The Finnish Spitz

The Finnish Spitz

01.08.2019. 12:04:00

The Finnish Spitz is a dog breed that originated in Finland to hunt all types of game, from small ones like birds and squirrels to bears. While hunting, Finnish Spitz uses barking to indicate the position of game. This way, he doesn’t only show the hunter the position of a prey, but also draws animal’s attention to himself, allowing an easier approach for the hunter. This is the reason these dogs are called "Bark Pointers." Today, in his native country, the Finnish Spitz is still used to hunt game birds, squirrels, etc. In America, Finnish Spitz dogs are primarily companion dogs. These dogs almost became extinct when transportation and roadways improved. People started coming to Finland with their own dogs, mating them with Finnish Spitz. This cross-breeding almost caused extinction of the Finnish Spitz breed. Luckily, two hunters from Helsinki, Hugo Sandberg and Hugo Ross, went on a hunting trip in the forests of Finland and saw some Finnish Spitz dogs hunting. At that moment they realized that this breed needs to be saved. They informed the public about these dogs and their importance to Finland and with that started the salvation of the Finnish Spitz breed. 

FUN FACT: Since 1979, the Finnish Spitz has been the national dog of Finland.

The Finnish Spitz - breed

The male Finnish Spitz is 17.5-20 inches tall and weighs 25-33 pounds. Females can reach the height of 15.5-18 inches, and usually weigh 20-28 pounds. The Finnish Spitz is a square-proportioned, fox-looking dog with erected ears and curled tail. They have a medium-length, double coat combined of a straight and harsh outer coat and a short soft undercoat, which provides them warmth in cold weather. Hair on the head and legs is short. Males typically have more coat than females. The coat is solid color and comes in shades of golden-red. The Finnish Spitz has white markings on the tips of the toes and on the chest. Sometimes, these dogs have black hairs along the lip line, on the tail and back.

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FUN FACT: Finnish Spitz’s puppies are born dark-colored because they have quite a lot of black hair on them. After approximately two years, this black color usually fades away.

The Finnish Spitz - shedding

Finnish Spitz dogs are not complicated when it comes to care and grooming. The breed standard is very specific - no trimming of the coat (except for the feet). They only need to be brushed regularly, every few days (in the spring and fall, when shedding is intense, brushing should be more frequent). These dogs are naturally clean, demanding only basic care.

The Finnish Spitz - exercise

The Finnish Spitz has a lot of energy and is the happiest in an active family that will fulfil this dog’s need for daily exercise. The Finnish Spitz is lively, playful, active, prefers colder climates, and enjoys being outside. This dog was bred for hunting, so keep an eye on him while walking around, especially if the dog is off leash. The Finnish Spitz is an awesome family dog that craves human companionship and doesn’t like to be apart from his family. The dog is good-natured and fond of children. The Finnish Spitz can tolerate a lot and will most probably just walk away when he has had enough.

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FUN FACT: Try not to argue in front of your Finnish Spitz dog. These dogs are very sensitive and are unhappy when there are tensions in the family.

Are Finnish Spitz aggressive?

This dog goes along well with other pets, including cats, too. Sometimes, the Finnish Spitz can be aggressive towards another dog that he does not know. The Finnish Spitz is also suspicious and aloof towards strangers. This dog is an excellent watchdog and will alert the family if someone is approaching or something odd is going on around his territory. In these cases, the Finnish Spitz will engage in his favorite activity — barking! These dogs bark. A lot! It is important to teach your Finnish Spitz to stop barking on command. Otherwise, they could drive you and your neighbors crazy. They can achieve 160 barks in just one minute. Except for barking, these dogs use all kinds of sound to communicate.

FUN FACT: In Finland there are annual contests to select a “King of the Barkers.” 

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The Finnish Spitz - intelligence

Training the Finnish Spitz can be tricky. These dogs are strong-willed and can be stubborn and independent. They are best trained with a soft voice and touch. Because they are very intelligent, they can become bored easily. Therefore you should keep your training sessions short and interesting.

FUN FACT: Finnish Spitz dogs mature slowly. It usually takes about three or four years for them to become mentally mature.

The Finnish Spitz - health problems

The Finnish Spitz has a life expectancy of 13-15 years. These dogs live long and usually a healthy life. They suffer no significant breed-related disorders. There are only a few health conditions Finnish Spitz dogs are prone to, including hip dysplasia, patellar luxation (a condition where the knee joint slides in and out of place, causing pain), and epilepsy.

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Another condition the Finnish Spitz is prone to is obesity. These dogs love to eat, especially treats. They will try to get everyone to get them treats and thus can easily become overweight. Try giving your dog some law-fat treats, such as carrots, since day one.


World Dog Finder team