One of the most popular Indian dog breeds is the Indian Spitz. Largely thanks to their good nature, elegant looks and apartment-friendly natures, the Indian Spitz is an enduring and classic breed.
They were first introduced by the occupying British during the 19th century and thought to have descended from the German Spitzes.
After years of breeding, they were able to create a variety that could cope with the heat of the Indian summers and retained the intelligence and adaptability of the German breed.
Resembling a Samoyed (2nd most expensive dog breed) or Pomeranian, they were well suited to the climate and quickly became popular.
The Indian Spitz is especially prized for its intelligence, which is considered amongst the highest of the Indian dog breeds. In particular, they are considered to be highly empathetic and able to tell the intentions of a human very well.
Indian Spitzes are common choices for people who want ‘trick dogs’ because of their incredibly quick learning abilities. Let’s further explore these spitz-type dog breeds from India.
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Indian Spitz Basic Profile
Friendliness: The Indian Spitz is one of the most friendly dogs you can find. Despite their hunting instincts (yes, they were bred to hunt), they love and get along well with children and other pets. If they know who is part of the family, they will treat them as a protective and loving companion.
Trainability: Not only are these dogs highly intelligent, but they are eager to please their owner. If you’re simply looking for a dog to perform tricks to show off to your friends, the Indian Spitz is for you. They also accept socialization and obedience training with open arms. These dogs are ideal even for novice trainers/owners.
Grooming: When it comes to grooming, it is relatively easy for the Indian Spitz. The only problem is that they tend to shed often. This means you’ll need to regularly brush them if you don’t want their fur all over your house. Other than that, there is not much more you’ll need to do outside of the basics.
Adaptability: The Indian Spitz can be comfortable in just about any environment. Whether you live in an urban setting (apartment life) or on a farm, they will be happy. If you do live in a small space, however, you still need to give them sufficient physical activity.
Activity: These small bundles of joy also have a lot of energy. Through playing with dogs and humans, they expend a lot of it. However, it’s still highly recommended that you take them out for daily walks. This is good practice for any dog you own and not just the Indian Spitz.
- Height: 8 – 18 inches
- Weight: 11 – 45 pounds
- Life Expectancy: 10 – 14 years
- Dog Breed Group: Utility dog
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Indian Spitz Appearance
There are two varieties of the Indian Spitz: a larger and a smaller variety. Both have roughly the same appearance but the smaller version can be as short as 8 inches and weigh as little as 11 pounds. The larger variety can grow up to 18 inches tall and weigh nearly 45 pounds.
The similarities to a Pomeranian are obvious: a pointed skull, thin muzzle, milky white to brown coloring, fox-like ears, and slight frames. If you know the differences, you can easily spot them apart.
Their eyes have very white irises that can be greenish or bluish. This is one of the reasons they have such expressive faces: humans rely on looking at each other’s irises to tell where we are looking and how we feel about things. Not many animals have this feature but many Indian Spitzes have visible irises.
The original Spitz or Pomeranian was bred for hunting in cold conditions, and their white coloring reflects this. Although the same conditions are not found in India, their coloring is attractive and has remained through the years. Some can be black and white, others tan and brown. Generally, they are white all over.
Pointy fox-like ears that are highly mobile makes this breed especially expressive. Thick fur covers the outside of the ears and covers a lot of the insides as well. This can mean they need extra attention when it comes to care and grooming.
The tail of an Indian Spitz curls over their back and is quite fluffy. Their legs are not very long, being only slightly longer than their bodies, which makes their heads look big and adorable.
With relatively wide paws for a dog of their size, they have a graceful stance.
Like a Pomeranian but Different
The Indian Spitz often gets mistaken for a Pomeranian, a cousin Spitz from northern Poland. However, they are quite distinct: the Indian Spitz has a much shorter coat and is slightly smaller.
They share a lot of physical characteristics because they are very closely related, being only a few hundred years apart in lineage. A Pomeranian has rounded ears, a flatter face, weighs more, and has a thicker coat.
Other than those minor differences, they are nearly identical. Some go as far as calling them the “Indian Pomeranian.”
Indian Spitz Popularity
One of the reasons why the Indian Spitz became so popular is because of the restrictive import rules imposed by the Indian Government in the 1980’s to 1990’s. Foreign imports were very hard to get hold of.
So, Indians turned to the indigenous and local breeds for the first time in a long while. The Indian Spitz is, to all intents and purposes, a European Spitz that is adapted for a warmer climate.
They are equally comfortable in small apartments and in large, open houses. However, they do need moderate exercise and are very good company.
Breeders of the Indian Spitz capitalized on this and marketed the dog to the aspiring middle class, who for the first time were enjoying the privilege of owning a dog for pleasure.
Their intelligence and good nature, as well as their elegance, has made them an enduring breed. It’s not a huge surprise that these dogs gained so much in popularity over the years.
Indian Spitz Temperament
Dog owners love Indian Spitzes for their playful and intelligent natures. They are high-spirited, excitable, and always up for an adventure.
Children love them: they are fluffy and fun (and not too big). Spitzes are good with kids, they play well and can take a lot of rough and tumble before they get annoyed.
Very forgiving and protective of young children, they are unsurprisingly one of the most beloved breeds for young families in India.
Training and Obedience
Training an Indian Spitz is not difficult and even amateurs can get good results. Like all dogs, they need socializing and a firm hand in training. But the Indian Spitz is so intelligent and perceptive they pick up their masters’ cues with ease.
