The Finnish Spitz is a medium-sized, squarely built, lively dog. The
beautiful red-gold color and fox-like expression are the most important
features of the breed. Small erect ears and a curled tail complete the
picture. In appearance the male is decidedly masculine, usually larger and
carries more coat than the female who is noticeably feminine.
Characteristics and Training:
The Finnish Spitz has been bred for centuries as a "barking hunting dog",
bringing the hunter to him with his voice. It should be noted by prospective
Finnish Spitz owners that while an asset in hunting, barking could cause an
unpleasant situation if one has neighbors in close proximity unless the dog
is taught that unprovoked barking is not acceptable. He is more a warning
dog than a guard dog and rarely bites. He has acute hearing and makes an
excellent watchdog, as he is protective of his family and will advise you of
any unusual happenings. The Finnish Spitz is a wonderful family dog, as well
as a hunting dog. He has a special love for children and will spend
countless hours romping and playing. If the kids get too rough, he will
simply walk away. He is a dog with a sense of family. He is slow maturing.
Although a Nordic breed, he seems little concerned about heat or cold.
This is an extremely intelligent breed which becomes very much a part of the
family and is a dog which should be allowed to share with the family.
However, this is not the breed for every family. Households where there is
tension, harshness or loud bickering should not have a Finnish Spitz.
Because of his intelligence, he is an independent and strong-willed dog and
cannot be bullied. He can be trained with a firm but gentle voice and touch,
and responds better to praise than correction. He is easily bored, so
training sessions should be kept short and interesting. Patience is a key
word when training a Finnish Spitz. You may feel as if you are making no
headway and all of a sudden he will surprise you. Many Finnish Spitz do well
in obedience classes if trained with a praise and reward method, as opposed
to a heavy hand.
Care and Maintenance:
With shades of red-gold from pale honey to dark auburn, the Finnish Spitz
double coatconsists of a short, soft, dense undercoat covered by long,
straight, harshly textured guard hairs. The Finnish Spitz is a meticulously
clean dog, sometimes giving the impression that they groom themselves. They
should be brushed weekly, especially during coat change and should only be
bathed when needed. The Finnish Spitz is a natural (wash and wear) dog on
whom no trimming should be done, except under the pads of the feet.
Trimming the whiskers or sculpturing for the show ring is to be heavily
penalized. Nails should be kept trimmed, ears and teeth cleaned. With an
annual trip to the Veterinarian and proper shots, the Finnish Spitz can live
a lively long life. A Finnish Spitz 13 - 15 years is not unusual. This dog
loves to eat and will do his best to get extra goodies. He is a dog that can
easily get overweight, which will cause health problems in the long run.
Feed a good quality dog food with few supplements. Treats should be limited
and low in fat content. Some Finnish Spitz will enjoy a carrot or other
vegetable or chew toy, all of which help reduce tartar and plaque build up
on the teeth.