Finnish Spitz



Named the National Dog of Finland in 1979, the prehistoric origins of the Finnish Spitz can be traced back to Central Russia. Finno-Ugrian tribes bred these fox-like animals for their aptitude to hunt and gather food.

With the rise of international trade, the Finnish Spitz mated with other dogs across Europe to the point of near extinction. In the late 1800's, Finnish sportsman Hugo Roos went hunting in the northern forests, where he observed the admirable traits of non-mixed Finnish Spitz. His efforts to revive the breed from a selection of purebreds came to fruition within 30 years. The first breed standard
was established in 1892, and it possesses the hunting attributes of a bark pointer.


The obliquely set, almond-shaped eyes and pointed ears give this dog a decidedly fox-like appearance. In some cases, the darker markings on the muzzle and forehead give the impression of a scowl, but the Finnish Spitz is a friendly, well-natured dog suitable for the company of children.

Headstrong and independent, it was originally bred for its ability to chase smaller game that fled into trees and tight spaces. Despite its smaller build, the Finnish Spitz is an ambitious animal, known to hunt large game. 

Temperament & Suitability

This is not an animal to be cooped up in a kennel or high-rise apartment: the Finnish Spitz is a lively, active dog that requires plenty of time outdoors.

They are especially fond of children and a perfect fit for an active family.

Being a hunting dog, its behaviour around smaller animals is unpredictable, but it can be trained to live harmoniously with cats and other dogs.

As an independent dog, the Finnish Spitz will steer clear of strangers but bond well with the family. Males develop a pronounced masculinity with the tendency to be over-protective. Females are traditionally less domineering and feminine. Most Finnish Spitz bark at anything considered outside the ordinary- a prized trait in the role of a hunting companion.


The Finnish Spitz is double coated in long, dense fur of a reddish-brown to yellow-red colour. Small, white markings are sometimes found on the feet or chest. Its keen, fox-like expression can be obscured if the fur is too coarse or overdone. A square build with a long and straight back, the neck is muscular and short. The tail curves in a pronounced arch forward, downward and backward against the thigh. The head is clean­cut and medium size.


This highly intelligent dog requires a balance of indoor playing time with the family and outdoor exercise. It is an exceptionally clean animal, licking itself of any soil until the coat shines. Their grooming needs are minimal, only needing a weekly brush from head to tail.


The health concerns of the Finnish Spitz are few and far between. They are typically a healthy breed, but hip dysplasia, patellar luxation, elbow dysplasia and epilepsy are known to develop in some dogs.

In Conclusion

Now you know a little about the Finnish Spitz you may have think that this is the dog for you. Before you make a decision, please make contact with the breed club or your State controlling body for purebred dogs. They will be able to give you information about available puppies and also suggest dog shows where you can see the breed and speak to breeders. In this way you will gain a better perspective of the Finnish Spitz and its needs and whether this breed would suit your lifestyle.