German Toy Spitz / Pomeranian

FCI standard Nº 97_3

C. Seidler / Gabriele Dulling Original version : (DE)
Group 5 Spitz and primitive types
Section 4 European Spitz
Without working trial
Acceptance on a definitive basis by the FCI
Tuesday 01 January 1957
Publication of the official valid standard
Wednesday 04 September 2019
Last update
Tuesday 12 November 2019
En français, cette race se dit
Spitz Toy / Pomeranian
Diese Norm ist in deutscher Sprache sichtbar
Zwergspitz / Pomeranian
En español, esta raza se dice
Spitz de juguete / Pomerania
In het Nederlands, wordt dit ras gezegd
Toy Spitz / Pomeranian

Standard valid for German Giant Spitz, German Medium Size Spitz, German Miniature Spitz


Watch and Companion dog.

Brief historical summary

German Spitz dogs are descendants of the stoneage «Peat Dogs» (Torfhunde) «Canis familiaris palustris Rütimeyer» and the later Lake Dwelling Spitz(Pfahlbauspitz); it is the oldest breed of dog in Central Europe. Numerous other breeds have been developed from them. In non-German speaking countries Toy Spitz dogs (Zwergspitze) are known as Pomeranians.

General appearance

Spitz breeds are captivating on account of their beautiful coats, made to stand off by plentiful undercoat. Particularly impressive are the strong, mane-like collar round the neck (ruff) and the bushy tail carried boldly over the back. The foxy head with alert eyes and the small pointed, closely set ears give the Spitz its unique characteristic, cheeky appearance.

Important proportions

The ratio of height at withers to body length is 1:1.
The ratio length of the muzzle to length of the skull of Toy Spitz/Pomeranian is approximately 2:4.

Behaviour / temperament

The German Toy Spitz/Pomeranian is always attentive, lively and extraordinarily attached to its owner. It is very teachable and easy to train. Its companionable and cheerful character makes it the ideal companion and family dog and watch dog for house and apartment. It is neither timid nor aggressive. Indifference to weather, robustness and longevity are its most outstanding attributes.


Cranial region

The Spitz’s medium-sizedhead, seen from above, appears broadest at the back and tapers wedge-shaped to the tip of the nose. 
Moderate to marked, never abrupt.

Facial region

The nose is round, small and pure black. The nose of brown Spitz dogs is dark brown.
The muzzle is not overlong and stands in pleasing proportion to the skull (approximately 2 : 4).
The lips are not exaggerated, close fitting to the jaws and do not form any folds to the corner of the mouth. They are completely black. The lips of brown Spitz dogs are brown.
Jaws and teeth
The jaws are normally developed and show a complete scissor bite with 42 teeth, corresponding to the dental formula of the dog, i. e. the upper incisors closely overlapping the lower onesand set square to the jaws. Strong canines fitting exactly into each other. The lack of a few premolars shall be tolerated in Toy Spitz/Pomeranian. Pincer bite is permissible.
The cheeks are gently rounded, not protruding.
The eyes are of medium size, almond-shaped, slightly slanting and dark. The eyelids are black. Brown Spitz dogs have dark brown eyelids.
The small ears are set high and relatively close to each other, triangular pointed; they are always carried upright, stiff at the tips.


The medium length neck is set broadly on the shoulders, slightly arched without dewlap and covered by a thick, profuse coat, forming a large ruff.


Merges in a gentle curve with the short, straight back. The bushy, sweeping tail, which partially covers the back, rounds off the silhouette.
The high withers drops imperceptibly.
As short as possible, straight, firm.
Short, broad and strong.
The croup is broad and short, not falling away.
The deep chest is well sprung, the forechest well developed.
Underline and belly
The chestreaches back as far as possible ; the belly has only a slight tuck up.


The tail is set on high and of medium length. It reaches upwards and rolls forward over the back, straight from the root. It lies firmly over the back and is covered with very bushy hair. A double curl at tip of tail is tolerated.



