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Finnish Spitz (suomenpystykorva)

Updated: November 11, 2020
Finnish Spitz (suomenpystykorva)

The Finnish Spitz is a lively nordic dog breed with a curled up tail and a fox-like faced. These dogs make great companion dogs thanks to their intelligence and friendly character.

In this AnimalWised breed sheet we're going to tell you everything you need to know about the Finnish Spitz breed. You'll learn about their origins, their specific care needs and more. This way, you'll be able to determine whether this dog is the right companion pet for you!

Origin
  • Europe
  • Finland
FCI classification
  • Group V
Physical characteristics
Height
  • 5-14
  • 14-18
  • 18-22
  • 22-27
  • 27-31
  • More than 31
Adult weight
  • 2-7
  • 7-22
  • 22-55
  • 55-100
  • 100-220
Life expectancy
  • 8-10
  • 10-12
  • 12-14
  • 15-20
Recommended physical activity
  • Low
  • Meidum
  • High
Recommended climate
Type of hair

Origin of the Finnish Spitz

Finnish Spitz have been traditionally used as hunting dogs in various Nordic countries such as Finland or Sweden. These dogs were, and still are, highly prized by hunters, as they have incredible skills to mark the position of prey, often birds, such as grouse, and elk, with their barking. This way, the hunters knew where the prey was and went after it. The ancestors of these dogs are unknown, although researchers say they share a large genetic makeup with wild wolves.

This breed was officially registered in the year 1890. Shortly after, in 1892, the first official standard of the Finnish spitz was established. In that same decade the first competitions were held, a breed exhibition and a bird hunting competition, both held in 1897. The breed has always been very relevant in Finland. In fact, it is so popular and appreciated in the country that the Finnish Spitz is considered to be the national dog of Finland since 1979.

Currently, the breed standard includes those that were previously distinguished as two independent breeds: the Karelian-Finnish Laika and the Finnish Spitz. Both breeds were unified into the Finnish Spitz in 2006.

Characteristics of the Finnish Spitz

Finnish Spitz are medium-sized dogs. Males weigh between 14 and 16 kilograms and females weigh between 11-13 kilograms. In regards to their height, males are 43-51 cm at the withers, and females are 39-45 cm at the withers. These dogs have an average lifespan of about 12 years.

The body of these dogs is square in shape and robust with an athletic and muscular demeanor as well as slender. Their limbs are straight and parallel. They also have a curled tail. Their head has an oval shape and their snout is narrow and straight. They have a powerful and marked jaw. Their eyes are almond-shaped and lively. Their ears are small and erect. They're a triangular shape and are set high.

The Finnish Spitz has double-layered fur. The first is soft and dense. The second is longer and rougher to the touch. Their hair is longer on their shoulders but shorter on their legs and head. The color of the coat must be bright reddish or golden red, more intense on the back and preferably lighter tones on the cheeks, ears, throat, chest, inside of the legs and the tail. Only small white spots on the feet are allowed within the standard.

Character of the Finnish Spitz

The Finnish Spitz is a really sociable dog. They are also cheerful and affectionate, even with strangers. They are also ideal for families with children as they are very observant, patient and playful with kids.

The Finnish Spitz temperament is very balanced. These dogs are also very courageous, determined and independent, however, they are also very affectionate and enjoy being in the company of their companion. This dog is also very active, like other dog breeds that were bred for hunting. This is why they need an active companion that will keep their company and make sure they don't get bored.

Caring for the Finnish Spitz

When caring for a Finnish Spitz there are certain things we need to take into account. The first would be caring for their coat. You will need to brush their coat every 2-3 days to remove traces of dirt. When doing so you can also check your dog's skin. If you see any abnormalities you should take them to the veterinarian as they may be suffering from a skin problem.

As we've previously mentioned, these dogs are very active. Therefore, you will need to keep up with their active lifestyles by taking them on frequent walks, playing with them at the park, etc. They should have some time to run around freely at the park. So, you will need to train them and teach them basic commands to be able to call them and keep them safe. We will speak more about training and education in the next section.

Other than that, your Finnish Spitz will need a high quality diet, regular check-ups to the vet and plenty of affection from their new family!

Finnish spitz education and training

Educating your Finnish Spitz will begin when they are a puppy. Once they have all the necessary vaccinations to go out on a walk, it's time to take them outdoors and to properly socialize them to new environments, new people and other pets. This will help them have a more balanced temperament as adults. You can also paper train your puppy to help them recognize when they need to relieve themselves and to control their bladder. This will also make it easier for you to clean up after them as puppies.

Once your puppy is a bit older, you can start to teach them basic commands that will keep them safe in the future. Always train them through positive reinforcement. This way, you will create a better bond with them and they will associate training with something positive.

Finnish Spitz health

Finnish Spitz breeding is very controlled and supervised. This is why this breed is able to avoid serious congenital diseases in the specimens of this breed. However, they seem to have a high skin sensitivity, being their skin quite fragile. This means that they can present skin disorders such as dermatitis or fungal infections. To avoid the proliferation of fungi and microorganisms, it is necessary to ensure that the skin remains dry, as the humidity will cause more infections by pathogens. Learn more about skin care in our article about cleaning a dog's wrinkles.

In addition, you will need to keep up with your dog's vaccination and deworming schedule, as well as with regular check-ups with their veterinarian. This way, if any illness arises, you will be able to detect it and treat it in time.

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