Japanese Spitz

Last updated July 2022

A breed standard is the guideline which describes the ideal characteristics, temperament and appearance including the correct colour of a breed and ensures that the breed is fit for function. Absolute soundness is essential. Breeders and judges should at all times be careful to avoid obvious conditions or exaggerations which would be detrimental in any way to the health, welfare or soundness of this breed.

From time to time certain conditions or exaggerations may be considered to have the potential to affect dogs in some breeds adversely, and judges and breeders are requested to refer to the Breed Watch information related to this breed for details of any such current issues. If a feature or quality is desirable it should only be present in the right measure. However, if a dog possesses a feature, characteristic or colour described as highly undesirable, it must not be rewarded in the show ring.

General appearance

Profuse, pure white, stand-off coat. Overall quality of body firm and strong. Pointed muzzle, triangular shaped ears standing erect. Well plumed tail carried over back. Ratio of height to length 10:11.


Affectionate, companionable. Slightly chary at first meeting with strangers.


Alert, intelligent, bold and lively.

Head and skull

Head medium size without coarseness. Wedge shaped when viewed from above. Moderately broad. Slightly rounded skull, broadest at occiput. Well-defined stop, forehead not protruding. Muzzle in proportion to the head, tapering to a small, black, round nose. Lips black, firm and tight.


Dark, moderate size, oval-shaped, set rather obliquely and not too wide apart; black eye rims.


Small, triangular, standing erect. Set high, facing forward, not too wide apart.


Jaws strong with perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaws.


Strong, arched and of moderate length.


Moderately sloping shoulder; upper arm of sufficient length to ensure elbow is vertically below point of withers. Forelegs straight, elbow firm and tight; pasterns slightly sloping.


Length from point of shoulder to point of buttock slightly greater than height at withers. Chest broad and deep. Ribs well sprung, belly firm with moderate tuck-up. Back straight and short, full of flexibility. Loins broad and firm, with a slight rise. Level croup with high set tail.


Well proportioned and balanced. Muscular, moderately angulated. Hindlegs parallel to each other when viewed from rear. Rear pasterns vertical from hock to heel.


Small round, cat-like and well cushioned. Pads black, nails preferably dark.


Moderate length, well plumed, high set, carried curved over the back.


Light, nimble, active, energetic and very smooth. Straight coming and going, viewed from side, effortless, brisk action.


Outer coat straight and stand-off. Profuse, short, dense undercoat, soft in texture. Shorter on face, ears, front of fore and hindlegs and below hocks. Remainder of body covered with long coat. Mane on neck and shoulders reaching down to brisket. Tail profusely covered with long hair.


Pure white.


Height at shoulders: dogs: 34-37 cms (13½-14½ ins); bitches 30-34 cms (12-13½ ins).


Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog and on the dog’s ability to perform its traditional work.


Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.

*Note for prospective puppy buyers

Size – The Kennel Club breed standard is a guide and description of the ideal for the breed; the size as described does not imply that a dog will match the measurements given (height or weight). A dog might be larger or smaller than the size measurements stated in the breed standard.