Straight, rather broad front with well-developed bone strength.
The shoulder is well muscled and firmly connected to the chest. The shoulder blade is long and well laid back.
Upper arm
The upper arm, which is approximately the same length as the shoulder blade, forms an angle of 90 degrees to the shoulder blade.
The elbow joint is strong, close fitting to the chestand turns neither in nor out.
The forearm is of medium length in relation to the body, sturdy and completely straight. The back of the forearm is well feathered.
The strong, medium length front pastern stands at an angle of 20 degrees from the vertical.
The forefeet are as small as possible, round and closed, with well arched and tight nails, so called cat feet. The colour of nails and pads is as dark as possible.


The hindquarters are very muscular and abundantly feathered to the hocks. The hind legs stand straight and parallel.
Upper thigh
Thigh and lower leg are of about equal length.
The stifle joint is strong with only moderate angulation and is turned neither in nor out in movement.
The hock is of medium length, very strong and vertical to the ground.
Hind feet
The hindfeetare as small as possible, round and closed, with well arched and tightnails, so called cat feet. The pads are coarse. The colour of nails and pads is as dark as possible.

Gait and movement

German Spitz dogs move straight ahead with good drive, fluidly and springy.


The skin covers the body tightly without any wrinkles.


German Toy Spitz dogs / Pomeranians have a double coat : Long, straight andfirmstanding off top coat and short, thick, cotton-wool-like undercoat.
Head, ears, front side of front and hind legs and the paws are covered by short, thick (velvety) hair. The rest of the body has a long, rich, hairy coat. Not wavy, curly or shaggy, not parted along the back. Neck and shoulders are covered by a thick mane.
The backside of the front legs is well feathered, the hind legs have ample feathering from croup to hocks. The tail is bushy. Hair must not look like being modelled.
German Toy Spitz/Pomeranian : White, black, brown, orange, grey-shaded, other colours.

White Spitz : The coat should be pure white. Little trace of yellow, which often occurs, especially on the ears, is tolerated.
Black Spitz : Black Spitz dogs must have a black undercoat and a black skin. The colour on top must be a shining black without any white or other markings.
Brown Spitz : The brown Spitz should be uniformly dark brown.
Orange Spitz : The orange Spitz should be evenly coloured in the medium colour range. Lightening up of the orange colour on the chest, the tail and the trousers is permitted.
Grey-shaded Spitz : Grey-shaded is a silver-grey with black hair-tips. Muzzle and ears are dark in colour, round the eyes well defined shown as a delicately pencilled black line slanting from outer corner of eye to lower corner of ear, coupled with distinct markings and shading forming short but expressive eyebrows; mane and ring on shoulder lighter; fore- and hind legs silver-grey without any black markings under the elbows or stifles, except slight pencilling on the toes; black tip of tail; underside of tail and trousers pale silver-grey.
Other coloured Spitz : The term applies to the following colours : cream, cream-sable, orange-sable, black and tan and particolour. Particoloured dogs must have white always as basic colour. The patches must be uniformly in one colour either black or brown or grey-shaded or orange or orange-sable or cream or cream-sable. They should preferably be distributed over the whole body.

Size and weight

Height at withers
German Toy Spitz/Pomeranian : 21 cm ± 3 cm.
The German Toy Spitz/Pomeranian should have a weight corresponding to its size.


• Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog and its ability to perform its traditional work.
• Faults listed should be in degree of seriousness.

Serious faults

 Faults in construction.
 Head too flat.
 Distinct apple head.
 Flesh-coloured nose, eyelids and lips.
 Dentition faults, missing incisors.
 Too large and too bright eyes.
 Prodtruding eyes.
 Ingrey-shaded German Toy Spitz dog/Pomeranian missing ofdistinct markings of the face.
 Faults in movement.

Disqualifying faults

 Aggressive or overly shy dogs.
 Gap in fontanel.
 Overbite, underbite, crossbite.
 Ectropion or entropion.
 Ears not fully erected.
 Definite white markings or spots in all non-white Toy Spitz dogs/Pomeranians.
 Any colour not mentioned in section “Colours”.

NB :

• Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities shall be disqualified.
• The above mentioned faults when occurring to a highly marked degree or frequently are disqualifying.
• Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.
• Only functionally and clinically healthy dogs, with breed typical conformation should be used for breeding.



