The standard of the breed


Are you interested in the German Spitz? Then we can advise you to attentively read standard number 97 on the German Spitz, the Keeshond and the Pomeranian. You can find this information on the website of the Belgian breed club:  This standard describes the general image of the German Spitz, the characteristics of his head, body and limbs, the shape of his tail and the way it is being carried, the colour and structure of his coat. It also describes the average size and specifies the faults which are to be avoided. Inspectors on dog shows determine the quality of a dog by comparing him to the breed standard.


The character of our German Spitz


If you want to share your life with a German Spitz, there is a lot more than his appearance. It is important to determine whether the character of this dog appeals to you and matches yours. As you will notice, the German Spitz is a very versatile dog.


First of all the German Spitz is an excellent companion dog. He always wants to be with his owner and follows him all the time. For example: if you get up from your seat to go to the kitchen for a cup of coffee, you may be sure that he will accompany you, curious and cheerful. He loves to sit with you and to get a cuddle. You can immediately understand that this dog needs to live indoors with the family. Lock him up in a kennel outdoors and you risk to create an anxious or aggressive dog.


In general the German Spitz is a very temperamental dog. He is always ready to play and he stays playful even at advanced age. This makes him an excellent playmate for the children. Of course the children need to have learned to respect the dog as it should be. The biggest varieties, up to the Mittel Spitz, are the most suitable in view of their size.



In addition the German Spitz makes an excellent watchdog. Originally this was his most important function. He will loudly inform his owner when someone approaches the house. When the owner lets the person in the house, the barking will soon stop and the visitor will curiously being sniffed at. You’ll never know if the guest brought something to eat with him. You probably understood that our German Spitz is a real gourmet, with the exception of a few dogs.


Therefore you have to keep an eye on his greediness, and his weight.


LBecause the German Spitz does not have a hunting instinct, it is very enjoyable to go for a walk with him. You will not run the risk that he takes off to follow a possible trail or to chase the game. Whether your German Spitz becomes a sportive one or rather a ‘hearth and home’ Spitz, it is up to you to determine. His need for movement is not gigantic, in comparison with hounds or sledg dogs for example, but he likes every kind of movement as long as it is together with his owner. In view of his soft character, you will achieve the best results when you teach him something with a rewarding method. And because he’s intelligent, he is very suitable for nearly any discipline in dog sports. You can find the German Spitz on shows, in obedience training, agility or even in cani-cross.


All of these qualities, together with his affection and his loyalty, make our German Spitz the perfect family dog, who shares your private life and your holidays with you in your own rhythm.



How to take care of your German Spitz?


If you look at a German Spitz, and you see his luxurious coat, you may think he needs a lot of taking care of to make him look so pretty. Well, we can reassure you. One or two grooming sessions a week are enough, if it is thoroughly done. This means that you have to brush your dog contrary, layer by layer, start off on the head and work your way towards the tail. Besides the tail, the collar and the trousers are also groomed in layers and downwards. You start below and work your way up, layer by layer. Why do you have to brush this way? The German Spitz has an undercoat and a top coat. By brushing in layers, you do not only brush the top coat, but you also reach the undercoat. This is necessary to avoid felting. It is very important that the coat stays light so that the skin remains healthy and you avoid that typical dog smell. In the moulting season you have to groom your dog more frequently, not only for the benefit of your dog but also for your interior. Every hair eliminated by the brush is a hair less on your carpet. Does a grooming session seem a bit laborious to you? We have to admit that it is something you pick up as you go along, but ones you got the hang of it, it will not take you long. To learn the tricks of the trade, our Belgian breed club regularly organises a workshop ‘coat care’.


Bathing or washing is allowed only when it is really necessary, but we have to advise against even for the white or pale-coloured dogs. The coat contains natural oils which are dirt-repulsive. When you wash your dog, you wash these oils away and the coat gets dirty sooner. If you do wash your dog, use a shampoo for dogs and wipe him dry, as good as possible. Do not let him run outside with a wet coat. If your dog scratches his ears excessively and shakes his head, you need to check his ears. If the auditory canal is red and smells unpleasant, consult your vet. Your dog probably has an inflammation of the ear or ear mite. You can prevent a lot by checking his ears every time you brush him. If you notice any kind of irritation of the ear, make sure your dog gets a thorough treatment.



