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Japanese Spitz vs Maltese vs Shih Tzu Comparison - Dog breed selector: Nihon Supittsu or Maltese Dog or Chinese Lion Dog? Find the right dog for you

"Find similarities and differences between Japanese Spitz vs Maltese vs Shih Tzu" Compare Japanese Spitz and Maltese. Which is better: Japanese Spitz or Maltese or Shih Tzu?
Name Japanese Spitz Maltese Shih Tzu
OriginsJapan Italy China
Group Companion Dogs Companion Dogs Companion Dogs
Popularity Rank2293320
Reviews4211
User Ratings

Other Names Nihon Supittsu Maltese Dog, Maltese lion dog Chinese Lion Dog, Chrysanthemum Dog
Breed Type Purebred Purebred Purebred
AKC Group Not recognized by the American Kennel Club. Recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1888 as a Toy breed. Recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1969 as a Toy breed.
FCI Group Recognized by FCI in the Spitz and primitive types group, in the Asian Spitz and related breeds section. Recognized by FCI in the Companion and Toy Dogs group, in the Bichons and related breeds section. Recognized by FCI in the Companion and Toy Dogs group, in the Tibetan breeds section.
Breed Recognition American Canine Registry
America's Pet Registry
Continental Kennel Club
Dog Registry of America Inc.
Federation Cynologique Internationale
Kennel Club of Great Britain
National Kennel Club
American Canine Association, Inc.
American Canine Registry
American Kennel Club
America's Pet Registry
Canadian Kennel Club
Dog Registry of America Inc.
Federation Cynologique Internationale
Kennel Club of Great Britain
North American Purebred Registry, Inc.
American Canine Association, Inc.
Australian National Kennel Council
Continental Kennel Club
National Kennel Club
New Zealand Kennel Club
United Kennel Club
American Canine Registry
American Kennel Club
America's Pet Registry
Canadian Kennel Club
Dog Registry of America Inc.
Federation Cynologique Internationale
Kennel Club of Great Britain
North American Purebred Registry, Inc.
American Canine Association, Inc.
Australian National Kennel Council
Continental Kennel Club
National Kennel Club
New Zealand Kennel Club
United Kennel Club
Canadian Canine Registry
Price $500-$800 $600-$800 $800-$1200

Japanese Spitz vs Maltese vs Shih Tzu General Appearance Comparison

Size Small Small Small
Weight 11-20 pounds (5-10 kg) 6.5-9 pounds (3-4 kg) 9–16 pounds (4-7 kg)
Avg. Weight 15.5 pounds (7.5 kg) 6.7 pounds (3.5 kg) 9–16 pounds (5.5 kg)
Height 12-15 inches (30-38 cm) Male: 8-10 inches (21-25 cm), Female: 8-9 inches (20-23 cm) 8-11 inches (20-28 cm)
Avg. Height 13.5 inches (34 cm) Male: 9 inches (23 cm), Female: 8.5 inches (21.5 cm) 9.5 inches (24 cm)

Japanese Spitz vs Maltese vs Shih Tzu Hair & Care Comparison

Coat Thick Feathered Dense
Colors White White Brindle
Liver
Silver
Blue
Gold
Red
Black
Grooming
Advanced: The Japanese Spitz requires a lot of grooming.
Average: The Maltese requires average grooming effort.
Professional: This breed needs a lot of work to keep in good condition.
Shedding Level
Japanese Spitzs shed moderately.
Malteses shed none to minimal.
Shih Tzus shed none to minimal.