Detailed history

Once known in France as Loulous, Spitzes have lost this appellation. At the same time, they've fallen into a kind of anonymity that doesn't suit dogs built for fame. After all, everything about them calls for success and admiration. First, their appearance: with their fox-like heads and sumptuous fur, they're sure to be noticed. Then there's their character: lively, mischievous, sometimes impetuous, always affectionate, such a temperament can't fail to appeal to lovers of dogs with a good coat. After abandoning a name steeped in tradition, Loulous seem to have fallen into the doldrums. But, as we know them, they shouldn't stay there for long.

Not content with having been among the most prized and colorful dogs at one time, Spitzes are without doubt the oldest domestic dogs. In fact, as direct descendants of the famous Neolithic Bog Dog (Canis Familiaris palustris), they were the first to populate the lakeside villages of prehistoric Europe alongside man.

The Swiss, the Jura, the Jura, the Jura, the Jura, the Jura, the Jura, the Jura, the Jura, the Jura, the Jura, the Jura, the Jura, the Jura, the Jura... Switzerland, the Jura, Great Britain and Denmark all have national remains of this canine type. Even better! Ten thousand years old, the ancestors of the Spitz also gave rise to all the lupoid dogs of today, i.e. those more or less resembling wolves. Pointed muzzles, erect ears and bushy tails, often curled over the back, are the main characteristics of these dogs, now grouped in the fifth category of dog nomenclature: Spitz and Primitive-type dogs. Called upon to guard, hunt, pull sledges, keep company with nomads back at camp, Spitz and their "cousins" have proved they can do it all. But where did these primitive dogs originate? It's hard to say, as traces of them have been found in the Orient, Africa, the Siberian Far North and the shores of the Baltic. Unfortunately, they have disappeared from all these regions, replaced by their own, more specialized descendants.

Spitzes have spread throughout the world. Spitzes have spread throughout Europe, notably to the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium and France (especially Alsace). Varieties of different colors and sizes developed according to the region and the evolution of crossbreeding and selective breeding. White Spitzes, for example, were particularly common in Pomerania, between Prussia, Poland and the Baltic, while black Spitzes were bred in Württemberg, a county with a rich canine history. There, they are used for guarding or draughting, while here, they become crew dogs. Like Pinschers and Schnauzers, they follow horses, and there are very few stagecoaches that don't have a Spitz.

. On this subject, it's worth quoting J. Dhers: "He's the Loulou of the stagecoaches, the adjutant of the coach, the imperial runner, barking, wriggling, cumbersome, loved by all! I remember that in those days, every stagecoach, every trucker had one of these little white, black or grey devils, who more often than not, with a rapid, incessant to-and-fro, and always barking, made a quick shuttle from seat to saddle, skirting the spine, often sitting on the rump."

Larger Spitzes have been known for centuries in northern Germany and the Netherlands, where they were the specialty of boatmen. Proudly displayed on the prow of Dutch barges, they are said to have become the symbol of patriots opposed to the House of Orange in the late 18th century, when they were called Keeshonds (or Keeshonden) after their leader, William Kees van Gyselaar. Arriving in Britain in the early 20th century (thanks to a Mrs. Digby), the Keeshonds flourished. The first Club was founded in 1925. The British showed a marked preference for gray subjects, which they selected to the detriment of whites, blacks and fawns, although these colors were still allowed in Holland at the time.

At the same time, Spitzes, blacks and fawns were being bred for. At the same time, Spitzes, especially the smaller ones, have another prestigious history as companions. One of them was the companion of the great Wolfgang Amadeus himself, who was not the only artist to appreciate it, since Michelangelo also owned one. In France, the Spitz soared in popularity under the Empire, as it was one of Josephine's favorite dogs. Napoleon III, meanwhile, had his share of problems with Eugenie's Spitz, who had a habit of running away or hiding in particularly clever ways. Time and again, the police had to bring the little devil back to the palace. The Spitz was also the companion of ordinary citizens, not the least of whom were Courteline and Emile Zola. At the time, the dwarf subjects enjoyed immense success under the name of Loulous de Poméranie.