Make sure his eyes, and especially the corner of the eyes, are clean. That way you prevent irritation and, important in the pale-coloured dogs, the ugly marking under the inner corner of the eye. It is best to clean the eyes with a soft cotton cloth, soaked in cooled down boiled water.


You have to brush his teeth with a toothpaste for dogs weekly, which reduces tartar. If you do not know how to cut his nails, let a vet do this. Certainly with darkcoloured nails it is difficult to see the part of the nail that's alive. If you cut too far, the nail starts to bleed and your dog is in pain.


For trimming we need to make the distinction between the big and the small dogs. For the bigger varieties trimming of the coat is not necessary. The coat is left natural. Only the small hairs between the toes may be cut. To get a nice round shape on the feet, the hairs that are too long are cut, in show dogs. The same goes for the smaller varieties, except that the ears are also being worked at. To make the ears look smaller, the hairs are trimmed. The longer hairs behind the ears are also trimmed so that they do not rise above the ear. The trousers and the tail rolled on the back need to make a whole. Wisps of hair that stick out are trimmed.

Dogs that regularly go for a walk in the summer at the countryside are exposed to parasites like fleas and ticks. Especially in the long-haired dogs they are not immediately visible. Check your dog regularly and carefully. Particularly ticks can be dangerous because they can cause Lyme’s disease. You find ticks in bushes, so do not let your dog run under the shrubs. There exist products you can apply on the coat to prevent these parasites. But most important and this counts for all the dogs: make sure they are vaccinated every year and give a well-balanced diet adapted to your dog.



How healthy is our German Spitz?


A German Spitz usually has a robust health. His expectation of life is about 12 to 16 years old. We may assume that the smaller varieties have more chance to reach the high age of 16 years, although the Keeshond and the Giant Spitz can also live this long.


A quality or colour change of the coat is usually an indication of the state of health of the dog. If his coat is shiny and has a natural colour, and your German Spitz is cheerful and lively, then everything is fine.


They have just one disadvantage, our German Spitz: the majority is often very greedy. That is the reason why you really need to be careful that they do not become overweight. You also need to keep a close eye on the puppies. Everything they find will disappear in their hungry stomach. So watch out for poisonous plants in the house or the garden and for all kinds of little sharp objects like the stone of a peach, little stones, twigs,…



The German Spitz shows no specific race bound hereditary diseases, but because of the large importation of the German Spitz from the United States and other countries throughout the last years, the risks of importing specific diseases has increased. For this reason the breeders are asked to put in an extra effort to check carefully that they only breed with healthy lines. For that purpose they need to seriously examine the lines of which their breeding dogs descend for possible hereditary illnesses. At this moment special attention needs to be given to epilepsy, PHPT and and elbow dysplasia in the giant varieties, whereas the smaller ones suffer more from Alopesia X, open fontanelle, tooth and dental problems.


But with a bit of luck and if you buy your German Spitz after taking contact with a breed club, from a breeder who sets great store by breed improvement rather than breed increase, you will have a well-socialized and healthy companion, who shares life’s joys and sorrows with you, during 12 to 16 years.



But where does the German Spitz comes from?




