can you expect from this breed in terms of health? Are there any genetic conditions to vary about? Is obesity a major issue in this breed? By knowing more about the dog's health, you are learning how to help him live a longer and healthier life.

Prone To Obesity


Treats are a great addition to training sessions. Dogs love sweet bites of dog treats but they should be served in moderation. Treats can lead to obesity, next to poor nutrition. Can this breed gain extra weight from treats? How prone to obesity this breed actually is?

Trainability Level


Training some dogs is easier than others. How easy this dog will be to train? What can you expect? Some dogs are huge people pleasers and they will master commands easily, while others will try to outsmart you.

Intelligence Level


Dogs are smart beings. We do our best to train them, but they do still end up training us to adapt to their needs. How intelligent is this breed? Will he try to outsmart you? Or he will need multiple training sessions to master basic commands?

Prey Drive


Dogs were bred for a specific purpose. Those who were bred to hunt have natural instincts to hunt, even today. This is why many dogs, like Terriers, will chase other animals. They will also have a hard time concentrating on your commands when there is something small moving. Is this breed prone to following his prey instincts?

Barking Level


How vocal this breed is? Can you expect neighbors to ring you often to calm your dog? Or you can sleep without worries of hearing your Fido bark? Some breeds are highly vocal, others have unusual sounds, and some are silent. Is this breed prone to barking?

Energy Level


Low-energy dogs are happy with regular walks and indoor chill times. High-energy dogs are always ready for action. Is this breed a couch potato, energetic dog, or somewhere in between?

Exercise Needs


Some dogs are more than happy with a slow stroll down the street. Others need hours of active time to stay happy and fit. Is this breed demanding in terms of exercise? How much exercise this breed needs to stay happy and healthy?

Playfulness Level


Some dogs never lose that puppy spirit, not even in their senior years. Others are more serious and prefer having a job to do. Is this breed demanding in terms of playfulness? Can you expect playfulness in their senior years as well?

The German Spitz is a lively dog of 15 inches and 26 pounds. They are known for their puff appearance and high devotion and loyalty toward their owners.

They are extremely playful, gentle when they want to be and true fun to have around.

Thanks to their small size and moderate exercise needs they are an excellent choice for city life and apartment living.

However, don’t let the small size fool you, because they know how to make an appearance.

In fact, they will usually speak through it. They will bark to inform you when someone is in front of the door, and a doorbell may be their biggest enemy.

Ask visitors to rather knock gently on the door, instead of buzzing. Their coat is dense and double and sheds twice per year. During this period, the entire undercoat will be shed in the span of about 2 to 3 weeks.

This is why daily brushing is mandatory. Expect dog hair all over your apartment during this period.

Having the right grooming tools on hand during the shedding season will make things much easier and pain-free for you.

This breed comes in many colors, including white, black, cream, gold, sable, tan, and chocolate brown. They are easy to train, but they will try their best to outsmart you.

As an intelligent breed, they have an independent trait as well.

If properly trained and socialized, the German Spitz will be a great addition to your family.

Quick Facts

Real name: German Spitz
Other names: Deutscher Spitz
Origin: Germany
Breed type: Companion Dogs
Weight: 21 to 29 pounds
Height: 12 to 15 inches
Lifespan: 13 to 15 years
Litter Size: 1 – 5 puppies
Color: Variety of colors including white, black, cream, and gold
Coat: Long and straight coat with short and woolly undercoat

German Spitz History

If you want to be a proud dog owner of one of the oldest dog breeds alive, then a German Spitz should be interesting for you.

This dog comes with an enormous attitude and lively personality that not everyone can easily deal with. That being said, this breed is for experienced dog owners, who love and know how to deal with dogs of higher energy.

The German Spitz is one of the most ancient dog breeds alive and one of the oldest breeds that originated in Central Europe.

Dog historians and dog lovers believe that this small dog is descended from Nordic spitz-type herding dogs.

Some of the breeds that are deeply interlinked with Nordic dogs include:

Historians believe that Nordic dogs spread across Northern Europe during the Middle Ages with the Vikings.

Originally, these small size dogs were bred to work as herding and guarding dogs. Over time, their role evolved more and they became full-time companion dogs.

You may see today German Spitz chasing anything smaller, but it’s more likely to see them being lapdogs.

German Spitz Physical Appearance

When we talk about the German Spitz we are actually talking about the smallest representative of this breed.

In fact, this breed comes in five different sizes based on color and size:

Therefore, when the German Spitz is mentioned, it’s important to note that we are talking in general, describing different German Spitz breeds. That being said, what can you expect for the German Spitz in terms of appearance?

The very first thing that one’s notices when it comes to German-spitz breeds is their rich coat.

Their coats are beautiful, very impressive, and carefully designed to protect their undercoat.

They have popular ruff, a collar around the neck, and a bushy tail which is carried over the back.

Their heads are fox-like, which is why these dogs are commonly found on many lists of dogs that look like a fox.

The foxy head is complimented with alert eyes and small and pointed ears, that are closely set. Overall, these dogs have one of a kind cheeky appearance.

Their bodies are well-built, with a round nose, and close-fitting lips. The eyes are of medium size, the neck is of medium length, and the chest is well sprung and deep.

