Spitz-type dogs (the correct German plural is Spitze, though Spitzen is commonly used in the United States) are a type of dog, characterized by long, thick, and often white fur, and pointed ears and muzzles. The tail is usually curled over the dog's back. The exact origins of Spitz-type dogs are not known, though most of the Spitz-types seen today originate from the Arctic regions.
There is no archaeological evidence showing transition stages between the wolf and the often-similar Spitz-type dogs. Skeletal remains up to 5,000 years old suggest it is far more likely that the ancestors of Spitz types mated with wolves. In recent genetic testing of dog breeds, many Spitz-types were found to be in the group closest to wolves, presumed to be the oldest types of dogs.
Spitz-types are well suited to living in harsh northern climates. They often have an insulating, waterproof undercoat that is denser than the topcoat to trap warmth.
Small ears help reduce the risk of frostbite, and thick fur that grows on the paws protects the dogs from sharp ice.
Many Spitz-type breeds retain wolf-like characteristics such as independence, suspiciousness, and aggression towards unfamiliar humans or other dogs, and can therefore require much training before they become manageable.
THE LARGE SPITZ
The Samoyed dog takes its name from the Samoyedic peoples of Siberia. An alternate name for the breed, especially in Europe, is Bjelkier. These nomadic reindeer herders bred the fluffy, white dogs to help with the herding, to pull sleds when they moved.
Roald Amundsen used a team of sled dogs led by a Samoyed named Etah on the first expedition to reach the South Pole.
The Canadian Inuit Dog is an Arctic breed of dog, which is often considered to be North America’s oldest and rarest remaining purebred indigenous domestic canine. Other names include Qimmiq (Inuit for "dog"). Although once used as the preferred method of transportation by Inuit in the Canadian Arctic, traditional working dog teams became increasingly rare in the North after the 1960s. This is often cited a result of snowmobiles becoming more popular, however it may also be the result of the alleged organized and systematic mass slaughter of Inuit sled dogs in the Eastern Arctic between 1950 and 1970 by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
These Dogs can be almost any colour, and no one colour or colour pattern should dominate. Solid white dogs are often seen, as well as white dogs with patches of another colour on the head or both body and head. Solid liver or black coloured dogs are common as well, many of the solid coloured dogs are prone to have white mask-like markings on the face, sometimes with spots over the eyes, others might instead have white socks and nose stripes with no eye spots or mask present.
The Norwegian Elkhound evolved, at least partially, from ancestral grey wolf subspecies now found in south central Europe and western Russia and may very well be one of the most ancient of all dog breeds.
The Greenland Dog is a large breed of husky-type dog kept as a sled dog and for hunting polar bear and seal. This is an ancient breed, thought to be directly descended from dogs brought to Greenland by the first Inuit settlers.
In Greenland this breed exists in much the same condition as it had when originally arriving there, and is kept as chiefly as a working dog valued for its strength and speed rather than a malleable temperament. As a result of living in a pack structure very much similar to their wolf forebears, the Greenland dog takes a very firm and confident owner to make a good pet. Once one has won their respect, however, they can be very loyal and protective of their owners, especially if in a pack.
The Akita Inu is a Japanese breed of large dog. Named for Akita Prefecture, where it is thought to have originated, it is sometimes called the Akita-ken based on the Sino-Japanese reading of the same kanji. In most countries (with the exception of the American and Canadian Kennel Clubs), it is considered a separate breed from the American Akita and is also colloquially known as the "Japanese Akita". "Inu" means "dog."
Akita Inu comes in only five colors: Red, Fawn, Sesame, Brindle, and Pure White. All except white must have whitish hair on the sides of the muzzle, on the cheeks, the neck, chest, body and tail. Black masks, as seen in the American Akita, are not permitted in the Japanese Akita Inu.
All colors are accepted in the American Akita. The Pinto color is not accepted as a Japanese Akita color, but is as an American Akita color. In the U.S., some breeders interbreed the original Japanese type with the heavier American type, which is larger, and allows more colors. It is felt by some that combining the two types leads to improved appearance and genetic health by increasing genetic diversity.
The Swedish Lapphund is a breed of dog of the Spitz type from Sweden, one of three Lapphund breeds developed from a type of dog used by the Sami people for herding and guarding their reindeer. The expression "the black beauty of Norrland" is very often attributed to the Swedish lapphund, which is most likely one of Sweden's oldest breeds. The Swedish name of the breed is Svensk lapphund.
