The typical features of the Spitz include the eponymous wedge-shaped head and erect ears, often a curled tail or almond-shaped eyes, and a long coat with lots of undercoat on the body, but short fur on the legs and face.
It is an old type of dog kept as a farm dog, companion dog, sled dog, guard dog, herding dog, or hunting dog. Today a distinction is made between European Spitz, Asian Spitz, primitive Spitz, and Nordic dog breeds.
European Spitz includes dog breeds such as the German Spitz, which evolved from Central European farm dogs and rattlers:
Shoulder height: 43-55 cm
Weight: about 15-20 kg
The Wolfsspitz is the largest of the German Spitz varieties. Nevertheless, the four-legged friends remain medium-sized and are considered uncomplicated companion dogs.
The silver-grey coat with dark hair tips is typical, which gave the Wolfspitz its name. It is also known as the Keeshond in English-speaking countries.
Shoulder height: 18-24 cm
Weight: about 1.8-3.5 kg
The tiny Pomeranian is a toy dog that was developed in Britain. Spitz arrived in England as early as the 18th century and was kept there as companion dogs.
Finally, in the 19th century, Queen Victoria made highly miniaturized lace popular. The Spitz was referred to as the Pomeranian at the time, so the English Pomeranian spread as the name of these dogs.
Shoulder height: 24-30 cm
Weight: about 4-7 kg
The Kleinspitz is also a very small breed of dog, but its muzzle is not quite as short as the Pomeranian.
Active companion dogs are docile and nimble four-legged friends. They are easy to train and are also used in agility here and there.
Shoulder height: 30-40 cm
Weight: about 7-11 kg
Another variety of German Spitz is the Mittelspitz. He stays small and is regarded as a watchful, temperamental, and undemanding representative of the Spitz breeds.
The typical Spitz coat can be white, black, brown, orange-red, gray, or multicolored. Like all other Spitz, it has a bushy curly tail and small erect ears.
5. Great Spitz
Shoulder height: 40-50 cm
Weight: about 14-18 kg
The Großspitz is a rare four-legged friend that hardly exists today, even in Germany.
The medium-sized four-legged friend is bred in the fur colors black, chocolate brown, and white.
6. Volpino Italiano
Shoulder height: 25-30 cm
Weight: about 4-6.5 kg
The Volpino Italiano shares common ancestors with the small German Spitz, only towards the end of the 19th century did the breeding of the two dog breeds separate.
The rare Volpino has white or red fur and, in direct comparison to the German Spitz, a slightly rounder head and slightly longer ears.
Shoulder height: 25-35 cm
Weight: 3-9 kg
The Schipperke is probably more closely related to the small Spitz than to the shepherd dogs, with which it was classified according to the FCI nomenclature.
This Belgian dog breed features a wedge-shaped head, prick ears, and a thick black coat.
8. American Eskimo Dog
Shoulder height: 22-50 cm
Weight: 2.5-18 kg
The American Eskimo Dog is a descendant of the German Spitz, which immigrants brought with them to North America. After the outbreak of the First World War, German dogs were unpopular and this white Spitz began to be bred under a new name around 1917.
The American Eskimo Dog is available in three sizes and is considered an easy-care and uncomplicated companion dog. The American Kennel Club (AKC) oversees the breeding of these dogs, the FCI does not recognize the Eskie.
The Asian Spitz are mainly hunting dogs and guard dogs:
Shoulder height: 35-42 cm
Weight: 7-11 kg
The small, fox-like Shiba is a world-renowned dog breed from Japan. As the smallest of the Japanese broadheads, this very old and original dog breed is also very popular today as a companion dog.
Shibas usually have a curled tail, a broad forehead, triangular eyes, and red, black-red, or dark-stippled fur. They are considered to be almost cat-like, clean, sharp-witted, and alert, but also passionate about hunting and independent.
10. American Akita
Shoulder height: 61-71 cm
Weight: 32-59 kg
The American Akita is an American breed of dog originating in Japan.
After Akitas arrived in the US in the 1950s and spread rapidly there, breeding took a different direction than the narrower Japanese type.
11. Chow Chow
Shoulder height: 46-56 cm.
Weight: approx. 18-30 kg
The Chow Chow is said to have existed in China several thousand years ago. These somewhat stubborn and almost cat-like four-legged friends belong to a very primitive old dog breed.
Typical coat colors are solid red, cream, white, fawn, black, or blue. There are both long-haired and short-haired Chow Chows, both of which need to be cared for with dedication due to their dense undercoat.
