DATE OF PUBLICATION OF THE OFFICIAL STANDARD: 17.01.2013.
UTILIZATION: Watch and Companion Dog.
FCI-CLASSIFICATION: Group 5 Spitz and primitive types. Section 4 European Spitz. Without working trial.
BRIEF HISTORICAL SUMMARY: German Spitz are descendants of the stone age " Peat Dogs " (Torfhund) " Canis familiaris palustris Rüthimeyer " and the later Lake Dweller's (Pfahlbau) Spitz; they are the oldest breed of dog in Central Europe. Numerous other breeds have been produced from them. In non-German speaking countries Wolfsspitz are known as Keeshonds and Toy Spitz as Pomeranians.
GENERAL APPEARANCE: Spitz breeds are captivating on account of their beautiful coats, made to stand off by plentiful undercoat. Particularly impressive is 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 his unique characteristic, cheeky appearance.
IMPORTANT PROPORTIONS: The ratio of height at withers to body length is 1 : 1.
BEHAVIOUR AND CHARACTER: The German Spitz is always attentive, lively and exceptionally devoted to his owner. He is very teachable and easy to train. His distrust to strangers and lack of hunting instinct make him the ideal watchdog for home and farm.
He is neither timid nor aggressive. Indifference to weather, robustness and longevity are his most outstanding attributes.
CRANIAL REGION: The Spitz's medium size head, seen from above, appears broadest at the back and tapers in wedgeshape to the tip of the nose.
Stop: Moderate to marked, never abrupt.
Nose: The nose is round, small and pure black, dark brown in brown Spitz.
Muzzle: The muzzle is not overlong and stands in pleasing proportion to the skull. (In Wolfspitz/Keeshond, Giant Spitz and Medium-size Spitz the ratio length of the muzzle to length of the skull is approximately 2:3, in Miniature Spitz and Toy Spitz approximately 2:4.).
Lips: 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 in all colours, brown in brown Spitz.
Jaws/Teeth: The jaws are normally developed and show a complete scissor bite with 42 teeth, corresponding to the teeth formula of the dog, i.e. the upper teeth closely overlapping the lower teeth and set square to the jaws. In Miniature-and Toy (Pomeranian) Spitz the lack of a few premolars is tolerated. Pincer-bite is permissible in all varieties of the German Spitz.
Cheeks: The cheeks are gently rounded, not protruding.
Eyes: The eyes are of medium size, longish shape, slightly slanting and dark. The eyelids are black in all shades of colour, dark brown in brown Spitz.
Ears: The small ears are set high and relatively close to each other, triangular and pointed; they are always carried upright, stiff at the tips.
NECK: The medium length neck is set broadly into the shoulders, slightly arched without throatiness and covered by a thick, profuse coat forming a large ruff.
Topline: The topline starts at the tips of the erectly carried prick-ears and merges in a gentle curve with the short, straight back. The bushy, sweeping tail, which partially covers the back, rounds off the silhouette.
Withers / Back: The high withers drop imperceptibly into the shortest possible, straight, firm back.
Loin: Short-coupled, broad and strong.
Croup: The croup is broad and short, not falling away.
Chest: The deep chest is well sprung, the forechest well developed.
Underline and belly: The brisket reaches as far back as possible; the belly has only a slight tuck up.
TAIL: 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.
General appearance: Straight, rather broad front.
Shoulder: The shoulder-blade is long and well laid back. The shoulder is well muscled and firmly connected to the brisket.
Upperarm: The upper arm, which is approximately the same length as the shoulder-blade, forms an angle of 90 degrees to the shoulder-blade.
Elbow: The elbow joint is strong, close fitting to the brisket and turns neither in nor out.
Forearm: The forearm is of medium length in relation to the body, sturdy and completely straight. The back of the forearm is well feathered.
Metacarpus (Pastern): The strong, medium length front pastern stands at an angle of 20 degrees from the vertical.
Frontfeet: The frontfeet are as small as possible, round and closed, so called cat feet, with well arched toes. Toe-nails and pads are black in all shades of colour, but dark brown in brown dogs.
General appearance: The hindquarters are very muscular and abundantly feathered to the hocks. The hind legs stand straight and parallel.
Upper and lower thigh: Upper and lower thigh are of about equal length.
Stifle (knee): The stifle joint is strong with only moderate angulation and is turned neither in nor out in movement.
Hock / hock joint: The hock is of medium length, very strong and vertical to the ground.
Hind feet: The hind feet are as small as possible, tightly closed with well arched toes, so called cat feet. The pads are coarse. The colour of nails and pads is as dark as possible.
GAIT/MOVEMENT: The German Spitz moves straight ahead with good drive, fluid and springy.
SKIN: The skin covers the body tightly without any wrinkles.
Hair: The German Spitz has a double coat : Long, straight, stand off top coat and short, thick, cotton-wool-like undercoat. Head, ears, front side of front and hind legs and the feet are covered by short, thick (velvety) hair. The rest of the body has a long rich coat. Not wavy, curly or corded, not parted on 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.
Grey-shaded Spitz Keeshond / Keeshond: Grey-shaded is a silver grey with black hair-tips. Muzzle and ears dark in colour; round the eyes well defined " spectacles " 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 expressive short eyebrow; mane and ring on shoulder lighter; fore- and hindlegs without any black marking under the elbows or stifles, except slight pencilling on the toes; black tip of tail; underside of tail and trousers pale silver grey.
SIZE AND WEIGHT:
Height at the withers: Wolfspitz/Keeshond 49 cm +/- 6 cm
Weight: Each variety of German Spitz should have a weight corresponding to its size.