In Sweden dogs have their temperament tested by a system called mentalbeskrivning. Results for the Swedish lapphund show a curious, intrepid, and friendly breed which is playful and non-aggressive. They are easy trained, strong, and very devoted to their family. Early training is essential to prevent excessive barking.
The coat colour is black or bear brown, sometimes with white marks on tail, chest and feet.
They are often naturally aggressive towards other dogs. They have been bred to be very independent as bear dogs should be able to hunt for hours at a time without any contact with its master. They are very loyal to their master and love their people. For this reason, they must be around them. They love to play but should be watched for around small children because of their size and bear-killing abilities. It is very unusual for a KBD to bite a human but they will kill another animal if they feel threatened.
The Siberian Husky is a medium-size, wolf-like, dense-coat working dog breed that originated in eastern Siberia. Huskies are an active, energetic, and resilient breed whose ancestors came from the extremely cold and harsh environment of the Siberian Arctic. Siberian Huskies were bred by the Chukchi of Northeastern Asia to pull heavy loads long distances through difficult conditions. The dogs were imported into Alaska during the Nome Gold Rush and later spread into the United States and Canada. They were initially sent to Alaska and Canada as sled dogs but rapidly acquired the status of family pets and show dogs.
Siberian Huskies share many outward similarities with the Alaskan Malamute as well as many other Spitz breeds such as the Samoyed, which has a comparable history to the Huskies. They come in a variety of colors and patterns, usually with white paws and legs, facial markings, and tail tip. The most common colors are black and white, copper-red and white, gray and white, and pure white, though many individuals have blondish or piebald spotting. Striking masks, spectacles, and other facial markings occur in wide variety. They tend to have a wolf-like appearance.
The Siberian Husky has been described as a behavioral representative of the domestic dog's forebear, the wolf, exhibiting a wide range of its ancestors' behavior. They are known to howl rather than bark. Siberian Huskies are still used as sled dogs in sled dog racing. Siberians are still popular in races restricted to purebreds and are faster than other pure sled dog breeds such as the Samoyed and the slower but much stronger Alaskan Malamute.
The Alaskan Malamute is a generally large, wolf-like breed of domestic dog, originally bred for use as an Alaskan sled dog. They are sometimes mistaken for a Siberian Husky, but in fact are quite different in many ways. Malamutes have a very quiet temperament and are often loyal to their owners.
Malamutes are quite fond of people, a trait that makes them particularly sought-after family dogs. Malamutes are nimble around furniture and smaller items, making them ideal house dogs, provided they get plenty of time outdoors meeting their considerable exercise requirements. If they are year-round outdoor dogs, letting them play in a baby pool filled with cold water in summer keeps them cool. In the winter, they love snow.
The majority of Malamutes are fairly quiet dogs, seldom barking like most other dog breeds. When a malamute does vocalize, more often than not they tend to "talk" by vocalizing a "woo woo" sound. They may howl like wolves or coyotes, and for the same reasons.
The Russo-European Laika is the name of a breed of hunting dog that originated in the forested region of northern Europe and Russia, one of several breeds developed from landrace Laika dogs of very ancient Spitz type.
This is a lively breed that enjoys time spend in the great outdoors. As a hunter who frequently trees game, the Russo-European Laika uses its voice to alert the hunter to the treed prey (typically a raccoon or squirrel). It may use its voice freely in the house as well because it is easily excited about things going on around it. The Russo-European Laika has a strong love of family. Once bonded to them, it is quite territorial and makes an excellent guard dog. It is extremely tolerant of children, although not of strangers or other unfamiliar dogs.
THE MEDIUM SPITZ
The Alaskan Klee Kai is a northern breed of dog of spitz type. The term "Klee Kai" was derived from Alaskan Athabaskan words meaning "small dog". The breed was developed to create a companion sized version of the Alaskan Husky (a mixed breed of dog used for sled racing), resulting in an energetic, intelligent, apartment-sized dog with an appearance that reflects its northern heritage.
The Alaskan Klee Kai is a highly intelligent, curious and active breed. Unlike Siberian Huskies, whom they closely resemble, Alaskan Klee Kai are typically standoffish and cautious around unfamiliar individuals, which causes them to excel as watchdogs. They can be a great family dog if raised with properly raised children. Alaskan Klee Kai are not likely to tolerate being mistreated (poked at, pinched, bullied) by children and may respond by nipping them, unlike the Siberian Husky which are considered good with children.
