Spitz dog breeds have a rich history and unique characteristics that make them stand out among other dog breeds. Originating from regions with harsh winter climates, such as Scandinavia, Russia, North America, and Asia, these dogs have evolved to withstand extreme conditions. With their wolf-like appearance, pointed ears, almond-shaped eyes, double coat, and feathery tail, spitz breeds are a sight to behold.

These breeds were bred for various tasks, including hunting, sled pulling, and herding. They possess the intelligence, agility, and strength necessary for these demanding jobs. Out of the 50 to 70 known spitz breeds, the American Kennel Club (AKC) recognizes 16 of them for their exceptional qualities.

Key Takeaways:

  • Spitz dog breeds originated in regions with harsh winter climates.
  • They are known for their wolf-like appearance and distinctive features.
  • There are 16 spitz breeds recognized by the AKC.
  • These breeds were bred for hunting, sled pulling, and herding.
  • Spitz breeds possess intelligence, agility, and strength.

Akita: Symbols of Good Health and Courageous Protectors


The Akita is a large and powerful spitz breed originating from Japan. With their imposing presence and distinct bear-like appearance, Akitas are often regarded as symbols of good health, happiness, and long life in their native country. These majestic dogs possess a strong sense of loyalty and are admired for their unwavering devotion to their families.

Akitas are known to be courageous protectors, always ready to defend their loved ones when faced with adversity. However, their loyalty can also make them wary of strangers, so early socialization is crucial to help them develop a well-rounded temperament. Despite their solemn demeanor, Akitas have a gentle and affectionate side that they reserve for those they hold dear. Their calm and stoic nature makes them an ideal companion for experienced dog owners.

Unparalleled in their beauty and grace, Akitas possess a thick double coat that provides insulation in cold weather. The breed comes in various color variations, including white, brindle, and pinto. Their expressive almond-shaped eyes and erect ears contribute to their regal appearance, making them a sight to behold.

Notable Akita Quotes:

“The Akita is a symbol of loyalty, courage, and fidelity.”

“Their regal presence and noble character make Akitas truly remarkable.”

Table: Key Characteristics of Akitas

Characteristic Description
Size Large
Temperament Loyal, Courageous, Wary of Strangers
Coat Double, Thick, Weather-Resistant
Color Various, including white, brindle, and pinto
Origin Japan

Alaskan Malamute: The Affectionate and Loyal Oldest Sled Dog Breed

Alaskan Malamute

The Alaskan Malamute is a remarkable breed that combines strength, loyalty, and affection in one package. As the oldest sled dog breed, they have an intriguing history rooted in their ability to haul heavy loads over long distances. These beautiful dogs are known for their striking appearance, with a thick double coat that keeps them warm in even the harshest of climates.

But it’s not just their physical attributes that make Alaskan Malamutes special. They have a strong bond with their human families and are renowned for their loyalty and affectionate nature. Whether they are pulling a sled or curled up on the couch with their owners, Alaskan Malamutes thrive on being a part of the family.

To truly appreciate the unique qualities of the Alaskan Malamute, let’s take a closer look at some key traits:

Strength and Stamina:

Alaskan Malamutes are born with an innate ability to pull heavy loads. Their muscular build and powerful legs enable them to work tirelessly, making them indispensable in their role as sled dogs. Even though they are no longer used extensively for sled pulling, their strength and stamina still shine through in their day-to-day activities.


These gentle giants love being around their human families. They are known for their devotion and loyalty, often forming deep bonds with their owners. Alaskan Malamutes thrive when they are given plenty of love, attention, and companionship. They are excellent with children and make great family pets.

Exercise and Mental Stimulation:

Alaskan Malamutes are active dogs that require regular exercise and mental stimulation. They enjoy activities like hiking, running, and playing games that challenge their physical and mental abilities. Providing them with outlets for their energy and intelligence will help keep them happy and healthy.

With their affectionate nature, loyalty, and impressive capabilities, it’s no wonder that the Alaskan Malamute has captured the hearts of dog lovers around the world. Whether as a working dog or a beloved family pet, this breed continues to impress and inspire.

American Eskimo Dog: Descended from German Spitz, Ideal for Active Families

American Eskimo Dog

The American Eskimo Dog, descended from the German Spitz, is a highly trainable and active breed that thrives in an active family environment. With their fluffy white coat and playful personality, these dogs are not only beautiful but also make wonderful companions.

