Other names: Suomenpystykorva
The Finnish Spitz was originally bred to hunt game and bark loudly when it discovered something. As such, one of this breed’s distinguishing features has to be its excessive barking habit. On the plus side, this does make for a highly efficient watchdog! This talkative pooch does, in fact, have a lot more to offer. With a good-natured, warm and friendly temperament, as well as being patient with children, it can make a fantastic family companion. However, those who choose to adopt a Finnish Spitz will need to be able to keep up with its moderately high exercise needs.
Key facts about the Finnish Spitz
Origins and history
The Finnish Spitz is believed to have descended from ancient hunting dogs of Scandinavia and Lapland, eventually bred with Spitz-type dogs for the purpose of hunting small game. The breed standard was established in 1812 and is known as the Suomenpystykorva in its native Finland, where it’s still popular as both a hunting and companion dog to this day.
FCI breed nomenclature
Group 5 - Spitz and primitive types
Section 2 : Nordic Hunting Dogs
Physical characteristics of the Finnish Spitz
Female : Between 15 and 18 in
Male : Between 17 and 20 in
Female : Between 15 and 22 lb
Male : Between 26 and 29 lb
The coat can be varying bright shades, ranging from golden to deep red, often with white markings on the toes and chest.
Type of coat
Thick, stiff overcoat on the neck, shoulders, and back, and a soft, think undercoat.
The eyes are a dark colour.
The Finnish Spitz is a medium-sized dog which is often compared to a fox in terms of appearance. With its long, pointed muzzle, erect, pricked ears and vibrant red coats, we can certainly see the similarity! This breed has a squarish, well-built body, muscular legs and a deep chest.
Good to know
The Finnish Spitz is officially the National Dog of Finland - quite a title!
Although the Finnish Spitz is really passionate about hunting, and fairly independent, this dog adores its people and likes to spend time in their company. If you choose this breed, you’re guaranteed a loyal, chirpy and trustworthy canine friend for life.
This is a super playful breed with a brilliant sense of humour. This cheerful little pup is always up for fun and games, especially with the kids!
The Finnish Spitz is alert, lively and energetic. While it’s certainly not the calmest breed in the books, it’s capable of chilling out inside the home, providing its needs are met.
This breed is very intelligent, cunning, and a determined hunting dog, but doesn’t fully mature until 3-4 years old.
The Finnish Spitz is a hunter through and through and will instinctually chase and even seize small animals.
Fearful / wary of strangers
This dog tends to be suspicious and wary of strangers.
Like most hunting breeds, the Finnish Spitz has a definite independent streak, although it is very attached and loyal to its social group.
Behaviour of the Finnish Spitz
The Finnish Spitz loves its family and is prone to separation anxiety. In fact, it’s likely to become destructive if left alone for too long. However, if accustomed to alone time gradually, certain dogs may be able to tolerate short periods of solitude.
Easy to train / obedience
Despite this breed’s independent temperament, it is a very cooperative dog when it is communicated with respectfully, and its needs have been met. The Finnish Spitz can be highly sensitive to harsh criticism, so the best approach is a fair yet firm voice, a gentle touch and plenty of positive reinforcement. Training sessions should be short as this breed gets bored easily. Be aware that training may take some time and patience, but it’s best to avoid scolding your dog - that’s likely to take you ten steps back.
Considering the Finnish Spitz was bred to bark when it found game, it comes as no surprise that this is a very vocal breed. Expect to be alerted of just about anything, even if it’s insignificant to you. Sometimes, it may just seem like this dog is barking for fun.