Finnish Spitz (Dog Breed Information)

Finnish Spitz – The Ultimate Family Dog

If you are looking for the ultimate family dog that gets along with other pets and loves children, then you are going to LOVE the Finnish Spitz also known as “Finkies or Finns.  This Finnish Spitz dog breed is playful, alert and curious, although they can be stubborn as well and tend to favor one person in the family.   They are great with children and other family members, which makes them a great family dog. The Finns however, are very wary of strangers, therefore making them great watchdogs. They will in time, get used to the same visitors who come to the house and will love them as much as their family because a Finnish Spitz loves people.

Bred for hunting, the Finnish Spitz breed was originally bred for hunting lots of different game like squirrels, and most rodents to bears, even moose, and Elk. That’s right, this 20-inch tall dog breed hunted animals much larger and stronger than them.  Who says size matters eh? This dog would bark in the direction of the prey almost like a “pointer” to help the hunter with the position of the prey.  They would bark, drawing attention to its self so that the hunter could sneak up and get the prey.  Oh and this dog loves to bark, and is very proud to let everyone know it! In its native country, Finland,  the Finn is still mostly used as a hunting dog. 

Now that you know a little about this breed, let’s really dig in and find out all you NEED to know about this wonderful family dog the Finnish Spitz.

Table of Contents

At A Glance

  • Breed: Finnish Spitz
  • Breed Group: Non- Sporting
  • Temperament: Friendly, Good-Natured, Lively
  • D.H.T. Outdoor Ranking: -4/10 For Temperate Climates
  • Worldwide Popularity: Low
  • Breed Origin: Finland

General Information And Breed History

The Finnish Spitz has been around for thousands of years,  the exact time is unknown, however, spitz-type dog remains have been found all over Finland from at least 8000 years ago.  Their origin is unknown as well, but most likely derived from a grey wolf or Taymyr wolf which are now extinct. 

It is said that the Spitz dog brought over to Finland from Russia by the tribes of Finno-Ugrian.  The Finno-Ugrian is a tribe that migrated into Finland thousands of years ago, and the tribes used the Finnish Spitz primarily for hunting, and the Finnish Spitz to this day is still used for hunting in Finland.

By the time transportation and roadways were introduced, more people came into Finland and brought their own dogs which they let breed with the Finnish Spitz dog.  This almost caused the extinction of the Finnish breed by 1880. But luck would be with the Finkies! Two men named Hugo Sanberg and Hugo Ross (how very rare to have the same names!)  from Helsinki that were on a hunting trip in the Northern forest observed the Finnish Spitz hunting and it dawned on them how important it was that this dog breed was saved and restored.  

Hugo Ross saved the Finnish Spitz by actively breeding them for 30 years!  Hugo Sanberg wrote an article about the Finnish dog in 1890 for the Sporton magazine.  The article was so well written that in 1892 the Finnish Kennel Club recognized the dog breed.  

A Little More History of the Finnie for You

Sir Edward Chichester of England was mesmerized by the Finnie while he too was on a hunting trip and just had to have this dog. So, when he went home to England, he made sure to bring a few of the dogs with him.  There was a woman named Lady Kitty Ritson, of Tulchan Kennels who saw this breed as well while in Finland. She fell in love and brought some home to England. Here she started the first Finnish Spitz Club and the Finkie was registered with the English Kennel Club in 1934.  She was also the first to give them the nickname “Finkie”. 

As with a few breeds, WWII was bad for the Finnish Spitz.  The quality went down and so did their numbers. It took a lot of effort to bring this breed back to speed. 

 The first club for the Spitz in America was formed in 1975 and the ACK recognized them in 1993.

The Finnish Spitz is still a very popular dog breed in Finland and Sweden and has been named the national dog of Finland. However, they are mostly known nowadays as a family dog.

General Appearance Of The Finnish Spitz

The Finish Spitz is fox-like in appearance.  They have a pointed muzzle, erect ears, and thick coat and plumed tail that indicates its Northern heritage.  The entire body of the dog shows that it is lively, especially in their eyes, tail, and ears. The Finnish has a square well-balanced body the is symmetrical, and they have a beautiful red/golden coat.

Body

Finnish Spitz dogs are very muscular and square.  Their chest is quite deep; brisket reaches to the dog’s elbow.  Ribs are well sprung, tuck up is slightly drawn up and the loin is short.  The neck is well set and very muscular. Topline is level and muscular from wither to croup. 

Coat

The Finnish Spitz dog breed has a double coat with a soft, dense short undercoat and, long straight guard hairs that are harsh.  The hair on the legs and head is very short, close to the dog’s body and only gets long at the plumed tail and back of the dog’s thighs. The Finnish dog has an outer coat that is stiff and long on the neck and back with males being more abundant at the shoulders giving them a more ruff and strong look.  Females do not carry as much coat as males. 

The color of the coat is shades of golde-red to honey and deep auburn.  The undercoat is much paler than the outer coat, so then it may appear as though the coat is glowing.

Legs & Feet

When looking at the dog from the front, the legs appear spaced, parallel and straight with their elbows close to the body they do not turn out or in.  The bones in the legs are strong but light and are in proportion to the dog. 

The feet of a Finnish Spitz are round and well-arched.  Their two middle toes are just a bit bigger than the other toes.  Toe pads are deep and cushioned, that are covered with a very thick skin.

Tail & Hindquarters

The thighs of the Finnish Spitz are muscular with the hock slightly let down.  The tail is just below the topline and forms a beautiful curl that falls over the loin with the tip directed at the thigh.