Known for their intelligence and curiosity, American Eskimo Dogs excel in obedience training and can learn a wide range of commands and tricks. Their trainability, combined with their eagerness to please, makes them a popular choice for families seeking a dog that can participate in various activities and sports.

“The American Eskimo Dog is a versatile and adaptable breed that excels in agility, flyball, and obedience competitions. They are always eager to learn and impress their human companions.” – Dog Training Expert

In addition to their trainability, American Eskimo Dogs are also known for their energetic nature. They require regular exercise to keep them physically and mentally stimulated. Daily walks, playtime, and interactive toys are essential to keep them happy and prevent boredom-related behaviors.

Key Features of the American Eskimo Dog:

  • Descended from the German Spitz
  • Trainable and intelligent
  • Active and energetic
  • Requires regular exercise and mental stimulation
  • Excellent family companion
Breed Size Trainability Activity Level
American Eskimo Dog Toy, Miniature, Standard High High
Akita Large Moderate Medium
Alaskan Malamute Large Moderate High

Overall, the American Eskimo Dog is a versatile and active breed that is well-suited for families who lead an active lifestyle. With their trainability, energy, and love for their human companions, they make excellent pets and bring joy to any household.

Chow Chow: The Original Spitz Breed with the Majestic Lion’s Mane Ruff

Chow Chow

The Chow Chow is an ancient breed that is considered one of the original spitz types. Its distinctive lion’s mane ruff sets it apart from other breeds and adds to its regal appearance. With a compact physique and a thick double coat, the Chow Chow is as beautiful as it is unique.

Known for its aloof and independent nature, the Chow Chow can be a bit reserved with strangers but is fiercely loyal to its family. This breed requires early socialization and consistent training to ensure proper behavior and manners. While not overly active, the Chow Chow still needs regular exercise to keep both its body and mind stimulated.

The Chow Chow’s heritage can be traced back several thousand years, and it has been used for various purposes throughout history. From hunting and herding to guarding and companionship, this versatile breed has proven its worth and adaptability. Today, the Chow Chow is primarily a beloved family pet, cherished for its unique appearance and calm demeanor.

When considering a Chow Chow as a pet, their thick coat requires regular grooming to prevent matting and maintain its health and appearance. They are also more sensitive to heat due to their dense fur, so it’s essential to provide them with a cool and comfortable environment during warmer months.

Chow Chow Key Points:

  • Considered one of the original spitz types
  • Distinctive lion’s mane ruff
  • Aloof and independent with a loyal nature
  • Requires early socialization and consistent training
  • Needs regular exercise and mental stimulation
  • Heritage in hunting, herding, guarding, and companionship
  • Requires regular grooming and is sensitive to heat

The Chow Chow is a fascinating breed with a rich history and a unique appearance. As a pet, it offers both beauty and loyalty, making it a wonderful addition to the right family. Before bringing a Chow Chow into your life, be sure to thoroughly research the breed’s specific needs and consider if it aligns with your lifestyle and capabilities as a responsible dog owner.

Finnish Lapphund: A Versatile and Intelligent Herding Dog

Finnish Lapphund

The Finnish Lapphund is a remarkable spitz breed that originated in Lapland, where it was primarily used for herding reindeer. With their natural herding instincts, these dogs are highly intelligent and excel in their roles as working dogs. They are known for their calm demeanor, making them great companions and family pets.

This breed is highly adaptable and versatile, making them suitable for various tasks beyond herding. Their intelligence and problem-solving abilities make them excellent candidates for canine sports such as agility trials and obedience training. Finnish Lapphunds are quick learners and thrive in an environment where their mental abilities are challenged.

In addition to their intelligence, Finnish Lapphunds are known for their gentle and calm nature. They have a natural affinity for children and are patient and tolerant, making them ideal family pets. Their friendly and sociable temperament allows them to get along well with other animals as well.

The Finnish Lapphund’s Characteristics:

  • Intelligent and adaptable
  • Excellent herding instincts
  • Gentle and calm temperament
  • Sociable and friendly
  • Well-suited for canine sports and training

Fun Fact:

“The Finnish Lapphund’s herding abilities are so ingrained in their DNA that even without any formal training, they can effortlessly round up and control a herd of reindeer.”

