The Japanese Spitz has been recognized as a breed for more than 60 years.  It did not reach the West until

the beginning of the 70s.  The first European areas to accept the breed was Scandinavian countries and Great Britain. Until 1985 it remained unknown and ignored by most nations, such as France, Germany, Italy and Austria. Later the Japanese Spitz spread rapidly despite the relatively few specimens, gained more and more followers as soon as its excellent qualities were discovered and appreciated.

The Japanese Spitz has been a real discovery because of its handsome appearance like that of a small-sized snow-white arctic dog.  The Japanese Spitz is complemented by some very particular temperamental characteristics.  It is often improperly called “mini – Samoyed”. 

In fact, this dog is endowed with a marked sense of property and territory, as well as a strong personality

lacking in submissiveness.  It is naturally inclined to assume the role of a true protagonist in the family right

from puppy hood. Behaviour towards man reflects a sense of mutual friendship rather than instinctive submission. This has created new situations of co-habitation even for long-experienced fanciers.

It is a common occurrence that people who have had a Japanese Spitz as a pet are no longer able to find satisfaction with any other breed.

(Piasentin, 1997)

The Japanese Spitz is an intelligent dog that is devoted and extremely affectionate.


SIZE         Small 

Height at Shoulders

Dogs 34-37cm (13.5-14.5 inc)

Bitch 30-34cm  (12-13.5 inc)

The ideal ration of height at shoulders vs length of body is 10:11. The ratio of 10:11 means that the point of shoulder to the point of buttock if measured in a straight line would be slightly longer than the height of the dog

as measured from the ground up the point of wither.






The coat colour of the Japanese Spitz is profuse pure white. 

Outer coat straight and stand-off. Profuse, short, dense undercoat, soft in texture. Shorter on face, ears, front

of fore and hind legs and below hocks. Remainder of body covered with long coat. Mane on neck and

shoulders reaching down to brisket. Tail profusely covered with long hair.


Dog approx. 10kg

Bitch approx. 8kg

The overall quality of the body firm and strong.


Approx. 12-16 years

The Japanese Spitz is not a short-lived breed and great consideration to this fact should be taken into account when considering adopting.


Head is medium size without a coarseness to it. Head is wedge shaped when viewed from above. Moderately broad and a Slightly rounded skull which is broadest at occiput. Well defined stop, forehead not protruding.  Muzzle in proportion to the head, tapering to a small black, round nose. Lips black firm and tight while the

white teeth are strong, regular and sharp.





Triangular shaped ears standing erect and perky. They should be set high on the head and not set off the side, they should be facing forward and not to wide apart.


Dark, moderate size, oval-shaped, set rather obliquely and not to wide apart. This is an important part of his facial appearance often overlooked. He should appear almost as though he is looking slightly down his nose. These beautiful dark eyes are framed with jet-black rims, matching his jet-black small nose and his lips.


A beautiful example of the breed would have an arching neck of medium length that holds his whole head, including his lower jaw, well above the level of his top-line. This is achieved when the dog is built with a correct

lay of shoulder. The elegance of an arched neck adds to the regal appearance.(as seen in "Good Example)  Where the dog has a steep lay of shoulder the neck will appear short. When stacked, if the observer imagines

a straight line sitting on his top-line (as demonstrated in "Poor Example") it will run straight across his top-line

and through the jaw. There may well still be an apparent arch to the neck, but this is typically an illusion created by coat.


If you visually drop a plum-line from the point of buttock a Japanese Spitz will land neatly at the toe-tip of his dainty 'catlike' feet. A Japanese Spitz that is too steep in hind end angulation will have that plum-line drop through the middle of the toes and even middle of the foot.  

The Japanese Spitz should have well sprung ribs and good depth of chest.  When viewed from the side the lowest point of his chest should be just below his elbows.  There is a moderate tuck up and strong loin, broad and trim with a slight rise. Good "bone" should match proportionally the rest of the dog. You can see light bone when he appears "spindly" in the legs. Conversely too much bone makes him look heavy, and this compromises the nimble and elegant feature of the breed. A bitch will be somewhat lighter in bone than a masculine male and still be correct.


Well proportioned and balanced, Muscular, moderately angulated. Hind legs parallel to each other viewed from the rear.




Moderate length, well plumed, high set, carried curved over back. Tail should not be curled or dropped completely to one side.










High-Spirited, intelligent playful dog that thrives on human companionship. Eager to please and very affectionate. They can show strong determination and have an independence of their own. The Japanese Spitz can be wary of strangers. In the past they were breed as a little watch dog for apartment living.  It is totally acceptable and normal for a stable, well-adjusted and socialised Japanese Spitz to still be somewhat coy and reserved upon meeting strangers in the first instance.  They should however warm to visitors when they are welcomed into the home.  Today Breeding Programs are striving to lessen the wariness in the breed.  It is a

fault if this cautious nature is extreme and the Japanese Spitz so reserved they are afraid and/or has

tendencies to lash out. They should be loyal with family, bright and friendly and this also comes down to a mixture of good breeding and committed socialisation in the first 6mths. 


Alert, Intelligent, Bold and Lively

GROOMING    Medium 

The texture of their coat allows dirt and mud to fall out easily. Brushing weekly and

bathing monthly is recommended. Shedding will occur 1-2 times per year and a trip to the groomer on these occasions is recommended to remove all excess dead hair. They do not have a doggy smell to them even

when they are wet. Please see our section on “Grooming your Japanese Spitz” for more information.


TRAINING    Required 

Positive reinforcement training methods with firm direction will ensure you have a loyal, devoted companion for life. Socialise them early and extremely well or they can be reserved and aloof to strangers.  Please see our section on “Training your Japanese Spitz” for more information.



The Japanese Spitz generally get on well with other pets and children however they can have a dominant

nature and may dominate over other pets including larger breeds, especially when introduced at a later age. 

A young puppy (3-12months) could be a “handful” for children under the age of 5 without adult supervision and is not recommended. 

EXERCISE    Moderate 

A lot of exercise is not required however they are quite lively and can get up to mischief if they become bored. They will burn up a lot of energy being busy and playing around the yard and they love going out with you.

They enjoy walks, agility, obedience, dog puzzles and playing ball games. Some enrichment each day no 

matter how small is recommended. 


Light, nimble, active, energetic and very smooth.


Ideal family pets as well as great companions to people on their own.  As they are a breed that enjoys company they are not suited to being left alone for long periods of time. They are an indoor/outdoor breed that require a lot of human interaction and enjoy the company of other animals.  They are a very versatile pet and as long as they have a place in your heart and home, they will be a loyal companion. Also only suited to securely fenced homes. 

Ratio Diagram

Picture of 40 degree wedge

Ear Set

Headshot left is a good example, right poor example

Ear Set

JS Eye



Good Example left, Poor Example right

Good Example of a Good "Boned" in proportion Japanese Spitz Dog

Angulation Diagram

Circled top left correct set

I is correct example