Finnish Spitz

Other names/Nicknames:

  • Finsk Spets
  • Barking Bird Dog

Country/Date of origin:

  • Finland
  • 1800′s


  • Females:  15-1/2 to 18 inches
  • Males:  17-1/2 to 20 inches


  • 30 to 35 pounds


  • Gay and lively companion.
  • Intelligent but tends to be strong willed, so training can be difficult.
  • Noisy.


One of the oldest European breeds of dog, the Finnish Spitz accompanied the early Finns on hunting expeditions.  Unlike most members of the spitz family this is primarily a bird dog.  If it finds birds, it points at the prey, waving its tail back and forth to mesmerize them.  It will also bark loudly to attract the attention of the hunter, giving it the sometimes used name of Barking Bird Dog.  In contests, it is judged on the number of barks per minute, which can top 160 per minute.  Extremely popular in its homeland and the rest of Scandinavia.  Its good qualities as a house pet have won it fanciers in England and the United States in the last few years as well.

Body Type:

  • A typical member of the spitz group with a distinctly foxlike appearance.
  • The plumed tail is set high and curves forward in a tight curl.  It is not altered.
  • The ears are erect and sharply pointed.  They are not altered.


  • Dense, double coat.  Moderately-short and harsh outercoat and very thick undercoat.
  • The color is red, ranging from reddish brown to red gold.
  • Moderate grooming required.
  • Heavy seasonal shedding.

Health and Wellness:

  • Generally quite healthy.
  • Subject to hip dysplasia.
  • Pemphigus foliaceus.

What you should know:

  • National dog of Finland.
  • Likes to roam.
  • An adorable, cuddly puppy, the Finnish Spitz does not like to be petted and fondled—even as a baby.
  • It is somewhat aloof and a bit reserved.
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