But it was the British who were to take over. But it was the British who were to give the small Spitz its moment of glory. Already in the 18th century, King George III had, by his example, aroused a certain craze for these dogs, but it was Queen Victoria who initiated the irresistible movement that led to the breed's renown and miniaturization. On a trip to Florence in 1888, she returned with Gona, a white Volpino (Little Italian Spitz). The sovereign was so enamored of this dog that she went so far as to found a kennel to breed her own breed, giving it an average weight of 5.5 to 7 kilos, and frequently exhibited specimens at shows. However, the English only knew Spitzes in larger sizes, and it was a real challenge to reduce the dogs to the size recommended by the Queen. By the end of the century, British breeders had succeeded in producing 3-kilo dogs with exceptional fur. But it would be to misunderstand the English to think that they would stop there. They sought to further improve their tiny dogs by dressing them in a wide range of colors, from blue to isabella and every possible pastel shade. Contrary to their previous experiments, this proved to be an abject failure. The dogs faded or darkened over time, which was not at all aesthetically pleasing. Nevertheless, the twenties can boast one of the prettiest mini-dogs that dog-lovers have ever produced, in the "person" of Sable Mite. A wealthy American offered £500 (an impressive sum at the time), but his proposal was turned down, as the English were so fond of their Spitzes.

In the first half of the twentieth century, Sable Mite became a household name. In the first half of the 20th century, the situation was somewhat complicated. The English had a monopoly on miniature Spitzes (Pomeranians), and while they agreed with the Dutch to call the larger ones Keeshonds, their standard was the only one to require gray for this variety. In France, we knew the Loulous (whose Club was founded in 1955), the Grands Loulous, which became the Grands Spitz; we distinguished between the Keeshonds and the Wolfspitz (Spitz-loups), which originated in Germany. Indeed, the Germans claimed paternity of all these dogs. As early as 1899, they had declared the Spitz the national breed and created a club to safeguard this canine heritage. A solution had to be found. In 1960, the Fédération Cynologique Internationale ruled in Germany's favor, recognizing all Spitzes as German nationals.

Today, the Spitzes are united in a single breed. Today, united in a single group, with a single standard for five varieties, a single official origin, and "only" two breed clubs in France, Spitzes have regained their coherence. And, above all, an easily recognizable identity, even for the most novice cynophile. No longer having to look for the Medium, Small and Dwarf Spitz in the companion dog group, and the Large and Wolf Spitz in the utility dog group, the public will finally be able to rediscover these endearing dogs. Because, whatever the breed, a Spitz is always a wonderful companion. The sizes and colors may differ, but the temperament remains the same: that of the dog that has accompanied man since the dawn of time. A true guarantee of quality.

Certain morphologies are revealing. The Spitz is certainly one of them. You only have to look at its little fox head, its sparkling eyes and proudly erect ears to guess that this dog has a lively temperament. Likewise, the name Spitz, which means "pointed" in German, perfectly conveys the curious, mischievous character of what used to be known as the Loulous. The compact, solid body, trimmed in sumptuous fur, exudes confidence and dignity.

But who really is the Spitz? But who really is the Spitz? We like to think of him as small, snarling and shrill. But this is not the case. On the one hand, there are five varieties of Spitz, the largest reaching a height of 60 centimetres, and on the other, this dog can be a marvel of tenderness and calmness in his own time. Granted, it does like to raise its voice, but this is more an expression of its cheerful nature than any sign of aggression. The Spitz is far too self-confident for that. It's true that he often remains aloof towards strangers, but these days, when dog thieves and laboratory purveyors abound, who could complain? The big Spitz who makes his voice heard behind the gate of a pavilion is generally listened to, and his frank and determined gaze overcomes many bad intentions. Because the first Spitzes, the ones that accompanied our ancestors ten thousand years ago, were guard dogs. And hunting dogs. And draught dogs, through their descendants. In fact, Spitzes are capable of performing any task you give them.

