German Spitz is used to refer to both a breed of dog and category or type of dog. Several modern breeds have been developed from the German Spitz, and are either registered as separate breeds or as varieties of German Spitz. All the German Spitz type dogs are dogs of the Spitz type of German origin. The Grossespitz, Mittelspitz, and Kleinspitz breeds of German Spitz type are also called the German Spitz in English.
The Wolfspitz is also called the Keeshond and is registered as a separate breed by the Kennel Club (UK) and other registries. The Großspitz (Grossespitz) or Giant Spitz is 40.5-41.5 cm/16-17 in. high and weighs 17.5-18.5 kg/38.5-40 lbs. The Keeshond and the Giant Spitz are divided primarily by colour. The Mittelspitz or Medium/Standard Spitz is the ancestor of, and is sometimes taken to include, the American Eskimo Dog. The American Eskimo Dog is allowed to be registered as Mittelspitz by some registries. Only the Canadian Kennel Club and the two major American kennel clubs recognize the American Eskimo Dog as a separate breed. The Kleinspitz is allowed more colours than the larger German Spitz under the Fédération Cynologique Internationale standard. The Japanese Spitz, also bred from the German Spitz, is very similar to the Kleinspitz but is limited to the white color. The Zwergspitz, the Pomeranian, is also registered as a separate breed in the UK and North America.
The Kennel Club (UK) and the Australian Kennel Club recognize only the Kleinspitz and Mittelspitz. Iin those countries the Grossespitz is not recognized, and the Pomeranian (Zwergspitz) and Keeshond (Wolfspitz) are separate breeds. In many countries the Miniature (Klein) Spitz is also confused with the Pomeranian (Zwergspitz). Some registries and breed clubs allow various sizes of German Spitz to be interbred, others do not.