Spitz descends from ancient spitzes that existed during the Stone Age, and as such is a relative of the larger Keeshond, and the smaller Pomeranian. Originally used as a drover, they have been kept mainly as companions for the last few centuries. They come in a variety of sizes, (Klein ~ small and Mittel ~ Middle). It is a compact yet sturdy dog, easily recognised by its fox-like head. These 2 sizes were recognised in the UK in 1985.
HISTORY OF THE BREED IN NEW ZEALAND
My introduction to this delightful little breed was at Crufts Dog Show in January 1991. Quite by accident I came upon the breed being judged and I was immediately interested! The “love affair” had begun!
I made my first enquiries in Australia where Tony Crosse had been exhibiting and breeding for about four years at that time. So NZ’s first German Spitz (Mittel) arrived in April 1991. He was Elhamra Bonanza Royalle, a black dog (“Tim”). We waited seven months for the breed to be recognised by the NZKC and duly made our first appearance in November 1991 at the CKA in Christchurch.
Mrs Gail Nielson of Hamilton also imported a dog from Tony, Elhamra Franz. My two UK imports are Rikarlo High Society (“Heidi”), a cream and gold part-colour bitch, and Abbeyhome Brown Eagle (“Oskar”) a brown puppy dog.
The breed is still rare in England and this year (1995) is the first with Championship status.
It is a long hard “row to hoe” trying to establish a new breed and, as they are still few and far between in UK and Australia, there are of course many judges who have never met a German Spitz before! However, in time to come, with some more imports and some NZ puppies, who knows? We may become more familiar and a breed to be reckoned with in the doggy world. I hope so—as they are such charming little dogs, lovely companions and, I must say, a delight to own and live with.
Norma Manson, Spitz Bitz, Winter 1995