General Statistics

  • Life Expectancy: 13-15 years
  • Height (at the withers)Male: 17.5-20 inches
  • Height (at the withers) Female: 15.5-18 inches
  • Weight:  Male 25-33 lbs
  • Weight:  Female: 20-28 lbs

Recommended Dog House Dimensions

The recommended dog house dimensions can be found on the dog house dimensions charts for 440 recognized breeds which includes this dog breed that looks like a wolf.  But to save you time, here are our dog house minimum size recommendations:

  • Door Height: 22 inches
  • Door Width: 14 inches
  • Inside Ceiling Height: 27 inches
  • Interior House Length: 44 inches
  • Interior House Width: 28 inches

Expected Costs Of The Finnish Spitz

Breed Average Puppy Cost: $700 USD

Starter Costs: $2,700

This is our estimate for initial purchase, shots and a few things like food, a bed, leash, that sort of thing.  Basically, this will get you set up but the costs will be greater once the dog is old enough to get spayed or neutered.

Anticipated Annual Care Cost: $500 – $1,000

How The Finnish Spitz Reacts To

Babies/Children: 

The Finnish Spitz dog breed absolutely loves children, and therefore, they will put up with a lot and will eventually leave the room when they have decided that they’ve had enough.  These dogs are muscular and so are not easily hurt by the curious toddler.

As a rule of thumb, children should be taught how to approach dogs properly because a dog may be startled by any fast-moving gestures towards them.  And never, leave a child and dog together unsupervised.

Dogs should not have their food or water taken from when they are trying to eat or drink because they may very well become defensive and nip at the person taking their belongings away.  Children should also be taught not to poke, prod a dog, as well as never pulling its tail. Someone may just get a nip if they do that.

Other Dogs:   

The Finnie get along well with other dogs, even more so if they are raised together.  However, a Finnish Spitz can be aggressive with dogs that they are not familiar with so it is recommended that your dog is socialized early with other dogs.

Cats: 

The Finnish Spitz gets along cats just fine, but it is better for the relationship if the two are brought up and raised together.

Other Animals:

Finnies get along just fine with other animals, again more so if they are grown and raised together. Being raised together is great because they will be bonded early in life, and have that bond for the rest of their lives.

Care Requirements

Exercise 

This dog breed was bred for hunting. They would hunt in the dense woods for hours that gave them the stamina to over lots of land.  A securely fenced yard is required for this breed. They need daily exercise like a long walk. The Finnish Spitz loves time with its family and can become quite anxious if left alone for a long period of time.

Grooming & Coat Info

Known as a wash and wear breed, the Finnish Spitz does not require a lot of grooming for its coat.  Spraying the coat lightly with water and brushing it with a pin brush every two days or so will suffice.  They shed twice a year this dog breed needs daily brushings or a bath and then blow-dried by cool air will speed up the process of getting out the undercoat.  

Health & Nutrition For The Finnie

The United States of America and Canada have done a very good job of breeding the Finnish Spitz.  So much so that they do not have any real serious health issues. There are no suggested health tests for the Finnish Spitz according to the American Kennel Club.

The Finnish Spitz has very good metabolism, but if this dog eats a lot and does not get the energy out by exercise it can become obese fairly quickly.  This breed will do well on high-quality dry dog food as it helps to maintain a good weight for the Finnie.

Training The Finnish Spitz

Early socialization and puppy classes are recommended for this breed because it will help later on in training. The Finnish Spitz is a very smart and intelligent breed which can cause some challenges because they like to do things their way. Sessions are to be kept short and fun in order to keep things interesting and to avoid boredom, followed by lots of praise and love  Food is always a good motivator, I mean like who doesn’t love food? Keep treats handy because you will need them for rewarding your Finnie after training sessions. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Does The Finnish Spitz Bark?

This dog was bred for hunting. Its hunting style was to find the prey and “point bark” in the direction of the prey so that the hunter knew where he was supposed to go.   So, yes, this dog barks and it barks loud and actually really likes barking. This is okay for people that live out in the country, but for people who live in the city, this might not be a good thing since it will upset neighbors with all the barking.

Is The Finnish Spitz Good Apartment Dogs?

The Finnish Spitz needs daily exercise like long walks and running because they are an active dog that was originally bred for hunting. This dog would hunt for hours out in the wilderness with its owner, so they need to get their daily exercise. They are best suited for places that allow them to run, so, therefore, they should have access to a well-fenced backyard but will do okay in an apartment as long as they get daily walks, and not just a quick walk around the corner. They need a good long walk daily, and a few times a day at least.

Are Finnish Spitz Dog Breeds Aggressive?

Finnish Spitz dogs are not known to be aggressive, in fact, they are quite the opposite. This family dog loves children, people, and other animals and because of this it truly makes them the ultimate family dog. They can, however, be very wary of strangers, which makes them a great watchdog. The Finnish Spitz will warm up to new people that come around the house for visits, they just have to get used to them.

Bibliography

  1. The Encyclopedia of Dog Breeds- D. Caroline Coile Ph.D.
  2. American Kennel Club – https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/finnish-spitz/
  3. Wikipedia – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Finnish_Spitz
  4. Finnish Spitz Club of America – http://www.finnishspitzclub.org/
  5. Canadian Kennel Club – https://www.ckc.ca/en/Choosing-a-Dog/Choosing-a-Breed/Hounds/Finnish-Spitz

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