German WolfSpitz.jpg
Breed Group Group 2: Spitz and Nordic Breeds
Sub-group 2-B: European Spitz Breeds
Origin Country Germany
Weight Males: 55-66 pounds. Females: 55-66 pounds.
Height Males: 18-20 inches. Females: 17-19 inches.
Other Name(s) German Wolfspitz, Spitz: German Spitz, Wolfspitz
Breed Type Pure
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German Wolfspitz

Breed Group Group 2: Spitz and Nordic Breeds
Sub-group 2-B: European Spitz Breeds
Origin Country Germany
Weight Males: 55-66 pounds. Females: 55-66 pounds.
Height Males: 18-20 inches. Females: 17-19 inches.
Other Name(s) German Wolfspitz, Spitz: German Spitz, Wolfspitz
Breed Type Pure
click here for FULL BREED STANDARD

Origins

The German Spitz breeds are the oldest European Spitz breeds. Many believe that these dogs are descended from the ancient Torfhund, also called Torfspitz, or peat dogs found throughout Europe, Asia, and Africa. These Spitz type dogs were believed to have played a key role in the domestication of the dog. The ancestors of the German Spitz dogs were primarily used as guard dogs and were given the task of watching over their people and property for centuries in areas throughout Germany.

Although not overly aggressive, they are well-known to be hyper-vigilant and vocal, and alerting to any stranger or passersby. The Spitz breed has always been divided according to size and color in their native homeland of Germany, and this is still true today. The original recognized German Spitz breed includes the modern day Wolfspitz, also called the Keeshond in the Netherlands, Gross (Giant) Spitz, Mittelspitz (Medium Spitz), Kleinspitz (Small Spitz), and the smallest German Spitz, the Zwergspitz (Dwarf Spitz), or as we know it, the Pomeranian.

Breed Characteristics

Head: Mesaticephalic skull-type, moderate in size, wedge-shaped, foxlike, and in proportion to the rest of the body. The topskull is fairly broad. The masseter and temporalis muscles are well-developed, but not prominent, giving the head and face sufficient substance, without appearing coarse or chiseled. The head is clean-cut without excess skin or wrinkle.
Eyes: Moderate in size, oval to almond in shape, and medium to dark brown in color. The eye rims are well-fitted and well-pigmented. The eyes are never bulging. There should be sufficient bone in the surrounding orbital sockets to protect the eyes. There is sufficient fill below the eyes.
Ears: Fairly small in size, set high on the skull and fairly close together. The ears are firmly erect, V-shaped, or triangular, broad at the base, with pointed tips. They are never long, overly large, or broken.
Muzzle: The muzzle is full, deep, and broad. The plane, or bridge of the muzzle, is straight. Upper and lower jaws are well-developed, approximately equal in length, have good bone substance, never snipy or weak. The muzzle tapers from the broad base toward the nose, emphasizing the head’s wedge shape.
Nose: The nose is well-pigmented and black. The nostrils are well-opened.
Neck: Moderate length allows for proud head carriage. Strongly muscled, with a slight arch. The neck tapers smoothly from the deeper and broader body toward the head. The neck is clean-cut, without excess skin, throatiness, or dewlap.
Chest: Deep, broad, but never wider than deep. The brisket extends to the point of the elbows.
Body: Compact, solid, short-coupled, and of good substance. The body is never racy or refined. Width at forequarters is approximately equal to the width at the hindquarters.
Feet: Oval to round, compact, with well-arched toes and tough pads.
Tail: Set high on the croup. It is thick at the base and tapering toward the tip. The tail is carried up and over the back, falling to one side, lying flat against the body. It is never tucked. The tail is of a medium length, with the tip of the last vertebrae extending to the hock joints when held down.
Movement: Bold, strong, lively, energetic and efficient. The characteristics of healthy structure are evident: when moving away, the forelegs and rear pasterns should remain parallel to one another. When viewing movement from the front, the forelegs should remain parallel, with elbows and paws moving neither in nor out. From the rear, the back pads should be visible when the rear legs are extended. As speed increases, the forelimbs and hindlimbs will converge to the center line of gravity. From the side, the topline should remain firm and level. Good reach of movement in the front allows the forepaw to extend out in a line with the nose. The width between the forefeet when extended should be approximately equal to the width between the hindfeet when extended, indicating balance, good reach, and good drive. Dogs that exhibit any sign of breathing or locomotive difficulty shall be disqualified from the show ring.
Temperament: The German Spitz and Keeshond are full of life and love to play with children. In fact, they make great companions for any member of the family. Smart, alert, and high-spirited, they are fast learners, eager to learn and please his owners. These affectionate dogs fit in well as part of the family and is outgoing toward most people as soon as he is sure that his owner approves of that person. The German Spitz and Keeshond also make outstanding watchdogs. Any unprovoked aggressive or fearful behavior toward people is incorrect for this breed.
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Breed Standard

