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a group of breeds of house pet dogs. Spitzes are descended from the ancient Peat dog. It is believed that the modern spitz originated in southern Germany. All spitzes have a short, pointed muzzle, small, erect triangular ears, and a tail curled tightly over the back. The coat is fluffy, straight, and long, especially on the neck, where it forms a ruff, and on the top of the chest, on the tail, and on the back of the legs. Owing to a thick undercoat, the fur does not cling to the body. The dogs tolerate cold well.
The largest spitz breed is the German wolf spitz, which stands at least 45 cm high at the shoulder. Its coloration is various shades of gray. Somewhat smaller is the German great spitz, which stands at least 40 cm high at the shoulder. The most common color is pure white; other colors include black with a light bluish undercoat and dark brown without spots. The miniature spitz, distinguished by its delicacy, stands no more than 28 cm high at the shoulder. The coloration is white, black, brown, orange, or various shades of gray. White spitzes have dark eyes, eyelids, lips, and nose tips.
Spitzes have a lively temperament, are affectionate, and are capable of being taught varied and complex circus tricks. Wolf spitzes and great spitzes are also used as watchdogs in apartments and orchards. Spitzes are found almost everywhere in the world.