Japanese Spitz – Full Breed Profile

Written by: Bojana Radulovic
What makes the Japanese Spitz so unique? Could this dog be your next Fido? Are you ready to welcome this white-coated breed into your life? Check this guide and discover.
Dog Breed Group:
Companion Dogs
10 to 16 inches
11 to 20 pounds
Life Span:
10 to 16 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 Japanese Chin is a toy dog with a silky and profuse coat.

By dog fanciers, this breed is often described as feline-like. This is a graceful and quiet breed with a flat face which makes them prone to heatstroke.

Never leave your Japanese Chin alone outdoors in hot weather. These tiny indoor companions come with a large head, short muzzle, and round and dark eyes.

These traits give this breed their famous ‘look of astonishment,’ which is one of a kind within the canine world.

The Japanese Chin has plumed tail arching over the back, which gives an exotic appearance. This cat-like dog is alert, intelligent, and independent. This dog will also use his paws to wash and wipe its face.

There are some other cat-like trait

s like jumping, chilling on high grounds, and hiding in unexpected areas.

The Japanese Chin is a loyal and friendly breed. They prefer familiar and safe surroundings, although they do well in new surroundings and areas. Japanese Chin was specifically bred to entertain.

They are calm and known for performing new tricks – they are often seen moving in rapid circles, dancing on their hind legs, or singing by creating a noise that can range from low to higher tones.

Quick Facts

Real name: Japanese Spitz
Origin: Japan
Breed type: Companion Dogs
Weight: 11 to 20 pounds
Height: 10 to 16 inches
Lifespan: 10 to 16 years
Litter Size: 1 – 6 puppies
Color: White
Coat: Longer outer cota and soft inner coat

Japanese Spitz History

Japanese Spitz is considered to be a relatively new breed. These small size dogs were developed in the 1920s and 1930s.

Sometime in the 1920s Japanese dog breeders decided to crossbreed a number of Spitz breeds to create the Ultime Spitz – the Japanese Spitz.

Initially, they started with white German Spitz dogs, who were transported from China to Japan.

From day one, the Japanese Spitz was bred to be small companion dogs. Breeders did their best to create an ultimate small-size dog who is easy on the eye, friendly, and intelligent.

These white dogs aren’t bred to be watchdogs, but they are highly courageous and have a strong desire to protect their family.

That being said, this small size dog will bark like the biggest dog in the world.

Japanese Spitz Physical Appearance

Japanese Spitz is easy to recognize the breed.

Thanks to their lavishing white coat they are easy to spot and recognize. They have a somehow square body, deep chest, and a very thick, and double coat that is always white.

The entire body is covered with an outer longer coat and a soft inner coat. They will have short fur on the muzzle and ears and a famous ruff of longer fur around the neck.

The muzzle should always be small and pointed, while the ears are triangular and prick. The tail is long, heavily covered in fur, curled over, and set on the dog’s back. The face is wedge-shaped.

As for the size, these small dogs are usually between 10 to 16 inches and 11 to 20 pounds.

If you provide proper care, the right nutrition, and regular veterans check-ups you can expect your Japanese Spitz to live between 10 to 16 years.

Japanese Spitz Personality

Japanese Spitz is a loyal and active breed of a big heart. They are appreciated much for their courage, devotion, and affection.

Thanks to their calm nature, and strong love to please humans, they are recommended for owners of all ages.

If you are looking for a breed that could keep the elderly active and cheerful, this is definitely the breed to consider.

Japanese Spitz will get along perfectly with children of all ages. However, children should know how to behave around dogs.

In fact, children should know the following:

  • Not to handle dogs as moving toys
  • Not to pull dog’s ears and tail
  • Not to disturb dogs while they are resting, eating, sleeping, or just playing with their toys in their crate

Children should know how to interact safely with dogs and not to make sudden moves toward them.

On the other hand, dogs should know dog house rules and how to move around people.

No matter how well dogs and children might get along, their interaction should always be supervised.

Japanese Spitz Training

Training your dog should be one of the most enjoyable activities that you can have with your Fido. Training is much more than mastering basic commands.

As an activity, training is all about helping your dog become the best canine citizen possible.

Did you know that dogs are capable of mastering basic commands as of eight weeks of age? This is why early training and proper socialization are so important.

