The national dog of Finland since 1979. The Finnish Spitz is a well-established small Spitz-type dog originally bred for hunting all types of game, from small animals such as rodents to as large elks and bears. The Finnish Spitz is a “bark pointer”, meaning it will bark towards the game to signal its location. It employs the same technique in today’s hunt, signalling the hunter to the exact location of game birds perched in trees. The first breed standard was written as early as 1812, and a fine characteristic of this breed is the wedge-shaped head, its compact body, a stand-off outer coat plus a tail that is tightly curled over its back. This square-built dog has the same height to length ratio. It typically stands between 43-50cms in height with an average weight of 14-16kgs. Females are slightly smaller with an average height of 39-45cms while males carry more coat than females. When viewed on a profile, the combination of the eyes, ears, and the tail denotes agility and liveliness. A true hunting dog, eager to do its original purpose courageously but with tempered caution, loyalty, and cleverness.
All dog breeds have different levels of intellect. Some dog breeds; working dogs in particular, are very independent thinkers and have been evolved to be very intelligent. Typically, a highly intelligent dog does well in obedience training and other activities. A highly intelligent dog can be very demanding and do require lots of physical and mental stimulation. If you’re looking for a relatively laid-back dog, that doesn’t require lots of mental and physical stimulation, then you must fully understand the level of intelligence of your dog breed of choice.
Before committing to a certain dog breed, you must fully understand their intellect levels and their specific levels of energy. To keep your dog well-balanced and happy, their needs must be met and maintained.
All dog breeds have different needs when it comes to the level of exercise they require. For the high energy dogs; which are your typical working dogs, they have a lot of energy and require lots of daily exercise along with plenty of mental stimulation. A highly energetic dog breed would suit an individual or family that is equally as active and loves the outdoors. There are also breeds that have relatively low exercise needs, such as toy dog breeds. Although they require daily exercise and mental stimulation, they’re just as happy chilling at home with their loved ones. This type of dog breed would suit an individual or family that prefers the peace and quiet and relaxation.
Before deciding on your chosen dog breed, Mypetzilla recommends that you research the exercise needs and whether you’re well equipped before committing to buying or adopting a particular dog breed.
There are several dog breeds that are known and potentially predisposed to developing health related conditions. Sensible breeding can help prevent the onset of health related conditions and this should always be taken into condition when researching your dog breed of choice. Before committing to a dog, you should speak to the breeder about any health related conditions that may affect the dog you’re looking to buy or adopt. You can also request to see any test results from genetic testing.
There are many dog breeds that tolerate children really well and are not affected by the constant noise and need for play-time. However, there are some dog breeds that don’t do very well with children and can become frustrated and snappy. That being said, all children should be shown how to handle and care for a dog in their home and should always be supervised when playing. As much as a dog can become annoyed and snappy with a younger child, the child can also become less tolerant and misbehaved towards the dog.
Mypetzilla recommends that you always supervise play-time between your children and dog. Children need to respect the boundaries and feeding time for the dog and likewise for the child. We also strongly advise that play-time doesn’t get out of control and too rough which can cause injury to both child and dog.
There are lots of dog breeds that are well suited to living in an apartment. It’s worthwhile noting that you need to check that you’re allowed dogs in your building before committing to bringing one home. If you do decide to own a dog and are living in an apartment, then you must make sure that they have plenty of room to roam around and frequent walks outside to prevent them from becoming bored and depressed.
Mypetzilla recommends that you check as to whether you’re allowed dogs in your apartment building and to fully ensure your apartment is dog proof before committing fully to bringing a dog home.
All dog breeds shed to some extent, some more than others. With this, all potential dog owners should be aware of this, as it will be a matter of putting up with some hair or lots of hair being left around the house. Depending on the dog breed, there are certain times during the year where some dog breeds shed the most and this is typically around spring and autumn. However, there are some dog breeds that shed all year round.
If you’re very house-proud, they you may want to choose a dog breed that sheds very little. Mypetzilla strongly recommends that you fully research your dog breed of choice and their shedding levels before committing.
All dog breeds require different levels of grooming. Some dog breeds are easier to maintain than others and only require a weekly brush to help keep their coat in good condition. There are some dog breeds that require regular trips to the grooming parlour and this can come at a huge cost. Either way, all dog breeds require their coat and nails to be maintained and cared for.
Mypetzilla strongly advices that potential owners research the grooming needs and associated costs with their desired dog breed before fully committing.
Barking is a necessity for your dog to communicate. However, it can also be a nuisance to yourself and fellow neighbours if it’s not kept under control. If you live in an apartment, then you’re better off choosing a dog breed that doesn’t bark as much. If you live further out and far from civilisation, then it’s worthwhile looking into a dog breed that does bark and will bark to alert you of any other company on your property.
Mypetzilla advices that you research the behaviours of your dog breed of choice and whether this would work for you and your family. It’s worth noting that dogs can be trained to bark less and this will take a lot of effort and training from the owner.
Majority dog breeds form very close relationships with their owners and as a result can become very stressed when left alone for a period of time. If a dog is suffering with separation anxiety then they’re very likely to become destructive around the home as a way of dealing with their anxieties. Dog breeds that do form strong bonds with their owners are better accustomed to a household where one member of the family remains home, whilst the others are out, this is to help avoid further anxieties and destructive behaviours.
Mypetzilla recommends that all potential owners research their dog breed of choice on their bonding abilities and how well-adjusted they are to being left alone at home. It’s also worth noting that you should never leave your dog for longer than 4 hours alone at home.
