Spitz Dog Breeds

Although not a breed, spitz is a classification of canine breeds that share the same features. These pups have foxy or wolf-like features such as almond-shaped eyes, dense coats, curled-up tails, and triangular, pointy ears. And guess what? There are over 50 of these spitz dogs!

One of the most popular is the Japanese Spitz, famous for its immaculate white coat, plume-like tail, and adorable smile. There’s also the tiny Pomeranian that’s a bundle of energy and sweetness in a compact package. And how can we forget the sassy Samoyed, clad in all-white fur and a drool-proof upturned mouth!

Discover more about these fascinating spitz dog breeds that roam the planet today – and you might just find yourself welcoming one of these cuties in your home soon.

51. Japanese Spitz

Image from Instagram:@goodboykumo

The Japanese Spitz is an elegant dog that is also quite a comedian. Their coats are the purest white with extra fluff around the neck. As with all spitz dog breeds, they have plumed tails and pointy ears that tend to move side to side as they listen intently to noises around them.

These pups are amazing entertainers. They are lighthearted and are always ready to make you smile with their silly antics. No wonder they are excellent family pets!

50. Pomeranian

Image from Instagram:@ak1_pom

Next up, we have the tiny Pomeranian. They are famous for their stunning double coats that cover their entire body but are thickest on their shoulders and chest. There are numerous coat colors available with red and orange as the more common ones.

Poms are perky pets that just want to have fun. But they can be rather vocal, mostly when they demand your attention or when strangers seem to have approached their territories.

49. Lapponian Herder

Image from Instagram:@lappalaiskoirat.seikkailee

A robust spitz dog breed, the Lapponian Herder has a thick, medium-length coat. This makes it easier to maintain and groom. They often come in various colors including black with light undercoat, gray-brown, and some tan or white markings.

Lapponians are hardworking canines. They are dedicated to completing any task given to them and are always ready to give you some cuddles at the end of the day.

48. East Siberian Laika

Image from Instagram:@jennikaipainen

Just like all spitz dog breeds, the East Siberian Laika is one fluffy pooch. They have a rough and burly overcoat that protects them from harsh climates while their wooly undercoat keeps them warm. These pups come in black and white, solid white, piebald, or black coat colors.

Their wolf-like features are more than what the eye can see; Laikas are also fearless and versatile just like their wild ancestors. When well-trained, however, they make outstanding pets and hunting companions.

47. Tahltan Bear Dog

Image from Instagram:@rikadeedeedee

At first glance, the Tahltan Bear Dog can easily remind one of Mighty Mouse with its upright ears, black and white coat, and small, bead-like eyes. They may be small but these pups are quite bold and strong.

A keen hunter, Tahltan Bear Dogs can take down their prey including porcupines and beavers. They also assist huntsmen in catching bigger game, such as elks, tigers, and bears.

46. Jämthund

Image from Instagram:@norwegian.hunting.dogs

Also called the Swedish Elkhound, the Jämthund is a wolf-like pooch with dark and light-colored coats. These are large canines that relish being out in the snow and performing tasks assigned by their owners.

These pups can do a variety of jobs because of their versatility and muscle strength. Whether it is guarding or hunting, they can do these all with flying colors!

45. Pungsan Dog

Image from Instagram:@falling_in_danpung

Athletic and agile, the mighty Pungsan dog is a spitting image of the South Korean Jindo dog. They have the same dense coat often in solid white color, dark almond-shaped eyes, and pointy small ears.

Bred to hunt the toughest predators in North Korea’s forests, Pungsan dogs are spirited and fearless. Their thick coats protect them from the freezing climate, which allows them to stay out in the snow for hours on end.

44. Thai Bangkaew Dog

Image from Instagram:@pleinvoorjehuisdier

Thai Bangkaew dogs are strong and sturdy dogs with thick double coats. They come in a range of colors including brown and white, red and white, or solid white. Their bodies are squarish and well-balanced, and they have fox-like pointed ears that give them an alert expression.

What’s unique about the Thai Bangkaew dog is the lack of doggy smell. However, they are not suitable for allergy sufferers because these pups shed a lot and almost regularly.

43. Kintamani

Image from Instagram:@ayugitadewi

A native of Bali, the Kintamani is a feral, ancient dog. Over time, they have learned to get along with humans, which makes them ideal pets. They come in different sizes as some can be quite small at under 2 feet tall while others are taller.

Clad in beige, black, white, brown, or white thick coats, these are outstanding watchdogs because of their territorial nature. Thus, early training is important to help them integrate well with people.

