The Danish Spitz Dog Breed: Everything You Need to Know

The Danish Spitz is an old dog from Denmark that is friendly and loves children of all ages, and due to the physical similarities, it is often mistaken for a small Samoyed. 

In this article, we will explore the Danish Spitz dog breed in length and cover everything you need to know – from origin and traits to personality and health concerns. 

History and Origin of the Danish Spitz

The Danish Spitz is known by many names, including White Spitz, Wolf Spitz, Samoyed Spitz, and Greenland Spitz. Because of the many names, it is hard to track the breed’s history, and there is much we do not know about the ancestry and origins of the Danish Spitz. 

Ancestors of the Danish Spitz

The exact ancestors of the Danish Spitz are a mystery. Some believe that the breed was developed from the Spitz-type dogs brought to Denmark by Viking explorers. These Viking dogs were used for hunting and guarding.

Others claim that the Samoyed played a central role in the breed’s development. This is due to the physical resemblance and the fact that many sled-pulling Samoyeds were brought from Siberia to Denmark by traders or travelers.

The Danish Spitz’s Role in Denmark

The Danish Spitz was selected for traits that made it well-suited to the harsh Scandinavian climate, such as a thick coat and sturdy build. The breed was very patient and gentle with kids and was often used as a nanny. In fact, it was often called the “children’s dog.”

At one point, the breed was almost extinct, but in the late 1980s, efforts were made to reconstruct the Danish Spitz and restore its former population and glory. Such efforts are still in progress, and the breed’s numbers are steadily increasing. 

Physical Characteristics of the Danish Spitz

The Danish Spitz is a medium-sized dog with physical characteristics suitable to cold and wet climates. Their thick, double coat provides insulation against the cold, and their weather-resistant coat helps to keep them dry in wet conditions.

Despite their medium size, Danish Spitz dogs are strong and muscular. They have a sturdy build and a well-proportioned body. Their legs are straight and strong, which gives them the ability to move quickly and with agility.

Size and Weight

Male Danish Spitz dogs typically stand 17 to 19 inches tall, and females around 15 to 18 inches tall at the shoulders. Both genders weigh between 26 and 40 pounds. 

Coat and Colors

The Danish Spitz has a thick, double coat made up of a soft undercoat and a longer, coarser outer coat. This combination of fur helps to keep them warm in cold weather and cool in warm weather.

The coat comes in shades ranging from clear white to biscuit cream. The Danish Spitz requires regular brushing and extensive grooming to keep the coat in check and prevent mating and tangling. 

Distinctive Features

One of the most distinctive features of the Danish Spitz is its fox-like appearance. It has pointed ears, a pointed muzzle, and a bushy tail that curls over its back. The bushy tail is one of their most striking features and is often compared to a plume.

Breed members also have dark, expressive eyes that give them a curious and alert expression. The eyes are set wide apart and separated by the tampering nose with a strong sense of smell. 

Temperament and Personality Traits

The Danish Spitz is a highly intelligent and energetic breed. It is excellent for children and makes a great family pet but can be aloof with strangers.

General Disposition

Danish Spitz dogs are smart and require plenty of mental and physical stimulation. They are loyal and devoted to their families and enjoy spending time with their human companions. They are aloof with strangers but are generally friendly around other animals.

When it comes to disposition, the Danish Spitz is known for its alert and watchful nature. Breed members are excellent watchdogs and will bark to alert their owners of any potential danger. However, this can sometimes lead to excessive barking if not properly trained.

Intelligence and Trainability

The Danish Spitz is an intelligent breed that is quick to learn new things. They respond well to positive reinforcement training methods, such as treats and praise, and can excel at obedience training and agility competitions.

Because of their high intelligence, the Danish Spitz can sometimes be stubborn or independent-minded. It’s important to establish yourself as the pack leader early on and use consistent training methods to ensure they understand what is expected of them.

Socialization and Interaction with Other Animals

The Danish Spitz is generally friendly, but proper socialization is important to prevent any aggressive or dominant behaviors from developing. It tends to get along well with other dogs and cats but may have a high prey drive towards smaller animals.

It’s vital to expose your Danish Spitz to a variety of new animals and environments from a young age to ensure it is comfortable in different situations. Puppy classes are an excellent socialization opportunity. 

Health and Lifespan of the Danish Spitz

Like all dog breeds, the Danish Spitz is prone to certain health issues. However, with proper care and regular veterinary checkups, many of these issues can be prevented or treated.

Common Health Issues

Some of the most common health issues that affect Danish Spitz dogs include: 

  • Hip Dysplasia: An orthopedic, hereditary joint issue in which the bones forming the hip do not fit, causing joint laxity, which results in arthritis, pain, and impaired mobility 
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy: Also known as PRA, progressive retinal atrophy is an irreversible and incurable eye disorder that can result in blindness 

Expected Lifespan

The Danish Spitz has a lifespan of around 13 to 15 years when properly cared for. 

To keep your Danish Spitz in top health, provide preventative care such as regular vaccinations and parasite control. Veterinary checkups are also important to catch any health issues early on.


The Danish Spitz is a unique breed with many admirable qualities. From its loyal and affectionate nature to its fox-like appearance and immense love of children, there is much to love about the Dansk Spids.

If you are considering adding one of these wonderful dogs to your family, be sure to do your research and find a reputable breeder who can provide you with a healthy and well-socialized puppy.

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