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Development of the German Breed Club - “Verein für deutsche Spitze”


With list of influential breeders & additional notes on early imports in Germany, Holland and France

By Vivienne Peterson Copyright April 2017


1899 - Verein für deutsche Spitze founded

1900 – First Breed Standard for German Spitz over 40cm (Größ) under 28cm (Zwerg)

1906 - Breed Standard revised

1913 – First German Spitz Stud Book published details of 691 large & 351 small dogs

1927 – Request to recognise Mittelspitz 30-38cm rejected

1938- 1950 - At some point Zwerg definition changed to Klein

1955 – Second request to recognise Mittelspitz rejected

1969 – Request to recognise Mittelspitz accepted

1974 – Klein size restructured smallest dogs now being Zwergspitz

1998 – In March the term Pomeranian cross-referenced to Zwergspitz FCI classification

1998 – In September term Keeshond cross-referenced to Wolfsspitz FCI classification

2000 – Re-registration of Pomeranians/Zwergspitze to Kleinspitz forbidden in Germany

2003 – The Spitz Mittel and Größ placed on the Endangered Pets register – Category 1

2013 – Mittelspitz while still ‘considerably endangered’ re-classified to Category 2


In April 1899 Herr Charles Kammerer, of Vienna, made an appeal in the canine paper, Hundesport und Jacht, to all Spitz owners, asking them to establish a specialist club, and in October 1899 the “Verein für deutsche Spitze” was founded holding its first general meeting in Frankfurt September 1900. 

The Standard of Points (breed standard) drawn up by Herr Reimann (President of the club) and Herr Karl Wolfsholz of Elberfeld (Secretary) was accepted in 1900 and later revised in 1906. Note - Herr Wolfsholz will be remembered through his authoritative work ‘Der Deutsche Spitz in Wort und Bild’ published in 1906 and re-issued in 1954. [1]

Naturalist Arthur Brehm modernised the earlier classification system of German Spitz Dogs and looked at them all as one type in various sizes and colours. [By 1880 no less than 46 regional or colloquial names were in use for Spitz dogs in the German language].Cynologist Ludwig Beckmann (1895) more or less did the same only he separated them by size – they were either large or small – Größ (Gröss) or Zwerg. The Wolfsspitz was included in the Größ size. 

Large black or white Spitz dogs ideally being 40cm -45cm in height (black Spitz often varied from 30-40cms) and the Wolfsspitz 45-54cm (with the proviso the bigger the better without sacrificing type.) 

Smaller dogs (Zwerg) ideally being up to 28cm in height not weighing more than 3.5- 4kg but Richard Strebel noted in ‘Die Deutschen Hunde’ (1905) - ‘je kleiner, desto besser’ – the smaller, all the better! 

The Zwerg term was re-designated to Klein sometime after 1938 but before 1954.


Where does the Mittelspitz figure in all this? German Spitz (Mittel)


It is apparent the original classification left much to be desired. With the large size aimed at dogs over 40cm and the small size for dogs less than 28cm all of those in between were left in limbo. For nearly 150 years the average Pommer or Spitz dog was compared to the size of a fox with smaller varieties being about half that size.  Clearly a lot of them were averaging about 35cm.

Club members first raised this issue in 1927. It was decided to keep the status quo apparently one of the factors was an issue of prize money for class winners.

In 1955 the topic was once again discussed and change rejected.

In June 1969 – third time lucky as they say – and a decision was reached to modify the breed standard and in this way the Mittelspitz – 30-38cm - could finally be exhibited.

Please note : it is my opinion medium size dogs were originally discouraged due to adverse publicity stemming from unjustified Breed Specific Legislation in America in the late 1800s targeting white German Spitz Dogs. See article on this subject under History and Development tab. 


More changes followed

In February 1974, after a decade of requests, the breed club agreed to re-structure the Klein classification with the smallest dogs now being classified as Zwergspitz. 

1998 - After two years of consideration of FCI standards, instigated by Mdm. Gerda Kastl the Club finally admitted the classification Pomeranian and cross-referenced this nomenclature to Zwergspitz in March 1998.  

In September 1998 - the term Keeshond, as per the British and American definition, was integrated into the FCI standard – Wolfsspitz/Keeshond.

In 2000 it was decided to forbid the re-registration of Pomeranians or Zwergspitz to the Klein size. [2]

2003 – The Spitz Mittel and Spitz Groß were placed on the ‘Union for endangered Pets’ (Gesselschaft für bedrohte Haustierrassen) register as Category I - breeds threatened with extinction.

2013 – After a review the Mittelspitz was changed to Category II – considerably endangered or ‘stark gefährdet’. This reflected a slight improvement in annual registrations to 120. However the Großspitz remains in Category I. (Interestingly Mittel registraions in 2014 in the UK dropped to 49, the lowest since 1990 but have improved lately.)


The first German Spitz Stud-book, published in 1913 contained 1050 entries – 699 large Spitz dogs (247 were white, 222 black, 221 wolf-gray, 1 orange, 7 red, and 1 parti-coloured) and 351 small dogs. Most of the dogs named were born in the 1890s.