The American Eskimo Dog is a breed of companion dog originating in Germany. The American Eskimo is a member of the Spitz family. Despite its name and appearance, the American Eskimo dog is not from Alaska; as previously stated, the American Eskimo dog's heritage is traced back to Northern Europe. The breed's progenitors were German Spitz, but due to anti-German prejudice during the First World War, it was renamed "American Eskimo Dog".
There are three size varieties of the American Eskimo breed, the toy, miniature and the standard. They share a common resemblance with Japanese Spitz and Samoyed dog.
The American Eskimo is a hardy breed with an average life span of 16 years. This breed tends to become overweight easily, so proper diet and exercise is needed to maintain an overall well being. Health testing should be performed by all responsible breeders and anyone purchasing a puppy should be aware of the genetic problems which have been found in some individuals of the breed, such as PRA (Progressive Retinal Atrophy), luxating patella, and hip dysplasia. None of these problems are common and the breed is generally very healthy. In addition to the rarer problems mentioned, the breed can have a tendency towards allergies and most commonly, tear-staining.
The Thai Bangkaew Dog is an Asian dog breed. It is a medium-sized Spitz-type dog. It is well proportioned, with a smooth gait. The double coat consists of a short undercoat, with longer guard hairs growing through it forming the outer coat. The coat is thicker and longer around the neck, chest, and back forming a lion-like ruff, which is more noticeable on dogs than on bitches. The plumed tail is carried with moderate upward curve over the back.
The TBD comes in white with shades of red, gray, brown, and black in a wide variety of patterns.Thai Bangkaew Dogs are alert and watchful, protective of home and family. Bangkaew are devoted to their masters but can be aloof with strangers. Agile and active, they are strong swimmers and voracious diggers. They are highly intelligent but can be stubborn and benefit from training. Positive reinforcement methods work best with this breed.
The Shiba Inu is a small, agile dog that copes very well with mountainous terrain, the Shiba Inu was originally bred for hunting. It is similar in appearance to the Akita, though much smaller in stature. It is one of the few ancient dog breeds still in existence in the world today.
The Shiba is a fastidious breed and feels the need to maintain itself in a clean state. They can often be seen licking their paws and legs much like a cat. They generally go out of their way to keep their coats clean, yet thoroughly enjoy swimming and playing in puddles. Because of their fastidious and proud nature, Shiba puppies are easy to housebreak and in many cases will housebreak themselves. Having their owner simply place them outside after meal times and naps is generally enough to teach the Shiba the appropriate method of toileting.
The Chow Chow is a breed of dog that was developed in China, where it is referred to as Songshi Quan, which literally means "puffy-lion dog". The chow is a sturdily built dog, square in profile, with a broad skull and small, triangular, erect ears, rounded at the tips. The breed has a very dense double coat that can be either smooth or rough. The fur is particularly thick around the neck, giving the distinctive ruff or mane appearance. The coat may be one of five colors including red, black, blue, cinnamon/fawn, and cream.
Recent DNA analysis confirms that the chow chow is one of the oldest breeds of dog. Research indicates it is one of the first primitive breeds to evolve from the wolf, and is thought to have originated in the arid steppes of northern China/Mongolia. A Chinese bas-relief from 150 BC shows a hunting dog and a dog very friendly toward children similar in appearance to the chow. Later, chow chows were bred as general-purpose working dogs for hunting, herding, pulling and protection of the home. The black tongued chow was also bred for human consumption. Some scholars claim the chow was the original ancestor of the samoyed, norwegian elkhound, pomeranian and keeshond.
In the early 19th century, clipper ships sailed from China to England, bringing back a various assortment of cargo, referred to as chow chow. These miscellaneous objects were stored in the ship's hold called the chow chow hold, chow chow meaning bits and pieces of this and that. The first chow chow dog appeared in England in the 1830s, and was known as the chow chow dog because he had been housed in the chow chow hold during the long voyage
A Schipperke is a small Belgian breed of dog that originated in the early 16th century. There has been a long informal debate over whether this type of dog is a spitz or miniature sheepdog.