42. Shikoku

Image from Instagram:@izou_ikka

Shikoku dogs were prized by Japanese hunters for their strength and determination. These densely-coated, medium-sized canines have well-developed muscles and a keen sense of smell, allowing them to easily track down and attach their prey.

A vision of power and endurance, Shikoku dogs are always ready to take on the toughest hunting job. But at the end of the day, they are happiest spending time with their owner and family members.

41. Canaan Dog

Image from Instagram:@skaiva.rikis

Bushy-tailed and a little on the slender side, Canaan dogs are agile and swift. They have harsh coats that allow them to survive even the coldest temperature. With their rugged features, they are excellent companions for running and hiking up the mountain.

Do take note that Canaans are rather territorial dogs. They need firm and constant training to overcome aggressive tendencies. This is why these pups are better off with an experienced owner who can reel them in and curb their stubborn streak.

40. Akita Inu

Image from Instagram:@dream_chasers_akitas

One of the most well-known spitz dog breeds, Akitas are heavy-boned, fox-like pups with dark eyes, pointy ears, and a curled tail. These burly creatures exude an air of confidence and alertness, which makes them amazing guard dogs.

Unlike many dogs, Akitas are quiet. They do not bark a lot, which makes them suitable for folks who prefer a mellow pet. These are fastidious canines that like to keep themselves clean, another interesting quirk of the adorable Akita.

39. West Siberian Laika

Image from Instagram:@freddie_westsiberianlaika

One look at the West Siberian Laika, and you can easily tell its similarity with the wolf. With its harsh coat in black or gray and white, erect ears, and a bushy tail, it appears like a feral canine.

However, West Siberian Laikas are actually trainable creatures. They are intelligent and loyal to their owners. When properly trained and socialized, they can become excellent family pets and companions.

38. Formosan Mountain Dog

Image from Instagram:@lunathefmd

Formosan Mountain dogs have a medium build, smooth muscles, and the typical features of spitz dog breeds – pricked ears, wedge-shaped head, sickle tail, and small eyes. Their coats are dense and average in length.

These are smart dogs that can easily learn tricks and follow commands. Their loyalty is sole to their owners, and they can be rather aloof toward strangers.

37. Kleinspitz

Image from Instagram:@ippi_the_spitz

The Kleinpspitz is among the smallest spitz dog breeds on the planet. They come in tiny packages but are covered in dense, medium-length hair. Their eyes are bead-like with an alert and curious expression.

Because of their compact stature, Kleinspitzes make perfect apartment pets. However, they can be a bit too vocal, which requires training and socialization to help them overcome this tendency.

36. Russo-European Laika

Image from Instagram:@pandahuskylife

The smallest of all Laika dogs, the Russo-European Laika looks much like its larger cousins – erect ears, plume tail, and a dense double coat. Although modest in size, they are nonetheless fearless and versatile, which makes them great as hunting companions.

The tenacity of a Russo-European Laika is impressive. They are devoted and affectionate to their families, always ready to defend and keep their loved ones safe.

35. Northern Inuit Dog

Image from Instagram:@the.compa.house

A wolf-like hybrid dog, the Northern Inuit dog’s ancestry includes various breeds such as German Shepherd, Malamute, Siberian Husky, and Samoyed. They are burly creatures with an abundant double coat, allowing them to roam comfortably even in the harshest of climates.

Although they seem intimidating because of their rugged body, they are actually quite sweet and mellow. They are easy to train, which helps them to get along with other people and pets in the household.

34. Volpino

Image from Instagram:@kokopolarbear

The Volpino is a diverse and fascinating breed. They appear quite like the American Eskimo except for a smaller version. These dogs have thick, white coats and plume-like tails that they hold up proudly behind them.

While they are small and compact, Volpini are agile and strong. They are affectionate creatures that are more than content being on your lap.

33. Korean Jindo

Image from Instagram:@genie.thesweetie

Korean Jindo dogs are medium-sized canines bred historically for guarding and hunting purposes. They have a rolled tail, pointy ears, and a thick coat that enables them to survive in frigid temperatures.

With their bold and cautious character, they are excellent hunters. These dogs are also quite swift and agile, and ample exercise is a must to keep them healthy and thriving.

32. Karelian Bear Dog

Image from Instagram:@peso_and_huck

These canines look like small bears, hence the name “Bear Dog.” They have small, pointy ears, a long muzzle, and a wedge-shaped head. Their coats are often in black and white, which makes them appear similar to a black cub.

Karelians are silent canines. They only bark once they have caught their game to alert hunters. Well-balanced and confident, they do a brilliant job in big game hunting.

