Adopt a Finnish Spitz
Picture: Robert Dowling/Corbis
Spitz, Northern (hunting)
Area of origin:
hunting birds and small mammals
Average size of male:
Ht: 17.5-20, Wt: 31-36
Average size of female:
Ht: 15.5-18, Wt: 23-29
suomenpystykorva, Finsk spets
Friendliness towards dogs
Friendliness towards other pets
Friendliness towards strangers
Ease of training
Finnish Spitz Dogs Available on Petfinder Right Now
Finnish Spitz Dog Temperament
Like most Spitz breeds, the Finkie is independent and somewhat stubborn, although he is more hunting oriented than other Spitz breeds. He is alert, inquisitive and playful, but is also sensitive, tending to be devoted to one person. He is a breed conscious of his place in the dominance hierarchy, and some males can try to be domineering. He is good with children, and generally good with other pets. He can be reserved, even aloof or suspicious, with strangers. In keeping with his barking heritage, the Finkie is proud of his barking ability and likes to show it off loudly!
Finnish Spitz Dog Care
This is an active and lively breed that needs daily exercise, either a long walk on leash or a run in a fenced area. As Finkies are hunters by nature, care must be taken that they do not go off on a hunt by themselves. The Finkie enjoys living indoors. His double coat needs brushing one or two times weekly, more often when shedding. He is not oily, so the Finkie has little doggy odor; in fact, the Finkie is a particularly clean breed.
Finnish Spitz Dog Health
Major concerns: none
Minor concerns: none
Occasionally seen: CHD, patellar luxation, epilepsy
Suggested tests: none
Life span: 12-14 years
Interested in the history of the Finnish Spitz dog breed?
The Finnish Spitz originated from ancestral Northern Spitz dogs that accompanied early Finno-Ugrian tribes as they journeyed across Eurasia to Finland. These dogs probably originated as camp followers and watchdogs, later developing into hunting dogs. The breed remained pure, not by design but by isolation until the early 1800s. When other groups of people brought their dogs to the region in the 1800s, interbreeding almost obliterated the pure Finnish Spitz. In the late 1800s, two Finnish sportsmen spotted some dogs that had apparently not been interbred, and they were so impressed that they determined to rescue the imperiled breed. Early names for the breed included Suomenpystykorva (Finnish cock-eared dog) and Finnish barking bird dog. When he first came to England he was called the Finsk Spets (derived from his Swedish name), but in 1891 the name was officially changed to Finnish Spitz. The breed gained his nickname of Finkie after his arrival in England in the 1920s. It wasn't until the 1960s that Finkies began to be bred in the United States. The breed was officially admitted into the nonsporting group in 1988. Although prized primarily as a pet in America, he is still used for hunting in Finland. There Finkies hunt the capercaille (a turkeylike bird) and black grouse, although they will hunt virtually anything from insects to elk if given the chance. The dogs work by ranging out from the hunter, locating the bird, and barking loudly. If the bird moves, they follow it until it lands and then resume barking. Some claim that the barking mesmerizes the game. Conformation champions in Finland must first prove themselves in the field; their barking talents are so valued that they select a 'king barker' each year. The Finnish Spitz is the national dog of Finland.
Copyright © 1998, 2005 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc. based on
ENCYCLOPEDIA OF DOG BREEDS by D. Caroline Coile, Ph.D.
Shelters with Finnish Spitz Dogs
Some animal welfare organizations with Finnish Spitzs ready for adoption: