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A Complete Guide to Owning a German Spitz Dog

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German Spitz Breed Overview

This small breed is an adorable firecracker and great for people who want pets that make them laugh. German Spitz puppies are energetic little dogs and tend to be quite yappy, but these adorable dogs are incredibly easy to love.

Thanks to the naturally small size of German Spitz puppies, these dogs can happily live in apartment buildings, although people with strict quiet hour rules might find that a noisy breed like the German Spitz simply barks too much to live in their environment. These dogs thrive in environments of couples, singles, older adults, and families with older children.

While these dogs are adorable and adaptable, they aren’t necessarily great for every type of dog owner. These small dogs need an owner who will commit most hours to them, so anyone who works 40-hours a week away from home should consider a different dog. But, if you can take your dog to your work office, you might be able to make it work. It all comes down to your personal decision and whether you think a German Spitz puppy would be the right dog for you.

History of the German Spitz Breed

The German Spitz dog breed came from Germany, and the first mention of this breed in history was in 1450. We believe these dogs to be one of the oldest dog breeds coming from Germany and Europe, which makes them quite similar to the Poodle, one of the oldest dog breeds that also originated in Germany.

Fishers commonly took these spunky dogs on their boats as watchdogs to provide extra security for their goods and trades. Occasionally, German Spitz puppies aided farmers by warning them of any nearby intruders. These dogs eventually came to habitually keep watch over things because of their history of protecting items for their owners.

People sometimes call these dogs a Mistbeller, a name that means these dogs enjoy sitting somewhere elevated, such as a hill, and keeping watch. These dogs still love the outdoors and will gladly find a perch to rest on, as a true Mistbeller would.

These dogs almost became extinct during World War I but have made a significant comeback and are no longer at risk of extinction. They’ve gained a bit of popularity in recent years thanks to their charming personalities.

German Spitz Size

German Spitz Puppies will only stand between 12 to 15 inches in height, and these dogs can weigh anywhere between 21 to 29 pounds. However, these dogs may come in smaller or larger sizes than their usual standard. This dog is a smaller breed and can get easily injured if mishandled.

Regardless, their small size is part of what makes this breed so great. Few small dogs can be as portable and entertaining as a German Spitz puppy.

black and brown german spitz standing in grass

German Spitz Puppy Temperament

Don’t let their small size fool you into thinking they’re docile. The German Spitz dog is spunky and unafraid to step in when they get suspicious. These dogs are wary of strangers and can be excellent watchdogs, but they may bark at any newcomers entering your home. They aren’t afraid to get in somebody’s face if they are nervous, so it’s important to socialize and train these dogs as much as possible. German Spitz puppies are bold, which means they can get scared and, in-your-face, or be incredibly outgoing and sweet dogs.

This hyper animal would love to be the center of attention in their household. German Spitz puppies enjoy running or chasing games because of their energetic personalities. Even though these dogs look like lap dogs, they’d prefer to be outside in a yard rather than cuddling inside the house.

Breed Intelligence

These dogs are brilliant animals but are also incredibly stubborn, which can lead to some problems during obedience training. Strong-willed trainers will find that German Spitz puppies can learn a wide variety of commands and tricks with the right encouragement.

Any dog owner will find that almost any dog can become a mini-Einstein by providing the right learning environment. Owners that provide consistent, concise, and positive training sessions will find their dog responds better to it and will learn faster. If you are looking for a dog to turn into a watchdog, who can warn you when visitors approach, the German Spitz is an excellent choice. But, if all you’re looking for is a good pet, you can easily train these dogs to be the perfect house guests and entertainers.

Shedding Habits

This fluffy, small breed has many coat colors they can grow. German Spitz puppies can have black, brown, orange, wolf, gray, and white coats. This breed has a double coat, a soft undercoat to keep them warm, and a longer topcoat that protects them from the outdoors.

