The Finnish Spitz is rarely seen in Germany. Yet the national dog of Finland is known as a perfect family dog and sports partner. If you are interested in this robust and very self-confident breed, you need patience for consistent training. But then you will be rewarded with an extremely loyal and good-natured partner.
Finnish Spitz is a medium-sized breed from the group of Spitz and has their typical anatomy. The muzzle is long and pointed, the tail stands erect in the air and is carried over the back.
The coat is straight, stiff and relatively long. Due to the harsh climate in its original environment, the Finnish Spitz has a dense undercoat. The top coat is reddish brown to golden brown and a little lighter on the chest, belly, legs and face. With this coloring he reminds a little of a robust fox.
The Finnish Spitz is a compact dog with a shoulder height of about 40-50 cm. Depending on the size and sex, he reaches between 7 and 13 kg in weight.
The breed is very lively and wants to be busy throughout. He does not tolerate being alone. Therefore, the Finnish Spitz is particularly suitable as a companion and family dog. Also, he should not be the only dog in the family. He is very enthusiastic about sporting activities and long walks.
Despite its rather small size, however, the Finnish Spitz is also well suited as a guard dog, as it is considered courageous and self-confident. Especially their characteristic barking joy makes them valuable in this field.
The tendency to bark precedes the Finnish Spitz as a reputation. This characteristic is important for hunting in the deserted landscape of Finland. In densely populated residential areas in Germany, however, it can quickly become a nuisance. The Finnish Spitz is therefore more suited to spacious gardens and rural areas than to cramped city dwellings. However, with strict training from an early age, barking can be reduced to a tolerable level even in this breed.
This education must be consistent, because the Finnish Spitz likes to impose his own head. But if you challenge him playfully in his high intelligence, then you can look forward to a faithful partner.
He may be a hunting dog, to which activity and alertness lie in the genes. Nevertheless, the Finnish Spitz should not be neglected when it comes to cuddling. He can become very cuddly and needs constant contact with his human pack.
The right food
The Finnish Spitz is a breed of hunting dog that is practically constantly on the move. As such, it has a high energy requirement. Likewise, you should make sure that your dog always gets enough water during and after high exercise.
Before sporting activities, your Finnish Spitz should only eat small portions. However, you can enrich these with fats.
You should also give your dog rather high-fat food directly after high stress. This has the advantage that it supplies a lot of energy at once with a relatively small amount. This means that the stomach is not overloaded.
But also carbohydrates, vitamins and trace elements such as selenium or calcium must not be neglected. One of the most important components for any carnivore is, of course, protein. This is abundantly present in every type of meat.
Whether you meet your dog's nutritional and energy needs with fresh meat or ready-to-eat food depends on many factors. These include tolerance, preference and availability. There is no right or wrong here.
Making your own food mix is time-consuming, but it can be tailored exactly to your dog's needs. A ready-made food mix already contains all the nutrients a dog needs for a healthy life. Of course, you can also vary both as you wish.
It's best to pay attention to your dog. If he tolerates a food well and he also likes it, then you can feed it without hesitation.
By the way, after high activity and high-energy food, the Finnish Spitz appreciates a digestive nap.
Finnish spitz care
Regular basic medical care is absolutely necessary for every dog. This includes routine examinations by the veterinarian, vaccinations and deworming.
The coat of the Finnish Spitz is quite easy to care for and almost cleans itself. Nevertheless, it also needs a little attention from you.
As a breed of the far north, the Finnish Spitz is well adapted to the changing seasons. This is noticeable by intense coat changes in spring and autumn. At this time at the latest, you absolutely must help your dog with coat care. Daily brushing is obligatory. Outside of the coat change, it is sufficient to brush your dog once a week.
Claw nippers are especially recommended for older dogs. Unwanted claw growth can also occur in dogs that primarily walk on soft surfaces. Check your dog's claws regularly. If they become too long, then intervene supportively.
As a breed that spends a lot of time outdoors, the Finnish Spitz is naturally susceptible to ticks. So get into the habit of checking your dog for ticks during playtime and cuddling sessions. Fortunately, the Finnish Spitz's coat is relatively light-colored, so ticks are easy to find. Always take a pair of tick tongs with you on hikes to be able to intervene quickly. When you return home, it is best to check the coat thoroughly.
Last but not least, you should also give high priority to dental care. Special chewing bones, dog toothbrushes and regular veterinary check-ups help to keep your dog's teeth healthy for a long time.
Only choose a Finnish Spitz if you lead an active life yourself. As a hunting dog breed, the Finnish Spitz enjoys plenty of exercise. This includes long bike rides or daily runs, which he can accompany you on. Even after prolonged exercise, he hardly tires.
At home, the Finnish Spitz wants to be kept busy as well. Provide enough toys that he can use indoors and outdoors. You can support your dog's strong desire to hunt with sturdy toys that he has to retrieve. Make sure it can withstand claws and sharp teeth a little longer.
Also, keep treats on hand at all times for such training to reward your dog.
With repetition, the Finnish Spitz gets bored quite quickly. Therefore, pay attention to varied toys and always new exercises. Agility could become your new hobby. Or maybe your dog likes toys that require him to use his brain to get the reward.
For regular grooming you need brush, tick pliers and claw pliers.
Origin & History
As the name suggests, the origin of the Finnish Spitz is in the far north of Europe. When exactly the breed found its beginning is not known. However, dogs of this type may have been used for centuries in Finland for hunting game. In addition, they served the population as faithful companion dogs.
The Finnish Spitz proved itself especially in hunting waterfowl, capercaillie and black grouse. A typical characteristic of the breed is its eagerness to bark. Through this he can indicate the game to the hunter even in treetops. In the vast Finnish landscape, a well audible acoustic signal can even become necessary for survival.
The first breed standard for the Finnish Spitz was created in 1892. In the early 20th century, the breed also reached Central Europe, the USA and England. There, however, the Finnish Spitz was no longer used for hunting, but served primarily as a domestic and family dog.
Since 1979, the Finnish Spitz is considered the national dog of Finland. In Sweden and Finland, the breed is still widespread today. Outside the Nordic countries, however, it is rather rare to find.
Especially in Russia, the breed likes to be called Karelo-Finnish Laika. Only in 2006, both Spitz and Laika were merged, and today they are considered only one breed.