Many people are obsessed with having small dogs, especially now that apartment living is becoming the more common choice. The two most popular pocket-size dogs are the Japanese Spitz and the Pomeranian. They are both friendly and don’t require a big space to move around.
The Japanese Spitz is high-spirited, intelligent, and playful and will often come up with little ways to make you smile and laugh. They are also quite adventurous and make the perfect companions on a hike or a trip to the beach. Pomeranians, on the other hand, are easy to train and make excellent watchdogs. They are also energetic little dogs, and short walks are a great activity for them.
Although these dogs are both spitz dogs and thus appear quite similar, they have quite a few differences. In this article, we’ll outline their features and differences. This information should help you decide which dog is the perfect fit for you and your family.
At a Glance
Japanese Spitz Overview
The Japanese Spitz was developed in Japan mainly in cold and snowy regions and can be easily identified by its fluffy coat. It has a long double coat that grows incredibly thick around the neck and sheds seasonally. It has a foxlike face with erect ears that give it an alert expression. Due to its athletic build, this dog breed has a muscular body with a deep chest.
The Japanese Spitz is a fun-loving dog that gets along well with people of all ages. It is quiet and cheerful, making it the ideal housedog, which is good because they love being around people. Its small size and moderate energy levels make it the perfect apartment dog. Japanese Spitz dogs also get along well with other household pets and small children.
Health & Care
The Japanese Spitz has a thick and fluffy double coat that sheds occasionally, and thus, they need to be brushed often. The coat is surprisingly easy to care for since no regular trimming is required. The hair also naturally repels dirt, and the dog only needs occasional baths to feel and look clean. However, the muddy season poses a significant challenge for most owners since this playful dog breed loves rolling around.
They are incredibly healthy and have a long lifespan, living up to 16 years. However, the breed often experiences luxating patella,1 and the dog owner may notice a skip in their step or see their dog walking and running on only three legs.
The Japanese Spitz sheds its fur twice a year, thus losing much of its undercoat. Extra brushing and trimming are required during this time to avoid the extra hair getting on furniture and clothes. Ensure you keep the nails short by trimming them regularly and cleaning the ears when they start accumulating dirt. You also need to pay attention to their dental hygiene by brushing their teeth at least twice weekly.
The Japanese Spitz is intelligent and loyal, making it easy to train. The best way to train this dog is to keep the sessions short and end them positively. You can also incorporate a dog whistle and introduce short verbal commands.
It’s also recommended to start socializing your Japanese Spitz early to overcome shyness and nervousness around new people. Although they are pretty small as puppies, resist the urge to carry them everywhere—let them walk independently as this boosts their confidence and makes them well-adjusted.
The Japanese Spitz is very people focused; whether it has one owner or several, it does not care and shows equal amounts of love. He loves living in a family and gets along well with children and the elderly due to their calm temperament. Puppies are eager to learn and being around many people can speed up their progress.
Though very small, Pomeranians are perky and friendly dogs. They closely resemble the Japanese Spitz with their thick coat and square bodies. Their tails are usually curled and feathery, and their faces have the same foxlike resemblance with perky ears. They get their name from the area of Pomerania near Germany, where they were first bred and used as sleigh dogs.
Pomeranians are intelligent and loyal to their families. However, they can be pretty independent and bold, which sometimes leads them to pick a fight with much larger dogs.
Pomeranians are playful and exceptionally social, making them a great family addition. They are active and should be exercised regularly, at least a short walk per day to keep them relaxed; even better if you can get them to join you on hikes or nature trails. Pomeranians are also excellent watchdogs and will alert the owner by barking once they sense trouble.
Health & Care
Though they are pretty small, with the smallest dogs weighing around 3 pounds, Pomeranians are quite healthy dogs with few health issues. According to the American Pomeranian Club,2 they may develop epilepsy and seizures, and owners should always be on the lookout.
Pomerians are easy to care for due to their friendly temperament and are at home whether in an apartment or the country. However, you need to ensure you take them to the vet often for checkups.
Like the Japanese Spitz, Pomeranians must be brushed often since they have a long thick coat. Groomers recommend brushing them thrice weekly during the peak shedding periods. Their teeth also need to be brushed regularly to keep them from suffering dental issues like cavities, a common health issue for this dog breed. They should be bathed at least twice a month to keep them fresh and clean and to prevent the fur from matting.
Pomeranians are intelligent and friendly, making them easy to train. However, they are also quite bold and can get snappish when not properly trained. They are playful little dogs, and in most cases, they will assimilate to whatever you have them do. Make sure you have a lot of treats and toys when training them, and use positive reinforcement. However, they often don’t adapt well to strangers and new pets and may have to be isolated until they get familiar with them.
Pomeranians are suitable for people of all ages; however, kids need to be taught to handle them with care since they can get snappy at times. They are also suitable for people with a busy schedule since they are good at keeping themselves entertained; they don’t need much pampering or fussing. However, you need to keep an eye on them when they are playing outside because they are expert escape artists!
How Do You Prepare Your Home for a New Pet?
Knowing how to prepare when bringing a pet into your home might be challenging if you are a first-time dog owner. Animals are comforted by familiar surroundings and smells and might feel uncomfortable in new spaces. Preparation is, therefore, the most crucial step when bringing a new dog into your home.
1. Gather supplies
Prepare the items your dog will need in advance. You’ll need a new bed, leash, collar, water, food bowls, and toys. Keep in mind most animals are territorial, and most will not feed from a bowl with another animal’s scent.
2. Educate family members
Before your new pet comes home, educate your family members, especially young children how to deal with the pet. Also, ensure you assign duties before the pet comes to avoid confusion. Who will walk the dog and when? Who will brush them? This also helps the dog acclimatize faster.
3. Plan their arrival and establish a routine
If you can, arrange for your dog to arrive during the weekend when everyone is at home and when you can stay with them for a few days. Spend some quality time together and ensure you establish a routine with them. It’s best to do this in your house or yard without distractions. Keep things consistent for the first few weeks until they are well-adjusted.
Dog ownership is more than a privilege; it’s a responsibility. Whichever dog you choose, you should be ready to take care of its needs, including ensuring they get the proper nutrition, exercise, and training. Ensure your family is on board and they know the appropriate way to handle the pet, especially young kids. Many small dog breeds such as Poms and the Japanese Spitz are often mishandled, which can cause them to act out of character.
Before getting a dog, ensure it is the right fit for you and your family. Hopefully, this article has helped shed some light on these breeds and helped you choose the right one.
Featured Image Credit: (L) beeboys, Shutterstock | (R) Jumpstory