These dogs benefit from weekly brushing sessions, but once a week at the very minimum. The fur on these dogs can make them look much bigger than they are. You can maintain their thick and fluffy coats best when brushed every other day to avoid matting or tangling. Potential German Spitz puppy owners should ensure they are ready to give their dogs extra brushings during their heavier shedding seasons, usually around spring and fall.

closeup of a dog brush full of fur

Health Overview of the German Spitz Breed

Every dog breed has its risks of developing physical and psychological health conditions. The German Spitz puppy has a life expectancy of 13 to 15 years. This breed is at risk of experiencing a few different psychological health conditions and some physical issues. Even though these dogs are at risk of genetically inheriting some conditions, most German Spitz puppies will live their whole lives experiencing no physical medical condition.

While it’s reassuring that most animals won’t experience any physical health issues, many will have psychological issues they will need to overcome. The German Spitz dog breed is at risk of experiencing things like stress and anxiety. Luckily, stress and anxiety are normal responses to the world, and there are many ways owners can help their dogs overcome symptoms.

Common Psychological Health Conditions

Stress

Many dogs experience stress in their daily lives. When dogs don’t feel relaxed or safe, specific incidents usually cause stress.

Common causes of stress in dogs include loud noises, thunderstorms, or new environments. When any of these situations happen, dogs may experience signs of stress. It is natural for dogs to experience stress occasionally, but if your German Spitz puppy experiences stress often, they may need help to relieve their condition.

Dogs that have stress will often pace, drool or bark. Some dogs can be vocal, and smaller dogs get more vocal. More stressed-out dogs will not get distracted by treats and will not eat during episodes of stress.

There are many methods owners use to calm their stressed dogs. Some owners remove their German Spitz from the stress-inducing situation to help them calm down, and some provide their dogs with safe spaces to help them relax. Many owners also provide calming treats and supplements to their German Spitz puppies.

Anxiety

The most common form of anxiety seen in dogs is separation anxiety, and many dogs develop this condition for various reasons. Smaller dogs develop this because of their breeding for companionship. Historically used as watchdogs, German Spitz dogs have different desires than simply companionship. This breed isn’t as needy as others, but they need to spend a lot of time with their owners.

German Spitz puppies might develop separation anxiety because of not being socialized correctly, or they may develop anxiety because they experienced trauma in their past. Many dogs from shelters have experienced homelessness, abuse, neglect, and abandonment and are more nervous.

Anxious dogs might have milder symptoms like crying, whining, barking, or jumping on their owners. Semi-anxious dogs might lower their heads in a cower or hold their tails between their legs. Some anxious German Spitz puppies might pace and become quite restless. More severe cases of anxiety might cause a German Spitz puppy to become more assertive and try to stop its owners from leaving. Some dogs with severe anxiety urinate and defecate in the house. Many dogs with severe anxiety refuse to eat.

Owners can quickly help their anxious dogs by identifying what causes their German Spitz puppy’s anxieties and the severity of their condition. You can treat some dogs with a safe space, which might be enough. A tasty treat can easily distract other dogs. However, some dogs might benefit from calming supplements or dog CBD. The more severe cases of animal anxiety will require anti-anxiety medication provided by veterinarian prescriptions or counterconditioning treatment.

German spitz puppy playing with a chew toy

Calming Dog Products

Many dogs benefit from some products to help them calm down. As stated earlier, many owners create safe spaces for their dogs to help them relax. These spaces are full of items meant to help a dog in times of stress. They usually have places to rest, water, and maybe a few blankets or toys. These areas work best when dogs have comfortable dog beds and calming treats, which helps anxious German Spitz puppies calm down as efficiently as possible.

Common Physical Health Conditions

Every dog breed is at risk of a few health issues, and the German Spitz also has a handful of health concerns. This small, active breed suffers from joint issues, weight problems, and tracheal collapse.

Even though dogs in this breed are at risk of experiencing these conditions, most German Spitz puppies will live their entire lives experiencing no physical health issues. Even the dogs that experience these conditions will have minor symptoms you can treat at home.

