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PSI: White Spitz


By Pia Rødvig Kristiansen - Roager, Ribe, Denmark

The first Czech purely online diary. Founded on April 23, 1996

There are many dog ​​breeds in the world, some of them at first glance can be distinguished by laymen, such as chihuahua with Bernardy probably few people know, but there are also breeds that can be recognized by experts as well. And exactly such difficult-to-recognize breeds can be found among the top. In summary, we can call them white spitz. They all have a coarse coat, erect ears, tail tilted to the back. And, of course, the white color. All are excellent companions and family dogs, great with children and are still happy and playful mood.

So a little quiz. 

Below you can see photos of 3 breeds. All three of these breeds are recognized by the FCI. Which is which? You can guess. You can find the quiz solution under the article.

German Spitz

Here is the most famous German spitz, which now exists in 5 sizes and the white color is allowed in all but the largest, the wolf.

German Spitz

Its main features are the quadratic body shape, a slightly arched nose, moderately expressed feet, slightly slanting eyes, scissor bite, and protruding dense hair.

His ancestors were spitz dogs all over Europe. White color has been present throughout its history and is still popular, although it is now in ten colors. 

Italian volpino

However, the modern breed of the European spitz dog did not start only with the Germans,  the Italians bred his own breed -

Italian Volpino. 

The Italian Volpino is therefore the closest relative to the German spitz, it comes from the same ancestors and differs only slightly.

Volpino Italiano - White
Volpino Italiano - White

Most of the differences are reported by the head. The head of the Italian Volpina is flatter, the foot less pronounced, the snout is longer and more pointed, has bigger eyes, the head is bigger overall.

 Volpino, height, 25-30 cm corresponds to approximately a small German spitz.

And, unlike the German spitz, only two colors are recognized - white and red but black and cream, can be found in the country sides of Italy.  As of 2023, ENCI, FCI approved all colors are recognized and can be registered in all countries that recognize the Volpino Italiano breed.


The name Volpino, which means (from the Italian volpe = fox, which is from the Latin vulpes = fox), can be assumed to have previously been more common in red, but nowadays this color is almost extinct, most individuals are in white.

This breed was the biggest boom in the 1st half of the 19th century, mainly in Florence and Rome. In Rome he was called the Quirinal (Quirinal was a royal court residence between 1870-1946). In Florence, they called it Volpino di Firenze (Florence Volpino). 


In the country, just as the German spitz, Volpino's watched large carriages and accompanied wine wagons to Rome. After World War II, the breed almost collapsed. in 1965 only 5 Volpino's were recorded in the studbook. Only in 1984 began the rescue on individuals found on Italian farms and today is still a very rare breed throughout the world and Italy.

Most people do not know this breed, so even though this article is about white spitz, there are photos of red and black Volpini in the History.

Japanese spitz

Another breed very similar to the German spike is the Japanese spitz. Unlike the quadratic German spitz, the body ratio should be 10:11, but in reality this ratio is 8:10, it has more pronounced stops and a bit more skewed eyes.

Japanese Spitz

The size of the Japanese Spitz, is between, small (26 cm + -3 cm) and medium German spike (34 cm + -4 cm), it should be about 30 cm.

Because its appearance is purely European and diametrically different from the original Japanese breeds, its origin is surrounded by mystery and there are at least 3 theories about it.

          1st- theory speaks of the Nordic dogs, especially the Samoyds, who came to Japan in 1900 and were reduced to the breed, which is unlikely.

          2nd - theory states that a number of white spitz from the US and Canada came to Japan in 1920, and when the Japanese occupied the German territory Kiantcha and the majority of the German islands in the southern sea's in the First World War, they found German spitz imported by German colonists crossing with American and Canadian borders.

          3rd - theory is about a Canadian ship which in 1923 went to Japan, they discovered a certain number of white spitz who were allegedly kept on the ship to catch the mice and rats. These spitz were allegedly crossed in Japan with Russian dogs (apparently a Samoyd mix or a West Siberian Laika).

However, in fact, it is not possible to say with certainty when the white spitz of the European type came to Japan. What is certain, since 1930 he is kept in Japan as a breed separated from Inu dogs, the original Japanese breeds.

The first standard dates back to 1954 when the official name Nihon supittsu (Japanese spitz) was established.

Japan was the first Japanese spitz from Japan, but it is not known when this happened, so the beginning of European breeding is considered the year 1977, when English Norwegian buhund breeder Dorothy Kenyon brought to England the Alvretens Icho of Norsken from Sweden. The photo of this female appeared on the front page of the Cynologist magazine and raised interest in this breed.

Japanese spitz has been in Denmark for nearly 20 years, but still remains a little-known breed.

And one extra breed, standing a little outside because it does not fall under the FCI, but it still belongs here.

American Eskimo

The White Spitz, of course, also occurs at the other end of the world, specifically in the USA. It is an American eskimo (similar to the Canadian eskimo being a completely different Nordic dog).

The American Eskimo shows in 3 sizes - 22 to 30 cm inches, 30-38 cm in diameter and 38-48 cm in standard, and has a color not only white but also creamy. (The Toy and Mini are derived from the Italian Volpino.  ~Terralea Collins)

Ancestors of this breed came to the US with German immigrants at the end of the 19th and early 20th centuries. They were renamed to the American eskimo due to the bad reputation of the Germans during the First World War. Sometimes it is also reported that among the ancestors of the American eskimo are the white Keeshond of the Dutch immigrants, but they could not have been so much to affect this breed. It can be said that the American eskimo is a descendant of the German spitz. He is indistinguishable from this and individuals imported into FCI countries are recorded as German spitz.

Thanks for the photo:

German spitz - S.Buta, Olga Fidlerová, kennel Lukato Gold

Japanese Spitz - Olga Fidlerova, Kennel Lukato Gold

Italian Volpino - Pia Rødvig Kristiansen, kennel Bella Volpino

Edited to English by - Terralea Collins

Quiz solution:

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