How to Groom a German Spitz

The German Spitz | Grooming 101

The German Spitz grooming is not as heavy for the breed as you might think, despite its being a double-coated breed.

Most Spitz can be kept neat and tidy by giving the dog a brushing twice a week and a thorough, deep, groom once a week. The most important thing about grooming is what you use and how you do it!

The German Spitz | Grooming 101

Firstly, you must not use the usual grooming brushes that can be bought from pet shops and stalls. Most of these are far too harsh for the Spitz coat and will either pull out the undercoat and/or shred the outer coat, splitting it, and breaking the hair shaft.

Secondly, and probably the most important point, is how you groom your German Spitz.
The standard in the UK calls for a coat that stands away from the dog’s body. This is quite easily achieved if you groom in the right direction, i.e., against the lie of the coat. (See diagram at top of page.) Grooming in this direction encourages the coat to be off-standing and allows you to get to the soft undercoat underneath the outer coat. It’s the undercoat that makes the outer coat stand away from the body, but if brushed with the line of the coat you do not get underneath and the undercoat eventually matts or felts up. This causes huge knots to form, especially behind ears and at the back of the legs, and is pretty painful for the dog when they have to be removed.

The German Spitz | Grooming 101

The German Spitz | Grooming 101

The diagram above is numbered for each main area of attention. Following this routine when brushing helps to keep the coat tangle-free and also stimulates the dog’s circulation, making the coat glossy, healthy, and encouraging new growth after a shed/coat blow.

Speaking of shedding, German Spitz generally shed twice a year. They can and most generally do resemble an exploding thistle! If you are a person who definitely can’t get used to hair on everything, then please reconsider before getting a Spitz (grin)! You cannot say that you haven’t been warned!! Seriously though, when Spitz decides it’s time to lose their coat, there’s nothing that will stop them!! A Spitz shed/coat blow is a sight you must not miss. Unlike most dogs, they do not lose hair one hair at a time. The undercoat generally lifts away from the skin in small clumps and rises out of the outer coat where it is either caught on passing brambles when out walking or cast off on the nearest chair, carpeting or bedding. If you are brushing regularly, however, this is not a problem, provided you keep a small rubbish bag close by for the discarded hair as you groom. Grooming very quickly fills up the brush, so the hair has to be removed every minute or so. Once a major shed is in progress, I generally brush morning and night. This saves the furnishings and ensures that the old coat is taken out as quickly as possible to prevent tatting. I generally use grooming time to check ears, eyes, toenails, and teeth too. If started while very young, Spitz puppies learn that this is a routine and they accept it very quickly. It is good bonding time too. Giving a small dog treat once you have completed the routine will ensure that you have a Spitz willing for it to happen again in a few days’ time. Spitz are very food-orientated!

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