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Patellar Luxation

Small breeds of dogs, animals weighing about 25 pounds or less, struggle with issues like patellar luxation. German Spitz puppies weigh between 20 and 30 pounds and some struggle with this issue. Patellar luxation occurs when a dog’s kneecap gets displaced often.

This condition can cause arthritis and pain in the dog’s knee. It can cause them to lose some of their range of motion and result in a decreased amount of daily activity. Even though this condition can affect dogs, most animals with patellar luxation have few symptoms and need nothing to help them.

Pet owners get their dogs joint supplements to aid them with their pain symptoms. Anything that can aid their pain while helping their joint is ideal for relieving the symptoms of a dog with patellar luxation. Anti-inflammatory supplements are also an excellent option in treating German Spitz dogs with patellar luxation.

Obesity

Many dogs in the United States suffer from obesity. About 50% of adult pet dogs are obese, mainly because owners are not providing enough daily exercise for their pets. Sometimes people think small dog breeds don’t require exercise just because of their smaller size, but giving these dogs daily exercise is vital to keeping their overall body healthy.

Obesity can lead to several other health risks, including respiratory or heart disease. Obesity can cause organ failure in dogs or be a symptom of another health condition, but it is often because of incorrect care.

Pet owners must ensure they feed their dog the proper amount of food for how much their dog exercises. They can do this by checking in with their vet every six months and performing visual tests on their dogs.

Owners can gather a very general understanding of their dog’s overall health by feeling their ribs. An easy at-home examination method is to put your hand on your dog’s side and slightly push into them with your fingertips until you feel their ribs. If you had to use a lot of pressure to feel their ribs, your dog is likely obese, and if you didn’t have to use pressure to feel their ribs, your dog is likely underweight and malnourished. An owner should be able to feel their German Spitz puppy’s ribs after putting just a little pressure on their sides.

Some owners change their dog’s lifestyles to help them lose weight, but some pets need more assistance. Owners can help their dogs by providing them with weight loss supplements or low-calorie dog treats.

white german spitz puppy on a leash in grass

Collapsing Trachea

Many small dog breeds suffer from a collapsing trachea. A collapsing trachea occurs when a dog’s trachea is falling apart. More severe cases of this condition will end with a fully collapsed trachea. However, most cases of this condition are incredibly mild but require attention and care on the owner’s part.

It means that even though some German Spitz puppies will develop a collapsing trachea, they should be fine as long as owners are careful with their dogs. Owners can provide their pups with specialized supplements to help with irritation symptoms or help strengthen their cartilage. Some owners get cough suppressants, steroids, or sedatives to help their pup.

Joint Health Options We Love

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Oral Health

Smaller dogs like the German Spitz puppy struggle somewhat with dental health. A dog’s dental health can ruin their body’s overall health if it gets bad enough, although most often, dogs are okay.

Smaller dogs have smaller mouths and are prone to experiencing dental crowding since their teeth don’t fit well in their mouths. Teeth overcrowding makes it easier for bacteria, tartar, and plaque to build up in your dog’s mouth, leading to dental disease. These things can lead to respiratory or heart disease issues if enough bacteria gather up.

Many dogs already experience the first form of dental disease, gingivitis. Gingivitis occurs when dogs have swollen gums that bleed when irritated. Often a dog’s gums will bleed when brushing its teeth, but this should happen less the more you practice this routine.

Owners should brush their German Spitz puppy’s teeth daily or every other day at least. Owners can also provide dental chews to help maintain their dog’s oral health, but nothing is as good as an actual toothbrush. Pet owners must ensure they only use products made for dogs, as human products can be dangerous and toxic.

Oral Health Options We Love

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    09/25/2022 12:05 am GMT

German Spitz Breed’s Needs

Exercise

German Spitz dogs are high-energy animals that require anywhere from a half-hour to an hour of activity daily. These dogs benefit from owners that can give them a few active play sessions during the day with short walks mixed in their enrichment.