The German Spitz was classified at shows in Nutz und Wachhunde category

Bearing in mind the long history of the breed the category Utility and Guard Dogs seems quite appropriate.

The early Breed Standards of the Verein für deutsche Spitze contained the following interesting note: “A pure-bred German Spitz whether belonging to the large or to the small variety, should not allow strangers to touch him, but should be suspicious and distrustful.” 

Apparently the black Württemberger Spitz (also called the Weinberg Spitz) was considered the ‘sharpest’ in character and most intelligent of all the German Spitz varieties. 


[1] The German Breed Standard seems to be based on the one drawn up by Ludwig Beckmann. He was known to be a great admirer of traditional British dog breeds and he was no stranger to the British show scene. 

Whereas we used the one term –Pomeranian- for all the Spitz varieties including those from Italy etc. he used one term German Spitz for the German varieties. The British Pomeranian Breed Standard (1892 onwards) applied to all Pomeranians regardless of size – Beckmann’s did the same.

The British Club already favoured smaller dogs and around the time of Beckmann’s book they began to create a weight division with Toy Pomeranians (later Miniature) meaning dogs under 8lb and Pomeranian being any dog over 8lb. This weight division was revised to over or under 7 pounds in December 1909. Until 1936 the ‘BB Challenge Cup’ for the best black bitch over 7lbs was offered by the Pomeranian Club at Crufts. Canine author Clifford Hubbard wrote in 1948, ‘ in weight the Pomeranian today ranges around 7 pounds though many specimens are only from 3-4 pounds.’

However Beckmann selected a height rather than a weight division. While accounting for the large or smaller variety he did not mention regional names despite the fact that numerous alternative names were in common use.

[2] The re-registration of British or North American ‘Pomeranians’ or their descendants to the Klein or Mittel variety - permissible in some FCI countries - continues to be somewhat controversial in the UK. This has not been allowed in Germany since 2000. 

Here is an extract from a long and informative article written in 2004 by Gerda Kastl 1st President of the VDS 1995-2004 and Peter Machetanz, the 1st President of the VDS 2004-2014 and 2nd President 1984-2004.

 “In 2000, the general meeting was held in Ingolstadt in Beiren. In the same city, the association was registered for the first time in the register for Associations. The deputies took care of the habit of re-registering Pomeranians that grew too big to Spitz Klein.  A habit that had been growing for over 10 years (starting in 1990). The breeders had mixed up the bloodlines so badly, without a clear recognizable breeding target, that they put the variety of the Spitz Klein in danger.”

The article notes that Pomeranians (by that name) had been owned and exhibited since the jubilee exhibition at Stuttgart in September 1974 - following the introduction of the classification Zwergspitz.

Note - Initially German breeders imported British Pomeranians (typically Hadleigh, Aurum, Cygal, Derronill lines/associated lines) - small dogs in keeping with our breed Standard 4 to 5.5lbs. However German breeders then switched to American imports.

By the late 1980s American imports (AKC Standard 3-7lbs) to Germany may have been influential in size fluctuation (plus changes in coat & type) hence leading to the habit of re-registering Zwerg to Klein after the 1990. For instance both parents of an early Klein import to the UK (Austrian bred) -Constanze von Cottas at Dovetrees, born in 1993 – came from the American (Pomeranian) kennel Grafenhorst her gt. grandfather ‘Am Ch Great Elms Tim Stopper Too’ was an influential American stud dog of his day along with his predecessors.

Early Imports from England to Germany – Holland – France and from Germany to Holland and France

Alice Gatacre noted in her book The Keeshond (1938) Zwergspitzes weighed up to 10lbs. She also knew that some early English bred Pomeranians had been exported to Germany and were very fashionable there around 1924 – the German Stud Book of that era includes Perivale Stormcloud, Perivale Peppermint and Perivale Golden Dawn. Perivale was a top kennel owned by Mrs Crawford and her daughter Mrs Langdon-Thomas.

In Holland the English Pomeranian known there as a ‘Dwerg Kees’ was popular about 1910. By 1913 it was fashionable at dog shows to prefer English strains over those brought in from Germany until Miss van der Blom imported the famous German dog “Bubi von Ahlberg” in 1916 after which trend decreed German type was the best. An orange Pom from England “Roker Sunbeam” so entranced Miss van der Blom she abandoned her black breeding programme in 1921 and concentrated on orange dogs importing “Sunbright Puck” and “Little Dutch Girl”. Puck was well known in Holland and Germany. Other imports included champions Perivale Passion Flower & Goldwin Prince Coronach also Perivale Marcheta.

In 1926 at the Amsterdam Show Ch. Golden Dawn beat Ch. Perivale Storm Cloud for top honours. Other pre-1938 champions included Montacute Sunshine, Perivale Ermine and dogs from imported ancestry such as Maxle van der Prag, Jim van Hittepetit, Little Orange Prince of Darkwood. Miss A Müller’s German Zwergspitz “Dusty von Reckleben” was another winner of the day.

