Ancestors of the Norrbottenspitze have accompanied people in Finland and Sweden for thousands of years. The small Nordic dogs were once used to hunt squirrels, birds, and weasels. Since the decline in the fur trade after World War II, they have been kept purely as companion dogs. Even in their Scandinavian homeland, dogs are very rare today. Here you can find out everything about purchasing Norrbottenspitz puppies.
The Appearance of the Norrbottenspitz: The Smallest of the Nordic Spitz
Adult Norrbotten Spitz is easily distinguished from other Scandinavian Spitz breeds by their size. The ideal height at the withers for males is 45 cm. Bitches should be slightly smaller, for them an ideal height at the withers of 42 cm was established. There is no ideal weight noted in the FCI breed standard – on average, males weigh between 8.5 and 15 kg, and females weigh between 8 and 14.5 kg. Shape and size can be very similar to the Finnish Spitz, but the Norrbottenspitz is always white with red, brownish, or yellow markings.
The Norrbottenspitz in detail: What distinguishes the little Spitz?
- The head is relatively broad and the muzzle tapers towards the snout in a wedge shape. The flies are thin and close-fitting. Cheeks and jaws are clearly pronounced.
- The dark brown eyes are almond-shaped with the corners tapering to a point. The slope is slightly towards the bridge of the nose.
- The ears are relatively large and firm. They start high on the skull and are stiffly erect.
- The neck is short and strong, the head is carried upright and elegantly.
- The back is short and springy, and the croup slopes slightly. The body is very strong, with a well-developed chest and a moderately tucked-up belly.
- The forelegs are strong and straight, with broad and muscular shoulders. The hind legs are clearly angled, with thighs long and strong.
- The tail curls up loosely over the back, with the tip of the tail resting on the thigh.
Coat and colors of the Norrbottenspitz
- The dog’s coat is two-layered (stock hair): A fine, dense undercoat grows under the hard, firm top coat. Hair grows very short on the face, as well as on the paws and front of the legs. The topcoat is significantly longer on the back of the hind legs, the underside of the tail, and on the neck than in the middle of the body.
- The ideal basic color for the Norrbottenspitz is pure white with reddish or yellowish markings.
A white blaze should ideally be visible on the head.
- Some dogs wear a black mask or light black markings on their faces.
- Rarely are dogs born with agouti coloring or wild-colored piebalds.
Ancestors of the Scandinavian Spitz breeds lived in Sweden and Finland thousands of years ago. The dogs developed parallel to many other Nordic breeds. The origin of the breed is therefore mainly due to a specific breeding selection and is not due to a crossing of different European breeds. Dogs were first mentioned by name and described in more detail in the 17th century.
The Norrbottenspitz in modern times: no place for fur hunters
After the First World War, the dog breed was considered extinct for a short time, but the population recovered again. After the Second World War, the dogs almost completely disappeared from their Scandinavian homeland. Today’s breed lines go back to the efforts of individual breeders in the 1950s and 1960s. Official stud books have been kept since 1973. To this day, the Norrbottenspitz is a rarity worldwide.
Possible roots and close relatives
- Norwegian Buhund: Same size and similar physique, hardly any hunting instinct, in contrast to the Norrbottenspitz only occur in one color (domestic dog).
- Finnish Spitz: Comes exclusively in red and gold, usually a bit larger and broader, barking to indicate large game.
- Jämthund: Sweden’s national dog, significantly larger, characteristic agouti markings (natural shades of gray like wolves).
- Västgötaspets (Swedish Vallhund): Significantly smaller and shorter-legged, natural agouti coloring like the Wolfspitz or the Jämthund.
- Canaan Dog: Despite many similarities, a relationship is unlikely. Canaan dogs have a comparatively thin and short tail, which is quite different from the fluffy and loosely coiled tail of the Norrbottenspitz.
- Norwegian Lundehund: Noticeably smaller, light brown or sable with a white blaze, six toes on all paws.
- Lappish Reindeer Dog: Black base color with light brown tan markings.
The Typical Character of the Norrbottenspitz: Constantly alert and Lively
With a Norrbottenspitz, life comes into the house: the dogs almost never rest and are always looking for something new to do. They are very alert and will diligently report visitors, but will not be aggressive toward anyone. They are therefore not suitable as protection dogs, but they are suitable as natural alarm systems for houses and gardens. Their job as a house guards alone is not enough for them. The confident dogs will clamor for rounds of play when they get impatient and bored.
The lively daredevil in the house
- Only shows fear in exceptional situations, never aggression.
- Males behave dominantly towards other males.
- Very inquisitive and investigate any unusual noise.
- Despite the big mouth, the dog does not bite and gets along well with smaller dogs and children.
- After initial skepticism, he greets new people in a friendly and open-minded manner.