12. Shar Pei
Shoulder height: 44-51 cm.
Weight: 16-29 kg
The Shar Pei is now officially classified with the Molossians due to its wrinkled appearance but is actually most closely related to the Chow Chow.
Even the bluish-black tongue can be found in these four-legged friends, even if it is certainly a rather unusual Asian Spitz.
Shoulder height: 48-60 cm
Weight: 18-30 kg
The Eurasier was deliberately bred after 1960 with the aim of developing a pleasant companion dog of the Spitz type.
Its ancestors include the Chow Chow, the Samoyed, and the Wolfspitz.
Shoulder height: 58-70 cm
Weight: 23-39 kg
The long-legged Asian Spitz has a long history as one of Japan’s few larger dog breeds.
Akita Inus are distinguished from the larger American Akita by their fox-like build and coat colors.
15. Japan Spitz
Shoulder height: about 27-38 cm
Weight: about 5-12 kg
The Japanese Spitz or Nihon Supittsu is a friendly and fun little companion dog that was developed in Japan from, among others, the white Great Spitz.
As a special breeding goal, it was noted that the Japanese Spitz must not bark. Otherwise, these dogs are quite typical of the Spitz with their flagpole curved on their back, small erect ears, and a pointed muzzle.
Shoulder height: 46-55 cm
Weight: 15-23 kg
The Kishu is another representative of the Japanese Spitz that has been bred as hunting dogs for a long time.
Hailing from the Kii Peninsula, the Kishu is considered a relative of the Shikoku. You can recognize these dogs by their triangular eyes and their mostly solid white coat.
Shoulder height: 45.5-51.5 cm
. Weight: 20-30 kg
The Hokkaido is a rare broadhead used by the Hokkaido natives as a brave and fierce hunting dog for hunting bears and deer.
This breed of dog is similar to a Shiba, but slightly larger, stockier, and more compactly built as a dog from the cold north of Japan.
Shoulder height: 46-55 cm.
Weight: 16-25 kg
The Shikoku comes in a variety of coat colors, however, most of these quadrupeds are a dark banded wolf gray color.
One of the native Japanese dog breeds, this medium-sized spitz was also bred to be a hunting dog.
Shoulder height: 42-53 cm
Weight: 10-22 kg
The rare Kai Ken is another powerfully built medium-sized Spitz from Japan. The dogs were used as pack dogs in the rugged mountains west of Tokyo to hunt agile wild animals.
They are very surefooted, brisk, and energetic. Typical of this Spitz is the red-black brindle coat and the relatively short tail, which is carried curved or curled, as is typical for the Spitz.
20. Korea Jindo Dog
Shoulder height: 45-55 cm.
Weight: 15-23 kg
The Korean Jindo is an ancient breed of dog that has not long been recognized outside of Korea and is very rare. These dogs are considered very affectionate one-person dogs and are now used as guard dogs. Jindos are medium-sized and have an alert and confident nature.
Originally they are long ago domesticated pariah dogs, which were kept as hunting dogs on the Korean island of Jindo for a long time. To this day, the Jindo shows a pronounced hunting instinct and is considered only conditionally compatible with other dogs.
21. Thai Bangkaew Dog
Shoulder height: 41-55 cm.
Weight: 16-20 kg
The Thai Bangkaew dog is a rather plush quadruped and was bred in Bang Rakam County, Thailand, in the 1950s.
These house and guard dogs are considered territorial, fairly independent, and headstrong, only suitable for experienced canine owners.
Shoulder height: 44-57 cm.
Weight: 13-18 kg
The Kintamani Bali Dog is the first dog breed from Indonesia to be officially recognized by the FCI. These dogs evolved from domesticated street dogs in the north of the island of Bali, which have lived there for several thousand years without much influence from other dog breeds.
The Anjing Kintamani-Bali is said to be very attached to its family but also has some very original characteristics due to its descent from pariah dogs. Bitches only come into heat once a year and these four-legged friends are considered to be somewhat suspicious of strangers.
Especially Siberian and Scandinavian Spitz breeds are often kept as hunting dogs:
23. Finn Spitz
Shoulder height: 39-50 cm.
Weight: 7-14 kg
The Finn Spitz is a medium-sized hunting dog used to track down wild animals such as gallinaceous birds and bark loudly.
It is an old breed of dog related to the Nordic hunting dogs. The term Finnenspitz is somewhat misleading, the Finnish Suomenpystykorva translates more as ” Finnish pricked-ear “.
