Grooming is not as heavy for the German spitz, despite it being a double coated breed, as you might think.
Most spitz can be kept neat and tidy by giving the dog a brush twice a week and a thorough, deep groom once a week. The most important things about grooming is what you use and how you do it!
Firstly, you must not use the usual grooming brushes that can be bought from pet shops and stalls. Most of these are far too harsh for the spitz coat and will either pull out the undercoat and/or shred the outer coat, splitting it and breaking the hair shaft. I use a natural bristle brush designed for humans on the advice of a very knowledgeable and very well informed lady (Mrs Dorothy Mason - Sondowne - now deceased)who taught me all she knew about the German spitz. Here in the UK you can buy a paddle brush made by a company called Mason & Pearson (no family connection) in several sizes which grooms a spitz double coat to perfection without damaging it. It's pretty good in an emergency on my own hair too! ;) They are a little costly compared to dog brushes in general but last a long time and are well worth the extra money.
Secondly, and probably the most important point, is how you groom your spitz.
The standard in the UK calls for a coat that stands away from the dogs body. This is quite easily achieved if you groom in the right direction ie against the lie of the coat. (see diagram at top of page) Grooming in this direction encourages the coat to be offstanding and allows you to get to the soft undercoat underneath the outer coat. It's the undercoat that makes the outer coat stand away from the body but if brushed with the lie of the coat you do not get underneath and the undercoat eventually matts or felts up. This causes huge knots to form especially behind ears and at the back of the legs and is pretty painful for the dog, especially so when they have to be removed.
The diagram above is numbered for each main area of attention. Following this routine when brushing helps to keep the coat tangle free and also stimulates the dogs circulation making the coat glossy, healthy and encouraging new growth after a moult.
Talking of moulting, German spitz generally moult twice a year. They can and most generally do resemble an exploding thistle! If you are a person who definitely couldn't get used to hair with everything then please reconsider before getting a spitz *grin* You cannot say you have not been warned!! Seriously though, when a spitz decides it's time to lose their coat there's nothing that will stop them !! A spitz moulting is a sight you must not miss. Unlike most dogs they do not lose hair one hair at a time. The undercoat generally lifts away from the skin in small clumps and rises out of the outer coat where it is either caught on passing brambles when out walking or cast off on the nearest chair, carpeting or bedding. If you are brushing regularly however, this is not a problem providing you keep a small rubbish bag close by as you groom for the discarded hair. It very quickly fills the brush up and has to be removed every minute or so. I generally brush morning and night once a major moult is in progress. This saves the furnishings and ensures the old coat is taken out as quickly as possible to prevent tatting. I generally use grooming time to check ears, eyes, toenails and teeth too. If started very young spitz puppies learn that this is a routine and accept it very quickly. It is good bonding time too and a small dog treat once you have completed the routine will ensure you have a spitz willing for it to happen again in a few days time. Spitz are very food orientated ;) and I find mine lining up to be groomed purely for the treat!
Bathing is very much upto the individual owner. German spitz don't generally smell 'doggy' and if groomed regularly should very rarely need bathing. It softens the outer coat and washes away the natural conditioning oils present. However, spitz being spitz you can never guarantee that they will remain clean and gleaming for long. Infact hard earned knowledge tells me your puppy will always find something to roll or sit in. Mine have a natural loathing towards being 'pretty' and will promptly roll in whatever they can find that then prompts a bath, especially if they've been readied for a major show. They just know this is going to stress you *grin*. Making bathtime as stress free as possible when they are small ensures that, should the time come (and it will!), you can bathe the dog without major problems. I thoroughly recommend a rubber non slip mat in the bottom of your sink or bath so that the puppy doesn't feel as if it is losing it's balance and slipping. Constant praise during the bath and reward once finished will also ensure happy bathtime memories. I never wash a puppies head. A dampened cloth kept for this purpose cleans the face and ear area without any danger of soap in the eyes or water in the ears however, some vaseline (petroleum jelly) on cotton balls placed in the ears before washing the head once older, will stop any water running into the ears and causing problems. It is important that you never wash a spitz if they are moulting before all the loose hair is out of the coat. Water and rubbing the coat with shampoo matts the undercoat up and once dried cannot easily be removed unless cut out. I thoroughly groom my dogs prior to bathing for a show to ensure there is no loose coat or possible tatts and once washed they are blow dried thoroughly. Don't be fooled that a quick blow about will dry their coat. I've often spent over an hour drying a dog, put it down for a rest often so as not to tire it, only to find once the coat has cooled off it is still damp underneath the outer coat. A Spitz with a damp under coat is very vunerable to catching a chill. Having been used to being blow dried after a bath from being very young my dogs will generally stand long enough for me to get them dry and once again the 'treat' afterwards ensures they see it as a pleasurable thing and queue up at bathtimes. In between shows, if required, I often 'towel bathe' my dogs instead of fully immersing their coats in water. This involves a dish of warm water with dog shampoo mixed into it and a towel dipped and rung out well, being rubbed all over the dogs body. This is generally enough to lift off surface grime without stripping the natural oils from the coat and is a quck way of freshening up your dog up.