31. Norrbottenspets

Image from Instagram:@johannavaar

Norrbottenspets may not be your tall and mighty pups but don’t underestimate the size – these canines are tough! They have muscular bodies that allow them to overcome difficult conditions in freezing climates and unforgiving terrains.

These pups have somewhat rectangular bodies, erect ears, and an alert expression in their eyes. Nobs can easily take down their prey, all because of their fearless character and strength.

30. American Akita

Image from Instagram:@malcolm_the_akita

Weighing over 100 lbs and standing at about 28 inches tall, American Akitas are powerful, large dogs. They are muscular with large and heavy bones, which enable them to help hunters catch their big game.

Although they share some similarities with the Japanese Akita, American Akitas are more bear-like because of their large heads. They also have deeply set muzzles, small brown eyes, and a dark face mask, all of which resemble that of a bear.

29. Norwegian Buhund

Image from Instagram:@walterthebuhund

Sporting the typical features of spitz dog breeds – triangular-shaped head, curled tail, and a dense coat – the Norwegian Buhund comes in different shapes and sizes. You can find smaller ones with a build similar to Pomeranians or something bigger like a Malamute.

Closely linked with Vikings, Norwegian Buhunds are hardworking pups. They are excellent at guarding and herding, but they can also be quite affectionate family dogs.

28. Greenland Dog

Image from Instagram:@greenlanddogpack

At first glance, anyone can easily mistake a Greenland dog for a Malamute or a Husky. With those fluffy tails, pricked ears, and dense double coats, they do look like these dog breeds. However, they have their own unique personality that sets them apart from these canines.

Just like these dogs’ look-alikes, however, they are also outstanding sled pups. They are endowed with amazing strength, which allows them to pull a sled and help out their owners with chores.

27. Canadian Eskimo Dog

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This large spitz dog breed can easily weigh up to 90 lbs or so. Canadian Eskimo dogs are burly pups with a typical spitz dog appearance closely resembling a Siberian Husky. These pooches have double coats in various shades such as red and white, solid white, or gray and white.

Because of their high energy level, it is best to give them ample exercise to overcome negative behaviors such as digging and chewing. Firm training is a must – these dogs can be a tad stubborn!

26. Alaskan Klee Kai

Image from Instagram:@rudithewolf

A great companion dog, the Alaskan Klee Klai is a small pooch with contrasting body markings and a dark facial mask. They also have the typical pointy ears that spitz dogs possess.

By nature, these canines are aloof and reserved, especially with strangers. Thus, they would need early socialization to adapt to unfamiliar situations and people.

25. Schipperke

Image from Instagram:@luna_shipperke

Famous for their solid black coats and fox-like faces, the Schipperke is a small but sturdy canine. Their forequarters and jaws are strong, and these pups move stealthily like a cat to take their prey by surprise.

If you prefer a lively and agile pet, the Schipperke is for you. They can be a tad mischievous, though, but this personality just keeps life more interesting and hardly ever dull!

24. Swedish Vallhund

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The Swedish Vallhund is one of the oldest spitz dog breeds today. In fact, their existence goes way back to over 1,000 years ago when they used to travel with Vikings aboard their longships! Today, they can be easily found romping around in the yard in many suburban settings.

These canines were bred as herders. This is why their long and low bodies allow them to move swiftly and nip at cattle’s heels to direct them to the right way. Overall, these pups are noted for their agility, hard work, and zest for life.

23. Finnish Lapphund

Image from Instagram:@minlillakennel

A Nordic dog, the Finnish Lapphund has an enigmatic sweet expression on its face combined with a fluffy coat and tail. They are not any taller than 20 inches but these dogs are packed with power and strength.

When with their owners, Lappies are mellow and affectionate. However, they are not very fond of strangers and can be quite protective of their territories.

22. Icelandic Sheepdog

Image from Instagram:@sofieelund

A native of Iceland, the Icelandic Sheepdog is a faithful pup that’s devoted to its owner. These canines have thick coats in different colors with some white markings. They look a bit like a fox but with a constant friendly expression on their faces.

Bred as a herder, these dogs take their business seriously. They make sure that at the end of the day, all tasks assigned to them are well taken care of. No doubt these pups are an amazing workhorse anywhere they may be!

21. Kishu

Image from Instagram:@akiyama.wolfden

Folks who prefer an agile dog to accompany them in their activities will love being with a Kishu. This pup has a medium-build and well-developed muscles. They are rugged canines that can handle hours of hiking or running. 

One thing to take note of, though – they have a strong prey drive. So, if you have small pets in the house, it is best to keep them out of this curious dog’s sight.

