You may have heard of a "spitz" dog before, but what does "spitz" mean? It's not a breed, and it's not a group the way organizations like the American Kennel Club or Westminster Kennel Club recognize groups. "Spitz" is a dog type describing several breeds that share loosely common ancestry and traits. Physically, spitz dogs typically have thick and dense fur (known as a "double coat"), pointed ears and muzzles, and puffy tails that curl up and over their rears. They descend from ancient breeds that came from Arctic regions, although today's spitz dogs were developed all over the world.
Other common and lesser known Northern Breeds would be the St. Bernard, Newfoundland, Bernese Mountain Dog, Keeshond, Chinook, Finnish Spitz, Norwegian Buhund, American Eskimo Dog, Canadian Eskimo Dog, Shiba Inu, and Norwegian Elkhound. Feel free to research these breeds for what suits your family's needs best.
The Akita is a large breed of dog originating from the mountainous northern regions of Japan.
Life span: 11 – 15 years
Origin: Japan and originally breed for hunting bear and deer and now as Japan's police dog
Temperament: Alert, Docile, Friendly, Responsive, Courageous, Dignified
Height: Female: 24–26 inches (61–66 cm), Male: 26–28 inches (66–71 cm)
Weight: Female: 71–99 lbs (32–45 kg), Male: 99–130 lbs (45–59 kg)
Colors: White, Pinto, Red, Fawn, Brindle
Bluerose Alaskan Malamutes
The Chow Chow is a dog breed originally from northern China, where it is referred to as Songshi Quan, which means "puffy-lion dog". The breed has also been called the Tang Quan, "Dog of the Tang Empire."
Origin: Unknown but in China at 206 B.C. bred for hunting, pulling, herding and home protection
Life span: 9 – 15 years
Temperament: Aloof, Loyal, Quiet, Independent
Weight: Male: 55–71 lbs (25–32 kg), Female: 44–60 lbs (20–27 kg)
Colors: Black, Blue, Red, Fawn, Cream
Height: Male: 19–22 inches (48–56 cm), Female: 18–20 inches (46–51 cm)
Common Northern Breeds that are pets would be the Akita, Samoyed and Chow-Chow. The Alaskan Husky is not a recognized breed yet. It is still a developing breed which means the puppies are not the same and there is no standard. This will take many generations of breeding to get the desired uniformity of all pups. Here are pictures of those three.
There are many different Northern Breeds. This page will go into some of the likes and differences of them. The first two breeds (Alaskan Malamute and Siberian Husky) will be the two most commonly mistaken for each other. Most people know these dogs, so here are some charts showing the difference when you see one. The rest of the page will name other common and not so common Northern Breeds.
The Samoyed is a breed of dog that takes its name from the Samoyedic peoples of Siberia. These nomadic reindeer herders bred the fluffy white dogs to help with the herding, and to pull sleds when they moved.
Origin: Siberia bred to hunt, haul sledges and herd reindeer
Life span: 12 – 13 years
Temperament: Lively, Playful, Alert, Friendly, Stubborn, Sociable
Height: Female: 19–21 inches (48–53 cm), Male: 21–24 inches (53–60 cm)
Weight: Female: 37–55 lbs (17–25 kg), Male: 44–72 lbs (20–32 kg)
Colors: White, White & Biscuit, Cream