Although the German Spitz has a heavy coat, it does not require as much grooming as you first may think. A quick brush a couple of times a week, and once a week a more thorough groom making sure you get down to the skin is all that is needed to keep your spitz coat in great condition.
To keep the coat in its best condition it is best to groom the opposite direction to the way the coat lies, this will ensure you get down into the undercoat.
You should always groom on a non slip surface a rubber mat on a table or work top is ideal making sure of course that the dog can not jump or fall off! Follow the diagram on the left, working your way along one side of the dog and then the other. Remember to pay particular attention to the hair behind the ears, the elbows and the back of the rear legs as these will start to matt if neglected.
Whilst grooming it is an ideal time to check the teeth, and to trim nails (remembering the dew claws) and tidy the feet and hocks. When trimming nails little and often is best, being very careful not to cut the quick. This is very painful and can make your dog unhappy about having his nails cut in the future. The German Spitz is not a trimmed breed, but tidying the feet, (trimming the long hairs around the foot and from the bottom between the pads) will help give the appearance of a cat foot. To trim the back of the hocks, comb the hair backwards into a ridge and with a sharp pair of scissors cut up from the back of the foot to the hock joint being very careful not to cut too close to the skin. Then comb the hair back down and you will be left with a clean looking leg.It is best to groom a moulting Spitz daily, the quicker you brush out all the dead coat the quicker the new coat will re-grow. When you have a moulting Spitz remember to leave a little of the hair out in the garden, birds love to use it for nesting material.
There are a few tools that will make grooming your spitz much easier. On the left is a selection of grooming tools. The comb is ideal for dealing with knots and tangles and the short coat on the legs and face, the body coat of most adult spitz will be too dense to be combed.
The pin brush and slicker brush are ideal for the body coat, be careful when using a slicker as the pins can cause injury if used carelessly around the eyes or your spitz's rear end!
The rake is invaluable for removing dead coat when the coat is blowing, the teeth are wide enough not to get caught up in the outer coat but fine enough to pull out the dead undercoat.
Many people use a nail grinder, rather than a nail clipper, to keep their spitz's nails nice and short. If using a grinder it is very important that you get your spitz used to the noise and sensation as early as possible. At first just tip the end of each nail with the grinder gradually building up in duration over time, with lots of praise and encouragement you will eventually have a spitz who lays or sits still for this essential grooming procedure. It is important that the grinder is not held on the nail for any more than half a second at a time or it will heat up the nail and cause pain! It is also important to ensure that the grinder does not get caught up in the coat. Spend half a second on each nail then move onto the next one going back to the first and so on until the nails are the correct length. It is easy to see when you are approaching the quick in white nails but black or brown nails make seeing the quick impossible. If you look at the cut nail end on you will see a circle as you gradually shorten the nail you will eventually see a dot in the middle of the circle, this is the tip of the quick, don't go any further than this or you will cause pain and put your dog off having his nails done!