BREED GROUP 2: Spitz and Nordic Breeds

Proportions: Square to off-square with length of the body, measured from the point of the forechest to the point of the rump being just slightly greater than the height at the withers. The ideal body-height-to-length ratio is between 1:1 and 5:4. The body is well-put together, with sturdy substance and medium bone. Males should appear masculine, being more substantial in size and mass, while females should appear more feminine and slightly less substantial.

Head

General Appearance: Mesaticephalic skull-type, moderate in size, wedge-shaped, foxlike, and in proportion to the rest of the body. The topskull is fairly broad. The masseter and temporalis muscles are well-developed, but not prominent, giving the head and face sufficient substance, without appearing coarse or chiseled. The head is clean-cut without excess skin or wrinkle.
Expression: The expression of the Wolfspitz is unique, and is the result of a unique combination of facial markings and shadings that surround the dogs’ eyes. Known as “spectacles,” the markings and shadings form a ring of lighter color around the eyes that are encircled, or outlined, in a darker line of shaded hairs. This gives a similar appearance to glasses, or spectacles, being drawn on the dogs face. To add to the spectacled appearance, a line of delicately shaded hairs run in a line from the outer corners of the eyes to the inner corners of the ears. These markings are a characteristic element of the German Wolfspitz and Keeshond breed.
Stop: The stop is moderate to definite, but should never appear steep or abrupt.
Skull: The ideal muzzle-to-skull ratio is 3:2 with the topskull being just longer than the muzzle
Muzzle: The muzzle is full, deep, and broad. The plane, or bridge of the muzzle, is straight. Upper and lower jaws are well-developed, approximately equal in length, have good bone substance, never snipy or weak. The muzzle tapers from the broad base toward the nose, emphasizing the head’s wedge shape.
Lips or Flews: Lips are clean and fit tightly over the teeth and jaws.
Nose: The nose is well-pigmented and black. The nostrils are well-opened.
Cheeks: The cheeks are smoothly muscled and never chiseled or coarse. They blend and taper smoothly toward the muzzle.
Dentition and Bite: Forty-two strong, clean, white teeth. Bite may be level, scissor, or reverse-scissor. Contact must be made between the top and bottom incisors. Missing or broken teeth as a result of routine work is not to be penalized.
Eyes: Moderate in size, oval to almond in shape, and medium to dark brown in color. The eye rims are well-fitted and well-pigmented. The eyes are never bulging. There should be sufficient bone in the surrounding orbital sockets to protect the eyes. There is sufficient fill below the eyes.
Ears: Fairly small in size, set high on the skull and fairly close together. The ears are firmly erect, V-shaped, or triangular, broad at the base, with pointed tips. They are never long, overly large, or broken.

Body and Tail

General Description: Compact, solid, short-coupled, and of good substance. The body is never racy or refined. Width at forequarters is approximately equal to the width at the hindquarters.
Neck: Moderate length allows for proud head carriage. Strongly muscled, with a slight arch. The neck tapers smoothly from the deeper and broader body toward the head. The neck is clean-cut, without excess skin, throatiness, or dewlap.
Chest: Deep, broad, but never wider than deep. The brisket extends to the point of the elbows.
Topline: May be straight and level, or gently sloped, from slightly prominent withers to croup. The back is broad, strongly muscled, and straight, yet supple. The loin is taut, flat and level, or slightly arched, yet supportive. The back is never swayed or roached.
Croup: Flat and level with the back, or gently sloped.
Underline: Slight tuck up present. The underline is taut and firm, without any indication of sagging or excess weight.
Ribs: Long, well-sprung, well-laid-back, oval-shaped, never barrel-chested or slab-sided.
Tail: Set high on the croup. It is thick at the base and tapering toward the tip. The tail is carried up and over the back, falling to one side, lying flat against the body. It is never tucked. The tail is of a medium length, with the tip of the last vertebrae extending to the hock joints when held down.

