The German Spitz breed
The Fédération Cynologique Internationale recognizes the German Spitz (Deutscher Spitz) under Group 5, Section 4, European Spitz. The Deutscher Spitz is one breed, names differentiate sizes and colour:
Wolfsspitz (a.k.a. Keeshond) - Wolf grey with black points
Großspitz (Great Spitz) - White, Brown or black
Mittelspitz (Medium/Standard Spitz, incl. American Eskimo Dog) - White, Brown or black
Kleinspitz (Miniature Spitz) - White, Brown or black, Orange, Grey shaded and other colours
Zwergspitz (Dwarf Spitz, a.k.a. Pomeranian) - Any colour
The German Spitz type
Since there is no one German Spitz breed type, "German Spitz" can also be considered a subtype of the Spitz. Dogs descended or bred from various German Spitzen are included in this grouping.
The Wolfspitz is also called the Keeshond and is registered as a separate breed by the Kennel Club (UK) and other registries. The Großspitz (Grossespitz) or Giant Spitz is 40.5-41.5 cm/16-17 in. high and weighs 17.5-18.5 kg/38.5-40 lbs. The Keeshond and the Giant Spitz are divided primarily by colour. The Mittelspitz or Medium/Standard Spitz is the ancestor of, and is sometimes taken to include, the American Eskimo Dog. The American Eskimo Dog is allowed to be registered as Mittelspitz by some registries. Only the Canadian Kennel Club and the two major American kennel clubs recognize the American Eskimo Dog as a separate breed. The Kleinspitz is allowed more colours than the larger German Spitz under the Fédération Cynologique Internationale standard. The Japanese Spitz, also bred from the German Spitz, is very similar to the Kleinspitz but is limited to the white color. The Zwergspitz, the Pomeranian, is also registered as a separate breed in the UK and North America.
The Kennel Club (UK) and the Australian Kennel Club recognize only the Kleinspitz and Mittelspitz. In those countries the Grossespitz is not recognized, and the Pomeranian (Zwergspitz) and Keeshond (Wolfspitz) are separate breeds. In many countries the Miniature (Klein) Spitz is also confused with the Pomeranian (Zwergspitz). Some registries and breed clubs allow various sizes of German Spitz to be interbred, others do not.
German Spitz are similar in appearance but vary in color. The German Spitz can only be white but the Standard, Small and Dwarf can have various color combinations as well.. All German Spitzen have a wolf/fox-like head, double coat, highset triangular ears and a tail that is curled over the back. Although the Kleinspitz and the Pomeranian look alike, they are not the same dog. Also, some mixed-breed dogs, such as the papichon, a cross between the Bichon Frisé and Papillon breeds, resemble them, but are not to be confused with them.
German Spitz are descendants of the ancient spitzen found in the Stone Age and they are the oldest breed of dog in Central Europe. The German Spitz was later brought to America, and was renamed American Eskimo Dog due to the widespread anti-German prejudice during World War I, although other breeds ("White Keeshonds" and Pomeranians, along with Japanese Spitz) were also used in the formation of the breed. The American Kennel club recognizes the breeds as separate.The smaller version of the German Spitz is known as the pomeranian.
As the Spitz are a very ancient dog type, many smaller types of Spitz resemble each other. Medium to small sized breeds similar in appearance from various places in the world include the Wolfsspitz (Keeshond), Großspitz, Mittelspitz, Kleinspitz, Zwergspitz (Pomeranian), Samoyed (dog), Schipperke, Norwegian Elkhound, Volpino Italiano (Italian Spitz), Laika (Russian Spitz), Finnish Spitz, Indian Spitz and Japanese Spitz.
Types of German Spitz
American Eskimo Dog
Volpino Italiano (Italian Spitz)
Laika (Russian Spitz)