FCI Keeshond Breed Standard

(Federation Cynologique International)
Approved 05/03/98
Translated from German to English by C. Seidler

Nederlan Herman V Mack

ORIGIN: Germany

PURPOSE: Watch and Companion Dog

Group 5 - Spitz and primitive types
Section 4 - European Spitz
Without working trial.

German Spitz are descendants of the stone age "Peat Dogs" (Torfhund) "Canis familiaris palustris Ruthimeyer", 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.

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 around 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, and cheeky appearance.

Important Proportions: the ration 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 of 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 wedge shape to the tip of the nose.
Stop: Moderate to marked, never abrupt.

Facial region

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.


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.




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, cottony, 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.

Keewest's Ivory Princess

Darkenwald's Orange Crush

a) Wolfspitz/Keeshond: Grey shaded
b) Giant Spitz: Black, brown, white
c) Medium size Spitz: Black, brown, white, orange, grey-shaded, other colours
d) Miniature Spitz: Black, brown, white, orange, grey-shaded, other colours
e) Toy Spitz/Pomeranian: Black, brown, white, orange, grey-shaded, other colours.

Black Spitz: In the black Spitz, the undercoat and skin must also be black and the colour on the top must be a shining black without any white or other markings.
Brown Spitz: The brown Spitz should be uniformly dark brown.
White Spitz: The coat should be pure white without any trace of yellow, which often occurs, especially on the ears.
Orange Spitz: The orange Spitz should be evenly coloured in the medium colour range.
Grey-shaded Spitz (Keeshond): Grey-shaded is a silver grey with black hair-tips. Muzzle and ears dark in colour; around the eyes - well defined "spectacles", shown as a delicately penciled 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; forelegs and hindlegs - without any black marking under the elbows or stifles, except slight penciling on the toes; black tip of tail; underside of tail and trousers pale silver grey.
Other coloured Spitz: the term "other colours" covers all shades of colour, such as: cream, cream-sable, orange-sable, black and tan; and parti-colour (with white always as main colour.) The black, brown, grey or orange patches must be distributed over the whole body.

SIZE (1" = 2.54 cm)

Height at the withers:

Each variety of German Spitz 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.

Serious faults
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.

Eliminating faults
Gap in fontanel.
Overshot or undershot bite.
Ectropion or entropion.
Semi-pricked ears.
Definite white patches in all non-white Spitz.

Note - Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.

Prepared by:
Kathy Stewart

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