Breed Organization Finnish Spitz Club of America Website: http://www.finnishspitzclub.org Native Country Finland Other Names Loulou Finnois, Finnish Spitz, Finsk Spets Life Expectancy Approximately 12-15 Years Litter Size Average 3-6 Puppies Breed Group AKC Non-Sporting
Breed Appearance A Finnish Spitz is a breed of dog originating
in Finland. The breed was originally bred to hunt all types of game
from squirrels and other rodents to bears. It is a "bark pointer",
indicating the position of game by barking to attract the hunter's
attention. Its original game hunting purpose was to point to game
that fled into trees, such as grouse, and capercaillies, but it also
serves well for hunting moose and elk. Some individuals have even
been known to go after a bear. In its native country, the breed is
still mostly used as a hunting dog. The breed is friendly and in
general loves children, so it is suitable for domestic life. The
Finnish Spitz has been the national dog of Finland since 1979.
Breed Description Head: Moderate size, dry, foxlike.
Slightly arched forehead. Pronounced stop. Tight, thin lips. Ears: Mobile, carried erect. Pointed tips. Covered with fine
hair. Eyes: Medium size. Dark color. Body: Almost square. Deep chest. Belly slightly tucked up.
Almost square. Deep chest. Belly slightly tucked up. Tail: Carried curled over the loin and pointing toward the
thigh. Hair: Short on the head and front of the legs. Longer and
straight on the body, back of the legs, and tail. Much longer on the
shoulders, particularly in dogs. Short, soft, dense, lighter-colored
undercoat. Coat: Reddish-brown or golden-red on the back. Lighter shade on
the cheeks, under the muzzle, on the chest, abdomen, inside of the
legs, back of the thighs, and under the tail. White markings on the
feet and a narrow white stripe on the forechest are permitted, as
are black hairs on the lips and along the back. Size: Dog: 42 to 50 cm (16.5-19.7 in).Bitch: 39 to 45 cm
(15.5-17.7 in). Weight: 23 to 27 kg (51-59.5 lb).
History The Finnish Spitz developed from selectively
bred Spitz-type dogs that inhabited central Russia several thousand
years ago. Isolated Finno-Ugrian tribes in the far northern regions
bred dogs according to their specific needs. These small clans of
woodsmen relied on their dogs to help them obtain food, and the
excellent hunting ability of the Finnish Spitz made it a favorite
By 1880, as advanced means of transportation brought diverse peoples
and their dogs together, Finnish Spitzes mated with other breeds of
dogs, and were becoming extinct as a distinct breed. At about that
time, a Finnish sportsman from Helsinki named Hugo Roos observed the
pure native Finnish Spitz while hunting in the northern forests. He
realized the many virtues of the pure Finnish Spitz breed and
decided to select dogs that were untainted examples of the genuine
Finnish Spitz in order to try to revive the breed. Thirty years of
careful breeding resulted in the modern Finnish Spitz; the dogs are
descendents of his original foundation stock.
Behavior This breed is active, alert and lively. They
need one or two long walks each day and will be fairly inactive
indoors. This breed will not adapt well to a strictly kenneled
living situation; they need a balance of outdoor exercise and indoor
play time with the family. Finnish Spitzes are considered to
interact well with people and they are especially good with
children. They are always ready to play with children but if
ignored, they will usually walk away. As with all dogs, young
children and dogs should always be supervised when together. It is
an independent breed and will be attached to its family while
remaining aloof with strangers. The Finnish Spitz tends to be
protective; males have more domineering traits than females.
Most Finnish Spitzes get along well with other dogs in the home.
They are bred as a hunting dog and thus are unreliable around small
animals, but on an individual basis may live well with cats.
The breed barks at anything perceived to be out of the ordinary.
Barking is a major part of their hunting activities. In Finland,
these dogs are prized for their barking abilities, which can range
from short, sharp barks to many barks per minute that sound like a
yodel. The Finnish Spitz can bark as many as 160 times per minute.
In Scandinavia, a competition is held to find the "King of the
Barkers." In Finland, their barking ability in the field must be
proven before a conformation championship can be earned. When used
as a hunting companion, the barking is a way to signal the hunter
that the dog has located prey in the forest. They can be trained to
reduce the amount of barking, although the barking does make them
Finnish Spitzes are independent, strong-willed, intelligent dogs.
They are best trained with a soft voice and touch. This breed will
not respond well to harsh training methods. They should be trained
with a light touch and positive reinforcement methods. With patience
and calm yet firm handling, the Finnish Spitz can be a wonderful
Health The Finnish Spitz is typically a very healthy
breed, with few general health concerns. However, breeders should be
consulted to understand the prevalence of a specific disorder in
this breed. Below is a short list of what is known to occur:
Advice The Finnish Spitz has a coat that is
self-grooming and stays pretty clean. All the brushing you need for
this dog is just a brushing with a comb or brush to get rid of dead
hair. They only need a bath when very dirty as they do not have a
doggy odor. This breed is a heavy seasonal shedder. Otherwise, this
is a very easy breed of dog to take care of. For exercising, they
love to go jogging. As long as this dog gets plenty of exercise then
you are sure to have them as a close companion.