The Finnish Spitz originated in Finland several hundred years ago. The breed was completely pure due to isolation from the rest of the World until the 1800's when travellers brought dogs with them. The resulting interbreeding of these new dogs almost wiped out the pure Spitz, until a Finnish sportsman noticed the breed and made a concerted effort to bring their numbers back up. It is classed as a 'bark pointer'; barking at its prey to let the hunters know where they are. They excel at hunting birds, such as grouse and squirrels plus locating larger game such as moose, elk and even bears. The breed is the national dog of Finland.
The Finnish Spitz, or Finkie, is an active, playful yet sensitive breed. They are very good with children, but if the play becomes too much, they will just walk away. They are usually fine with other pets and dogs within the home, but males can be aggressive towards strange dogs. They are aloof and suspicious of strangers, but early socialisation can over come this. They are alert and will always let you know when someone is at the door. Due to their breeding as a hunting dog, one of the greatest gifts the breed owns is their voice and they like to use it. They will bark a lot. It's fun for them, so you need to practise early on to stop this behaviour. Finkies can be trained, but are stubborn and get bored easily. You need to be patient with them and try a variety of training techniques to stop them shutting down and looking the other way. They are quite strong willed and will want their own way a lot of the time, so you need to be consistent with training. They like people, so making training a family affair might work. They need a soft hand and calm air to get the best out of them, they don't respond well to harsh treatment, so praise and reward based training is best suited to the breed. They need quite a lot of exercise, at least one long walk a day, preferably two. As a hunting breed, it is likely that they will dash off as soon as they are let off the lead, so a safe area or lead walk is advisable. Once they've had a decent walk, they will want to curl up on the sofa next to you and sleep.
The FInnish Spitz has a double coat that needs brushing a few times a week to keep it free from matting. The breed generally has very little odour and is very clean. They suffer few ailments and are classed as a healthy breed.
The Finnish Spitz has a lively and inquisitive temperament. Loving to play and run this breed requires a decent amount of exercise daily in order to prevent boredom and destructive tendencies.
This is a noisy breed of dog that will bark more than most. This does however make them very good watchdogs. To help them become well rounded and not a ''one person dog'' it is important that they are socialised with plenty of other dogs and people in early puppyhood.
Health problems that may affect the Finnish Spitz include canine hip dysplasia (CHD), elbow dysplasia, patellar luxation (dislocation of the kneecap) and epilepsy.
- Status: Common
- Life Expectancy: 12 - 14 years
- Weight: 11 - 14 kg
- Height: 16 - 20"
- Rare: No
- Coat: Medium
- Grooming Requirements: More than once per week
- Town or Country: Country
- Minimum Home Size: Small House
- Minimum Garden Size: Small to Medium Garden
- Breed Type: Hound
- Size: Medium
- Energy Level: Medium
- Exercise Required: Up to 1 hour
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