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Giant German Spitz

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Giant German Spitz

The Giant German Spitz is a medium sized purebred developed in Germany also called the Giant Spitz, Deutscher Grossspitz, Great Spitz, Deutscher Spitz Klein Giant, Gross Spitz and German Spitz. It has a life span of 12 to 14 years but is not recognized everywhere as a separate breed. Its ancestors were valued for being alert and great watchdogs. There are 5 size varieties of the German Spitz, the Keeshond or Wolfspitz, the Giant Spitz, the Mittel (medium) German Spitz, Klein (miniature) German Spitz and the Zwergspitz (Pomeranian).

The Giant German Spitz at a Glance
Name Giant German Spitz
Other names Giant Spitz, Deutscher Grossspitz, Great Spitz, Deutscher Spitz Klein Giant, Gross Spitz, German Spitz
Nicknames GGS
Origin Germany
Average size Medium
Average weight 33 to 44 pounds
Average height 16 to 18 inches
Life span 12 to 14 years
Coat type Double, thick, long, harsh
Hypoallergenic No
Color Solid white, brown or black
Popularity Not yet a fully registered member of the AKC
Intelligence Very good
Tolerance to heat Moderate to good
Tolerance to cold Very good to excellent
Shedding Heavy and has seasonal blow outs – will be a lot of hair around your home in all kinds of places
Drooling Moderate – not especially prone
Obesity Above average – measure food and exercise daily
Grooming/brushing High – brush daily
Barking Frequent – should be trained to stop on command
Exercise needs Fairly active – will need daily exercise outside and is active indoors
Trainability Moderate – can be hard, but less so if you are experienced
Friendliness Very good with socialization
Good first dog Good but better with experienced owners
Good family pet Very good with socialization
Good with children Good to very good but needs socialization
Good with other dogs Good with socialization
Good with other pets Good with socialization
Good with strangers Good but wary, need socialization
Good apartment dog Moderate – could adapt but its activity indoors and its barking could be a problem
Handles alone time well Low – can suffer from separation anxiety
Health issues Fairly healthy but a few issues can include seizures, patella luxation and eye problems
Medical expenses $460 a year for basic health care and pet insurance
Food expenses $145 a year for a good quality dry dog food and treats
Miscellaneous expenses $215 a year for miscellaneous items, license, basic training and toys
Average annual expenses $820 as a starting figure
Cost to purchase $700
Rescue organizations None breed specific, look at local shelters and rescues for adoption options
Biting Statistics None reported
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The Giant German Spitz’s Beginnings

The Giant German Spitz's ancestors come from an area known as Pomerania which now is an area that is part of both Poland and Germany. It is thought they were the offspring of Nordic herding dogs like the Samoyed and Lapphung and that they arrived in Europe via the vikings. There is a document dated to 1450 that describes them as being brave defenders of fields and the home. They were traded with fishermen who valued them for their watchdog abilities. They spread quickly to different towns and regions and began to vary in size and color.

By the 1700s the dog was noticed by the nobility and royal families and much admired for its looks and as a companion. In 1714 George I came to the English throne and his German wife and he along with German nobility who came with them, brought with them Spitz type dogs. By the late 1700s Queen Charlotte, George IIIs wife has several white German Spitz types. As different sizes became favored the toy size and giant size were bred as companions while the standard size remained a working dog.

However into the 20th century the German Spitz's popularity declined after the first world war due to strong anti German sentiment and also a negative impact on dog breeding. When they came to America they were renamed the American Eskimo Dog. For several decades after world war two the numbers were and popularity were low.

New Lease on Life

Then in the 1970s the breed was revived and popularity and numbers started to improve. Today they are popular in Australia, GB and Germany especially and while some are still imported to the US they are still rare there. In 2009 the UKC recognized two varieties, klein and mittel. It is in the Foundation Stock Service of the AKC and the UK and Australian Kennel Clubs also just recognize those two types. The Giant German Spitz or Grossespitz is not recognized as a separate breed. Some countries allow interbreeding between the different sizes of Spitz and some do not.

Giant German Spitz

The Dog You See Today

The Giant German Spitz is a medium sized dog weighing 33 to 44 pounds and standing 16 to 18 inches tall. It has a well proportioned body with a straight and short back and slim legs that end with small round feet that have hair between the toes. The tail is set high, medium length, bushy and curls over its back. The neck is medium length, has a slight arch and has a ruff around it. The back legs are muscular and the chest is deep and rounded. The coat is more commonly brown, black or white and is thick and long with a shorter inner coat and harsh, straight outer coat. On the head the hair is shorter and there is more hair around the neck on the chest, on the tail and there is feathering on the legs.

The head is medium-sized and wedge shaped that tapers to the nose. The muzzle is a little shorter than the skull's length. At the end is a small black or brown round nose. Its lips fit tightly to the teeth and jaws and the cheeks are rounded. Its eyes are medium-sized, slanting almond shaped and dark. Their rims are either dark brown or black. Its erect ears are triangular, small and high, and set close together with pointed tips.

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The Inner Giant German Spitz

Temperament

The Giant German Spitz is a happy and alert companion dog. It is watchful and makes a good watchdog that will let you know if there is a stranger or intruder by barking. It will carry on barking so teaching it to stop on command is a good idea. It is a spirited and lively dog, it likes to jump around, stand on its back legs and do things to get attention. It needs owners who are around more than out as it can suffer from separation anxiety. It is eager to please and will expect to be included in all family activities. It can in fact become very demanding for its need for attention. It also a curious dog, it loves to get into things, go places you might not want it to, and explore.

