German Spitz Mittel

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Is the German Spitz Mittel right for you?

Species group:

Other name(s): Standard Spitz; German Spitz Mittel

The basics:
The German Spitz Mittel may look like an adorable ball of fluff, but this ancient breed probably originates from Nordic herding dogs brought to Germany by Vikings in the Middle Ages. They possess the Spitz personality-- lively, energetic, and independent-minded. Some owners find dogs in this category difficult to train. You must understand how to use reward-based training that gives them an incentive to please you.

In European countries under the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) rules, the German Spitz family consists of five breeds: the Pomeranian, the Klein Spitz (Small Spitz), the Mittel Spitz (Standard Spitz), the Grosse Spitz (Giant Spitz), and the Keeshond (Wolf Spitz). Some registries may allow you to register the American Eskimo Dog as a Mittelspitz. Some breeders note that the sizes are not perfectly standardized, and some so-called Kleins may end up as big as some Mittels. Know the breeder and know the parents if you need a specific size for breeding or showing. The size is, of course, less important if you're just looking for a family pet.

Appearance / health:
The German Spitz is a compact, abundantly coated dog with a fox-like small head and a square body. The size of the breed varies widely but Mittels should be in the middle range-- not the smallest or largest of your choices.

In general, the head is small with a wedge-shaped muzzle that is not too long. The ears are triangular, small, set high, and always standing erect. The eyes are oval, medium-sized, obliquely set, and dark. The neck is of moderate length and always covered with dense hair. The legs are slim, muscular, straight, and partially covered with profuse hair. The tail is set high, plumed, and normally curled over the back.

The German Spitz is a seasonal shedder and sheds little. The male sheds once and the female sheds twice in a year. The coat of the breed tends to develop matts. A regular brushing once every week helps to keep the coat clean and knot free.

Behavior / temperament:
The German Spitz makes a great watchdog, as they are suspicious of strangers, and are quick to sound a warning to its owner. The breed is intelligent and has a quick learning rate. However, obedience training may be difficult, as the German Spitz can be willful at times. Firm and consistent training coupled with positive reinforcement brings out the best results.

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