The largest of European Spitz dogs, with dense protruding hair in a characteristic wolf coat. A pleasant companion keeping a lot of distance from strangers. Contrary to the name, the wolf spitz from the wolf has mostly coat – besides, he is a very civilized dog. The characteristic features of the Spitz include standing ears and curled tail. Spitz is one of the most original forms of the dog.
Spitz is one of the most original forms of the dog. Their various types have developed independently in Asia and Europe. In other regions of the world, different types of primitive quadrupeds arose, such as schensi dogs and pariahs, which share many similarities with their Spitz dogs.
The characteristic features of the Spitz are erect ears (although in some individuals they are sometimes dejected) and the tail curled back. The first is the original trait of wild canidae, the second is related to domestication. Similar opposites can be seen in the psyche of these dogs – independent and at the same time devoted to the man.
European Spitz, including German Spitz, are among the most civilized – it’s much easier to train than hunting or sled varieties. No wonder – they served as general utility farm dogs, mainly guard dogs, and some were used as shepherd dogs. So they lived in close proximity to man.
The current standard, which is in force in FCI, distinguishes five breeds of German Spitz: large, medium, small and miniature Spitz in several colors and the largest and only one wolf Spitz coat. Apart from hair growth, coat color and differences in proportions, they all have one pattern.
The European population of wolf spitz was created from the combination of German wolf spitz and Dutch keeshond – dogs that connected more than divided. Despite this, however, there are still some differences between the exterior and psyche of these two types.
Keeshond is on average slightly smaller than wolf spitz and more often has a dark-colored coat with light glasses. Keeshond was bred longer by the Americans as a show dog, which meant that he has a larger stop and rounder eyes, as well as a more stocky build.
The differences also apply to the character – the wolf spitz is supposed to be distrustful of strangers, while keeshond is more open. Some speculate that he was crossed with a Nordic Spitz, but perhaps it is a matter of selection in a different direction. In the European population among wolf spitz, we can find features of both types mixed in different proportions today.
Wolf spitz. Training and education
Regardless of the type, the Spitz is a dog devoted to the owner. Intelligent, he learns quickly. You should train him with gentle methods, but at the same time remember the iron consistency. A certain amount of independence of the spitz means that as soon as he senses the guardian’s weakness, he will not listen to him. Preferably chooses one person whose instructions he performs.
He is sensitive to the whole family and makes contact easily. Usually distrustful of strangers, but there are friendly individuals. You can not neglect to tame it at a young age with various phenomena, because it is sensitive to stimuli.
He gets along very well with domestic animals. Meetings with foreign quadrupeds on walks usually go smoothly, although males can get into a skirmish.
This dog requires an average amount of movement and occupation. It adapts to different lifestyles. Can play dog sports, e.g. agility and obedience.
Who is this race for?
Even a novice owner can cope with his upbringing, provided he is consistent. The Wolf Spitz may live in a shack, but should have close and constant contact with humans.
Wolf spitz. Advantages and disadvantages
- he can be quite stubborn
- likes to bark
- strongly molts
- can bear a lot of dirt on the coat
- attached to man
- greedy, which facilitates training
- usually non-conflicting
- easily accepts pets
- a moderate amount of traffic is enough for him
- the coat has self-cleaning properties
Wolf spitz. Health
Generally, it is a healthy and long-lived breed, and genetic problems occur sporadically.
He is greedy, and this is a great advantage when training – although be careful because it is easy to fatten. As a rural dog by origin, he uses food well and has no extraordinary nutritional requirements.
Spitz care is simple – you only need to brush once a week (only twice a year, during more intense molting, this must be done more often).
It is believed that the ancestor of European Spitz was a peat dog (Canis familiaris palustris). These are four-legged animals whose remains originate from about five thousand. years were found in peat beds in what is now Switzerland. Stilt houses were built on marshes there – hence the Latin name of the dog.
The remains of similar animals were also found in the area between Lake Constance and Lake Ladoga in Russia. It is not known if they were exactly Spitz type, but it is believed that European Spitz, Schnauzer and Pinscher, Terriers and European Sheepdogs – German, Belgian or Collie (unlike shaggy shepherds derived from terrier) come from them Tibetan and mountain dogs, whose ancestor was the Tibetan Mastiff). They were dogs serving as guardians and shepherds.
Their domestication occurred at the time when man began to lead a sedentary lifestyle, and was associated with the domestication of other animals. (The ancestors of these dogs accompanied European nomads as early as the Neolithic period – about 6,000 years ago). So the four-legged psyche had to change seriously. One of the features of German Spitz is the weakening of the hunting instinct compared to Laika or Husky.
It is difficult to determine when the modern history of wolf spitz begins. In Germany, Spitz-type dogs have been known for centuries – similarly in the Netherlands or Switzerland. In Germany, they were called Mistbeller – which means “barked manure.” The farm guardian chose the highest vantage point and announced the approach of intruders from there.
These dogs were of various sizes and colors and were used, among others to watch carriages or herds animals. In the Netherlands, similar quadrupeds swam on their shoulders.
A turning point in their history occurred in the 18th century, when Jerzy I ascended the English throne. He was also an Elector of Hanover married to a German aristocrat. The strengthening of relations with Germany resulted in bringing the ancestors of today’s German Spitz to the islands. They became fashionable there as “Pomeranian” – dogs from Pomerania (Latin Pomerania). However, they were not as small as the current Pomeranian (miniature Spitz), but were the size of modern large and medium-sized Spitz. Their lover was Queen Victoria, who contributed to the breeding of the miniature variety.
Wolf spitz – group V FCI, section 4, reference number 97
- Country of origin: Germany
- Character: lively dog, devoted to the owner, distrustful of strangers, watchful guard; may be barking
- Size: dogs and bitches 43-55 cm
- Weight: 20-30 kg
- Coat: double-layered: long, straight, stiff and protruding topcoat and short, thick, woolly undercoat; head, ears and paws covered with short, thick hair, the rest of the body – with long hair, which creates an abundant mane on the neck and shoulders, trousers and a feather on the tail; Spitz molts constantly, but twice a year more intensively
- Color: wolfberry in shades of gray (gray with black coating and mask)
- Lifespan: 12-15 years
- Vulnerability to training: high; although it belongs to primitive breeds, it is relatively easy to shape
- Activity: medium; he likes movement, but if he is given regular walks, he will adapt to a less active lifestyle; he is happy in the garden during the day
- Resistance/susceptibility to diseases: very resistant to cold and frost, does not tolerate heat very well; rather healthy breed, although dysplasia, epilepsy and skin allergies occur
- Possibility to buy a puppy: a puppy usually needs to be ordered
The Wolf Spitz is not at all related more closely to the wolf than other dogs, contrary to what the name suggests. It is associated with the color of this breed, which is referred to as “wolfhound” – this is the original type of color found in many other breeds, including German Shepherds.
In the eighteenth-century Netherlands, keeshond became a symbol of resistance from the patriot faction (it was a democratic movement based on the middle and petty middle class, demanding reform of the state and depletion of the governor’s power), in opposition to the pug who was the symbol of the orangers (supporting the Orang dynasty).