Finnish Spitz Guide

Non-Sporting Dog Breeds


The Finnish Spitz (or “Finkies” as their fans call them) probably got their start as watchdogs and camp followers of the indigenous peoples of what is now Finland. In fact, they're the nation's official dog.

This fearless breed loves to hunt and makes a devoted and friendly companion to its chosen person.

Originally from Finland, this medium-sized and high-energy breed can grow to between 20-33 pounds and lives an average of 13-15 years. The breed is recognized by the American Kennel Club and classified as a member of the Non-Sporting group.


FAST FACTS
AKC Recognized: Y
Breed's Original Pastime: Hunting
Origin: Finland
Breed Group: Non-Sporting
Average Lifespan: 13-15 years
Size: Medium
Bark Factor: I love to talk!

AKC RANKING 141

FAMILY spitz, Northern (hunting)

AREA OF ORIGIN Finland

DATE OF ORIGIN ancient times

ORIGINAL FUNCTION hunting birds and small mammals

TODAY'S FUNCTION hunting

AVERAGE SIZE OF MALE Height: 17.5-20 Weight: 31-36

AVERAGE SIZE OF FEMALE Height: 15.5-18 Weight: 23-29

OTHER NAME suomenpystykorva, Finsk spets

Energy level Medium energy

Exercise needs Medium

Playfullness Moderately playful

Affection level Moderately affectionate

Friendliness toward other dogs Friendly

Friendliness toward other pets Friendly

Friendliness toward strangers Shy

Ease of training Moderately easy to train

Watchdog ability High

Protection ability Moderately protective

Grooming needs Moderate maintenance

Cold tolerance High tolerance

Heat tolerance Low tolerance


BEHAVIOR & TRAINING

WHAT IS A FINNISH SPITZ'S PERSONALITY LIKE?

The Finnish Spitz is playful, intelligent, affectionate, and alert. They've often been described as brave and boisterous. They often like supervised kids and usually get along well with other pets but will need socialization to get along with other dogs. Finkies can be suspicious of strangers.

WHAT IS FINNISH SPITZ BEHAVIOR LIKE?

Finnish Spitzes are fast and nimble. These are athletic, active dogs who will need vigorous daily exercise and will happily explore the great outdoors for hours.

They are very vigilant and somewhat protective. Finnish Spitzes are prone to barking. In fact, this breed competes for the title of “King Barker” in Finland!

HOW EASY IS IT TO TRAIN A FINNISH SPITZ?

This breed is somewhat easy to train. Finnish Spitzes are independent-minded and can be stubborn. They're also sensitive, however, and tend to bond closely with one person. They respond well to positive reinforcement like food, praise, and play rewards.

A bored Finkie can become loud and destructive, so be sure your furry friend is getting enough exercise and mental stimulation. This breed excels in rally, agility, obedience, and flyball.

CARE & HEALTH

HOW MUCH DO FINNISH SPITZES SHED AND WHAT ARE THEIR GROOMING NEEDS?

Finnish Spitzes' medium-length double-coat is dense. Its undercoat is soft and short and overlaid by a straight, harsh outer coat.

Finnish Spitzes don't need much in the way of grooming. Their coats aren't oily, so this breed doesn't smell very doggy. Brush your Finkie a few times a week to keep it looking its best. They are seasonal shedders; meaning twice a year your pup will shed somewhat heavily.

WHAT HEALTH PROBLEMS DO FINNISH SPITZES HAVE?

Generally a robust breed, some Finkies have been known to develop eye ailments or hip dysplasia.
Breed history has moved while this section is under construction. Please check out the first tab for fun facts about this breed's history. You can also read on to learn about this breed's ideal family situation.

IDEAL FAMILY

ARE FINNISH SPITZES GOOD FOR PEOPLE WITH ALLERGIES?

The American Kennel Club doesn't list Finnish Spitzes among its breeds recommended for allergy sufferers.

You can reduce your furry friend's impact on your allergies with frequent baths and brushings to reduce loose hairs and allergy-aggravating proteins in your pet's dander. Use a damp cloth to wipe off your dog after playing outside. Smaller dogs have less surface area, so they produce comparatively less dander than larger breeds — definitely something to keep in mind with a dog like a Finnish Spitz! Remember that no breed is 100% hypoallergenic, and any breed can aggravate allergies.

WHAT'S A FINNISH SPITZ'S BEST DAY?

Go on and let your Finnish Spitz express himself! An all day barkalot concert especially designed for you with lots of love afterward is what this dog wants. (Although it may reinforce her need to do it again.)

SHOULD I ADOPT A FINNISH SPITZ?

Finnish Spitzes were bred to be vocal, so you have to be okay with them speaking their minds—and training them about when it's appropriate to do so. On the upside, visitors will never, ever take you by surprise. True to its Nordic origins, this dog melts in hot temperatures but can seemingly run outside forever on a snowy day. They do shed heavily twice a year, but their coats are otherwise pretty low maintenance. They're ruff-n-tumble playmates for supervised children, and trainable if you're not expecting show ring levels of obedience. Folks in colder climates who appreciate an unparalleled canine vocalist will value the Finnish Spitz as a fearless furry friend.

Have you decided that a Finnish Spitz is the perfect dog for you? Why not be your new best friend's hero and adopt a rescue! Be sure to check out our article on what to expect when you're adopting a dog or cat.