As long ago as many centuries there have been Spitz-like dogs nearly all over the world, from the Polar Regions to the South, and from Europe to the Far East. Even in the Stone Age we find traces of Spitz-like dogs. In those days lived the “Peat Dogs” and later the Lake Dweller’s Dogs. Archaeologists discovered in the 18th and the 19th century that a wolf like richly hairy dog, that garded the cave: the “Canis familiaris palustrus” or “Peat Dog”. On the basis of a skull the archaeologist Rütimeyer reconstructed a type of dog, the “Canis familiaris Rütimeyer”. This dog can be considered as the forefather of all the current breeds and reminds us strongly of our present Wolfspitz. They probably had a natural



The Spitz existed already at the beginning of our era. The oldest pictures were found on ancient Greek vases from 400 years before Christ. These pictures showed particularly the white Spitz, but we can assume that the other coat colours also existed besides the original wolf grey colour. In the Middle Ages they served as escorts of the covered wagons and as guards of the merchandise of travelling merchants. This came to an end with the arrival of the train. In the last century the Spitz was often used as watchdog on the farm or on barges in the canal. Because of the modern containerization the task of the “barge’s Spitz”, as they were called, came to an end. In the 19th century the High Society in England highly appreciated the Spitz as companion and family dogs.


The name « kees »


On the origin of the name “keeshond” different stories are going around. Most known is the story of Cornelis (Kees) de Gijselaar. At the end of the 18th century he was the leader of the nationalistic movement in the Netherlands. This patriot leader owned a Spitz which accompanied him everywhere. It did not take long before his dog, as his fellow party members, got the name of their leader “Kees”. The keeshond became the symbol of the Patriots and therefore you can find him on many pictures from that period.



Germany as country of origin


In 1932 a division of the breed took place in the Netherlands. They thought that there was a typical Dutch-Keeshond next to the German Spitz. This resulted in a separate breed club, which was again dissolved in 1952 because the differences between the Dutch Keeshond and the German Spitz were too small to consider the dogs as two different varieties. In 1960 the FCI decided that Germany is the country of origin of the German Spitz. As a result they can determine the standard of the breed. In popular speech we still talk about the “keeshond”, while the ‘German Spitz’ is the official name.


In English-speaking countries the name ‘Keeshond’ is the official name of the Giant grey Spitz or Wolfspitz. The other varieties have the name ‘German Spitz’, as there are: the German Spitz Mittel and the German Spitz Klein. The Toy Spitz is called the Pomeranian and the Giant Spitz is not recognized in England.


In the United States the Giant white Spitz occurs, and is called the “American Eskimo Dog”. When a few centuries ago, people massively emigrated to the United States, they took the Giant white Spitz with them. At times of World War I they found it needful to change the name ‘German Spitz’ in ‘American Spitz’ and later in ‘American Eskimo Dog’.



The Breed Club


LThe Deutscher Spitz Club of Belgium, briefly DSCB, is the Belgian breed club that looks after the interests of, the common named, Keeshond, Loulou or Spitz. They all belong to the breed officially recognized by the FCI as the ‘German Spitz’.


What has this young, but very dynamic, breed club (founded in July 1994 and officially recognized on March 6th 1996) has to offer their more then 200 members and their Spitz?


- - An outstanding magazine “Spitzbroeders” (completely bilingual Dutch-French and about 74 pages!) published four times a year with lots of interesting information, lots of funny photographs and instructive articles on the Spitz.


-  - As far as the activities are concerned, there is something for everyone:


o  One general meeting yearly

o  A winter and a summer walk

o  The club day with grooming demonstrations, obedience and show demonstrations, a giant tombola , exchanging experiences with other lovers and breeders of the Spitz and of course a good meal and a drink

o  The big barbecue: the most enjoyable meeting of Spitz of the year

o  The grooming workshop: every two years we organise a day on the basic maintenance of the German Spitz

o  On an average of once in two years a dog show or club match is being held, only accessible for the German Spitz

o  On an average of once in two years a visit of Saint Nicholas with gifts for the children and the dogs of our members

o  The club shop offers a range of German Spitz related items. The club shop is obviously present during most of our important activities

o  la Petite Boutique oů on trouve un éventail d’objets relatifs aux Spitz Allemands.  Elle est évidemment présente lors des activités importantes ;

o  The departement ‘breed information’ advises and assists everyone who has questions about the German Spitz and helps interested people in the purchase of a Spitz puppy with a bona fide breeder.


In this pleasant breed club every sincere Spitz-lover and his dogs will settle in

More detailed information on the DSCB can be found on their website :



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