Why are they now working dogs? Why are they now companion dogs? Quite simply, because they're so good at it. What about the Spitz at home? He's very present, always on the alert, immediately running to the slightest noise. Tiring, the Spitz? Perhaps a little, if you're used to much calmer dogs. With him, there's certainly no time to get bored. Does he like to play? Spitzes are said to reach full maturity, both physically and mentally, fairly late in life, which means they're inveterate gamblers, always ready for a good game of ball or race. Because Spitzes are also athletes. You should see them, even the Dwarves, using their sturdy legs to gallop through woods and fields. Of course, the little ones are a little less hardy than the big ones, but that doesn't stop them from letting off steam on occasion. Long walks in the forest are best suited to big dogs, who have more stamina. Little ones will enjoy shorter walks, but just as intense. Woe betide any rodents encountered along the way. Some Spitzes don't scorn the unfortunate mouse that falls under their snout.

They love children. Do they like children? No. They adore them! Provided, of course, that they are respectful of animals, which they should always be. Grands Spitz and Moyens are ideal for families with children. Games can be lively without the dog suffering. Littles and Dwarfs, on the other hand, are better suited to single people, who will be able to pamper them better. Although more delicate, they are not fragile. They are healthy and have a remarkable longevity: from fourteen to eighteen years. Unlike many Nordic dogs, Spitzes are not runaways. They are far too attached to their home to wander off. And their strong sense of duty leads them to keep the house empty rather than abandoning it in favor of running wild in the surrounding area.

Another sensitive point they share with Spitz dogs is that they are not afraid of running away. Another sensitive point they share with most of the dogs in their group is intraspecific relations, i.e. with other dogs. Here again, Spitzes are exceptional. Self-confident without aggression, they don't let themselves be "taken apart" by big guys trying to impress them. Even Dwarves show uncommon courage. Occasionally, a Spitz may be drawn into a fight by too much provocation, but what breed can boast otherwise? As for other pets, such as cats, they need to be accustomed to them at an early age if you want them to live together.

The Spitz is a great companion. Does the Spitz like to travel? In any case, he actively guards what he quickly comes to regard as "his" car. Public transport is possible, since, with the exception of the Great and the Wolf, all Spitzes are the right size and can squeeze into a basket for a few minutes if need be, according to railway or metro regulations. Because of their small size, they can even fit into airplane cabins, at the captain's discretion. As for the boat, the Spitz-wolf borrowed it enough when it was still called Keeshond to be at ease. In short, taking the Spitz on vacation is no problem at all.

Given all these qualities, we're tempted to imagine a hidden flaw. Is the Spitz receptive to education, for example? At the risk of seeming to have lost all impartiality, the answer is yes. Indeed, Spitzes are particularly good at learning whatever their master wants to teach them. Haven't they long been, alongside the Poodle, excellent circus dogs? Showing the Spitz all kinds of tricks can only delight him. Gifted with a highly developed intelligence, they can't stand intellectual inactivity, and will go so far as to invent the most extraordinary pranks if their masters don't provide the necessary mental stimulation. What's more, Spitzes are docile. Admittedly, they may seem restless and uncoordinated, but this is only an appearance. Well-trained Spitzes become very attentive pupils. By training him, you'll turn your Spitz into a sociable little animal who's a pleasure to have around. Introduced to the essential commands - sit, down, stay, heel - he'll be able to follow his master everywhere without ever being a nuisance. As for its propensity to bark, this can be quickly corrected by appropriate training.

When it comes to maintenance, Spitzes are not complicated dogs either. Hardy, Spitzes don't get sick very often, and make poor clients for veterinarians. More gourmet than greedy, they don't require expensive food, especially as obesity, which would disfigure them, should be avoided. Are groomers rich in fur? Wrong! After all, it requires very little maintenance. Of course, it needs regular care, but a good brushing two or three times a week may suffice. Bathing is not recommended, as it destroys the skin's natural ooze for several weeks and makes it more fragile. Dry shampoos are appropriate, as they keep a dog clean without having to wet it.

So, is the Spitz the right dog for you? So, is the Spitz the ideal dog? Why not? If he's not very popular today, he was once very much in favor, and that could well be the case again in the years to come, because anyone who appreciates beauty, wit and kindness can't help but love this Loulou-là.

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