FAULTS: 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.
> Faults in construction.
> Head too flat; distinct apple head.
> Flesh-coloured nose, eyelids and lips.
> In Wolfspitz/Keeshond, Giant Spitz and Medium size Spitz missing teeth.
> Faults in movement.
> In grey-shaded Spitz missing of distinct markings of the face.
> Aggressive or overly shy.
> Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities shall be disqualified.
> Gap in fontanel.
> Over-or undershot bite.
> Ectropion or entropion.
> Semi-pricked ears.
> Definite white patches in all not white Spitz.
> Any colour that has the merle factor.
N.B.: Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.
The Keeshond (pronounced kayz-hawnd) is a natural, handsome dog of well-balanced, short-coupled body, attracting attention not only by his coloration, alert carriage, and intelligent expression, but also by his stand-off coat, his richly plumed tail well curled over his back, his foxlike expression, and his small pointed ears. His coat is very thick around the neck, fore part of the shoulders and chest, forming a lion-like ruff-more profuse in the male. His rump and hind legs, down to the hocks, are also thickly coated, forming the characteristic "trousers." His head, ears, and lower legs are covered with thick, short hair.
Size, Proportion, Substance
The Keeshond is a medium-sized, square-appearing, sturdy dog, neither coarse nor lightly made. The ideal height of fully matured dogs when measured from top of withers to the ground is 18 inches for males and 17 inches for bitches-a one inch variance either way is acceptable. While correct size is very important, it should not outweigh that of type.
Expression - Expression is largely dependent on the distinctive characteristic called "spectacles"-a combination of markings and shadings in the orbital area which must include a delicate, dark line slanting from the outer corner of each eye toward the lower corner of each ear coupled with expressive eyebrows. Markings (or shadings) on face and head must present a pleasing appearance, imparting to the dog an alert and intelligent expression.
Very Serious Fault: Absence of dark lines which form the "spectacles."
Eyes should be dark brown in color, of medium size, almond shaped, set obliquely and neither too wide apart nor too close together. Eye rims are black.
Faults: Round and/or protruding eyes or eyes light of color.
Ears should be small, triangular in shape, mounted high on head and carried erect. Size should be proportionate to the head-length approximating the distance from the outer corner of the eye to the nearest edge of the ear.
Fault: Ears not carried erect when at attention.
The head should be well-proportioned to the body and wedge-shaped when viewed from above-not only the muzzle, but the whole head should give this impression when the ears are drawn back by covering the nape of the neck and the ears with one hand. Head in profile should exhibit a definite stop.
Faults: Apple head or absence of stop.
Of medium length, neither coarse nor snipey, and well proportioned to the skull.
The mouth should be neither overshot nor undershot. Lips should be black and closely meeting-not thick, coarse or sagging, and with no wrinkle at the corner of the mouth.
Faults: Overshot, undershot or wry mouth.
The teeth should be white, sound and strong meeting in a scissors bite.
Fault: Misaligned teeth.
Neck, Topline, Body
The neck should be moderately long, well-shaped and well set on shoulders. The body should be compact with a short, straight back sloping slightly downward toward the hindquarters: well ribbed, barrel well rounded, short in loin, belly moderately tucked up, deep and strong of chest.
The tail should be moderately long and well feathered, set on high and tightly curled over the back. It should lie flat and close to the body. The tail must form a part of the "silhouette" of the dog's body, rather than give the appearance of an appendage.
Fault: Tail not lying close to the back.
Forelegs should be straight seen from any angle. Pasterns are strong with a slight slope. Legs must be of good bone in proportion to the overall dog. Shoulder to upper arm angulation is between slight to moderate.
Angulation in rear should be between slight to moderate to complement the forequarters, creating balance and typical gait. Hindquarters are well muscled with hocks perpendicular to the ground.
The feet should be compact, well rounded, cat-like. Toes are nicely arched, with black nails. Legs and feet are cream.
The body should be abundantly covered with long, straight, harsh hair standing well out from a thick, downy undercoat. Head, including muzzle, skull and ears, should be covered with smooth, soft, short hair velvety in texture on the ears. The neck is covered with a mane more profuse in the male sweeping from under the jaw and covering the whole of the front part of the shoulders and chest, as well as the top part of the shoulders. The hair on the legs should be smooth and short, except for feathering on the front legs and "trousers" on the hind legs. Hind legs should be profusely feathered down to the hocks not below. The hair on the tail should form a rich plume. Coat must not part down the back. The Keeshond is to be shown in a natural state with trimming permissible only on feet, pasterns, hocks and if desired whiskers. Trimming other than as described to be severely penalized.
Faults: Silky, wavy, or curly coats. Part in coat down the back.
Color and Markings
A dramatically marked dog, the Keeshond is a mixture of gray, black and cream. This coloration may vary from light to dark. The hair of the outer coat is black tipped, the length of the black tips producing the characteristic shading of color. Puppies are often less intensely marked. The undercoat is very pale gray or cream, never tawny.
Faults: Pronounced white markings. Black markings more than halfway down the foreleg, penciling excepted. White foot or feet.
Very Serious Faults - Entirely black or white or any solid color; any pronounced deviation from the color as described.
The distinctive gait of the Keeshond is unique to the breed. Dogs should move boldly and keep tails curled over the back. They should move cleanly and briskly; the movement should be straight and sharp with reach and drive between slight to moderate.
Temperament is of primary importance. The Keeshond is neither timid nor aggressive but, instead, is outgoing and friendly with both people and other dogs. The Keeshond is a lively, intelligent, alert and affectionate companion.