With training, try to be as consistent as possible. They will notice if you miss a trick and are clever enough to exploit it. If you do not exert your dominance, expect them to run circles around you.
You can train your Spitz yourself and get the kids involved too. This will be fascinating for the children but also help your Spitz get to know the hierarchy of the household. When they know who is making the decisions, they are easier to train.
With Children and Other Pets
One of the main selling points is that they’re very tolerant of children and a lot of fun for them too. In addition, they are also tolerant and accepting of other dogs and pets in the house.
While they were hunters in the past, they are very unlikely to attack any small dogs like other hunting breeds do. However, I should note that given the chance, they will hunt small wild animals. So don’t be surprised if your Indian Spitz brings you back pigeons or rabbits.
An Indian Spitz is much more likely to make friends with other dogs and play cheerfully with them. They are quite adorable when they are playing with children and other friendly dogs.
Despite their friendly nature, it’s still crucial to give them socialization training early on. It’s the only way to ensure they grow up to be friendly dogs.
The Indian Spitz has a highly developed guarding instinct and will act as guardian to your household and everyone in it. Don’t get me wrong, they aren’t suited to be police dogs, but they will alert you of intruders.
With that said, they can get bark-y. But if you have a firm hand and let them know who is boss, you can stop them from yapping away.
Because they are small dogs, they can suffer from Small Dog Syndrome. Yes, this is a real thing. Small dogs tend to compensate for their size by acting tough.
If you establish yourself as the pack leader and exert a dominant air, they will happily subordinate to you. By knowing their place in the hierarchy, they won’t continue acting like they are much bigger than they actually are.
Living with an Indian Spitz
The Indian Spitz may be one of the easiest dogs to live with. It’s why they’re arguably the most popular family dog among Indian breeds.
They are easily housebroken and trained, so they will learn to do their business outside from an early age. Grooming and exercise is relatively low maintenance, and they are highly adaptable dogs.
They are a breed that likes to keep themselves clean but they need regular brushing to keep their (relatively) long coats in good condition. They do not need bathing unless it is strictly necessary. For example, if they accidentally stumble in a puddle of mudd.
Shedding is a problem with Indian Spitzes: their European heritage means they get rid of their winter coat all over your furniture. Their coats are double layered, so make sure you have a double-row brush so you can get to the thick undercoat.
Aside from having to deal with their fur, they still need the basics such as toothbrushing and nail clipping. Fortunately, Indian Spitzes usually enjoy being groomed, unlike other dog breeds.
For exercise, a daily walk is necessary (like with most dog breeds). They are small dogs and can exhaust themselves by playing, but they have so much energy that they need daily exercise.
A playful and curious nature means they can go mad if they are stuck indoors, so make sure they get plenty of attention and physical activity.
Unlike many Indian breeds, the Spitz is happy in a small apartment. They love extra space and will play as much as possible outdoors.
However, if you live with them in an apartment, they will be just as happy. Just make sure they get enough exercise and attention when living in an apartment.
They are also highly energetic and social animals who do not cope well with being left alone too long. If you work long hours and live in a small apartment, it may be tough on them.
Obedient and loyal, you can let your Indian Spitz off the lead in safe areas and generally not worry about them not coming back or attacking anything.
Spitzes are not picky eaters in general and can be fed very simply. One of the best things about living with an Indian Spitz is their adaptability and attitude. They can take nearly anything that is thrown at them with a good grace and still love you.
Indian Spitz Health
As a recent European import that had been specifically bred for a long time, there are some issues with inherited genetic conditions.
In particular, kidney problems affect this breed. Regular check-ups with the vet will highlight any conditions that are emerging. Some dogs have been known to suffer from eye problems and hip dysplasia.
Generally, the Indian Spitz is a healthy breed. They will live up to 14 years and can produce 5 puppies a year.
It’s still essential that you give them all their recommended first year puppy shots and beyond. With proper diet, exercise and medical treatment, an Indian Spitz will have many years to look ahead to.
Future of the Indian Spitz
The Indian Spitz is in no danger of becoming extinct as they have become very popular family dogs for the enormous middle class. The breed remains very popular in India and is increasingly gaining popularity around the world.
A diverse genetic makeup means they are less susceptible to inherited genetic diseases than most western breeds, which they compete against. As the middle class of India expands, it is difficult to see how this breed could lose popularity. They are adaptable, cheerful, good company, loyal, and very pretty.
The Indian Spitz is not an aboriginal breed. It has been recognized by the Kennel Club of India as a distinct breed but there is some resistance to recognizing the breed elsewhere.
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Monday 4th of March 2019
In the first two pictures, the dog has shorter fur and looks a lot different than the last pictures. My dog looks almost identical to the first two pictures. She has long fur, but it doesn't stick out. She is blonde, and she just looks exactly like it. But she looks nothing like the last few pictures, the super fluffy, small, and pure white dogs. Is she still an Indian Spitz? Can an Indian Spitz look more like the first two pictures and less like the more Pomeranian looking dog? And she fits the description, but she doesn't look like a pomeranian.
Wednesday 29th of May 2019
Some of the pictures are of the Japanese Spitz breed. I'm not too familiar with Indian Spitz yet. I just adopted a dog and suspect he might be an Indian Spitz. But I have a Japanese Spitz who looks exactly like the white fluffy dogs.