24. Swedish Elkhound
Shoulder height: 52-65 cm
Weight: 19-35 kg
The Jämthund originated from the larger variety of the Norrlandshunde, which were used to hunt moose, bear, or lynx in northern Scandinavia. Today the Swedish Elkhound is considered to be the largest representative of the Scandinavian broadheads.
It differs from the closely related Norwegian Elkhound among other things in its less curled tail, the strong, large-framed stature, and the lack of a dark mask. Instead, these wolf-like dogs have bright creamy-white feral markings on the chest, face, and underside.
25. Norwegian Lundehund
Shoulder height: 32-28 cm.
Weight: 5-9 kg
The Norwegian Lundehund has some very unique characteristics. These dogs are extremely agile, can close their ears, and have more pads and toes than other dog breeds.
Because the four-legged friends were used on the impassable rocky coasts in northern Norway to hunt puffins (Norwegian: Lunde). The rare Lundehund is not only particularly sure-footed but also an affectionate and undemanding house and family dog.
26. Norwegian Elkhound
Shoulder height: 49-52 cm.
Weight: 18-24 kg
The medium-sized tips from Norway are also used as standing barkers for hunting large game. The dogs independently search for a game and bark at it very persistently.
In addition to the Norwegian Elkhound (grey), the darker variety Norwegian Elkhound (black) was also recognized as a distinct dog breed in the 20th century. The dogs all have a very typical Spitz appearance, including flexible erect ears, a tightly curled tail, and a wedge-shaped muzzle.
Shoulder height: 40-47 cm.
Weight: 11-15 kg
This smaller hunting spitz is a relatively rare breed of dog from northern Sweden with a white and red coat and a loosely curved tail. It is related to the Buhund and the Finnenspitz.
These dogs were once thought to hunt small fur-bearing animals such as pine martens and ermines. Today, among other things, wild birds are hunted with the Norrbottenspitz, but this dog breed is hardly known outside of Scandinavia.
28. West Siberian Laika
Shoulder height: 51-62 cm.
Weight: 14-23 kg
The West Siberian Laika is a medium-sized and powerfully built broadhead from Russia. The dogs have tightly curled tails and a distinctly wolf-like appearance.
29. East Siberian Laika
Shoulder height: 53-64 cm.
Weight: 21-30 kg
The East Siberian Laiki were bred in the 20th century from various varieties of Siberian hunting dogs found between the forested areas of the Russian taiga and the Baikal Mountains. Due to their stature and coat color, these Spitz are also often reminiscent of a wolf.
30. Russian-European Laika
Shoulder height: 48-58 cm.
Weight: 20-25 kg
The smallest of the recognized Russian broadheads is the black-and-white Russian-European Laika.
This type was bred from Laiki, which was mainly found between the Urals and Karelia. A close relative is the Karelian Bear Dog.
31. Karelian Bear Dog
Shoulder height: 49-60 cm.
Weight: 17-28 kg
The medium-sized bear dogs of Karelia are descended from the Komi Laiki people of modern-day western Russia.
These Finnish broadheads have black and white fur and are bred to this day in Finland for big game hunting. As active companion dogs, independent and self-confident four-legged friends are only occasionally kept by real lovers.
The Karelian Bear Dog has a basic Nordic Spitz temperament and appearance.
The ears grow high on the head and are slightly rounded. The look is lively, the tail is not always completely curled ( bobtails also occur!) and the muzzle is a little shorter than with other tips.
Nordic hat tip
These dogs were also used as working dogs for reindeer herds and as shepherds:
32. Icelandic dog
Shoulder height: 42-46 cm.
Weight: 9-18 kg
The ancestors of the Icelandic dog came to Iceland as early as the 9th century when the Vikings settled there.
There they developed a frugal and hardworking Spitz from their medium-sized four-legged friends.
33. Norwegian Buhund
Shoulder height: 41-47 cm
The name of this medium-sized spire from Norway is derived from bu (Norwegian hut ). The Norsk Buhund was kept as a versatile working dog on farms and in the herdsmen’s cottages, serving as a guard dog, herding dog, and hunting dog.
Today he is also known as a lively family dog that needs an active everyday life and family connection.
34. Finnish Lapphund
Shoulder height: 42-52 cm.
Weight: 13-25 kg
The Suomenlapinkoira was kept as a guard and herding dog in northern Fennoscandia for a long time.
It was not until the early 20th century that these original Sámi landrace breeds began to be bred with a uniform appearance.
