Other Spitz Breeds

Gross SpitzGross Spitz

This section contains which have either been placed in our Non-sporting Group in Australia, or are closely connected to the other Non-sporting Spitz breeds we have here. For example, pictured is the FCI recognized Gross Spitz (FCI 97), the largest of the German Spitz family, unrecognized as the Gross Spitz here.

Volpino Italiano

Italy has its own medium sized usually white dog similar to the German Spitz. Called the 'Volpino Italiano' (FCI 195) Volpino being an Italian word meaning fox-like. He stands  25-30 cm high and can also be champagne coloured or red.

American Eskimo Dog

American Eskimo Dog (Std)American Eskimo Dog (Std)

From the German Spitz, America developed the American Eskimo Dog as a pure breed. In the early 1800's, when German immigrant farmers arrived and settled in the Mid-West part of America, they brought their culture with them. They also brought their medium sized German Spitz to be used as farm dogs. After World War One, these small white dogs became the ancestors of the 'American Eskimo Dog'. These famously performed in the popular travelling circuses, one of which was 'Barnum and Bailey'. The AKC also only recently recognized the American Eskimo Dog as a pure breed[1].

American Eskimo Dog (Mini)American Eskimo Dog (Mini)

The American Eskimo Dog is white Spitz breed which comes in Toy, Miniature and Standard size varieties. This breed was first registered with the United Kennel Club as American Spitz before its current name of American Eskimo Dog was adopted. The first two of these sizes of American Eskimo Dogs roughly correspond to the German Spitz (Klein) and the German Spitz (Mittel). In 1995 the American Kennel Club recognized the American Eskimo Dog in the 3 sizes we know today, the Toy, 22 - 30 cm (9 - 11 inches) , the Miniature 30 - 38 cm (12 - 15 inches) , and the Standard 38 - 48 cm (15 - 19 inches).

Norwegian LundehundNorwegian Lundehund

Norwegian Lundehund

Lundehund Front FootLundehund Front Foot

Another small dog of Spitz type is the Norwegian Lundehund (FCI No 265). It weighs around seven kilos and has a dense double coat with with a soft undercoat which is reddish brown with white markings. They have an extremely supple build which enables them to enter and retreat backwards from the Puffins' confined underground spaces.

All four of the Lundehund's feet must have at least six toes, complete with corresponding pads, tendons and muscles so their feet can grip like a monkey's. Including the main central pad, there may be as many as eight pads on each paw. So the dog may appear somewhat cow-hocked because the back feet turn out to accommodate the extra toes. These peculiar feet give the dog incredible grasping abilities when working on the steep cliff faces of Norway's snow covered, rocky Arctic slopes.

Puffin BirdPuffin Bird

The Lundehund gets its name from the Norwegian word 'Lund' meaning Puffin - the name of the Arctic bird it was bred to hunt. For centuries, Puffin birds not only provided a staple diet for people living in these remote areas, their feathers and down provided essential warmth. Puffin birds are sociable creatures who live in colonies in long, winding cliff passages or rooks covered with snow and ice, so narrow it is impossible for a man to penetrate them.

Lundehund FootLundehund Foot

The Lundehund's extra toes assisted the dog to climb up the cliff faces to reach the entrance of the Puffins' tunnels and the traction to aid the dog to crawl along it. Once the dog grabbed one bird, this bird would latch onto another Puffin bird which in turn would grab yet another. So it was not uncommon for a strong Lundehund to retreat, pulling out a long chain of a dozen or so linked birds.

Canaan Dog

The Canaan Dog is featured here because he is classed in Australia as a Non-Sporting breed. He is a medium sized, square dog resembling the wild dog or Spitz Asian type (FCI No 273). He is 50-60 cm (20 - 23.5 ins) high at the withers and weighs 18-25 kg (40-55 lbs). He has a double coat with a dense harsh and straight short to medium length outer coat and close and profuse undercoat. He typically comes in desert colours of sand, gold, red, cream but sand to red-brown, white, black, or spotted, or white markings with or without mask are permitted.

His head is of a medium length shaped like a blunt wedge, appearing broader due to low set ears. The skull somewhat flattened, the stop shallow but defined and the muzzle sturdy, and of moderate length and breadth and close with a normal scissors bite. The lips should be tight and the nose black. The almond shaped eyes are dark brown and slightly slanted with dark rims.The erect ears are relatively short and broad and set low. The limbs have moderate angulation and the body is square with strong, round and catlike feet with hard pads. The tail is high set with a thick brush carried curled over the back. He moves with a quick, light but energetic trot.

References and Further Reading

[1] AKC Eskimo Dog

[2] ANKC Breed Standard Extension