This breed is especially at risk of obesity because of how much energy these dogs have. They will happily eat for days to power their endless running, but many small dogs don’t get daily exercise because owners assume they don’t need it. Daily exercise and activity are essential to the health of the German Spitz puppy, especially if they have any other health issues.

Tawny german spitz running through an agility course

Exercise Options We Love

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Nutrition

The best-case diet for a German Spitz puppy is a diet formulated of high-quality dry dog food for small breeds with high energy. These dogs need the right vitamins and nutrients to support their energy requirements and keep them physically healthy.

A dog’s daily calorie requirements will vary based on various factors. Age, sex, weight, overall health, and activity levels can alter a dog’s nutritional requirements. The best way owners can figure out their dog’s specific dietary needs is to work with their vet to reach optimum health.

Dog Food Based On Age We Love

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Grooming

These dogs need weekly brushing sessions, and you should bathe them every five to eight weeks. Regularly brushing your dog’s fur will help keep it clean and neat while removing dead hair. It can help keep your house clean and prevent too much dog fur from sticking to your nice black slacks.

Owners must check their dog’s ears for debris and pests at least once a month, possibly more often if directed to by their vet.

Because they have longer hair, they do great in colder climates rather than hot weather. However, these dogs can live quite happily in many climate types.

Red-haired german spitz puppy getting a bath

Dog Grooming Supplies We Love

Top Product Picks for German Spitz Puppies

All dog owners love bringing a new pup home, but they forget how big of a change this event can be for their new dog. When bringing home a new German Spitz puppy, you’ll want to prepare for how to welcome them and help them feel as comfortable as possible. There are tons of ways to prep for a new pet at home, and no one way is necessarily better than another, but it’s essential to help your dog feel as welcomed as possible while diminishing things that could give them anxiety. 

When bringing home a new dog, owners should prepare for their arrival by having some dog food ready. It’s important to show your new German Spitz that their new home is a permanent place for them. By showing them they’ll get fed in their new home, you’re bonding with your pet as they learn they can depend on you for necessities like food and water. Owners also need to purchase a collar, leash, cage, dog bed and harness. Some people prefer to wait to get a harness until after their dog can try it on, but you can get it ahead of time if you know your dog’s size. Giving your dog something comfortable, like a dog bed and cage, is a great way to let them see they’ll be welcome in their new home. This way, your dog has a place designated to be just theirs, and the cage provides a similar shelter-like place so they can lie in it if they feel more comfortable in cages. Rescue dogs often stay in cages regularly. Many of these dogs might feel safer being in a more familiar setting like a cage before they feel comfortable hopping into your bed, especially if they’ve never had an experience like that before. 

Other things that would be helpful when bringing a new dog home would be a dog food storage container to keep their food fresh and safely away from a bag they can easily tear open. Many dog owners also invest in calming treats, training treats, special bones or fun toys. These things can help provide more fun and a positive environment when your new German Spitz puppy goes to enjoy their space. Plus, showing your new dog treats isn’t the worst way to get them to love you. If your dog shows significant signs of stress or fear, like shaking, crying, or hiding in a corner or cage, then giving them some calming treats might help make their transition smoother. Be sure you look at your calming treat labels to see how much is appropriate to feed your dog. 

There are many things owners can get to help their dogs better adapt to their new homes. When it comes down to it, your German Spitz puppy will show what it is they are interested in and like best. It would help to keep your eye on your new pet adjusting to their home, so you can understand whether they’re more nervous or outgoing. Nervous dogs will need more time to adapt to new homes before being overwhelmed with many new people or guests wanting to meet your new furry friend. Over time, your bond with your dog will grow, and they’ll realize their new home is a place full of fun and love, and you’ll be able to enjoy plenty of time with your new dog friend.

Other Resources

German Spitz North America

German Spitz Club of America