The Breed


 a. Historical Summary


 The origin of the Japanese Spitz is said to be from large and medium

 sized white spitz dogs (White German Spitz and other similar spitz 

 breeds from America, North-East Europe and Asia) brought to Japan 

 beginning from around 1915.

 In the year 1921 some white spitz were exhibited for the first time 

 at a dog show in Tokyo. 
 Subsequently, in 1925, two pairs of white spitz were imported from 

 Canada and, until around 1936, further imports arrived in Japan 

 from North America,  Australia and East Russia (through Manchuria).
 Eventually their offspring were crossbred to produce a better breed.
 After the Second World War the first unified breed standard 

 drawn up in 1948 by the Japan Kennel Club and finally approved 

 in 1953.



 b. Characteristics of the breed

 The Japanese Spitz ( - NIHON SUPITTSU in Japanese)

 is a typical medium sized spitz (not a toy dog !): The height at the 

 withers of the male specimens usually ranges from 33 to 37 cm, a 

 little less (30 to 34 cm) for the females.
 The body is sturdy and muscular with compact trunk and strong 

 though slender limbs.
 It is covered in a thick, snow-white coat with long, straight stiff hair 

 supported by profuse and soft undercoat. The tail is of medium 

 length, has a rich fringe of long hair and is curled  over the back. 
The head of the Japanese Spitz is rather large with typically pointed 


The skull looks in general less

 round-shaped than in the German


 It is considerably broad at the occiput 

 as in the Samoyed, but less full and 

 more refined. 

 The teeth are particularly strong and 

 the jaws normally close in a scissor bite.

 The eyes are dark in colour, very 

 expressive, oval-shaped and set rather 

 obliquely. The ears are rather small, triangular-shaped and perfectly 

 erect, facing forward. Intense black pigmentation on the nose, 

 muzzle tip, lips, eye rims and foot pads creates notable contrast with

 the bright white of the coat.
 Even though the Japanese Spitz still maintains fine qualities as a 

 watch dog, today it is first and foremost a wonderful companion dog 

 by virtue of its attractive appearance and particularly affectionate 

 nature. Moreover, its strong and healthy constitution and the lack of 

 specific physical weaknesses make it an easy to care dog. Contrary 

 to one may think, the gorgeous white coat of this dog does not 

 require either lot of bathing or complicated and time-wasting 

 The hair is naturally water repellant and very resistant to soiling, 

 therefore just a few baths per year and brushing/combing 

 two-three times a week are more than enough to keep the coat in

 perfect order.

 Though neither aggressive nor inclined to biting, the Japanese Spitz  

  keeps a constant and careful watch of the house and the territory. 

 It sometimes displays above average liveliness and noisiness but 

 behaves in general as a very intelligent and alert member of the


 The extraordinary affection it feels towards its owner is of strong 

 and possessive nature, but expressed in many delicate and tiny ways

 and with loving friendship.
 The Japanese Spitz has since ever represented a real discovery for 

 everyone who approaches it. Its handsome appearance like that of 

 small-sized, snow-white arctic dog (it is often improperly called

 "the mini-samoyed") is complemented by very peculiar

 temperamental characteristics. 

 Marked sense of property as well as strong personality lacking in 

 submissiveness make this dog assume the role of true protagonist

 in the family right from puppyhood. 
 Its behaviour towards man reflects a sense of mutual friendship 

 rather then instinctive submission.
 "He" feels he is your heart friend, not your subordinate! 

 This creates new situations of cohabitation even for 

 long-experienced dog  fanciers and it is common occurrence

 that people who have had a Japanese  Spitz as their pet are no

 longer able to find the same  satisfaction with any other breed.