The Japanese Spitz (日本スピッツ, Nihon Supittsu, Japanese pronunciation: [nʲippoɴ.sɯ̥ᵝpʲittsɯᵝ]) is a small to medium breed of dog of the Spitz type. There are varying standards around the world as to the ideal size of the breed, but they are always larger than their smaller cousins, the Pomeranian. They were developed in Japan in the 1920s and 1930s by breeding a number of other Spitz type dog breeds together. They are recognized by the vast majority of the major kennel clubs, except the American Kennel Club due to it being of similar appearance to the white Pomeranian, American Eskimo Dog and Samoyed. While they are a relatively new breed, they are becoming widely popular due to their favorable temperament and other features.
The major health concern is patellar luxation, and a minor recurring concern is that the breed can be prone to runny eyes. They can act as reliable watchdogs, but are a type of companion dog and prefer to be an active part of the family. Although they might appear fluffy, they are a low maintenance breed as dirt does not stick to the coat.
The Japanese Spitz is a small dog, around 33 cm (13 ins) at the withers, with a somewhat square body, deep chest, and a very thick, pure white double coat. The coat consists of an outer coat that stands off from the soft inner coat, with fur shorter on the muzzle and ears as well as the fronts of the forelegs and the hindlegs. A ruff of longer fur is around the dog's neck. It has a pointed muzzle and small, triangular shape prick ears (ears that stand up). The tail is long, heavily covered with long fur, and is carried curled over and lying on the dog's back. The white coat contrasts with the black pads and nails of the feet, the black nose, and the dark eyes. The large oval (akin to a ginkgo seed) eyes are dark and slightly slanted with white eyelashes, and the nose and lips and eye rims are black. The face of the Japanese Spitz is wedge-shaped.They share a common resemblance with the white Pomeranian, Samoyed and American Eskimo Dog.