Finnish Spitz


Finnish Spitz

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Breed Notes:

Known in Finland as the Finsk Spets or Suomenpystykorva (meaning Cock-eared dog), the Finnish Spitz has accompanied the ancestors of the Finnish people for centuries. He is used to hunt bird, squirrel and hare. He locates his quarry, drives it into a tree, then notifies the hunter with a series of continuous bark. This barking, or yodeling, is highly prized amongst Finnish hunters and has earned him the name "Barking Bird Dog of Finland." He is also said to show disappointment if the hunter misses the quarry he has pointed. Rescued from near extinction in the late 1800s, today he is the national dog of Finland where he must win a field trial before he can qualify for breed championship. The Finnish Spitz was recognized by the British Kennel Club in 1935 but not by the Canadian Kennel Club until the 1970s and the American Kennel Club in the 1980s.
The Finnish Spitz is a courageous dog that is very independent, strong minded, yet sensitive. Watchful and alert, he is a fine alarm dog. He is not a dog for people who want a quiet breed as his fine voice is part of his breed heritage. He needs human companionship and has a special fondness for children. He does not do well in a strictly kenneled situation.
The Finnish Spitz presents a fox-like picture. His skull is flat between the ears with minimal of rounding. He has a pointed, but not snipy, muzzle with short muscular jaws and a scissors bite. His nose and lipline are black. He has small, cocked, sharply pointed ears. His eyes are medium sized with a lively, fox-like expression. His body is almost square in outline. The legs are straight with strong but not heavy bone. The chest is deep. The back is straight and level. He has a plumed tail that curves in a single arch well over the back ending alongside the hind leg. If pulled down straight, the tail should be long enough to reach the hock. The coat is double with a soft, short, dense undercoat and a dense, moderately short, stand-off outer coat. Coat color is in varying shades of golden red from pale honey to deep auburn. There is a ruff around the neck. Average height is between fifteen and twenty inches and average weight is between twenty-five and thirty-five pounds.


valeriebroman@aol.com of Canada write son 1/11/01:

Excellent family dog.
We have owned a Finnish Spitz for the past 5 years. She was a rescued dog and we could not have gotten a better pet if we had tried. She was living with an elderly couple who could not keep up with her high energy needs. When they found out that we had 4 children and another dog they were happy to let her come to our home to live. She is the smartest dog that we have ever had. Our Cocker Spaniel was thrilled to have a new companion. In the all the time that we had him he could not get the gate to our deck open. Within 3 hours of being in our home she had managed to unlock the gate and get into the yard. She has taught our Cocker alot of new things. She can open the toilet lid for a drink if her water bowl is empty and she has taught him to sing as she does. Much to our neighbour's dismay. The Finnish spitz is a very vocal dog and ours has many vocalizations. The kids have taught her to say "rubarb". She sings along with certain TV commercials and is the first one in the neighbourhood to alert us to the slighted movement of anything. They are great watch dogs and door bells. She has been wonderful with our children. They love to play for hours and are very social with other dogs. Even though the Spitz was the second dog in our family, she is the boss. The Cocker does not eat before she chooses which dish she wants. If the Spitz does not want the Cockerto leave the yard and come into the house she will lay in front of the door and not allow him to go in. We have to ask her to let him by. He does not dare challange her authority. Quite often when it snows we have to search the yard for our Finnish Spitz. She loves laying in the snow and staying there until she is covered. The Spitz loves to romp in the snow and enjoys barking at snowflakes. She is a great mouser and keeps the rodent population of our yard in check. Often we are presented with a gift of a dead mouse in the morning. The only part of Finnish Spitz ownership that I do not enjoy is the seasonal shedding. I have found that I need to be consistent with the brushing to help remove the shed hairs. I sometimes can take a grocery bag of hair off of her in one brushing session.


Name withheld by request of Cambridge, MA writes on 1/28/00:

Beautiful and independent, but not for everyone.
My 10 yr. old Finnish Spitz is very intelligent, very independent, very stubborn, very sensitive, very talkative. She is not like any other dog - and therefore, can not be treated like other dogs. As Mr. Walker (an expert and a breeder) states: you can't discipline them harshly because of their sensitive nature. Ignore their transgressions and praise their good behavior.They are bred for barking and hunting - and these traits affect your relationship with her/his highness. Although friendly and always ready for a conversation, the Finnish Spitz won't maul you over and sugarcoat you with drool and affection. Some compare them to cats; but my cats are quiet home - bodies compared to my screeching squirrel dog - whose dream is to run madly about the woods in search wild creatures and nature adventures.


queenie8@gate.net of Florida writes on 1/4/00:

Beware, owning a Finnish Spitz can become an obsession!
I acquired a shy, little kennel raised Finnish Spitz. She came home at five months of age and immediately went into the "puppy ugly" stage. She was all legs and no coat. What a difference
a year makes. She is now a stunning example of the breed. No longer shy, she barks, sings and dances when she greets her favorite people and sometimes strangers too! If you get a Finnish Spitz, you will fall in love. Be gentle though, these dogs do not tolerate abuse or misuse. They are very clever and willing to please their owner, but they can also suffer wanderlust. They were bred as hunting dogs. Don't chase your Finnish Spitz if it gets loose. Just follow and listen for their bark. A Finnish Spitz will return home when the hunt is over. "Finkies" as the are affectionately referred to by their owners, are elegant, independant and intelligent. "If there's a will, there's a
way" and Finkies have the will.


Luvmyfinn@webtv.net of Louisiana writes on 12/20/99:

Very smart dogs who will out-think it's owner!
I have owned Finnish Spitz for 7 years now as a owner handler and I can say that I love this breed. They are so funny and smart as a tack. What attracted me to this breed was their red coats, their ablity to get along with people, and their temperments, which are so different from outher spitz breeds . Thier foundation breed was a Russian breed of spitz. and they make great show dogs and pets. One thing about them they are rare so if your looking for one contact the breed club on more info you can get their web address from AKC. Please make sure you get one from a hobby breeder. Buying from show people might cost more but it's worth it.


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