The Varieties

The German Spitz, in Germany, consists of five varieties. Unlike varieties in the AKC use of the word (where the various types may be interbred), each variety of German Spitz is considered separate, although I believe the smaller varieties may be interbred to some extent, particularly Kleinspitz and Zwergspitz, which have both been registered as Pomeranians in some countries. Although the Keeshond and Pomeranian are recognzied worldwide, the Gross Spitz is quite rare outside of Germany. The German Spitz (Mittel) and German Spitz (Klein) are recognized as separate breeds by the Kennel Club (in the UK) and in Australia.

  • Wolfspitz (43-55cm / 17″-21.5″) is known as the Keeshond elsewhere in the world and comes in only one color, wolf-grey (grey sable).
  • Gross Spitz (42-50cm / 16″-19.5″) or Giant Spitz is the least common of the varieties. It comes in only solid colors: Black, brown (liver) or white.
  • Mittel Spitz (30-38cm / 12″-15″), the Medium Spitz comes in Black, brown,
    white, orange, grey-shaded (sable of all shades from black/silver sable to orange and cream sables to wolf-grey), other colors (particolor).
  • Klein Spitz (23-29cm / 9″-11.5″), or Small Spitz. Comes in the same colors as the Mittel.
  • Zwerg Spitz (18-22cm / 7″-8.5″). This is the most popular of the German Spitz varieties, known outside of Germany as the Pomeranian.

The FCI breed standard defines ‘other colors’ as particolor (white predominating, with colored patches on a white ground), black and tan, other shades of sable, and cream. This is somewhat confusing, as other colors DO occur and are allowed- blue, chocolate and tan, etc. White markings on an otherwise solid dog are a disqualification.

In the UK and Australia, the breed standard allows for any color and does not discriminate against marked self dogs. Currently in the US, the clubs which allow conformation showing for the German Spitz (UKC, IABCA, Rarities) all use the FCI standard.


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