The Japanese Spitz is a smart and loyal companion and a wonderful addition to any family. Discover all you need to know about this lively breed.

The Japanese Spitz shares ancestry with the Nordic Spitz and is also closely related to the German Spitz. It is a family favorite in Japan.


The Japanese Spitz is an active, loyal and lively companion renowned for its courage, devotion, and affection, which makes it an ideal partner for both children and the elderly alike. The breed adores attention, though these dogs are strong-willed with an independent nature and owners must be firm when training new pups. The Japanese Spitz is highly intelligent and extremely curious by nature, and although fond of human companionship the dogs tends to be cautious of complete strangers. The Japanese Spitz makes an excellent small guard.

Height and Appearance

  • Height at shoulders: dogs – 12-14 inches; bitches slightly smaller. Average weight 13 lb. (6kg)
  • Coat – Straight, dense, outer stand-off coat; thick, short, dense undercoat.
  • Color – Pure white
  • Features – Medium sized head; dark eyes; small triangular ears standing erect; broad, deep chest; tail set on high and carried curled over the back.

The Japanese Spitz is often mistaken for a small or miniature Samoyed, due to its white coat and sharp muzzle. The dog’s body is firm, healthy and well proportioned and has a generally noble like appearance.

Grooming the Japanese Spitz

The Japanese Spitz is a double coated breed and will require brushing approximately three times per week. Contrary to most people’s expectations based on appearance, the coat is classed as low maintenance.

During molting season frequency of brushing should be increased. Dogs shed their undercoat once per year and bitches twice per year. Because the coat is so straight and coarse, residue such as dirt and mud can be easily brushed out. The breed is renowned for its cleanliness and, much like a cat, it will lick itself clean if it becomes dirty. Japanese Spitz’ do not have that typically “doggy” smell that many other dogs carry. A sprinkling of talcum powder may be added when brushing to keep the coat smelling sweet and fresh.

Japanese Spitz

Japanese Spitz

Exercise Requirements

Generally, these dogs are quite content to play by themselves or with their toys. They are curious and inquisitive by nature and will always find something to entertain themselves. However, they do love walks, and they are still willing to participate in a game of catch.

Health Concerns

Although the Japanese Spitz is thus far free from all significant hereditary ailments, it is a breed which may be prone to luxating patellas (knee cap problems), in most cases aggravated by obesity.

The Japanese Spitz will generally tend to choose one family member as its leader and thus will bond more closely with that person; however, it will thrive on the affection of other family members also. They are considered to be a low maintenance breed, and the dogs are quite happy to live either indoors or outdoors. As a companion, they enjoy being with their owners, no matter what the activity.

Japanese Spitz / Dog Breed