35. Swedish Lapphund
Shoulder height: 40-51 cm.
Weight: 16-20 kg
In Sweden, reindeer herders’ herding dogs have been bred as the Swedish Lapphund since the 1940s.
They are therefore closely related to the Lapphunds on the Finnish side and are also considered to be very confident and characterful working dogs.
36. Lapland Reindeer Dog
Shoulder height: 43-54 cm.
Weight: 15-32 kg
The Lapinporokoira is another type of Nordic Lapphund. These spitz-type shepherd dogs differ visually from the typical polar peaks in that they have a shorter coat and a tail that is not carried on the back.
They are persistent and lively working dogs with a sovereign and balanced temperament at the same time.
Shoulder height: 30-35 cm.
Weight: 9-14 kg
The Swedish Vallhund is the only short-legged quadruped in our Spitz breed overview.
However, it is still unclear where the lively little Swedish shepherd got this trait from.
Nordic sled dogs
The ancestors of these very original dog breeds are the polar peaks, which were used as pack animals in the far north thousands of years ago.
Shoulder height: 50-60 cm
Weight: 17-30 kg
The Samoyed descended from the versatile working dogs of the West Siberian Nenets.
Typical of this dog breed is the very lush white fur and the smiling facial expression. The cheerful four-legged friend is still sometimes called the Samoyed Spitz today.
39. Alaskan Malamute
Shoulder height: 58.5-63.5 cm.
Weight: approx. 34-48 kg
The Alaskan Malamute is a large cargo dog that was bred for strength rather than speed.
He can pull many times his body weight with great endurance, loves the cold, and usually has a pronounced hunting instinct.
40. Siberian Husky
Shoulder height: 50.5-60 cm.
Weight: 15.5-28 kg
The Siberian Husky is a well-known sled dog that is now often kept as an active companion dog.
However, it is a lively four-legged friend that likes to be moved a lot and is not that easy to train.
41. Yakutian Laika
Shoulder height: 53-59 cm.
Weight: 18-26 kg
The Yakutian Laika is a sled dog from northeastern Russia that was also used as a hunting dog.
These dogs can often be recognized by their somewhat fringed longer fur and the high proportion of white, which often goes hand in hand with blue eyes.
42. Greenland Dog
Shoulder height: from 55 cm
Weight: approx. 30-45 kg
The Greenland dog came to Greenland almost 1000 years ago, and due to its isolated location, a relatively uniform dog breed was able to develop over time.
43. Canadian Eskimo Dog
Shoulder height: 50-70 cm
Weight: 18-70 kg
The medium to large-sized Canadian Inuit Dog is the working dog of the Inuit people of northern Canada. It goes back to the same dogs as the Greenland Dog.
Some very old, primitive dog breeds are placed among the related dog breeds of the Spitz, most of which have survived to this day only because of their isolated location. So these are very natural four-legged friends.
44. Taiwan Dog
Shoulder height: 43-52 cm.
Weight: 12-18 kg
The Taiwanese Dog is a primitive Spitz from the mountainous forested regions of Taiwan that have long been isolated and semi-feral, also known as the Formosan Mountain Dog. As a domesticated house dog, it is now kept as a hunting, guard, and companion dog.
45. Thai Ridgeback
Shoulder height: 51-61 cm.
Weight: 16-34 kg
Due to its ridge on the back, this unusual four-legged friend is one of the unusual house and guard dogs.
Because on this crest of the hair of the Thai Ridgeback, the hair grows in the wrong direction, this feature is only very few related dog breeds.
And there are even more dog breeds that belong to the top:
46. Dansk Spids
Shoulder height: 30-40 cm.
Weight: 10-20 kg
The Danish Spitz has been recognized as the national dog breed of Denmark by the Dansk Kennel Klub (DKK) since 1992. Spitzy dogs were popular with wealthy citizens in northern Germany in the 18th century and probably made their way to Jutland around this time as well.
In the 19th century, the dogs were kept as companion dogs in Denmark under various names such as Greenland Spitz, Samoyed Spitz, or Wolfsspitz. But it was not until 1988 that a breeding project to obtain the Dansk Spids started.
47. Indian Spitz
Shoulder height: 30-40 cm.
Weight: 10-20 kg
The Indian Spitz goes back to the German Spitz, which the British brought to India. There, a new variety was bred from the pointed dogs, which had grown with the subtropical climate of the Indian subcontinent.
Today the dog is also known as the Indian Pomeranian, it is not recognized by the FCI.