Some reports say they were found frequently as working dogs aboard barges in the canals, with three jobs onboard: security (barking vigorously when anyone approached the barge), keeping the barges free of vermin, and nipping at the towing horses' heels to get them moving to tow the barge. Due to their bravery and adventurous character, not to mention low center of gravity, Schipperkes are to this day known as excellent boat dogs, and are often found cruising the world aboard sailing yachts and powerboats. They are not prone to seasickness.
Before the name "Schipperke" was officially taken, the breed was also known colloquially as "Spitzke". It is thought that the name change was to distinguish it from the German Spitz. Schipperkes are widely referred to in the United States, albeit erroneously, as "Belgian barge dogs" or "Belgian ship dogs."
The Keeshond [Wolfsspitz] is a medium-sized dog with a plush two-layer coat of silver and black woolen fur with a 'ruff' and a curled tail. It originated in Germany, and its closest relatives are the other German spitzes such as the Pomeranian. Originally called the German Spitz, more specifically the Wolfsspitz, the name was officially changed to Keeshond, in 1926 in England, where it had been known as the Dutch Barge Dog.
The color is a mix of grey, black, and cream. The top coat is tipped with black, while the undercoat is silver or cream (never tawny). The color can range from very pale to very dark; but it should neither be black nor white. The ruff and "trousers" of the hind legs should be a distinctly lighter silver or cream.
Keeshonden tend to be very playful, with quick reflexes and strong jumping ability. They are quick learners and eager to please. Because Keeshonden are quick learners, they also learn things you did not necessarily wish to teach them—very quickly. They love children and are excellent family dogs, preferring to be close to their humans whenever possible. They generally get along with other dogs as well and will enjoy a good chase around the yard. Keeshonden are very intuitive and empathic and are often used as comfort dogs. Most notably, at least one Keeshond, Tikva, was at Ground Zero on 9/11 to help comfort the rescue workers. The breed has a tendency to become especially clingy towards their owners, even in comparison to other dogs. If their owner is out, or in another room behind a closed door, they may sit, waiting for their owner to reappear, even if there are other people nearby. Many have been referred to as their "owner's shadow," or "velcro dogs".
THE SMALL SPITZ'S
The Volpino Italiano (Little Italian fox) has been known and loved by Italian royalty for centuries, being a special favorite of the ladies. Although bearing a strong resemblance to the Pomeranian, the breed is much older and thus has a different background. The northern dogs found their way south very early in the history of domesticated dogs. The Italian word for wolf is lupo, and the Keeshond is called both Lupino and Volpino in Italian. Volpe is Italian for fox , hence volpino means little fox in Italian. Despite his long history, the Volpino is unknown outside of Italy and is now quite rare even in his homeland.
Despite its small size, this dog was originally kept as a guard dog. Its job was to alert the large mastiffs to an intruder. However, due to their lovely temperament and intelligence they also became popular as pets. For unknown reasons the breed's popularity dropped and in 1965 the last dogs were registered. In 1984 an attempt was made to revive the breed. The dogs still living as guard dogs on farms became the new breeding stock. Volpinos remain rare with about 2000 dogs world wide. Most are in Italy but some people are now breeding them in Scandinavia, the UK and the USA.
The Volpino Italiano can be White, Black, Tan and a mixture of each.
The Pomeranian named for the Pomerania region in Central Europe (today part of eastern Germany and northern Poland). Classed as a toy dog breed because of its small size, the Pomeranian is descended from the larger Spitz type dogs, specifically the German Spitz. It has been determined by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale to be part of the German Spitz breed, and in many countries, they are known as the Zwergspitz (Dwarf Spitz).
The earliest examples of the breed were white or occasionally black, Queen Victoria adopted a small red Pomeranian in 1888, which caused that color to become fashionable by the end of the 19th century. In modern times, the Pomeranian comes in the widest variety of colors of any dog breed, including white, black, brown, red, orange, cream, blue, sable, black and tan, brown and tan, spotted, brindle, plus combinations of those colors. The most common colors are orange, black or cream/white.
Pomeranians are typically a very friendly and lively breed of dog. They love to be around their owners and are known to be protective of them. They bond quickly with their owners, and can suffer from separation anxiety if not trained to spend time alone. Pomeranians are alert and aware of changes in their environment and barking at new stimuli can develop into a habit of barking excessively in any situation. They are somewhat defensive of their territory and will thus bark when they encounter any outside noises. Pomeranians are intelligent dogs, respond well to training, and can be very successful in getting what they want from their owners