It is intelligent and likes to be busy. It does have an independent side and it is playful and cheerful. It is active indoors as well as out, it will play with toys and have mad moments where it charges around the home (though this can be less frantic in these large Sptiz types). It has a bit of a naughty sense of humor so owners need patience and a sense of humor of their own. It is affectionate and loving with its family and generally a friendly dog but with strangers it can be distrustful and more wary. Early socialization is important for that to make sure it does not become timid or aggressive.

Living with a Giant German Spitz

What will training look like?

Giant German Spitz are moderate to train, they can be willful and temperamental and if its bored it can start refusing to obey. It needs owners with experience, someone who can be firm and consistent, confident and patient. Use positive training techniques and keep the sessions short and interesting. It learns quicker and is more likely to go along with it when it is having fun with it. Even then be prepared for times when it does not listen, this is not a perfectly obedient and agreeable breed at all times. Start basic obedience training when they are young and also start socialization. This means you need to get it used to things like different people, places, sounds, situations and animals.

Giant German Spitz

How active is the Giant German Spitz?

It is a fairly active dog so will needs owners who can give it regular walks twice a day, play with it and give it opportunities for safe off leash time where it can run free. Giving it the exercise it needs is also a good way to reinforce your place as its pack leader. It likes to do things like flyball, rally, agility and such. Make sure that as well as giving it physical exercise it also gets mental stimulation. It does best in a home with a yard rather than an apartment. It can adapt to shorter brisk walks but has enough stamina to also take long ones.

Caring for the Giant German Spitz

Grooming needs

Give the GGS a regular brush to keep its coat tangle free, it is thick and it doe shed a lot so be prepared for there to be a lot of clean up around the home. Be prepared there are some Spitz dogs that do not like to be groomed so you will need to start from a young age and keep sessions regular but short. Do not bathe it too often, just save that for when it really needs one so that you do not dry out the natural oils in its skin.

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You will also need to clip its nails when they get too long using proper dog nail scissors or clippers. Take care not to cut too far down if you cut those nerves and blood vessels it will cause bleeding and hurt a great deal. Its ears should be checked weekly to make sure they are infection free then cleaned by wiping them down. Just use a damp cloth or dog ear cleaner with a cotton ball and wipe the parts that are easy to reach. Never insert anything like a cotton bud into its ears, that not only can cause a lot of pain again, this can cause permanent damage. Brush its teeth at least two to three times a week too using a dog toothpaste and toothbrush.

Feeding Time

The Giant German Spitz will eat about 1½ to 2½ cups of a good quality dry dog food, split into at least two meals. The amount varies depending on its size, level of activity, health, age and metabolism. It should also have access to water that is changes when possible.

How is the Giant German Spitz with children and other animals?

When the Giant German Spitz is well socialization and cared for, and has good leadership it is good with children. If it has been raised with them that is even better. However if it is not lead well and not socialized it becomes nervous around them and can become snappy especially if they are too rough with it. Make sure children are taught how to properly touch and play with them and supervise young children. Socialization is also important on how it interacts with other dogs and other animals. Supervise it with larger dogs as it tends to get rougher than it should with them. It can learn to get on with cats when raised with them but is less trustworthy with other non-canine pets like bird or rabbits because of a high prey drive.

Giant German Spitz

What Might Go Wrong?

Health Concerns

They live for 12 to 14 years on average and are generally thought to be quite healthy. A few issues include seizures, eye problems, patella luxation and joint dysplasia.

Biting Statistics

In reports of dogs attacking people in the last 35 years in North America and have caused bodily harm there is no mention of the Giant German Spitz. However since not everywhere sees this as a separate breed it is possible it was labeled as one of the other types of German Spitz dogs. The Keeshond is mentioned in one incident and the Pomeranian in another. Any breed has the potential to become involved in something for a number of reasons. Things you can do include proper training and socialization, good exercise and stimulation, the attention it needs and the food it needs. With these and supervision there is less chance your dog will be drawn into anything.

Your Pup’s Price Tag

A Giant German Spitz puppy will likely cost about $700 from a decent breeder and at least double that from a top breeder. Take the time to find a breeder that has a good reputation, experience and one who knows what they are doing. Avoid puppy mills, pet stores and ignorant backyard breeders. If possible consider looking at rescues and shelters as adoption costs just around $50 to $400 and there are a lot of dogs desperately hoping for a new home and owner.

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When you are ready to bring it home there are some things you need. A carrier, crate, bowls, bedding and leash and collar for example. These will cost about $205. When the dog is home with you it should be taken to a vet as soon as possible for some tests and procedures. Micro chipping, spaying or neutering, deworming, blood tests, shots, a physical exam and such will cost about $270.

There are continuing costs when you are a pet owner. You are responsible for its health, feeding and other needs. Basic health care like flea and tick prevention, shots, check ups and dog insurance will be around $460 a year. A good to excellent quality dry dog food an dog treats will be about $145 a year. Then miscellaneous costs like a license, toys, basic training and miscellaneous items are another $215 a year. This gives an estimated starting figure cost $820.

Names

Looking for a Giant German Spitz Name? Let select one from our list!

If you want a lively dog that knows its own mind, is always cheerful but needs good mental and physical stimulation this could be the dog for you. It gets on well with others but it does shed heavily so that will be more work in terms of daily brushing and cleaning the home. You will also need to be prepared for its potential frequent and high pitched barking. In the right home though this can be a wonderful companion to have around, it is very affectionate and loyal and quite entertaining if you are prepared for their antics and sense of humor.

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