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German Spitz (mittel & Klein)

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Annedal   

TerraNik, where was the show that you heard these German Spitz barking?

I have a German Spitz and 2 Dalmatians. They all bark to alert me when someone comes down the driveway.

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Ambrosia   

1. What is my relationship with the breed?

Owner of a 10 year old GS (pet), acquired when she was 8 weeks of age.

2. Where and why was the breed first developed?

Others have explained better than I could.

3. How common is it in Australia?

Breeders would answer this better, from a pet owner prospective people ask if she is a Pomeranian and do not nod in recognition when I say German Spitz.

4. What is the average lifespan?

A breeder will answer this better.

5. What is the general temperament/personality?

From my experience, extremely people focused, absolutely devoted to one person (I am fortunate this is myself) but loving and happy to everyone else, keen to interact with strangers (the main difference I've found between my Japanese & German Spitz), not interested in other dogs but is fine with their presence, cheeky and sometimes defiant. Sole purpose/aim in life is to be my constant companion. Is always within a 1m circumference of myself. Very trustworthy off lead as she just relishes being around her people.... Occasionally she's been locked outside, I have gone looking for her and found her sitting at the front door waiting to be let in :) Very intelligent and I find easy to train (even at 10 years of age) as she wants to please me. Very affectionate and loving, will cuddle into your chest. Very in tune with human emotions and loyal, if my husband and I are arguing and he raises his voice at me she will climb into my lap, go into 'meerkat' position and bark once at him.

Very tolerating, I admit to dressing her in outfits for special occasions which she happily puts up with.

6. How much daily exercise is needed for the average adult?

I would say, from my experience, exercise is appreciated but it is the attention from their master they need each day. Is happy to go bush walking, kayaking, on boats- but I think happy mainly as they appreciate being apart of things. My GS hates swimming and water in general.... She'll tip toe through wet grass if she must :)

7. Is it a breed that a first time dog owner could easily cope with?

I would say so.

8. Can solo dogs of this breed easily occupy themselves for long periods?

From my experience, not happily so. Prefers to be around humans even if not being given attention.

9. How much grooming is required?

Surprisingly little. Coat is very forgiving if you forget to brush in a while. Does not smell 'doggy'. My GS loves being brushed and the blow dryer.

10. Is it too boisterous for very small children or for infirm people (unless the dog is well trained)?

My GS has always been great with children and happily puts up with being carted around by kids like a toy. Has controlled energy i.e not bouncing around knocking things and little people over.

11. Are there any common hereditary problems a puppy buyer should be aware of?

Not experienced to respond.

12. When buying a puppy, what are the things you should ask of the breeder? (eg what health tests have been done (if applicable) and what is an acceptable result to those tests so the buyer has an idea of what the result should be)

Not experienced to respond.

Regarding the barking- my GS barks only when people are coming and going from our house or my office (she comes to work most days) i.e areas she feels are hers. Barking to alert me of their arrival and barking to say 'don't go' when they leave. She settles quickly after alerting. Always barks when I leave her, in my head she is saying 'take me with you, do not leave me' very angrily. To me that is the trade off to the close bond we have. In saying this, if I take her to work each day and take her where we go on the weekends she seems more understanding if I pop out for a few hours and there is less 'angry barking' when I leave and return vs. if I've left her at home a lot. They just want to be with you. It is not nuisance barking, she does not bark at other dogs and she does not 'talk'.

An absolutely delightful breed, I am surprised they are not more popular.

Apologies pictures are so large, cannot figure out how to make them smaller.

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Hope this information assists people looking into the breed.

Edited by Ambrosia

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Katie P   

Gorgeous pic Ambrosia! Out of interest, what are some other major differences you have found between the JS and GS?

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Ambrosia   

Thanks Katie.

The main differences I have noticed:

- My GS greets and loves to interact with everyone and always has. Where as my JS will hang back and watch or take himself off to be by himself. The 'wary of strangers' per the standard definitely applies with him.

- Physically the GS has more solid bone structure where as the JS has a lighter frame.

- GS seem to have more attitude and are more cheeky.

I haven't included differences which may be gender related, such as my GS never leaves my shadow where as my JS love to independently explore the house and yard. And haven't included differences which may be age related such as GS loves to cuddle where as JS can only tolerate cuddles for 30 seconds at a time (I steal cuddles when he's really sleepy). However as a puppy my GS loved to be cuddled and carried as well.

My JS only barks very occasionally when 'hunting' food, no watch dog barking. I don't think this is representative of the breed though and I do find it odd for a Spitz (not complaining!)

They are both extremely people orientated- my dog training organisation has facilitated play sessions which we attend. While dogs are charging around left right and centre knocking each other over, barking and generally going crazy my two sit in front of me, still, staring at me with such focus. My trainer says they are thinking 'mum why are we here with these dogs?'.

I should add a disclaimer that this is in my experience only, having owned only one of each breed and that the GS is 10yrs old where as the JS is still a puppy.

I would be interested to hear from others who own one of each.

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Katie P   

Thanks Ambrosia!!! Would love to hear more from someone else too.

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swain   

Not sure if anyone reads this still....... i have a German Spitz Mittel nearly 3. She is so loving............ however......... she barks at EVERYTHING!!! We've had her for 1.5 years. Any recommendations on how to curb this a bit. She's very vocal which i don't mind at certain times but it gets a bit old when any little noise outside sets her off. She runs outside with her little Pomeranian friend in tow going off her tree. Worried the neighbours are gonna lose it! 

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