Let's talk Medium Spitzes

With their lively, affectionate characters, the Medium Spitz (Mittel) is a breed that just wants to please. As long as they are in the mood. While full of energy, their exercise needs are relatively low, making the Medium Spitz a pretty apartment-friendly breed. Somewhat suspicious of strangers and attuned to new sounds, your Medium Spitz is a great guard dog and will always let you know when something is up. However, early training can help curb this tendency to bark. And can we discuss that lush double coat? With all of these qualities, the Medium Spitz makes for a wonderful companion.

Official name: Medium Spitz

Other names: German Spitz (Mittel), Medium

Origins: Germany

Spitz lying down looking behind towards camera in black and white
 Drooling tendencies

Medium

Warm weather? Medium
 Shedding level Very low
Suited to apartment living?  Low
 Energy Level (high, low, medium)* High Family Pet?* 
High
 Compatibility with other pets Low
Can stay alone?* Very low

 * We advise against leaving pets alone for long stretches. Companionship can prevent emotional distress and destructive behaviour. Speak to your veterinarian for recommendations.

Every pet is different, even within a breed; this snapshot of this breed specifics should be taken as an indication.
 
For a happy healthy and well-behaved pet, we recommend educating and socializing your pet as well as covering their basic welfare needs (and their social and behavioral needs).
 
Pets should never be left unsupervised with a child.
 
Contact your breeder or veterinarian for further advice.
 
All domestic pets are sociable and prefer company.  However, they can be taught to cope with solitude from an early age.  Seek the advice of your veterinarian or trainer to help you do this.

 
Inline Image 15
Illustration of beige Spitz
Male
29 - 40 cm Height
10.5 - 11.5 kg Weight
Female
29 - 40 cm Height
10.5 - 11.5 kg Weight

 Baby age  Birth to 2 months
 Puppy age  2 to 10 months
 Adult age 10 months to 8 years
 Mature age  8 to 12 years
 Senior age from 12 years

Close-up of black Spitz looking at camera with mouth open

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Get to know the Medium Spitz

All you need to know about the breed

As any seasoned Medium Spitz owner will tell you, have lint roller will travel. But what the Medium Spitz may lose points for in shedding profusely twice a year, they more than make up for in affection and good fun. Bred for life in Arctic climes, their thick double coats helped keep them warm in sub-freezing temperatures. Now, it just adds to that chic, runway-ready look the breed gives off.

An ancient dog, the Medium Spitz is definitely enjoying a popularity boon. It is well deserved. The breed is playful, devoted to their human families, intelligent and, let’s be honest, absolutely gorgeous with that magnificent mane-like coat. Motivated by treats and toys, the Medium Spitz is pretty easy to train if you can keep them interested – this is an independent, working dog so they need to see the payoff in staying focused on your program and not their own. However, once you get that down, the Medium Spitz makes for a great family pet, obedient, loyal and always up for a snuggle. They are quite social, so they don’t do well being left alone for long. Who can blame them?

While the Medium Spitz is obviously a Spitz, they are also a spitz-type dog, small “s”. Which means they are related to other magnificent breeds like the Pomeranian, Akita Inu, even Siberian Huskies, some of the well-known spitz-type dogs. But they are all in good company. Pretty healthy overall and with a nice long lifespan, you can look forward to years of good fun together.

Close-up side view of beige and black Spitz

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2 facts about Medium Spitzes

1. Spitz or spitz?

As we have mentioned, there are Spitz dogs and spitz-type breeds, a classification that unites many dogs with similar characteristics – the American Kennel Club puts the number at between 50 and 70 different breeds! Included under the impressive umbrella of ‘spitz-type’ dogs are Pomeranians, Siberian Huskies, Shiba Inus, Chow Chows, Samoyeds, Akitas… you get the idea. They have more in common than just feathery tails and a wolf-like appearance. But much that sets them apart as well.

