Finnish Spitz

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20-28 lbs
15-18"
Finland
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.


Purpose
hunting birds and small mammals
Date of Origin
ancient times
Ancestry
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.

Eye Color Possibilities
Brown
Nose Color Possibilities
Black
Coat Color Possibilities
Red
Coat Length
Short Medium Long
Coat Density
Sparse Normal Dense
Coat Texture
Straight Wiry Wavy Curly Corded

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.

Brushes for Finnish Spitz
Pin Brush
Comb
Deshedder
Nail Clipper
Brushing Frequency
Daily Weekly Monthly

Finnish Spitz Temperament

Happy, intelligent, and playful with an independent streak pretty much sums up the temperament of the Finnish Spitz.  This breed is somewhat suspicious of strangers but excessively affectionate with family and good with children. The Finnish Spitz is a considerably vocal dog with a loud bark, which can be inconvenient for many people who prefer a quieter dog.  Excessive barking may be a sign of boredom or anxiety, so your Finnish Spitz needs plenty of attention and does not tolerate being left alone. The Finnish Spitz is a sensitive dog but can develop bad habits if not trained properly.  Due to this breed’s independent nature, training your Finnish Spitz requires patience and regular attention.  The Finnish Spitz is independent-minded and will often lead its master.  This behavior should be corrected with firm but not harsh tones where the Finnish Spitz is made to heel or walk beside its master.  Excessive barking can also be avoided through proper training. The Finnish Spitz has a lot of energy that needs to be burned off.  They make for great jogging partners and should have a couple of 30-minute walks daily.  These dogs are prey-minded, so they will run and chase other animals.  It is always recommended that you keep your dog on a leash while exercising him unless you’re in a fenced-in area. According to some dog behavioral specialists, the Finnish Spitz can be too intelligent and somewhat manipulative with its owners, so plenty of attention is required for this breed.  Therefore, it is not recommended that novice dog owners or those who have little time to devote to the training and care of their Finkie adopt this breed.  Owners must be persistent and firm but never use harsh tones.  However, if you are thorough with training, you can be greatly rewarded by your Finnish Spitz’s companionship.

Activity Level
Low Medium High
Rec. Walk Mileage Per Week
14 miles
Minutes of Activity Per Day
90 minutes

Finnish Spitz Food Consumption

Cups Per Day
2.5 cups
Daily Cost
$1.2 - $1.4
Monthly Cost
$34 - $45

Finnish Spitz Height & Weight

6 Months
Height: 11 inches Weight: 14 lbs
Height: 11 inches Weight: 11 lbs
12 Months
Height: 18 inches Weight: 25 lbs
Height: 16 inches Weight: 21 lbs
18 Months
Height: 18 inches Weight: 29 lbs
Height: 16 inches Weight: 24 lbs

Finnish Spitz Owner Experiences