Forequarters and Hindquarters

Forequarters: Forequarters are always in balance with the hindquarters. Forequarters are well-angulated with well-laid-back shoulder blades. Shoulder blades are approximately equal in length to the upper arm and forearm.
Elbows: Elbows are close to the body. The point of the elbows is approximately half the dog’s height at the withers.
Forelegs: Frontal View: Straight, of good muscle, moderate bone, and parallel to one another.
Side View: The forelimbs appear straight with strong pasterns.
Pasterns: Never weak or broken.
Hindquarters: Upper thigh and lower thigh are equal in length, strong, sturdy, of moderate bone, and well-muscled.
Rear View: When viewed from the rear, the rear pasterns are parallel to one another.
Side View: Good angulation will allow the rear toes to align with the point of the rump or within one to two paw-lengths behind the point of the rump, with the rear pasterns remaining perpendicular to the ground and parallel to one another.
Stifle Joint: Well-angulated with a good bend to well-let-down rear pasterns.
Angulations: Angulation of hindquarters is always in balance with angulation of forequarters.
Feet: Oval to round, compact, with well-arched toes and tough pads.

Coat

Skin: Well-fitted, yet supple. The skin should never obstruct the outline of the dog.
Coat Type: Long, straight, harsh, stand-offish outer coat with thick mane, frill, well-feathered on back of legs forming trousers, with a bushy, plumed tail. Coat is short on the head, muzzle, ears, and the front of the legs. Undercoat is thick, downy, and supports outer coat.
Coat Color or Pattern: Standard coat color variety: Various shades, of agouti, wolf-gray, or wolf-sable; a mixture of gray, black, cream, or tawny. The shades can range from faint to dark, with contrast between the shades being evident to dramatic. The agouti pattern exhibits cream or tawny banding, or highlighting, undertones, and points on gray or black hairs. The German Spitz and Keeshond should always exhibit a characteristic gray or black mask, "spectacles" around eyes, and cream/silvery “points” on the legs, the rear pasterns, the back of the upper and lower thighs, the base and underside of the tail, mane, ruff, and shoulder ring. The tail tip is black. Some dogs will exhibit an extended mask, in which the mask extends beyond the face and ears, on to the body, shading the ruff and beyond. This is acceptable.
Non-standard coat color variety: Solid black, liver or liver agouti, solid white or cream, standard or non-standard colors with white markings, black or gray mask extension covering the majority of the body, black or gray more than ½ way down the legs, white or pied markings, excessively pale colored dogs.

Movement

Bold, strong, lively, energetic and efficient. The characteristics of healthy structure are evident: when moving away, the forelegs and rear pasterns should remain parallel to one another. When viewing movement from the front, the forelegs should remain parallel, with elbows and paws moving neither in nor out. From the rear, the back pads should be visible when the rear legs are extended. As speed increases, the forelimbs and hindlimbs will converge to the center line of gravity. From the side, the topline should remain firm and level. Good reach of movement in the front allows the forepaw to extend out in a line with the nose. The width between the forefeet when extended should be approximately equal to the width between the hindfeet when extended, indicating balance, good reach, and good drive. Dogs that exhibit any sign of breathing or locomotive difficulty shall be disqualified from the show ring.

Temperament

The German Spitz and Keeshond are full of life and love to play with children. In fact, they make great companions for any member of the family. Smart, alert, and high-spirited, they are fast learners, eager to learn and please his owners. These affectionate dogs fit in well as part of the family and is outgoing toward most people as soon as he is sure that his owner approves of that person. The German Spitz and Keeshond also make outstanding watchdogs. Any unprovoked aggressive or fearful behavior toward people is incorrect for this breed.

Faults

All dogs should be in proper healthy condition, free from disease or defect. Any departure from this description is considered a fault. Unless altered, all male dogs should have two fully descended testicles.