The Finnish Spitz is a hunting dog which originated in Finland. It is often referred to as a “bark pointer” as it barks to indicate located game. It is typically used for hunting small animals such as squirrels, but can also be used to hunt larger animals such as elk, moose, and bears. Since 1979, the breed has been the official dog of Finland.
The breed generally stands from 14.5 to 19 inches tall and weighs 20 to 33 pounds. The Finnish Spitz has a square build; it is nearly as long as it is high. It has a double coat with a hard outer coat and a very soft, dense, light colored undercoat. The coat is typically blown a couple of times a year. Its hair on its neck, back and plume-like tail is more dense and stiff than the rest of its body covering. As a puppy, the Finnish Spitz has been known to look somewhat like a red fox. The coat of the breed as an adult can be any shade of red, with different shades throughout the coat, and lightest underneath. It may have small white patches on its chest or feat. Its nose, lips, and eye rims are always black.
The bred is outgoing and protective of its family, making it an excellent watchdog as well as house pet. The breed is very loyal and enjoys interacting with people, and sometimes even other animals. It will bark at anything remotely threatening, heightening its watchdog abilities. The breed can be stubborn, and can become bored with redundant training. It is best trained with a light touch, soft voice, and positive reinforcement. It is fairly low maintenance; however its coat needs to be properly cared for, especially the two times a year it is blown.
The breed not only makes a wonderful companion dog, but it also excels in agility and obedience.
The Finnish Spitz is a relatively healthy breed with very few health concerns. Some health problems that might occur are hip dysplasia, patellar luxation, elbow dysplasia, epilepsy, and skin problems (if the undercoat is excessive and not properly cared for).