There are certain dogs breeds that have very high intellect and therefore easier to train than other dog breeds. There is also a downside to this; as fast as they learn the new trick or command, they can easily pick up bad habits just as quick. Other dog breeds that don’t rank as high on the intellect scale require patience and plenty of reward treats from their owners during training.
Before committing to a certain dog breed, Mypetzilla advices you to fully research your dog breed of choice and their level of training needs.
All dog breeds have different energy levels. The working dog breed has one of the highest energy levels in comparison to the low-energy dog’s breeds such as the Toy dog breed group. To keep a dog truly happy, healthy and well-balanced, their energy levels must be met.
High-energy dog breeds need lots of exercise and mental stimulation. High energy dog breeds would suit an active family or person. Dog breeds that are considered as low-energy, love to spend the majority of their time relaxing and sleeping in their favourite, comfy spot. A low-energy dog breed would suit an individual that equally loves the quiet life and relaxing lifestyle. Of course, low-energy dogs still need their daily walks and mental stimulation, just not as much as a high-energy dog breed.
Mypetzilla recommends that potential owner research fully on the type of dog breed that would suit their existing lifestyle and to also take into consideration the dog breeds energy levels and exercise requirements.
Before you decide on what dog breed would be suitable for you and your family, you must consider whether they’re a friendly dog breed and if you already have other pets within the household. For homes that already have dogs and other domestic pets, then it’s wise to choose a dog breed that has a friendly personality and temperament.
There are some dog breeds that mix well with other dog breeds and there are others that don’t suit one another and this could potentially cause issues later on down the line.
Another important point to consider is whether the dog breed of choice is friendly towards people and children.
Mypetzilla recommends to research fully on the right dog breed for your family and to also consider their temperament and characteristics.
The history of the Finnish Spitz (also called Suomen-pystyykorva in Finland, meaning “Finnish prick-eared dog”) dates back several thousand years ago when Spitz-type dogs that inhabited Central Russia were selectively bred to produce an agile hunting dog. These dogs were bred by the Finno-Ugrian woodsmen that inhabit the far northern regions to cater to their specific needs, particularly for hunting game to be consumed as food, and the outstanding hunting ability of the Finnish Spitz made it a highly desired breed. However, the advancement of technology and the improvement of transportation exposed the breed to a lot of people and other breed of dogs. This brought the purebred Finnish Spitz almost to the brink of extinction because it was being mated with other breeds of dog. Thanks to the efforts of two Finnish foresters by the name of Hugo Sandberg (who practically wrote the first breed standard) and Hugo Roos who carefully selected a line of purebred Finnish Spitz and devised a 30-year selective breeding program, the modern Finnish Spitz was saved from utter extinction. All modern Finish Spitz that we know today are descendents of this original foundation stock. Today, although rarely seen in cities and towns, the breed thrives among the villages and isolated hamlets and farms of its native land.
This breed is described as energetic, friendly, independent, and intelligent. It is also a lively and playful breed. Although it is classified as a hound dog in the UK, the Finnish Spitz is actually a gun dog that combines the specific qualities of a setter, pointer, and a retriever. It is generally used to hunt a game bird called capercaillie and when it finds one, it barks continuously to point the hunter to the tree where the bird is settled. This “bark hunting” characteristics makes the Finnish Spitz very vocal and is not an ideal companion to have especially for homes with neighbours close by. It will bark at anything suspicious and out of the ordinary which can be annoying to other people. This barking instinct is a major part of its hunting activity and is a habit that is hard to break. It has a wide range of barking abilities, from short, sharp barks to a machine gun of barks that almost sound like a yodel. In fact, there is a competition in Scandinavia called “King of the Barkers” to find which dog can bark the most in a given time.
The Finnish Spitz is a highly independent breed but very much attached to his family because of its protective instinct. It is typically aloof with strangers and will often bark at unknown visitors which makes it a good watchdog.
This breed is intelligent, independent, and strong-willed. Gentle but consistent training is the best method suitable for the Finnish Spitz. It responds well with a soft voice and gentle touch coupled with positive reinforcement methods. It is exceptionally intelligent and can learn commands very quickly but also gets bored just as quick especially if it is required to do the same thing over and over again. It is a highly inquisitive dog and training him to be a lap dog can be quite challenging.
The Finnish Spitz is remarkably a clean breed and can often be seen washing itself using his water bowl until he is clean enough that his coat shines. The coat isn’t oily so it doesn’t have that typical doggy odour. It uniquely requires little grooming except during shedding periods (in the spring and fall) where it requires daily brushing. A routine weekly brushing is all that is needed to keep the coat healthy and shiny. When brushing, pay close attention to the trouser, ruff and tail where matts and tangles usually form. Do not allow the coat to remain wet for long periods of time. Use a good hair dryer after rubbing the coat with a dry towel to make sure that he is fully dry.
It is a generally healthy breed with a median lifespan of 11 years and 2 months. Like any other dogs, there are a few health predispositions that are known to affect the Finnish Spitz. Among them are:
Exercise requirement is on the moderate side. Two long walks per day are sufficient to channel its unused energy, especially if it is to be kept as a pet. This breed is fairly inactive indoors and will be quite content snoozing in its own side of the house. It is not a kennel dog but will thrive on a combination of balance outdoor activities and indoor playtime with the family.
The Finnish Spitz is a lively, playful, and friendly breed that loves children in general and is suitable for domestic life. It thrives on people interaction and is always ready to play with children. However, like any other breeds, dogs and young children should always be supervised when playing together. It gets along well with other dogs and cats, especially if it is raised with them from puppyhood. However, it can be aggressive with other dogs it is not familiar with, as well as with pet canaries, so it is best not to let the Finnish Spitz alone with birds.