Mr de Fornier de Savignac, once considered to be the greatest authority on Spitz varieties in France, specialised in white “Loulou- Spitz” or “Grands Loulous” however it is known that he often interbred imported German Spitz with Samoyeds. Mr M. E. Goujon of Nice on the Riviera as an exhibitor/breeder owned both English bred ‘Poms’ usually from the Home Farm or Pertinax kennel such as Home Farm Sunshine or Mike Pertinax and small, black German bred [Mannheimer] Spitz dogs such as Topp Viktoria [by Ch Maxle v. der Wilhelmshohe ex Mausl v Hofingen] and Lottchen Marigold. He successfully showed his dogs in France, Germany, England and Belgium. 

The most popular size in France up until the late 1930s was the medium sized white ‘Loulou Moyen’ and in southern France the small white ‘Loulou de Queryas’ – Italian Volpino in type. Both types were imported to England and sometimes shown as ‘Pomeranians’ prior to 1900.

With all of this in mind it is evident that many old European lines will have British Pomeranian ancestry and they in turn descended from even earlier European imports.


Mentioned by Strebel


Fritz Reimann – Elberfeld – Betty (white) Hänschen [black]

F Quidde – Detmold – Maxel II (black) 

F Schmidt, G Koch – Frankfurt

Ott Miltenburg –  Gleichenberg

Max Petzold – Gleichenberg

W Schmidt – Fritz Lilliput [black]


G Fröhlingsdorf – Elberfeld

Ph. Heitzner – Darmstadt

Charles Kammerer – Vienna - Lux, Honey, Bob, Wolf I, Fox I, Tell winner from 1892 -1906

D Kling – Fritz

F Hönicke– Seppel

G Fröhlingsdorf – Moritz 

Ch. Pejacevics – Fütyös

Black Spitz

Dr R v Uhden – Neudamm … Spitz van der Aue

C Send – Elberfeld

F Mischkarz – Vienna … Spitz

C Wuz – Cham-Bayon … Spitz

Fritz Reimann – Neger

White Spitz

Carl Wissen – Vienna

Carl Wolfsholz – Elberfeld … Dina Elberfeldia – Wächter - Meteor

R Scheidt – Frankfurt am Main

C Ziffie – Merry

? Hanslmeyer  -Spitz

Mentioned by Beckmann

Black Spitz

Friedrich Siegel – Stuttgart … Mohrle (1882) - breeder Sigmund Meyer – Hannover

Breeders or exhibitors mentioned in Kennel Club Stud books 

Arthur Seyfarth of Köstritz, Thuringia – as of 1878

Mr Kees van der Kliet – Haarlem – Spits of Duinzicht white born 1888 [Spitz x Else]

Mr A Rogman - Keizersgracht Amsterdam

Mr Stattgart – breeder of above dog …Othello black born 1892 – shown 1894

F Siegel – breeder Spitz of Spa (G Krehl) May 3rd 1891 black (Fritzle x Sadi] Crufts 1894

Herr Kirchoff – breeder of Gateacre Mignon May 1898 brown [Spizchen x Bebe)

Mentioned by Alice Gatacre in her book of 1938 The Keeshond

She credits survival of Spitz dogs in WW1 to Herr Bernard Lorch, Herr Adam Hess, Dr Manger and Herr Eugen Schmidt.


Mattheus Salomon – Schweinfurt - Dago am Ziel [silver gray 1920 – 1936 ]

Dr Manger – Regensburg – owner of above dog

Wilhelm Müller – prominent member of German Spitz Club

Black Spitz

A Rheim – Prinz von Wuppertal  [1925]– descendant of champions Tellas, Taps, Titze

Herr Martens – owner of above dog

Count Karl von Spee – Schloss Linnep bei Hösel – Mosel vom Linneper See [1935]

H Lorch – Magerkingen Wurttemberg – Lotto von der Alb

Medard Kessler (Dutch by birth) registered first black spitz in first volume of German Spitz Stud Book 1913

France – Mme Luden Blauw – Orso Fellow bred by Mr de Fornier de Savignac

Herr Teutschbein – Delitzsch – Tanegro – Turko von Katzenstein

Herr H Förster – Cherry von der Seltershöhe titled 1903

Dr R von Uhden , Neudamm – Lotte v Spitzerlust (1913)

White Spitz

Carl Wolfsholz – Elberfeld


Herr A Haberling – Ador von Stolzenfels

Note Ador and Herr Wolfsholz’s Komet though large descend ‘many generations back from Toy Pomeranians!

J Thiemann Obrighoven - Stropp vom Lauerhaus [1932] an orange cream in colour


Herr W Knape – Astor von Schloss Reichenberg

Herr E Kempner – Boris von der Wolkenburg  – Moritz van der Maiblume

Herr Adam Hess – owner of Max [Mäder] 

Herr A Mäder of Mössingen – breeder of above dog

Herr E Hess – son Herr A Mäder who inherited kennel ‘von der Aue’

Baroness de Ribaupierre – Bella von Wulfilo

Herr Wilhelm Keller of Cologne – Gisela von Hohenzollern

Herr Max Rödel – Harry von Maininsel

Herr von Otto – Fritz von Hoppegarten 1904 

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