This medium-sized dog has a typical spitz appearance (with the fox-like prick ears, thick coat and bushy tail curled over the back). Adult dogs are 43-50cm tall, with females 39-45cm. Fully grown, they weigh 14-16kg. The coat is red-gold or red-brown on the back, with lighter areas and a lighter coloured undercoat (see the breed standard for the full details).
- Category size: Medium
- Grooming requirements: More than once a week
- Shedding: Moderate
- Allergies: No
- Noise: Vocal
- Dog Group Kennel Club: Hound
- Alone: 1 to 3 hours
- Other pets: Medium
- Stability as a guard: High
The Finnish Spitz dog breed has been a hunting dog for centuries and is still used today in his native country, where he tracks capercaillie and black grouse and barks to alert the hunter to the birds' whereabouts. In the past, he has helped to hunt large game, including elk and bear. His vocal and courageous nature also made him ideal as a guard dog. A very popular dog in Finland today, this national breed was almost extinct in the latter half of the 19th century, as improved transport meant the Finnish Spitz bred with other dogs. Later, dedicated breeders worked hard to safeguard his future.
The friendly, lively Finnish Spitz is ever-alert, bold and valiant, with a keen hunting spirit. Although quite independent, he is loyal to his loved ones and enjoys the company of children, making him a good family dog. He is naturally vocal, and will need to be trained to 'shush' on request.
Generally a healthy dog, the Finnish Spitz suffers no significant breed-related disorders.
An adult Finnish Spitz will need about an hour's daily exercise, though he will happily take more. He revels in cold weather, as you'd expect, so fair-weather dog walkers need not apply! Be prepared for this dog's hunting instincts to kick in when off-lead, so only exercise in safe, non-traffic areas and ensure that his recall is reliable.
Your dog's diet needs to have the right balance of all the main nutrient groups including a constant supply of fresh water. It's also important to conduct regular body condition scores to ensure you keep your dog in ideal shape and remember to feed him at least twice daily and in accordance with the feeding guidelines of his particular food.
This Finnish Spitz's medium-length double coat consists of a thick undercoat, which is quite short, covered with a coarse topcoat. The hair on the body is medium-length, with longer feathering (on the tail and back of the legs). The coat is shorter on the head and front of the legs. The ruff (around the neck and shoulders) is more profuse in male dogs. A twice-weekly brush is more than sufficient – though daily attention will be needed when the coat sheds.
Is this the right dog breed for you?
All dogs have their own, unique personality, but some instincts and behaviours they’re born with. Try our breed selector and find out which dog breeds better match your preferences and lifestyle. If you and your dog enjoy similar things, you will be more likely to live a happy, fulfilling life together.
What to Consider next
It is incredibly fulfilling to adopt a dog from an animal shelter or rescue organization. It often means offering them a second chance in life. There are many dogs waiting for a loving family, a forever home. Reputable centers will be very careful about matching the right people with the right dogs. Staff learns all they can about the dogs they take in, and will spend time getting to know you, your family and your lifestyle, before they match you with any of their dogs. They’ll also be happy to give you advice and answer any questions you might have before and after the adoption.
Finding a good breeder
If your heart is set on a pedigree puppy, then your best bet is to find a reputable breeder. Contact The Kennel Club or a breed-club secretary who may have a list of litters available, or should be able to put you in contact with breeders in your area. Try to choose a breeder who is part of the Kennel Club’s assured breeder scheme.Visit dog shows to meet breeders in person and inquire about availability of pups of your chosen breed.
Welcoming your dog home
Whether you’re bringing home a tiny puppy or rehoming an adult dog, this is a hugely exciting time for everyone. While you’re waiting for the big day you might need to distract yourself, so luckily there are a few things you need to sort out before you welcome your new arrival. Click here for more information