2. Driven to distraction

An active breed and one that enjoys going for walks and hikes with their humans, the Medium Spitz was bred to work and still retains a very high prey drive. You might not know it while they are on a leash, but let them off and they will happily give chase to anything that moves or runs in the opposite direction. As such, you will need to pay attention to where and when you let your ultra-fast companion off the lead. 

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History of the breed

With ancestors thought to be larger Scandinavian herding dogs brought to the region by the Vikings, Medium Spitz dogs were originally farm-dwellers, performing tasks like herding and guarding, skills they still possess. As such, Medium Spitzes are intelligent, independent thinkers and full of pep.

In the 18th Century when James I ascended to the throne with his German wife, their many German visitors would bring their dogs to court with them. During this time, spitz-type dogs became hugely popular with British nobility. Queen Victoria was a devoted fan of the breed although at the time there was confusion as to whether her dogs were Pomeranian or Spitz. It is now believed they were more likely to be German Spitz (Mittel) dogs. However, around this time breeders started to develop smaller and smaller dogs, leading them to arrive at a toy breed later known as the Pomeranian, a direct descendent of the Medium Spitz.

Through no fault of their own, German breeds fell out of favour around the time of World War I. It took decades for the Medium Spitz to recover, which they did around 1975, thankfully, when Dutch Keeshonds were bred with larger Pomeranians, putting the Medium Spitz firmly back on the canine map.

Side view of Spitz sitting looking at camera in black and white

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From head to tail

Physical characteristics of Medium Spitzes

1. Ears

Triangular, small ears set high on the head which they hold perfectly upright.

2. Head

Largish, broad heads with virtually flat skulls.

3. Muzzle

Long muzzles about half the length of the rest of the head.

4. Coat

Wide variety of coat hues and markings, with 33 breed colours or combinations accepted for Kennel Club registration.

5. Body

Compact and sturdy body.

Close-up of brown Spitz looking at camera

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Things to look out for

From specific breed traits to a general health overview, here are some interesting facts about your Medium Spitz
Beige Spitz running towards camera across grass

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Caring for your Medium Spitz

Grooming, training and exercise tips

That opulent double coat is the Medium Spitz’s crowning glory but it does require a bit of effort. A quick brush through every few days and a deeper grooming once a week will help keep your dog knot-free and looking their best. However, be prepared for your Medium Spitz to shed their entire undercoat twice a year and decorate your home with it over the course of two or three weeks. Don’t forget to brush teeth regularly as well. While highly alert and energetic, the Medium Spitz needs only moderate exercise, though they will always be in “yes, please” mode for more. Just make sure they’re in a safe enclosed space if off-lead as they do have a strong prey drive and might follow that instead of your call. Indoor games will stimulate that sharp mind, also a necessity. Training a Medium Spitz is easy: they are intelligent and aim to please. However, motivate them with treats (taken from their daily rations to keep them fit) or your independent-minded canine may just lose interest. As a watchdog, you will also need to train the barkiness out of the Medium Spitz early. They were bred to stay alert, so new people and sounds can set them off.

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All about Medium Spitzes

 

Do birds fly? In all fairness, they don’t shed that much all year. But during their seasonal shedding seasons in Spring and Autumn, they make up for it, blowing their entire undercoat over the course of two or three weeks. It is simply the price one pays for such a fluffy, beautifully tressed companion. 

There are as many answers to this question as there are Spitz and spitz-type dog owners. Suffice it to say that all Medium Spitz dogs are affectionate, affable companions that make a house a home and add to their humans’ lives immeasurably. 

Other breeds that might interest you.

Sources

1 - Veterinary Centers of America https://vcahospitals.com/ 

2 - Royal Canin Dog Encyclopaedia. Ed 2010 and 2020

3 - Banfield Pet Hospital https://www.banfield.com/

4 - Royal Canin BHN Product Book

5 - American Kennel Club https://www.akc.org/