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Answers from vets about your dog:

The Finnish Spitz

Posted November 06, 2013 in Dog Breeds

Background

The Finnish Spitz was developed thousands of years ago by breeding Spitz dogs from central Russia. At the time each new breed was bred to match specific needs. Small groups of woodsmen relied on Finnish Spitz dogs because they were excellent hunters and they also helped them retrieve food.

The Finnish Spitz originated in Finland and was bred to hunt multiple types of game such as squirrels, rodents, and bears. The Finnish Spitz was declared the national dog of Finland in 1979. 

The Finnish Spitz was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1991.

Sizing up

  • Weight: 23 to 28 lbs.
  • Height: 15 to 20 inches
  • Coat: Double coat with a soft, dense undercoat and a topcoat of long, straight, harshly textured guard hairs.
  • Color: Born dark grey, black, brown, or fawn, when they reach adulthood the color is typically a golden-red or dark chestnut.
  • Life expectancy: 12 to 15 years

What’s the Finnish Spitz like?

The Finnish Spitz is an extremely friendly breed and loves children. He is very lively so get ready for some long walks and vigorous games of tug-of-war. Since he was bred for hunting his bark is quite loud. It can range from a short, sharp bark to several barks per minute that almost sound like a yodel. This may annoy your neighbors but at least you’ll have an excellent watchdog!

The Finnish Spitz is both independent and intelligent. When it comes to training he will not respond well to harsh commands so use a soft voice and positive reinforcement. As always, praise him when he does something right. You should begin the training process as soon as possible.

The Finnish Spitz should be brushed once per week to prevent mats and minimize shedding hair.

Health

The Finnish Spitz is typically a healthy breed but beware any of the following:

Takeaway Points

  • The Finnish Spitz is extremely easy to groom.
  • The Finnish Spitz would be a wonderful addition to a family, especially one with children.
  • The Finnish Spitz is a barker so he may not be a perfect fit in a city apartment.

If you have any questions or concerns, you should always visit or call your veterinarian -- they are your best resource to ensure the health and well-being of your pets.

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Tori has more than 2 years of experience in the pet health industry and is junior editor of IDEXX’s Pet Health Network team.