The Japanese Spitz is an entirely white breed of dog that is thought to have been bred from the White German Spitz, Siberian Samoyed, Russian Spitz, and American Eskimo Dog during the 19th century in Japan. The breed became popular in Japan, Europe, and North America during the 1950s.
The Japanese Spitz stands 12 to 15 inches high and weighs 11 to 22 pounds. It has a double layered long white coat which stands off the body. Its tail is covered with long hair and curls over its back. It has a tapered muzzle, large, dark eyes, a black nose and lips, and small upright ears.
The breed is primarily bred for companionship. It loves attention and contact from humans and longs to be a family member. It is a patient, intelligent breed which can be fairly easily trained. It can make an excellent watchdog; it can be very protective of its family. The breed is generally compatible with other pets as well as children. It enjoys playing outdoors, and light, regular exercise is necessary for its health. If it is left outside too long, or left alone, it may become destructive. It also loves to play games such as ball or Frisbee, if for no other reason than owner interaction. Proper socialization and obedience training will provide appropriate mental stimulation for the breed.
The Spitz is fairly low maintenance; they have little to no odor and only require a bath every few months. Its skin and coat are fairly dry, and excessive bathing can strip moisture from their coat resulting in itchy skin. The breed sheds minimally year round, but only blows its coat once a year. The breed should be brushed about twice weekly.
The breed is relatively healthy, and can generally live from 10 to 12 years. Patellar luxation, runny eyes or allergies might occur in the breed.