To summarize, the Finnish Lapphund is a remarkable spitz breed known for its intelligence, versatility, and calm demeanor. Whether as herding dogs or beloved family pets, these dogs bring joy, companionship, and a lot of love to their owners. They are a testament to the adaptability and unique qualities of spitz breeds.

Finnish Spitz: The All-Round Hunter with a Unique Tracking Style

The Finnish Spitz is a small yet mighty breed that has earned a reputation as an exceptional all-round hunter. With their stamina, courage, and enthusiasm, Finnish Spitzes excel in various hunting tasks, making them a preferred choice for hunters around the world. Their unique tracking style sets them apart, making them invaluable in the field.

This breed’s ability to track game is truly remarkable. Finnish Spitzes have a keen sense of smell and a distinctive barking method that is specific to this breed. When tracking, they use their sharp nose to detect the scent of game birds and then utilize their vocalization skills to indicate the presence and location of the prey. This makes them an essential asset for hunters in locating targets and ensuring successful hunts.

Not only are Finnish Spitzes efficient hunters, but they also make excellent watchdogs. Their alertness and protective nature make them highly reliable in guarding their families and properties. Additionally, Finnish Spitzes are known for their strong bond with their owners, making them loyal and dedicated companions.

Hunting Characteristics of Finnish Spitz:

Characteristic Description
Tracking Style Finnish Spitzes have a unique tracking style that combines their acute sense of smell with their distinct barking method to locate and indicate the presence of game birds.
Vocalization The breed’s vocalization skills play a crucial role in hunting. Their ability to bark in different tones and pitches helps hunters determine the distance and direction of the prey.
Stamina Finnish Spitzes possess remarkable stamina, allowing them to endure long hours of hunting. Their energy and endurance make them an ideal choice for demanding hunting activities.
Loyalty Finnish Spitzes are known for their loyalty and devotion to their owners. This strong bond enhances their effectiveness as hunting partners and watchdogs.

The Finnish Spitz is a versatile and highly skilled breed, embodying the spirit of an all-round hunter. Their unique tracking style, coupled with their stamina and loyalty, make them an invaluable asset for hunters and a beloved companion for families who value their exceptional qualities.

Icelandic Sheepdog: The Versatile Herder of Iceland

Icelandic Sheepdog

The Icelandic Sheepdog is a native dog breed of Iceland known for its versatility as a herder. These dogs have a long history of working alongside Icelandic farmers to manage and protect livestock. With their friendly and devoted nature, Icelandic Sheepdogs have become beloved companions and valuable members of their communities.

This medium-sized breed is well-adapted to the harsh climate and rugged terrain of Iceland. Their thick and weather-resistant double coats provide insulation in cold weather, making them resilient working dogs. Icelandic Sheepdogs are also known for their strong herding instincts and agility, allowing them to effectively navigate the challenging landscapes of rural Iceland.

Known for their intelligence and quick-learning abilities, Icelandic Sheepdogs excel in various tasks beyond herding. They are versatile in their capabilities and have been trained for search and rescue, tracking, and even participating in dog sports such as agility and obedience trials. Their adaptability and willingness to please make them highly trainable and responsive to commands.

When it comes to temperament, Icelandic Sheepdogs are known for their friendly, gentle, and affectionate nature. They form strong bonds with their owners and are known to be good with children, making them excellent family pets. However, like any breed, early socialization and proper training are essential to ensure they develop into well-rounded and well-behaved dogs.

Characteristics of the Icelandic Sheepdog:

  • Size: Medium-sized breed, typically weighing between 20-30 pounds.
  • Coat: Double coat with a thick, weather-resistant topcoat and a soft, insulating undercoat.
  • Colors: Comes in a variety of colors and patterns including black, gray, brown, and tan, often with white markings.
  • Temperament: Friendly, gentle, and affectionate. Known for being good with children and other pets.
  • Health: Generally a healthy breed with a few known genetic conditions such as hip dysplasia and progressive retinal atrophy. Regular veterinary care and a balanced diet are essential for maintaining their well-being.

With their rich history and unique characteristics, the Icelandic Sheepdog continues to be treasured not only in Iceland but also around the world. Whether as a working dog or a loving companion, this versatile breed brings joy, loyalty, and an unmistakable Icelandic charm to the lives of those fortunate enough to have them by their side.