The tail is set on high and of medium length. As for the color, this breed is commonly seen as grey-shaded or silver-grey with black hair-tips.

When it comes to the size, they usually weigh between 21 to 29 pounds, and range in height between 12 to 15 inches at the shoulder.

They may be smaller or larger in size than the norm.

German Spitz Personality

The German Spitz is described as an energetic dog who loves to spend time with their humans.

They are also big attention seekers and love to be at the center of attention.

German Spitzs may be small in appearance, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t big deal when it comes to energy.

These small size dogs will demand that you take them out, even if it’s raining. To reward you they will also stay in and let you cuddle them.

Knowing indoor games is a must to keep this breed happy. Chasing toys, playing with people, and solving puzzle games is something that can keep them entertained for hours.

Still, they will always choose rather to run outside, than play the best indoor games. They will be wary of strangers and always suspicious until they get to know someone well. Their bark may be too intense.

Some would even describe them as being too yappy. Their bark is highly intense because it’s very high.

These small dogs are very intelligent, and they tend to be stubborn. These energetic dogs will try to get things their way.

To avoid seeing small dog syndrome in your dog, train your dog to follow dog house rules.

Most importantly, do not treat your German Spitz any differently than you would treat any bigger size dog.

Dogs are dogs, and regardless of their size, they all should know house rules, be well-trained and socialized on time.

Last but not least, the German Spitz has a high prey drive. Walks should always be on a leash, and the backyard should be well-fenced. These alert dogs are a great addition to the family of any size and both life in apartments and house is suitable for them.

Just make sure that you provide enough exercise and attention to keep them active and happy.

German Spitz Training

Training should start as soon as you bring your German Spitz home.

Did you know that dogs are capable of mastering basic commands as of eight weeks of age?

Use this as your advantage and plan training sessions. Make them fun, consistent, and packed with treats.

Don’t replace treats with a whole meal, and just use them as a reward. Dogs thrive when there is a job to be done. They also love rewards.

Always use only positive training methods. No matter how demanding your dog might be in terms of training, you should never use any harsh training methods.

No dog should ever experience any negative handling. If training is too much for you think about puppy classes, or hire a professional dog trainer.

German Spitz Exercise

German Spitzs are active dogs.

Don’t let their size fool you, because they are high-energy level dogs. Keeping them fit is much easier when you provide enough walks, exercise, and proper nutrition.

These dogs will enjoy slow pace walks, more intense walking time, and a good run in the dog park.

Next to regular walks, you should provide additional 30 minutes of exercise per day.

German Spitz Grooming

When it comes to grooming, the German Spitz is fairly easy to maintain. This breed sheds, but not heavy as you might think. To keep his coat clean and shiny, brushing him twice per week should be enough.

German Spitz’s have double coats. This means that you should use the right grooming tools.

You may expect more intense shedding during the shedding season which occurs in spring and autumn. Their undercoat will shed on every 2 to 3 weeks in bigger volume.

Never clip his hair entirely. If you do so, you will disturb the insulation parts of his coat. Don’t bathe him too often.

Dogs don’t need frequent bathing as humans do. Plus, make sure that you use only dog-friendly shampoo which is carefully designed to protect and nurture the dog’s coat.

The rest is basic care:

  • Trim or grind nails monthly
  • Check gums weekly
  • Check eyes for any eye discharge
  • Clean ears when needed. Click here to learn how to clean dog’s ears
  • Provide regular parasite control

German Spitz Health

The German Spitz is considered to be a healthy breed. This is something that is true especially if you are dealing with responsible dog breeders only.

Responsible dog breeders will screen puppies for most common health issues, and present you medical documentation on the breed.

On top of that, they will help you choose the puppies that suit your energy and lifestyle the most. Furthermore, responsible dog breeders will always give you tips on how to care about your puppy in the best way possible. This means that you will get tested input on best grooming, training, and health tactics.

Once you get your German Spitz you are directly responsible for his weight.

This breed is prone to obesity, and if you miss learning about the best nutritional and feeding practices you can expect extra pounds in your German Spitz.

It’s up to you to provide proper care and regular veterinarian check-ups. These two factors are crucial when it comes to prevention in your dog’s health.

Still, some dogs may be predisposed to some health issues, such as:

  • Collapsing trachea
  • Epilepsy
  • Patellar luxation
  • Progressive retinal atrophy
  • Epilepsy
  • Retinal dysplasia
  • Persistent pupillary membrane

To know for sure if your dog is healthy occasional tests should be conducted.

These tests should include:

  • Knee
  • X-Rays
  • MRI
  • Eye Examination
  • Physical Examination

Next to this, you should add regular vaccination, regular veterinarian check-ups, and proper nutrition next to parasite control.

All in all, this should lead to having a healthy dog who will easily reach his senior years.

Is German Spitz For You?

The German Spitz is an active dog who loves to test his owners. Highly intelligent and a bit stubborn these puff dogs will try to be the leader.

Overall, this breed isn’t for novice owners, and they prefer having a firm hand to lead them on.

They are agile, lively, and light on their feet.

If you can keep up with them and provide necessary exercise and overall care, and you have experience as a dog owner, then the German Spitz could be your next dog.

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