Japanese Spitz Profile: A Sprightly & Affectionate Breed

Published March 9, 2021
Japanese spitz

Japanese spitz is often confused with the Samoyed or American Eskimo dog breeds. There is no evidence either dog has anything in common with the Japanese spitz. This energetic little dog is popular in the U.S. and is known as a little comedian.

Japanese Spitz Breed Overview

This dog is one of the longest living small breeds! The Japanese spitz may live up to 16 years or higher. This breed needs a lot of exercise, and if ignored or not mentally engaged throughout the day, he may become depressed. Many pet parents say a Japanese Spitz wears a smile on his face. You must spend a lot of time with this dog.

Origin and History

This spitz-type dog was bred in Japan in the early twentieth century. The Japanese spitz is a crossbreed between several other spitz-type dog breeds. The dog gained popularity in the 1950s when breeders exported him to other European countries. The American Kennel Club does not recognize the breed.

White Japanese Spitz puppy


This breed is bold and loyal to his pet parents. The Japanese spitz is known as lively and remains playful well past his puppy years! The dog is a great companion and may act out or misbehave if he's left home alone for long periods. This breed is also known for persistent barking, but this behavior may be replaced with tricks and obedience as he's easily trained.

Japanese Spitz Size and Appearance

This spitz-type dog is always pure white.

  • Height: The Japanese spitz is between 12 and 15 inches tall.
  • Weight: This breed is between 11 and 22 pounds.

High-Maintenance Grooming

This dog needs extensive grooming. The Japanese spitz has a white, thick, double coat.

  • He sheds his undercoat twice per year.
  • The breed's outer coat is longer than his undercoat.
  • The dog is known to "blow" his undercoat in the span of about two to three weeks.
  • Daily brushing is required to remove the fur.

Health Issues

The breed is generally healthy with a few conditions pet parents need to know when talking with a vet.

  • Patellar luxation
  • Runny eyes due to smaller tear ducts


Your spitz-type dog needs daily exercise and mental stimulation. Pet parents need puzzle toys around the home, and this breed may act out if left home alone.

Caring for Your Senior Japanese Spitz

The breed's lifespan is between 12 and 16 years. A small senior breed needs to visit the vet at least twice a year to ensure the dog remains healthy and happy. A vet may need to prescribe supplements or pain medications for achy joints.

Japanese Spitz Versus American Eskimo

The Japanese spitz originated from Japan, but the American Eskimo dog originated from the U.S. Another difference between the two breeds is the Japanese spitz may grow 5 inches shorter and weigh 13 pounds less than the American Eskimo dog.

American Eskimo Dog

About Spitz-Type Dogs

The spitz-type dogs seen today originated many centuries ago in Arctic regions. Breeds, including the Siberian husky, were used for sled-hauling by explorers of the twentieth century. Hunters and fur trappers also used spitz-type sled dogs. Today the breeds in this group are popular for sled-racing sports. The Japanese spitz is a nonworking spitz dog.

The Japanese Spitz Often Wears a Smile on His Face

This breed is loyal, bold, and lively. The Japanese spitz often wears a smile on his face and is a wonderful companion animal. Pet parents need to brush this dog's coat daily, and grooming is a lot of work! This breed needs daily exercise and mental engagement to ensure he is not bored and destructive around the house. The little breed is a comedian and keeps pet parents laughing! The Japanese Spitz Club of America is a wonderful resource for anyone interested in puppies.

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Japanese Spitz Profile: A Sprightly & Affectionate Breed