To get out the maximum of trainings sessions, make sure that you do the following:

  • Keep training consistent
  • Create training sessions that are fun and engaging
  • Use only positive reinforcement methods
  • Make sure that you always reward a nice behavior
  • Use toys as a way to enhance training as a whole
  • Master some indoor games
  • Never punish your dog

If you feel like training your dog demands too much of your energy, time, and strength, think about getting support.

There are two options that you can choose from and benefit from tremendously:

  • Hiring a professional dog trainer. This way you can see up the training process and get some pro inputs on further training. This option can be a bit pricey, but you will get a trained dog in no time.
  • Enrolling your pup in puppy classes. This is a great way to bond with your dog further. Experiencing training firsthand is one of a kind experience, and is definitely worth your time.

Japanese Spitz Exercise

Does small size dogs mean less energetic dog? In most cases, no.

This may come as a surprise, but small size dogs are usually packed with energy and need a serious exercise regime to burn that energy.

Some dogs may be happy just a brisk walk own the stress, but that’s not the case with this white-coated dog.

In fact, exercise is a great way to keep a dog’s mind stimulated and his body fit. Plus, regular exercise is a great way to keep a dog’s joints strong.

As an energic breed, the Japanese Spitz will need up to an hour of exercise per day.

If you have a backyard make sure that it is well-fenced. These dogs are known for their curious nature, and they will always sniff around to see what is behind the fence.

Japanese Spitz Grooming

How hard it can be to brush a small size you may ask? Well, it all depends on the coat, its structure, density level, and undercoat, and has little to do with the dog’s size.

To keep Japanese Spitz’s coat neat, clean, and shiny, you should provide a weekly brushing To make brushing an easy process, make sure that you use the right grooming tool.

For example, a slicker brush should be a great choice for Japanese appearance.

Good brushing sessions of 10-15 minutes should be enough to have always have a good-looking dog.

Pro tip: For your Japanese to enjoy brushing sessions have good preparation. Before you start with regular grooming, make sure that you brush him for a minute or two every day, until he gets used to being handled. Don’t forget to always reward him with a nice delicacy afterward.

The rest is basic care:

  • Trim or grind nails monthly
  • Bathe only when needed
  • Clean ears when needed
  • Brush weekly
  • Check gums weekly
  • Check eyes daily for any sign of eye discharge

If grooming sounds like too much work for you, you can always think about professional grooming services. This may be pricey, but it will save you a lot of time and energy.

Even if you opt for this make sure that you provide enough brushing time because it’s a great way to bond with your dog further.

Japanese Spitz Health

If you are buying a puppy you should only deal with responsible dog breeders. This way you will know just how healthy your dog is.

Reputable breeders will always screen puppies for the most common health issues in the breed and present medical documentation on the puppy. They will also give you direct inputs on dog care nutrition, training, grooming, and overall health.

The biggest issue health-wise that may be seen in this breed is the development of Patellar luxation, a condition in which the kneecap dislocates out of its normal position.

Another condition that they may be prone to is runny eyes, but this could be preventable thanks to regular veterinarian check-ups.

Overall, if you want your dog to reach his senior years without major issues, you should enable the following:

  • Provide the high-quality food
  • Know how to read dog food labels
  • Provide regular veterinarian check-ups
  • Know about breed’s possible health issues
  • Provide regular walks
  • Plan enough exercise
  • Keep dog mentally satisfied
  • Keep dog physically fit

Once you get a dog you’re directly responsible for his weight.

Make sure that you know how much you should feed your dog, how often, and with which food. Never feed the puppy with senior dog food, as they won’t have any nutritional benefits that way.

Always feed the dog with food that is specially created for him based on his age, activity levels, and overall health.

Obesity in dogs is on the rise across the States and you don’t want your Japanese Spitz to be part of this growing trend, as it may lead to several different issues.

Is Japanese Spitz For You?

Japanese Spitz dogs are small size dogs who can easily adapt to any living surroundings. They may be small, but they come with huge energy levels.

Make sure that you can meet their exercise needs before you welcome the Japanese Spitz into your home. This breed is for you if you love spending at least an hour outside being active, and you don’t mind having a clingy dog who will follow you around no matter what.

Popular Japanese Spitz Comparisons

Compare Dog Breeds: