Working Dogs – Japanese Spitz – Slovenia 2021.

JAPANESE SPITZ – therapy dog

Breeding of the Japanese Spitz (Nihon Supittsu) began at the end of the nineteenth century at the behest of the Japanese imperial government. Experts believe that the Japanese Spitz is the result of crossing various Spitz breeds: the German White Spitz, the Samoyed, the Russian Spitz and the American Eskimo Dog. In view of the breed’s excellent character, the Japanese government actively encouraged its breeding in the years following the First World War. Its attractiveness and friendliness provided consolation and eased the depression of many who had lost family and property in the war. This is how the Japanese Spitz began its career as a therapy dog.

A therapy dog is a specially trained dog that must be able to follow the commands of its handler or user during therapy sessions. Such dogs must be able to hold themselves in the position commanded – standing, sitting, lying down, walking alongside a wheelchair, crutches or a walking frame, sitting in someone’s lap, on a table, and so on. They are very good at bringing objects to their user. They must also tolerate being touched on all parts of their body and allow themselves to be stroked, combed, etc. The Japanese Spitz has a pure white coat of long, thick, soft fur which creates a powerful contrast with its dark brown, almost black eyes. It has a pointed muzzle and triangular-shaped ears, standing erect. Its curling, well-plumed tail is carried proudly over the back. It weighs between 6 and 8 kg and its height at the withers ranges from 30 to 38 cm. It has a lifespan of 12 to 16 years. Owing to the expressiveness of its muzzle, it is sometimes known as the “laughing dog”, which corresponds well to the intelligence and wonderful character of this breed.

A 1.46Euro stamp was issued by Slovenia featuring a Japanese Spitz. The Print run was 35,000.