Japanese Spitz vs Maltese vs Shih Tzu Characteristics Comparison

Temperament Affectionate
Proud
Intelligent
Companionable
Playful
Loyal
Active
Easygoing
Intelligent
Responsive
Docile
Gentle
Playful
Sweet
Tempered
Active
Friendly
Happy
Lively
Playful
Courageous
Gentle
Intelligent
Outgoing
Intelligent Rank
Average: Japanese Spitz's has average obedience intelligence.
Low to average: This canine intelligence is not the brightest one.
Low: The Shih Tzu if one of the dog breeds that have the lowest degree of obedience intelligence.
Trainability
Japanese Spitzs are quite easy to train.
Malteses are quite easy to train.
Shih Tzus are quite easy to train.
Playfulness
The Japanese Spitz is a highly playful breed.
Malteses, like any other dog breed, like playing.
Shih Tzus are not the most playful dog breed.
Sensitivity Level
Japanese Spitzs have an average emotional level and are not the most sensitive dog breed.
They are a little bit more sensitive than other dog breeds.
Shih Tzus have an average emotional level and are not the most sensitive dog breed.
Affection Level
Japanese Spitzs are genuinely loyal, soft and gentle, loving and affectionate dogs toward their handlers.
Malteses are genuinely loyal, soft and gentle, loving and affectionate dogs toward their handlers.
Shih Tzus are genuinely loyal, soft and gentle, loving and affectionate dogs toward their handlers.
Social Needs
Japanese Spitzs need a lot of social interaction.
Malteses need a lot of social interaction.
Shih Tzus need a lot of social interaction.
Barking
High: The Japanese Spitz is a very vocal breed.
High: The Maltese is a very vocal breed.
High: The Shih Tzu is a very vocal breed.
Watchdog Ability
Japanese Spitzs are average watchdogs.
Malteses are average watchdogs.
Shih Tzus are average watchdogs.
Territorial
Japanese Spitzs are extremely protective guard dogs.
Malteses strongly protect their territory.
Shih Tzus strongly protect their territory.
Biting Potential Low
The Japanese Spitz has a low chance of biting somebody.
Low
The Maltese has a low chance of biting somebody.
Low
The Shih Tzu has a low chance of biting somebody.
Mouthiness
Japanese Spitzs have lower than average tendency to nip, chew, play-bite, or herd people.
Malteses have an average tendency to nip, chew, play-bite, or herd people.
Shih Tzus have a higher than average tendency to nip, chew, play-bite, or herd people.
Impulse to Wander or Roam
Japanese Spitzs tend to escape less than other breeds.
Malteses are not the biggest explorers.
Shih Tzus tend to escape less than other breeds.
Prey Drive
Japanese Spitzs have low to an average impulse to chase and catch something like a cat or any other small aminals.
Malteses have a higher impulse to chase and catch something than other dog breeds.
Shih Tzus have a higher impulse to chase and catch something than other dog breeds.
Apartment Friendly
Japanese Spitzs are very apartment-friendly dogs.
Malteses are very apartment-friendly dogs.
Shih Tzus are very apartment-friendly dogs.
Adaptability
Japanese Spitzs adapt well to lifestyle changes and different living environments.
Malteses adapt very well to lifestyle changes and basically all living environments.
Shih Tzus adapt very well to lifestyle changes and basically all living environments.
Tolerates Being Left Alone
Japanese Spitzs tend to have separation anxiety when their owners left them alone at home because they bond very closely with them.
Malteses tend to have separation anxiety when their owners left them alone at home because they bond very closely with them.
Shih Tzus tend to have separation anxiety when their owners left them alone at home because they bond very closely with them.
Fighting Dog Not really
In history, this breed was not really used for combat dog.
Not really
In history, this breed was not really used for combat dog.
Not really
In history, this breed was not really used for combat dog.

Japanese Spitz vs Maltese vs Shih Tzu Good With Comparison

Stranger Friendly
Japanese Spitzs are average friendly towards strangers.
Malteses are very stranger friendly dogs.
Shih Tzus are average friendly towards strangers.
Child Friendly
Japanese Spitzs are very kid-friendly dogs.
Malteses are kid-friendly dogs.
Shih Tzus are not the most kid-friendly dogs.
Cat Friendly
Japanese Spitzs are cat-friendly dogs.
Malteses are very cat-friendly dogs.
Shih Tzus are very cat-friendly dogs.
Dog Friendly
Japanese Spitzs are dog-friendly dogs.
Malteses are very dog-friendly dogs.
Shih Tzus are very dog-friendly dogs.
Office Friendly No
Japanese Spitz is not the best dog breed for office environment.
No
Maltese is not the best dog breed for office environment.
No
Shih Tzu is not the best dog breed for office environment.
Senior Citizens Friendly
Japanese Spitzs are one of the best breeds for elderly people.
Malteses are usually recommended for elderly people.
Shih Tzus are not the best breed for elderly people.
Pet Friendly
Japanese Spitzs are usually friendly towards other pets.
Malteses are one of the friendliest dog breeds.
Shih Tzus are one of the friendliest dog breeds.
Good For First Time Owners Yes
Japanese Spitzs are good for novice owners, due to their easy-going personality.
No
Malteses are not good for novice owners, due to their stubborn personality.
Yes
Shih Tzus are good for novice owners, due to their easy-going personality.
Service Dog Not really
This breed generally not used as a service dog.
Not really
This breed generally not used as a service dog.
Not really
This breed generally not used as a service dog.
Therapy Dog Not really
This breed generally not used as a therapy dog.
Not really
This breed generally not used as a therapy dog.
Not really
This breed generally not used as a therapy dog.
Detection Dog or Sniffer Dog Not really
A detection dog or sniffer dog is a dog that is trained to use its senses (mostly its smell) to detect substances such as explosives, illegal drugs, wildlife scat, currency, blood, and contraband electronics such as illicit mobile phones.
Not really
A detection dog or sniffer dog is a dog that is trained to use its senses (mostly its smell) to detect substances such as explosives, illegal drugs, wildlife scat, currency, blood, and contraband electronics such as illicit mobile phones.
Not really
A detection dog or sniffer dog is a dog that is trained to use its senses (mostly its smell) to detect substances such as explosives, illegal drugs, wildlife scat, currency, blood, and contraband electronics such as illicit mobile phones.
Search and Rescue Dog (SAR) Not really
The use of dogs in search and rescue (SAR) is a valuable component in wilderness tracking, natural disasters, mass casualty events, and in locating missing people.
Not really
The use of dogs in search and rescue (SAR) is a valuable component in wilderness tracking, natural disasters, mass casualty events, and in locating missing people.
Not really
The use of dogs in search and rescue (SAR) is a valuable component in wilderness tracking, natural disasters, mass casualty events, and in locating missing people.
Boat Dog Not really
Japanese Spitz breed usually doesn't like being on a boat.
Not really
Maltese breed usually doesn't like being on a boat.
Not really
Shih Tzu breed usually doesn't like being on a boat.
Cart Pulling or Drafting Dog Not really
A drafting dog or draft dog is a dog bred and used for cart pulling.
Not really
A drafting dog or draft dog is a dog bred and used for cart pulling.
Not really
A drafting dog or draft dog is a dog bred and used for cart pulling.

