The Finnish Spitz is an ancient breed of medium-sized dogs originally bred for hunting a wide range of game from small rodents to bears. It has a fox-like appearance with clean-cut head, pointed muzzle, erect, high set ears, almond-shaped eyes, muscular body, deep chest, and a plumed tail that curls up over its back.
Finnish Spitz Pictures
|Other Names||Finnish Spets, Finnish Hunting Dog, Loulou Finois, Suomenpystykorva, Finsk Spets, Suomalainen pystykorva|
|Coat||Double, soft, dense, short undercoat, straight, long, harsh outer coat|
|Color||Puppies: Dark gray, brown, black, fawn
Adults: Golden-red, including dark chestnut and pale honey
|Category||Non-Sporting, Hound, Spitz-type, Northern|
|Weight||Female: 20-28 lbs
Male: 25-33 lbs
|Height||Female: 16-18 in
Male: 18-20 in
|Temperament||Courageous, friendly, playful, loyal, intelligent|
|Litter Size||3-6 puppies|
|Good with Children||Yes|
|Country Originated in||Finland|
|Competitive Registration/ Qualification Information||CKC, FCI, AKC, ANKC, KCGB, NKC, NZKC, ACR, APRI, ACA, DRA, NAPR|
Video: Finnish Spitz Dogs Playing
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Although the origin of Finnish Spitz is unclear, their ancestors might have existed 8,000 years ago since the remains of some ancient animals found in Finland are similar in shape and size to modern Spitz-type dogs. The early Spitz-type dogs were thought to have been brought from areas near the Volga River in Central Russia by the Finno-Ugrian people who relocated to Finland about two thousand years ago. Since these dogs were isolated, the breed developed with no significant influence from the outside world.
When the roadways improved, people started coming to these inaccessible places and crossed the Spitz dogs with their old breeds. Due to excessive crossbreeding, the pure Finnish Spitz almost became extinct by 1880. At that time, two sportsmen from Helsinki, Hugo Roos, and Hugo Sandberg saw some of these dogs hunting in the northern forests. They realized the significance of pure Finnish Spitz and decided to save it from extinction. Roos carefully bred Finnish Spitz for thirty years and is known for gathering the foundation stock and preserving the breed.
The Finnish Spitz Club of America (FSCA), dedicated to promoting and protecting the Finnish Spitz, was established in 1975. AKC acknowledged this breed in 1988.
Temperament and Behavior
A good-natured dog that enjoys spending time with its family, the Finnish Spitz makes an excellent companion for active owners. Though it is smart, it might remain silly and puppyish until 3 to 4 years of age since it develops mental maturity by then. Owing to its affectionate and playful nature, it gets along well with children.
Because of its alertness, the Finnish Spitz makes for a good watchdog, protective of its people. It is suspicious of strangers but never aggressive or shy. It can coexist with other household pets when raised with them.
The Finnish Spitz hunts uniquely by running ahead of its master until it finds a game bird. The dog keeps on following the game until the bird sits in a tree, attracting its attention by running under the tree and wagging its tail. At that point, the dog starts barking thereby hindering the game from spotting the hunter approaching.
Being a lively and energetic dog, the Finnish Spitz has high exercise requirements. If you leave it alone in the yard, it may engage in barking, digging, as well as chasing birds and squirrels. You may take your dog for one or two 30-minute brisk walks on a regular basis.
Weekly brushing will help keep its coat clean. However, it needs extra brushing during the shedding season to remove any loose hairs. Since its coat is not much oily, it usually does not have an odor. Therefore, you should bathe it only when needed. You may as well trim the hairs under the pads of its feet. Its other grooming requirements include occasional nail care and dental hygiene.
The Finnish Spitz is prone to some health conditions including canine hip dysplasia, epilepsy, and patellar luxation.
Being independent and strong-willed by nature, training the Finnish Spitz could be a challenging task. It should be trained using soft voice commands while keeping the training sessions short.
After you bring home a new puppy, begin to introduce it to new people and pets. You can take it to a neighbor or family member’s home so that it can meet and make friends with kids or other dogs. You may as well invite well-mannered children to your place to have a session of supervised play with your pup.
Stop excessive barking
You need to teach your Finnish Spitz to bark on “speak” command and wait for it to bark several times. Then hold a treat near its nose so that it stops barking and sniffs the treat. Give your dog the treat and repeat the steps until it learns to start barking upon hearing the “speak” command. Once it masters the “speak” command, teach the “quiet” command by telling it to “speak” in a place free from distractions. When it starts barking, say the word “quiet” and wait for it to stop barking. Once it finishes, praise it and give a treat.
Being an active breed, the Finnish Spitz needs a diet rich in protein and carbs to meet its energy requirements. Give it one-and-a-half to two-and-a-half cups of quality commercial food on a regular basis.
- The Finnish Spitz is referred to as the “national dog of Finland.”
- It has featured on several postage stamps of Finland.
- Since it barks and attracts the hunters to indicate the position of the game, it is also known as “Bark Pointers.”