Male Height (typical): 40.5-48 cm. (16-19 inches)
Female Height (typical): 37-43 cm. (14.5-17 inches)
Male Weight (typical): 12-15 kg. (27-33 pounds)
Female Weight (typical): 9-12 kg. (20-27 pounds)
Country of Origin: Finland
Exercise Required: Daily long walks.
Expected Life Span: 12 – 15 Years
Best suited as: Working Dog, Family Pet
Other names: Loulou Finnoi, Finsk Spets, Suomenpystykorva
Description – The Finnish Spitz is a medium sized dog with reddish brown coat of short fur and an enjoyable personality. They have a slight fox-like appearance at first glance and are a joy to have around the home. They are very protective of their home but are not aggressive in their defense of it. This breed will bark at any intruder that approaches but will not attack like other dogs that are bred for guarding. They are also unique in their barking style in that they can bark up to 160 times a minute and have a very unique tone. This barking can become annoying and will happen if the dog is left outside for too long as they become bored and bark at anything that caches their attention. The Finnish Spitz is currently the national dog of Finland.
Origin & History – The precise origin of the breed is not known but stories abound that center on the dog being brought to Finland from other areas. Some believe that it came from Eurasia and others from Russia. The true origin is lost to history but the modern breed traces back to the 1800’s when two sportsmen started the breed with a pair of pure Finnish Spitz. Before this time the original breed became fragmented due to the various crossbreeding attempts. After these two pure Finnish Spitz were mated, the breed started over and continues to this day. The breed was known by a number of names over the years and officially became the Finnish Spitz in 1891.
Temperament – The Finnish Spitz makes a great pet due to its gentle and devoted personality. It craves the attention of people and loves to play both inside and out. It is fine for apartments as long as it gets the exercise it needs to stay health. While it plays well with those it considers family, it will repel intruders and strangers with its unique barking. This barking is a series of sharp barks that is like no other dog. It is said to be able to mesmerize birds with its bark and you may agree once you’ve heard it. These dogs are particularly great with children and unlike many breeds, they will retreat when tired or threatened. Other dogs may act aggressively but the Finnish Spitz will simply leave and find a quite place to relax.
Exercise & Grooming – The breed is a seasonal heavy shedder and needs to be brushed regularly when this is occurring. Other than these times a simple brushing a few times a week will help to remove any loose hair and reduce matting. The coat itself is maintenance free and stays very clean naturally. The dog presents no discernable odor and is very neat in general in their appearance. The Finnish Spitz requires a moderate amount of exercise to stay healthy and this can be accomplished through outdoor playtime in a yard. Walks on a leash a few times a week are also a great idea and will help to keep the dog trim and healthy.
Health Concerns – The Finnish Spitz is a very healthy dog and has no known ailments that are specific to this breed. The only challenge for them is that they are very tenacious in their pursuit of prey and will do all that they can to escape a backyard once something has caught their attention. This can lead to injury as the dog wanders around unsupervised.