What Is A Spitz Dog? What Defines The Spitz Type?

spitz dogs walk in snow

(Image Credit: Getty Images/Kirill Kukhmar/Contributor)

Whether you’ve heard of it or not, the spitz (or spitzes) dog is a highly common dog type. It comes from the German word spitzen. These dogs are known for their long, thick fur that is meant to protect them in cold climates. Pointed ears and longer muzzles also make up some of the identifiable features of this dog type, along with a curled tail. Some of the most iconic spitz-type dogs are the Akita Inu, the Alaskan Malamute, and the Siberian Husky.

While this particular dog type’s origin is a mystery, remains up to 2,000 years old have been found in Switzerland. However, many dogs that match the spitz style are found all across Europe, East Asia, and the Arctic regions.

What Defines A Spitz Type Dog?

Generally, the spitz breeds are most recognizable for being very wolf-like in appearance. In fact, recent DNA testing has shown that they have a stronger genetic tie to wolves than found in other breeds.

It is important to note that the spitz dog is not a breed of dog. It is more of a “type,” or identifier for how a dog looks based on traits that tend to be breed-specific. All in all, there are anywhere from 50 to 70 dog breeds that qualify as this type of dog.

Care And Love For A Spitz Dog

(Image Credit: Getty Images/Kirill Kukhmar/Contributor)

As mentioned, one of the defining traits of spitz dogs is their double-layered, heavy coats. This alone can pose a challenge for owners if they don’t have the right brush or fail to groom their dog altogether. Matted and tangled fur is a reality for any spitz dog owner.

However, it’s vital to note that a brush alone will not help care for your spitz dog’s coat because a brush will only take care of the top layer. Combs will be equally essential to care for your dog’s coat and detangle fur closer to the skin.

With that, don’t be discouraged if you’re looking to adopt a spitz dog. While their fur requires a little extra maintenance, they will love you back tenfold for all the care you give them. Many of the dog breeds of the spitz variety are loving family dogs who will make great additions to any home.

Do you have a spitz dog? Is this the first time you’re hearing of this dog type? Let us know in the comments below!

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