Japanese Spitz vs Maltese vs Shih Tzu Health Factors Comparison

Health Issues
The Japanese Spitz is a healthy breed, but there are certain health issues that you should check with your vet regularly.
The Maltese is a healthy breed, but there are certain health issues that you should check with your vet regularly.
The Shih Tzu is a healthy breed, but there are certain health issues that you should check with your vet regularly.
Health Problems Patellar Luxation
Runny Eyes
Collapsed Trachea
Hypoglycemia
Patellar Luxation
Portosystemic Liver Shunt
Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA)
Reverse Sneezing
White Dog Shaker Syndrome
Allergies
Bladder Stones
Distichiasis
Dry Eye
Ear Infections
Ectopic Cilia
Hip Dysplasia
Juvenile Renal Dysplasia
Keratitis
Patellar Luxation
Portosystemic Liver Shunt
Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA)
Proptosis
Retained Baby Teeth
Reverse Sneezing
Snuffles
Umbilical Hernias
Life Expectancy 10-16 years 15-18 years 10-16 years
Hypoallergenic No Yes Yes
Energy Level
Japanese Spitzs have an average energy level, so if you live a semi-active life, this breed can be a good choice for you.
Malteses have an average energy level, so if you live a semi-active life, this breed can be a good choice for you.
Shih Tzus have a lower energy level than other dogs.
Exercise Need
Japanese Spitzs have an average exercise need.
Malteses exercise need is very minimal.
Shih Tzus exercise need is minimal.
Sleeping Need
Japanese Spitzs sleep 12-14 hours a day as an average dog and they're not considered as a lazy breed.
Malteses sleep 12-14 hours a day as an average dog and they're not considered as a lazy breed.
Shih Tzus like sleeping so they do sleep a lot.
Avg. daily food consumption 1/2 to 1 cup dry food a day. Recommended daily amount: 1/4 to 1/2 cup of high-quality dry food a day, divided into two meals. Recommended daily amount: 1/2 to 1 cup of high-quality dry food a day.
Weight Gain Potential
Low to Average.
Average.
Average to High.
Weather & Climate Prefers average to cold weather conditions
The Japanese Spitz can adapt to well to cold weather conditions, some dogs even can be a good mountain dog.
Prefers warm weather Tolerates warm and cold weather.
Stinkiness Medium
The Japanese Spitz has an average chance of bad smell.
Medium
The Maltese has an average chance of bad smell.
Low
The Shih Tzu has a low chance of bad smell.
Drooling tendency
The Japanese Spitz is a perfect example for very low drooling tendency.
The Maltese is a perfect example for very low drooling tendency.
The Shih Tzu is a perfect example for very low drooling tendency.

Japanese Spitz vs Maltese vs Shih Tzu Reproducibility Comparison

Gestation Length 60-64 days 60-64 days 60-64 days
How often can the have a litter? Once a year.
More frequent breeding is not healthy.
Once a year.
More frequent breeding is not healthy.
Once a year.
More frequent breeding is not healthy.
Litter Size 1-6 puppies 3-5 puppies 2-5 puppies

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