20. German Spitz Mittel

Image from Instagram:@hugo.mittelspitz

This toy dog is one of the happiest-looking pups out there. Their curved tails and arched heads give them the impression of being confident and perky… And they are!

As they weigh under 25 lbs, they are easy to take with you anywhere you go. Plus, they are under a foot tall, so you can simply put them in your dog purse and tag them along on your activities.

19. Norwegian Lundehund

Image from Instagram:@kira.and.boba

They may seem like a prototypical spitz dog, but Norwegian Lundehunds have something unique about them. For instance, they have extra paw pads and six toes that are fully functioning. These pups also have an impressive “elastic neck”, which can crane far back to the head!

Thanks to these special features, the Norwegian Lundehund is able to hunt for puffins. In fact, it is the job they do best! Well, aside from being an amazing companion to its owner, of course.

18. Indian Spitz

Image from Instagram:@mydogdevi

Covered in thick, long hair and with a plume tail that’s curled up on the back, the Indian Spitz is a gorgeous big dog. They have large eyes and tall ears, and their coat is usually shorter on the head than on their body.

While these dogs may be large, they can definitely run fast like a small pooch. These spirited fellows also have a tendency to be aggressive, which is why early training is very important to reel them in.

17. Kai Ken

Image from Instagram:@kaiken.kuma0623

Strong, athletic, and agile, Kai Kens are swift dogs. They have a distinct coat color and pattern, often in black, brindle, and the less common red brindle. These clever canines use their coat patterns to camouflage against predators and prey.

Interestingly, Kai Kens are born with solid black coats. As they get older, however, they develop a brindle pattern, which remains for the rest of their lives.

16. Hokkaido

Image from Instagram:@niki_and_nova

Another Japanese spitz dog breed, the Hokkaido is a rare one. In fact, there are only about 10,000 of these dogs in the native country. They have different coat colors such as sesame, gray, red, white, brindle, and black.

Bred to hunt, they have the body build of a master canine hunter – strong, lean, and muscular. Their eyes have an alert expression and their nose has a keen sense of smell for tracking down their prey.

15. Pembroke Welsh Corgi

Image from Instagram:@magnum.pumpkin.thecorgis

With a long body that hangs low to the ground, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi is an agile and quick dog. Their legs are stubby, yet they can run and chase after their prey without fail. These adorable pups are covered in medium-length coats in black, tan, fawn, sable, and red, sometimes with white markings.

As skilled herders, they can easily get the job done with their agility and smarts. They can also intimidate their prey with their “big dog” bark.

14. Eurasier

Image from Instagram:@eurasier_elfi

Eurasiers are gorgeous dogs in a wide range of coat colors. But what is most interesting about these canines is their tongue, which may be purple, spotted, or pink. They also have an adorable face mask in either light or dark colors.

Personality-wise, these dogs are calm and gentle. They tend to be more aloof with strangers but highly devoted to their families.

13. Norwegian Elkhound

Image from Instagram:@elkhound.s

The short-bodied Norwegian Elkhound is just under 20 inches tall. But even if they are not the biggest dogs around, they can easily complete their herding task because of their stamina and strength.

Most, if not all, Norwegian Elkhounds have silvery-gray dense coats. They also have sturdy legs and a deep chest, which gives off an air of confidence and determination to these pups.

12. Swedish Lapphund

Image from Instagram:@pasha_lappie

While they may seem like your usual spitz dog breeds, Swedish Lapphunds, or Lapland Spitz, have their unique features that make them amazing companion pets. They have the same fluffy coats as most spitzes and tall, pointy ears. Their tails are also curved neatly at the back.

But what makes them stand out is their complex personalities. They may be upbeat and stubborn at one point then relaxed and mellow at another time. Overall, they want nothing but to please their owners at all times.

11. Keeshond

Image from Instagram:@keeshondkeira

An ancient spitz dog breed, Keeshond dogs appear to be a big ball of fluff. Their coats are so thick, which almost covers their faces! But if you look closely at their tiny heads, they have the distinctive features of a fox with a long muzzle and tiny eyes.

Another fascinating hallmark of this breed is the marking around their eyes. This unique pattern makes them look as though they are wearing spectacles!

10. Alaskan Malamute

Image from Instagram:@life.with.two.fluffs

Muscular and robust, the mighty Alaskan Malamute is all about strength and determination. They are large sled dogs with heavy bones, weatherproof dense coats, and strong chests for pulling.

Mals, however, can be a bit of a stubborn pup. They require a firm owner who can help them to behave accordingly. When well-trained, they can get along well with anyone – even small pets at home.

