Finnish Spitz

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20-28 lbs
Finnish Barking Birddog (historical); Finkie; Suomenpystykorva; Finsk Spets; Loulou Finnoi

The Finnish Spitz comes from an ancient line of dog known as the Northern Spitz, an intelligent, energetic dog who loves attention. Fitting into family life well, this lively canine is the perfect companion for the home but also excels at work. A hunter by instinct, this breed enjoys being in a cool to temperate climate as part of a family that partakes in plenty of outdoor activity. The Finnish Spitz has thick fur which will moderately shed. In his native Finland, hunting is still a part of his life. Keeping your pet busy in ways to expend the energy naturally found will keep your canine content and mentally happy.

hunting birds and small mammals
Date of Origin
ancient times
northern spitz

Finnish Spitz Health

Average Size
Height: 17-20 inches Weight: 25-33 lbs
Height: 15-18 inches Weight: 20-28 lbs
Major Concerns
  • Diabetes
Minor Concerns
  • Epilepsy
Occasional Tests
  • Blood Test
  • MRI
  • Physical Examination

Finnish Spitz Breed History

The Finnish Spitz comes from an ancient line of dog known as the Northern Spitz, which developed thousands of years ago in the area now known as Central Russia and made its way to the region now known as Finland.  Near isolation of this dog allowed the Finnish Spitz to develop but the pure line was nearly destroyed in the 1800s by the introduction of new breeds.  Thankfully, sportsmen found a group of pure Finnish Spitz and began a breeding program to prevent breed extinction.The Finnish Spitz has gone by several names in its past including the Finnish Bird dog and Suomenpystykorva, which translates as Finnish cock-eared dog.  The Finnish Spitz traveled to England, where it was known by its Swedish name, the Finsk Spets, which ultimately became the breed’s name, translated into English. The Finnish Spitz was a popular dog in Europe but was not bred in the United States until the 1960s and not officially accepted into the non-sporting group of the American Kennel Club until 1988.  Today, the Finnish Spitz is mainly viewed as an excellent family pet, but this breed does continue to hunt in its homeland of Finland.  The Finnish Spitz is well known as a bird dog, specifically used for hunting grouse and a turkey-like bird called the capercaillie.  When the Finnish Spitz locates the bird, it barks very loudly while pointing in the direction of the bird to alert the hunter to the bird’s location. In Finland, the Finnish Spitz is regarded as the National Dog and is featured in patriotic songs.  The distinct bark of the Finnish Spitz can sound like a yodel and each year Finland holds a barking competition to crown the “King of the Barkers” to the dog who can keep a bird in a tree the longest.

Finnish Spitz Breed Appearance

The Finnish Spitz is a fox-like dog with a pointed muzzle, erect ears, a thick coat, and a curled tail, all of which mark it as a northern breed.  Its body is square-shaped with a vibrant red coat.  The color of a Finnish Spitz coat is golden-red and can vary in color from a pale honey to deep auburn.  Its underbelly is often a slightly paler color, giving the Finnish Spitz a glow.  The Finnish Spitz has a short, soft under coat and long, coarse guard hair that lays flat makes up the outer coat.  Males will often have more hair and carry a thicker ruff around their neck than female Finnish Spitz. The Finnish Spitz eyes are dark and almond-shaped with black rims and express a fox-like liveliness.  Its ears are pointed, set high, and open to the front while being extremely mobile. The Finnish Spitz has a narrow muzzle from all angles and a black nose with thin, tight black lips, and a scissor bite. The forelegs, when viewed from the front at straight with elbows close to the body and end in round thick padded feet.  The hindquarters are in balance with the forelegs and straight with paws the same as the front.  Like it’s Northern Spitz family members, the Finnish Spitz also has a curled tail that lays on the back or to the side and has heavy feathering.

Finnish Spitz Breed Maintenance

Although the Finnish Spitz takes pains to clean itself, similar to a cat, weekly coat brushing will help keep shedding down and your Finkie’s coat healthy.  The Finnish Spitz does not require frequent bathing or shampooing either and should only be bathed when required.  The moderate shedding of this dog means it is not a hypoallergenic breed but its regular self-cleaning habits also mean the Finnish Spitz does not have a bad “doggy” odor either. The Finnish Spitz can be an apartment, and urban friendly dog provided it gets enough exercise and attention, but living in an apartment may not suit your neighbors well due to this breed’s excessive vocalization.  The Finnish Spitz does not tolerate being left alone and will develop chewing or barking habits outside of its usual loud-voiced barking tendency.  The Finnish Spitz developed in a particularly cold climate and tolerates the cold very well.  Temperate climates and a far better environment to keep a Finkie over hotter ones. When it comes to diet, the Finnish Spitz is a medium-sized dog that requires 1.75 to 2.5 cups of dry food, fed twice a day.  However, the amount of food you feed your Finkie depends on his age, size, and activity level.  Overfeeding without proper exercise may lead to obesity, which can then lead to developing health problems including diabetes.

Finnish Spitz Breed Activity Requirements