The German Spitz is in fact a family of breeds of the Spitz type. There are five different types of German Spitz:
- Wolfspitz (Keeshond – considered a separate breed in many countries)
- Grossspitz (Giant Spitz)
- Mittelspitz (Medium/Standard Spitz)
- Kleinspitz (Small Spitz)
- Zwergspitz (Dwarf/Midget Spitz also known as Pomeranian – considered a separate breed in many countries – shown left)
Most kennel clubs recognise only the Klein and Mittel varieties of German Spitz and consider the Pomeranian (Zwergspitz) and Keeshond (Wolfspitz) as separate breeds. In many countries the Miniature (Klein) spitz is also confused with the Pomeranians (Zwers).
German Spitz are similar in appearance but vary widly in colour. The Giant Spitz can only be black, white, or brown but the Standard, Small and Dwarf can have various colour combinations as well. All German Spitz have a fox like head, double coat, highset triangular ears and a tail that is curled over the back. Although the Kleinspitz and the Pomeranian look alike they are not the same dog.
German Spitz are descendants of the ancient spitzes found in the Stone Age and they are the oldest breed of dog in Central Europe.