A Spitz for hunting – the Finnish Spitz is the national dog of Finland. Unlike its close European relatives, in Finland, it has always been used not only as a guard dog but also for hunting. The Finnish Spitz is known for its persistent and loud bark, which is used to indicate and rush wildlife. You can find out in our overview whether he is still suitable as a family and companion dog.
What Makes the Finnish Spitz special?
The Finnish Spitz is similar to other Spitz breeds in many respects: The long coat is characteristic of the dogs, which stands out fluffy because of its dense undercoat. With an average height at the withers of 44-50 cm for males and 39-45 cm for females, they are slightly smaller than other medium-sized dogs but are not classified as small dogs. Information on the ideal weight of dogs varies between 12 and 20 kg depending on size and gender.
This is how you distinguish the Finnish Spitz from other Spitz breeds
- The characteristic of the dogs is their red and gold coat color. Slight brightening is allowed according to the breed standard. The topcoat that sticks out is slightly shorter than in other
- Spitz breeds such as the Mittelspitz and Pomeranian and the flags on the backs of the legs and on the belly are less pronounced.
- The head is relatively wide between the ears and tapers slightly towards the snout. The cheeks are not very pronounced, as is the nose stop.
- The snout tapers slightly towards the tip and the lips are tight. The nose is relatively small and uniformly black.
- The almond-shaped eyes are also framed by black-colored lids. They are set at a slight angle and should be as dark as possible according to the FCI breed standard.
- The dog always carries its triangular ears upright and tilted forward, the tips are slightly rounded.
- Males have a slightly thicker mane on their necks than females. The throat and nape are very muscular and merge into the chest without a dewlap.
- The chest reaches almost to the elbows and the lower belly line is visibly tucked up despite the bushy hair. Overall, the dogs are built very strong and robust.
- The dogs have short hair on their fore and hind legs. The thighs are well-muscled and the hocks very strong.
- Typical for Spitz and also for the Finnish national dog is the always curved tail, which rests on the back when resting.
With the Finns for more than 8000 years
Long before official breed standards were introduced at the end of the 19th century, Spitz accompanied Finnish compatriots on the hunt and kept thieves and wolves away from farms. Bone finds suggest that Spitz dogs of the same size and build as today’s Finnish Spitz hunted alongside humans as early as 8,000 years ago. The genetic connection to the Asian wolf is interesting – the weatherproof dogs share this characteristic with other original breeds such as the Shiba Inu from Japan and the Siberian Husky.
Karlo-Finnish Laika and Finnen Spitz: Two breeds with one breed standard
In 2006, Russian and Finnish breed clubs agreed to merge the Karelo-Finskaja Laika and the Finnish Spitz. The breeds are indistinguishable from each other externally and their genetics are similar in many respects. Finland is recognized as the country of origin of both breeds and sets the breed standard.
Also widespread in Finland is the Finnish Lapphund, which looks more like a bear than a fox and has a black, gray, or brown basic color.
What Makes the Finnish Spitz a Hunting Dog?
Finnish Spitz is known to be intrepid, courageous, and independent. They are very active and can work outdoors for hours even in the snow and cold. When hunting, their willingness to bark plays an important role: their barking distracts wild animals and at the same time shows the hunter where the game can be found. They can only really flourish in the great outdoors. Indoors, Finn Spitz tends to be inactive, mostly concerned with guarding their territory.
Life with a Finn Spitz
- The dogs are always alert and bark to indicate anything unusual.
- When barking, they can be very persistent. They also achieve an above-average volume.
- The dogs carry out their task as hunters and guards independently.
- They are relatively stubborn and do not always listen to every word.
The Finnish Spitz among people – family dog or farm dog?
The guard dogs are usually rather suspicious of strangers. They need a lot of time before they trust new acquaintances. Overall, however, they are very friendly towards people and never use violence. Aggressive behavior is expressed by loud barking or growling. They love to frolic with children and act as full members of the family. They often request game units from their owners. When ignored or teased, they show a high tolerance for frustration and simply move on to something else.
Why do Finn Tips bark?
- Finnish Spitz may bark at different pitches to indicate different prey or unusualness.
- When hunting, they bark when spotting wildlife, they have one bark for tracking, and one for pinning prey in a burrow or in a tree.
- Their bark is louder than that of other dog breeds.
- As guard dogs, they also bark at unusual sightings in the area. Even at night, they bark to indicate anything unusual.
- In everyday life, this means that your dog will recognize birds, airplanes, and even cyclists or cars as prey and will bark or even bark after them.
- If Finn Spitz is well socialized and trained consistently, their willingness to bark can easily be discouraged.