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|Country of origin||India|
|Notes||Recognized by The Kennel Club of India (KCI).|
|Dog (Canis lupus familiaris)|
The Indian Spitz is a spitz-type dog breed belonging to the Utility Dog group. It is very similar to the German Spitz in appearance but is roughly 1.5-2.5 inches shorter at the withers and weighs around 10-15 Lbs less.
The Indian Spitz was one of the most popular dogs in India in the 1980s and the 1990s when India's import rules made it very difficult to import dogs of other breeds. Today, despite being overshadowed by other breeds like Pugs and Lhasa Apso, they dominate and thrive as one of the most economical and yet pleasant pets.
The Indian Spitz is often called Pomeranian though the two breeds are much different and the Indian Spitz belongs to the Spitz family along with the Elk-Hound, German Spitz, Samoyed and Finnish Spitz to name a few.
The Indian Spitz was introduced in India by the British who began breeding them from a stock of German Spitzes. Years of breeding produced the ideal dog suited for the plains of India and capable of withstanding India's sultry climate. These spitzes resembled Samoyeds and German Spitzes but had less thick coats and were smaller in size- ideal for the conditions.
Not recognized by any major Kennel Club, The Indian Spitz is identified as a separate Indian Breed by the Kennel Club of India. These clubs have been working to establish the Indian Spitz as a separate breed at the other Kennel Clubs across the world.
Generally Indian Spitzes are divided into Smaller Indian Spitz/Lesser Indian Spitz (Roughly between 5-7 Kilograms (11-15 Pounds) in Weight & 22-25 cms at the withers (roughly 83/4-103/4 Inches at the withers) and the Greater Indian Spitz (Roughly between 12-20 Kilograms (28-45 Pounds) in Weight & 35-45 cms (15-18 Inches) at the Withers). The Indian Spitz is generally Milk White but can also be found in solid colours like Black, Dusky Brown and sometimes (very rarely) - a hybrid of black and white (like the Dalmatian).
Otherwise they resemble in every way the German Spitz in appearance- their ears being erect.
The Indian Spitz is an extremely bright and active breed of dog. While it is adaptable to living in a small apartment, it can also thrive in a large farmhouse with equal ease. Its diet is also extremely adaptable- and can include anything from Milk, Rice and Yogurt to a diet of Rice and Chicken. This breed is extremely loyal to children and members of its family.
The Indian Spitz is a superb watchdog and strangers will be greeted with yapping shrill barks. With other dog breeds, the Indian Spitz is rarely hostile and is usually very flexible.
Differences between the Pomeranian and Indian Spitz in India
In India many mistakenly refer to the Indian Spitz as Pomeranian. This is a mistake. The differences include:
- The Pomeranian is a Toy Breed. It is much lighter than even a Lesser Indian Spitz, both in height and weight (it typically weighs less than 10 pounds and is rarely over 12 inches in height).
- The Pomeranian has a much flatter face than that of an Indian Spitz, which has a more conical snout.
- The coat of a Pomeranian is generally denser and much thicker. It is difficult to see individual hairs. However, an Indian Spitz's coat is much less dense and it is easier to see the individual hair follicles.
- The Pomeranian's ears are generally not as pointed as that of an Indian Spitz.
These dogs are fairly associated with the wolf family as they like to hunt down pigeons and rodents. They often use their ancestry skills to hunt their prey like bending on their knees and slowly moving towards their target. Indian spitz are small in length and height so they are generally linked up with Pomeranian.
Indian Spitzes are very intelligent. They can learn many tricks in minutes if taught in a proper way. They are quite clever and can understand human intentions very well. They have often been used in circuses in India in the 1970s and 1980s.
Roles in the Movies
- In Hum Aapke Hain Koun..! (1994), the role of "Tuffy" was played by Redo, a 6-year-old Indian Spitz belonging to the Assistant Director Madhukar Sawle. The Spitz had a vital role in the movie. Actress Madhuri Dixit later adopted the dog, which died in 2000 at age twelve.
Generally their lifespan is between 10–14 years. Some Indian Spitzes are known to live up to 16 years of age, 1 particular spitz in Chandannagar outside of Kolkata, India lived up to a grand age of 18 years. Another spitz in rural town of Khatauli lived up to an old age of 17 years. Yet another one in Hyderabad lived up to the age of 16 years 9 months. They are usually long lived compared to some other breeds.
- Chintamani, Gautam (24 February 2012). "Animal Kingdom". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 23 February 2014.
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