The Spitz is not a breed of dog, but is a term that refers to several different dog breeds that share common traits, including long and curly tails that extend up and over the back. Other characteristics of the breeds include a thick layer of fur and pointed ears and muzzles.
Spitz-type dogs were historically bred for their ability to perform work in the cold regions of the northern latitudes, such as hunting elk and other big game animals, pulling sleds and herding farm animals. To accommodate the varying lifestyles found in human societies, the Spitz-type dogs have expanded to include toy and companion dogs in addition to the breeds of work dogs that originally characterized this dog type.
The Akita Inu is a type of Spitz dog that hails from the mountains of northern Japan. It was originally bred to hunt bear, deer and other game. The Alaskan Klee Kai is a type of Spitz dog that was bred to be a smaller alternative to the Alaskan Husky. The Norwegian Elkhound is a type of Spitz dog that was originally bred in Norway to hunt large game like bears, elks and wolves. Other Spitz-type dogs include the Siberian Husky, Shiba Inu, Finnish Spitz, Pug, Basenji and even the Pomeranian.