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208 Breeds, 422 Health Conditions  |  Find a Vet

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Finnish Spitz


Finnish Spitz Facts

  • Group
  • Non Sporting
  • Affiliations
  • Height
  • 15.5" - 20"
  • Weight
  • 25-40 lbs.
  • Lifespan
  • 14 years | Add yours

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  • Exercise Requirement
  • Moderate - This breed enjoys typical daily activity
  • Training Requirement
  • A Quick Learner
  • Grooming Requirement
  • Moderate
  • Colors
    • Red
    • Brown
  • Breed Characteristics
    • Good with children
    • Hunting heritage
    • Ok outdoors
    • Should sleep indoors

True Cost Of Ownership

Alternate Names

Finsk spets, Suomenpystykorva, Finnish prick eared dog, Finnish cock eared dog, Finnish barking bird dog


The Finnish spitz originated in Finland.

Date Of Origin

It is unknown exactly when this breed was developed, however, it is believed to have existed for thousands of years.


The Finnish spitz is the national dog of Finland, where it is used as a hunting dog primarily on a large game bird called the capercaillie. It is trained to forge ahead of the hunter until it finds the capercaillie, then follow the bird until it sets in a tree. The dog keeps the birds attention by swaying its tail and moving back and forth; meanwhile it barks to alert the hunter to the location. This breed continues to be used as a hunting dog in Finland but is primarily a companion elsewhere.


The Finnish spitz is a medium size, fox like dog that is square and well balanced. It has a pointed muzzle; small, mobile, erect ears; dark, almond shaped eyes;and a black nose. It has a deep chest and plumed, curled tail. The dense, red-gold double coat has a ruff at the neck. It may have white markings at the tip of the toes and chest.


The Finnish spitz is a lively and friendly dog loyal to its family but somewhat cautious in new situations. It is intelligent and independent. It is often described as catlike. It enjoys the outdoors.


At one time this dog was used by Lapp hunters to track polar bears and elk. More recently, it has been used for hunting birds. The Finnish spitz is also an excellent house guard dog.

Health Concerns

Obesity, heart problems

Additional Information

The puppies are delicate at birth and require much care.

The undercoat sheds heavily and frequent brushing is required.

Show Sources & Contributors +


The Howell Book Of Dogs

Publisher: Wiley Publishing Inc, 2007

Website: http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/

Author: Liz Palika

Dog Bible

Publisher: BowTie Press, 2005

Website: http://www.bowtiepress.com/bowtie/

Authors: Kristin Meuh-Roe, Jarelle S. Stein

Simon & Schusters Guide to Dogs

Publisher: Simon & Schuster inc, 1980

Website: http://www.simonandschuster.com

Author: Elizabeth Meriwether Schuler

The New Encyclopedia of the Dog

Publisher: Dorling Kindersley Publishing, 2000

Website: http://www.dk.com

Author: Bruce Fogle

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