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AKC Meet the Breeds: Finnish Spitz

American Kennel Club, Inc. (c) 2011

Resembling a red fox, the Finnish Spitz is a northern breed with erect ears, a dense double coat and a plumed bushy tail. He is a lively animal, with a keen, intelligent expression and brisk, quick movement. Medium-sized, the Finnish Spitz comes across as an agile, workmanlike dog with no exaggerated or showy features except for his lustrous golden-red coat, which ranges from pale honey to deep auburn.

A Look Back

The national dog of Finland, the Finnish Spitz was originally known as the Suomenpystrykorva (the Finnish Cock-Eared Dog ) and the Finnish Barking Birddog. A hunter of small game and birds, the Finnish Spitz directs his hunter to treed game with a distinctive ringing bark or yodel and points to the prey with head and muzzle. Although breeders crossing them with other breeds nearly led to their extinction in the late 1800s, two Helsinki sportsmen recognized their native dog's excellent qualities and salvaged the breed.

Right Breed for You?

A lively, friendly dog, the Finnish Spitz enjoys being active and spending time with his family. He is good-natured and enjoys children, although may be initially cautious with strangers. The breed requires moderate exercise and his thick double coat sheds and will need regular brushing and bathing.

  • Non-Sporting Group; AKC recognized in 1991.
  • Ranging in size from 15 1/2 to 20 inches tall at the shoulder.
  • Bird hunter.

AKC Meet the Breeds is a registered trademark of the American Kennel Club, Inc.