Keeshond: The Hardy and Amiable Dutch Barge Dog

The Keeshond is a medium-sized spitz breed that originated in the Netherlands. Historically, Keeshonds were used as guardians and companions on Dutch barges, earning them the nickname “Dutch barge dog.” They are hardy and adaptable dogs, with a friendly and amiable nature. Keeshonds are known for their beautiful thick double coat, which comes in shades of gray, black, and cream. Their expressive eyes, which resemble those wearing spectacles, add to their charming appearance.

One of the key characteristics of Keeshonds is their intelligence. They are highly trainable and eager to please, making them ideal companions for both novice and experienced dog owners. Keeshonds thrive in environments where they receive mental stimulation and regular exercise. Whether it’s obedience training, agility courses, or interactive games, these intelligent dogs excel in various activities. Their ability to learn quickly and their desire to be part of the family make Keeshonds a joy to train.

Despite their medium size, Keeshonds have a big heart and a naturally friendly demeanor. They are known for being good with children and other pets, making them an excellent addition to families. Keeshonds are also natural watchdogs; their alertness and tendency to bark when strangers approach make them reliable guardians. However, they are not typically aggressive and usually greet new people with a wagging tail and a warm welcome.

Keeshond at a Glance:

  • Breed: Keeshond
  • Origin: Netherlands
  • Size: Medium
  • Coat: Thick double coat in shades of gray, black, and cream
  • Temperament: Friendly, amiable, intelligent, trainable
  • Activity Level: Moderate
  • Good with Children: Yes
  • Good with Other Pets: Yes

In summary, the Keeshond is a hardy and amiable spitz breed that brings joy and companionship to families. Their Dutch heritage as barge dogs has shaped them into adaptable and friendly companions. With their intelligence, trainability, and naturally friendly nature, Keeshonds are a delightful addition to any household.

Wrapping Up

After exploring the world of spitz dog breeds, it is clear that these dogs are a diverse group with unique characteristics and traits. Originating from different regions and bred for various purposes, they showcase the rich history and versatility of the spitz breed.

From the loyal and courageous Akita to the active and intelligent Finnish Spitz, each breed brings something special to the table. When considering a spitz breed for your family, it is important to take into account their exercise and grooming needs, as well as how they will fit into your lifestyle and family situation.

Whether you are looking for a loyal protector, an affectionate companion, or an energetic working dog, the spitz breed has something for everyone. These dogs are not only beautiful and striking in appearance but also exhibit the unique traits that have endeared them to their respective regions for centuries.

So, when it comes to choosing a spitz breed, take the time to research and understand each breed’s individual characteristics. With the right match, you can experience the joy and companionship that these remarkable dogs bring into our lives.


Are spitz dog breeds suitable for families?

Yes, many spitz breeds, such as the Alaskan Malamute and American Eskimo Dog, make excellent family dogs. However, it’s important to consider their exercise and mental stimulation needs.

Do spitz dog breeds require a lot of grooming?

Yes, most spitz breeds have a double coat and require regular brushing to prevent matting and reduce shedding. Some spitz breeds, like the Chow Chow, have particularly thick coats and may require extra attention.

Are spitz dog breeds good with children?

It depends on the individual dog and their temperament. Many spitz breeds can be great with children if properly socialized and trained from a young age.

Can spitz dog breeds live in apartments?

Some spitz breeds, like the Finnish Lapphund, can adapt to apartment living with enough exercise and mental stimulation. However, most spitz breeds are active and require space to run and play.

Are spitz dog breeds prone to any health issues?

Like all dog breeds, spitz breeds may be prone to certain health conditions. It’s important to research and choose a reputable breeder who conducts health testing to minimize the risk of genetic issues.

Do spitz dog breeds get along well with other pets?

Again, this depends on the individual dog and their socialization. Some spitz breeds have a strong prey drive and may not do well with small animals, while others can coexist peacefully with other pets.

Are spitz dog breeds good for first-time dog owners?

Some spitz breeds, like the Finnish Spitz, can be more challenging for first-time owners due to their energy and training needs. Other spitz breeds, like the Keeshond, are known for their trainability and can be a good choice for beginners.

Share this article