The national dog of Finland originally bred to hunt elk
The national dog of Finland was well established when the first breed standard was written in 1892. It is assumed that when migrants from central Russia arrived in what is now Finland some 3,000 years ago, they brought their spitz-type dogs with them. Originally used for tracking elk and bear, now they are used to hunt game birds, their acute nose leads them to treed birds. They then mesmerise the bird with their slow tail-wagging and distinctive “yodelling,” or rapid-fire barking. The swishing tail also serves another purpose – to allow the hunter to see the dog through the dense forest. This freezes the game in place until a rifle-toting human arrives to finish the job. Finnish Spitz also flush and trail birds to the trees. The spitz characteristics are a wedge shaped head, compact body and a stand off outer coat with a tightly curled tail over his back. The bright red iridescent coat of the Finnish Spitz is much admired.
Read more about the history of this breed – HERE
OTHER NAMES – Suomenpystykorva, Finn, Finnen-Spitz, Finnish Barking Bird Dog, Finkie, Finsk Spets
LIVING WITH THIS BREED
The harsh fight for survival has left indelible, breed-typical marks in the temperament of the Finnish Spitz. Most common are its speed to react, distrust of strangers, loyalty to its family as well as an eagerness to guard its own territory. By nature, the Finnish Spitz is co-operative, energetic, lively and independent. It enjoys being outdoors, but its powerful hunting instinct rarely make it suitable to be kept as an un-tethered yard dog. It may get used to living in an apartment building, but its readiness to bark can make it a less-than-optimal choice for people living in built-up areas, especially if they are not experienced dog owners. This is a very intelligent breed, and as such they can present a challenge to train. Keep sessions short and fun, being generous with praise and reward. The Finnish Spitz are eager canine athletes and eye-catching show dogs known to be smart, sensitive, and captivating companions. They can be a devoted family dog, upbeat, playful and protective of their family.
This information is taken from kennel clubs and other reliable sources.
|COUNTRY OF ORIGIN||Finland|
|PURPOSE BRED FOR||Hunting|
|TEMPERAMENT||Friendly, Lively, Faithful|
|EXERCISE NEEDED||Up to 1 hour per day|
|IDEAL SIZE OF HOME||Small|
|HEIGHT – MALE||43-50 cm / 17-20 in (to shoulder)|
|HEIGHT – FEMALE||39-45 cm / 15½-18 in (to shoulder)|
|COAT TYPE||Medium length|
|GROOMING NEEDS||Several times per week|
|LIFE EXPECTANCY||12 -15 years|
- Finnish Spitz were bred to hunt all day in dense woods, giving them the stamina to range far, making a solidly fenced garden a must.
- In Finland, there is actually a barking competition every year that Finnish Spitz compete in. The dogs have been recorded barking up to 160 times per minute, but it’s not just speed that matters. A competitor must prove that they can bark effectively while hunting before they can be crowned king or queen.
- The Finnish Spitz is famous for his fox-like red color, but these dogs have quite a lot of black in their coats when they are born. The black usually fades completely after two years.
- They make excellent therapy dogs – read more – HERE
- Many Finnish Spitz love water, and will jump into a pool or lake without a second thought, or simply lounge on the top step of a swimming pool in the summer.
LINKS TO KENNEL CLUB BREED STANDARDS AROUND THE WORLD
Breed standards vary throughout the world, click the buttons below to view the kennel clubs from around the world for more information of those standards, and for further information about the Finnish Spitz.
Click on any image to view these pictures larger and in a slideshow.
Enjoy this video about the Finnish Spitz, you can view the entire playlist of videos about this breed on our YouTube Channel by clicking the button below:
WEBSITES ABOUT THE FINNISH SPITZ
Here’s some websites specifically dedicated to the Finnish Spitz breed, click to view them. I am not affiliated with any of these sites, they’re just here for further information. Please note I will not advertise breeders on this site and as many websites dedicated to a specific breed are run by breeders, sometimes there’s fewer sites listed here.
- The Finnish Spitz Club
- Finnish Spitz Club of America
- The Finnish Spitz Society
- Canadian Finnish Spitz Club
Thanks for reading!