Physically, most spitz breeds are characterized by a wolf-like appearance that includes pointy ears; almond-shaped eyes; a thick, double coat; and a feathery tail curled over the back.

Many of the spitz breeds were bred for life in cold climates, they originated in Scandinavia, Russia, and North America. The word “spitz” in German means pointed, describing the wedge shape of their head which interestingly helps warm frigid air as it’s inhaled through the nasal passage. They also have a heavy double coat to help keep them warm in the bitter cold air of the north.

There is no hard-and-fast definition of a spitz so there have been distinct breeds developed and identified out of the “spitz” generalization. There are thought to be between 50 and 70 distinct spitz breeds. Here are some of them: Akita, Alaskan Malamute, American Eskimo Dog, Chow Chow, Finnish Lapphund, Finnish Spitz, Icelandic Sheepdog, Keeshond, Norwegian Buhund, Norwegian Elkhound, Norwegian Lundehund, Samoyed, Shiba Inu, Siberian Husky, Swedish Vallhund

As far as their temperament, spitz breeds were bred to work and are highly intelligent and active. Their tasks have ranged from helping hunters find game, to hauling sleds, to herding animals.

Owners of spitz breeds know that daily exercise with their pet is a must.The spitz breeds are loved for their expressiveness and their intelligence and most of them look like teddy bears when they’re puppies.