9. Finnish Spitz

Image from Instagram:@kayatheshepherd

Symmetrical and balanced, the Finnish Spitz is an elegant work of art. These pups have pricked ears and a gorgeous foxy face combined with an adorable plumed tail.

Finkies are bold and agile dogs. They are wary of strangers but never scared of them. Do keep in mind that these pups are barkers, which may be a concern if you live in an apartment.

8. American Eskimo Dog

Image from Instagram:@eskiepuppy

Whether it is a toy, miniature, or a standard variety, the American Eskimo dog is always a delight to own. These pups have a fluffy mane around their neck and ruff on the chests, making them appear quite chubby. Their lips are black but always smiling, making them a delight to look at.

All Eskies have a biscuit cream-colored coat. Because of their long and thick coats, they are not ideal for folks with allergies.

7. German Spitz

Image from Instagram:@taavielmoandlenni

If there is one thing that is amazingly stunning about the German Spitz, it would be their strikingly lovely coats. They have a ruff around the neck and chest and their undercoats are thick and fluffy. This coat almost covers their small faces that resemble a tiny fox.

While German Spitz dogs are intelligent and loyal to their owners, they can be rather stubborn. Be sure to train them at an early age to curb their highly vocal tendencies.

6. Shiba Inu

Image from Instagram:@shibainu_donguri

A popular Spitz dog in the East and the West, Shiba Inus are fox-like burly pups. They have white markings that blend well throughout their bodies, which come in red, black and tan, or sesame-colored coats.

These are muscular and confident dogs that are always ready to please and protect their owners. But strangers, beware – these pups are not quite fond of those who they are not used to!

5. Chow Chow

Image from Instagram:@chow.chow.army

Quite like a lion version of a canine, Chow Chows have an abundant amount of coat. They may either be smooth or rough-coated in shades of cinnamon, cream, black, red, or blue. Their head and shoulders have a thick mane or rough that nearly covers their tiny eyes.

For those who prefer a pooch that does not smell, the Chow Chow is a good choice. These are fastidious creatures that are so clean and without any doggy odor, as well.

4. Siberian Husky

Image from Instagram:@laura_and_smokie

Graceful and well-balanced, the Siberian Husky is a vision of beauty and elegance. They are noted for their blue or brown almond-shaped eyes, sometimes a combination of both. Their coats are dense and fluffy, which enables them to sustain the tough weather conditions in frigid regions.

Just like Chow Chows, Huskies are odor-free dogs. This is another notable option for dog lovers who want a pup that their noses will love!

3. Samoyed

Image from Instagram:@ateena_

Standing under 25 inches tall, the lovely Samoyed is more than just good looks. They are also friendly, sweet, and devoted to their owners. They have immaculate white coats that are thick enough to keep them warm and cozy in subzero temperatures.

An interesting feature of this pooch is its mouth. The corners are upturned, which works both ways – to prevent icicles from freezing on their faces and to keep them drool-free!

2. Yakutian Laika

Image from Instagram:@patchoi_the_laika

The Yakutian Laika have come a long way throughout history. These muscular canines were experts at hunting, pulling sleds, and herding, serving as loyal companions of the Yakutia natives as far back as ancient times.

These pups are aloof toward strangers but very friendly to their families. They also have highly sensitive ears and noses, which makes them amazing watchdogs.

1. Portuguese Podengo

Image from Instagram:@iinesansapodengot

Portuguese Podengos come in two sizes – medium and large. But that’s not where the difference ends; there is also a wire-haired and a smooth-haired Podengo. Either way, they both possess distinct features including a wedge-shaped head, triangular ears, and a sweet facial expression.

Originally bred to hunt boars, deers, and rabbits, Podengos are agile and alert four-legged hunters. When not busy doing some nose work, these pups enjoy playing with their toys and spending quality time with their owners.

Are Spitz Dogs Aggressive? Some Spitz dogs may be aggressive because of their territorial nature. However, there are non-aggressive ones, such as the Siberian HuskyJapanese Spitz, and Samoyed.

What Is The Largest Spitz Breed? The Akita is one of the largest spitz breeds weighing at 100 to 130 lbs. They can be as tall as 28 inches at the shoulder while others grow up to 24 inches. Nevertheless, they are indeed large dogs with well-developed muscles and impressive strength.

Do Spitz Dogs Shed A Lot? Yes, they do. Because of their thick coats, spitz dogs shed constantly and regularly. Others have a specifically heavy shedding season while there are some that simply shed daily, such as the Japanese SpitzPomeranian, and Samoyed.

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Pete Decker