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Is the German Shepherd a spitz breed?

Whether the German Shepherd is a family dog, a fellow soldier or a service dog for the blind, they are undeniably one of the most loyal dog breeds around. They are calm and collected with an unmatched dedication to loving and protecting their human or entire family unit (including children and feline siblings). That doesn’t mean they are always in «working mode». German Shepherds also love to play and cuddle with their humans, albeit with an ever-attentive eye to their surroundings. There are five main types of German Shepherds: American Line, Western Line, Western Working Line, Eastern Working Line DDR, and Czech Working Line. Show dogs compete in conformation dog shows, such as Westminster. Working Line German Shepherds are bred and trained to work as military, police, or service dogs.

Breed overview

22 to 26 inches, across the shoulder

From 50 to 90 pounds

Life expectation:
7 to 10 years


The German Spitz makes a wonderful family pet. They are very intelligent dogs. You have to give them something to do; otherwise they will often enjoy howling, barking or destroying the house. They tend to be noisy, a trait inherited from their days as watchdogs. Good training from a young age combined with play and exercise will help reduce howling and barking. These pooches are brave and daring with a taste for adventure, so they’ll be happy to run and walk with you.

Although the German Spitz is an intelligent breed, they generally respond best to positive reinforcement training methods. This is not a dog that will show you unquestioning obedience. The Spitz usually gets along well with children, but make sure your children play gently, as an over-enthusiastic child could accidentally injure the pooch.

The Basics: What You Should Know About a German Spitz

These sweet little guys come in two packages: the keeshond and the mittel. The keeshond is the larger variety of the two, standing 17 to 18 inches tall and weighing 30 to 40 pounds. Although they are larger, they remain in the medium sized dog category. So, they’re perfect for anyone who wants to do more with a bigger dog, but they’re still not too big to become a problem when traveling and such. For those who prefer a smaller dog, we recommend the mittel; all keeshond traits in a smaller dog. They offer the same great look and personality we love in a keeshond, without the bulkier size, which makes them perfect for travel. They stand 9 to 12 inches and usually weigh 8 to 24 pounds. The life expectancy of both the keeshond and the mittel is estimated to be around 13 to 15 years.

A German spitz’s coat is medium to long in length, straight and requires many daily brushings to keep his mane looking good every day. They are a shedding dog so you can expect to find plenty of their fur throughout the house. Nearly all color varieties of the German spitz are solid, with the exception of black and tan, where the tan is broken up by spots or speckles of black, or vice versa. Other colors you can expect to find a German Spitz appearing in are white, cream, black, orange, red, or brown. German spitz eye and nose colors don’t have much variety; To match each coat, each dog has a standard set of black eyes and nose. To top it off, they have a curly tail. While they don’t show much variety in their coats and eye color, their long, silky, spunky coats command everyone’s attention.

German Spitz

Highlights: Alert, loyal, energetic

You can think of the German Spitz as a larger Pomeranian. In fact, the two dog breeds are closely related and share the same (surprised?) ancestry.

With a soft, woolly undercoat and a long, harsh outer coat, the German Spitz is covered with abundant hair except for the face, ears and legs. The high tail is covered with long, spreading hair and carried curled over the back.

With their independent and happy outlook on life, the German Spitz is a devoted member of the family. Lorraine McCahon, who has been breeding Mittel Spitz for many years, says the joie de vivre and enjoyment of the breed can be contagious.