Finnish Spitz – Full Breed Profile

Written by: Bojana Radulovic
Before you run to get Finnish Spitz make sure that you know everything there is on this breed. Check this guide for more on the breed's history, personality, and even grooming needs. Read on.
Dog Breed Group:
Sporting Dogs
15 to 20 inches tall at the shoulder
20 to 35 pounds
Life Span:
12 to 15 years

Breed Characteristics:

Apartment Friendly


How well will this breed adapt to apartment living? Is the apartment size the most important factor when it comes to proper living conditions? Is the breed suitable for apartment living?

Good For First-Time Owners


Some dogs aren't suitable for first-time dog owners. Is this breed a good match for someone with no dog experience? Can training help them be on their best behavior with owners with no dog experience? Are they suitable to be handled by someone who is just entering the canine world?

Overall Sensitivity


Some dogs are sensitive. Certain breeds are rough on the outside, while having the softest heart on the inside. In other words, some dogs are 'thick-skinned' while some are 'easygoing.' Is this breed prone to sensitivity?

Tolerates Being Alone


Separation anxiety in dogs is a serious condition that can affect a dog's life quality. Is this breed prone to this condition? Can you leave him alone for hours? How destructive this breed can become when bored, neglected, or not loved enough?

Affectionate With Family


How affectionate this breed will be around his humans? Will he welcome new family friends easily or he will choose to be shy? Some breeds can be clingy with owners, while others don't attach a lot. Will this breed act as the family's best friend?



Some dogs will tolerate children, while others will adore well-behaved ones. Dogs and children should always be supervised, no matter how well trained the dog might be. Will this breed act as a nanny dog or he will stay away from children?

Friendly Toward Other Dogs


Some dog breeds cannot wait to run to the dog park and run with others. Others prefer to be with their humans, and not to be a part of a multi-pet household. Is this breed dog lover or not? How friendly this breed will be toward other dogs?

Friendly Toward Strangers


Some dog breeds tend to be reserved toward strangers and highly suspicious. Others are fast to walk away with them easily. How welcoming this breed is toward strangers?

Drooling Level


If you love to clean all the time drooling level in dogs is a trait that you should mind. Is this breed less likely to drool, or you will always need a towel on hand?

Easy To Groom


Heavier shedding during the shedding season is something that every dog needs to go through. However, some dogs shed just a bit all year round. Is this breed one of them? How often should you groom this dog?

Overall Health


What can you expect from this breed in terms of health? Are there any genetic conditions to vary about? Is obesity a major issue in this breed? By knowing more about the dog's health, you are learning how to help him live a longer and healthier life.

Prone To Obesity


Treats are a great addition to training sessions. Dogs love sweet bites of dog treats but they should be served in moderation. Treats can lead to obesity, next to poor nutrition. Can this breed gain extra weight from treats? How prone to obesity this breed actually is?

Trainability Level


Training some dogs is easier than others. How easy this dog will be to train? What can you expect? Some dogs are huge people pleasers and they will master commands easily, while others will try to outsmart you.

Intelligence Level


Dogs are smart beings. We do our best to train them, but they do still end up training us to adapt to their needs. How intelligent is this breed? Will he try to outsmart you? Or he will need multiple training sessions to master basic commands?

Prey Drive


Dogs were bred for a specific purpose. Those who were bred to hunt have natural instincts to hunt, even today. This is why many dogs, like Terriers, will chase other animals. They will also have a hard time concentrating on your commands when there is something small moving. Is this breed prone to following his prey instincts?

Barking Level


How vocal this breed is? Can you expect neighbors to ring you often to calm your dog? Or you can sleep without worries of hearing your Fido bark? Some breeds are highly vocal, others have unusual sounds, and some are silent. Is this breed prone to barking?

Energy Level


Low-energy dogs are happy with regular walks and indoor chill times. High-energy dogs are always ready for action. Is this breed a couch potato, energetic dog, or somewhere in between?

Exercise Needs


Some dogs are more than happy with a slow stroll down the street. Others need hours of active time to stay happy and fit. Is this breed demanding in terms of exercise? How much exercise this breed needs to stay happy and healthy?

Playfulness Level


Some dogs never lose that puppy spirit, not even in their senior years. Others are more serious and prefer having a job to do. Is this breed demanding in terms of playfulness? Can you expect playfulness in their senior years as well?

The Finnish Spitz is a friendly dog who is great with children and with other pets.

This foxy-faced breed is known as the ‘Barking Bird Dog,’ among dog fanciers.

Thanks to their foxy-faced and husky-like appearance this breed is easy to recognize, next to their curvy plumed tail. Their coat is also one of a kind, being dense of glorious golden-red shade, which gives them unique shade.

If you are city-based in a crowded neighborhood and you want this breed, know that they are barkers, and not shy with strangers. These are points that you might want to address when constructing training.

Finkis are in fact big yodlers, more than barkers. All in, they are real athletes and dogs who are smart, sensitive, and charming.

Originally bred to hunt birds and small mammals they would still have strong hunting instincts so make sure that they behave well around other animals, especially small pets.

The Finnish spitz is the national dog of Finland and outside the country, they are well known throughout Scandinavia.

They will shed, but heavily only twice a year when daily brushing is mandatory.

If you are thinking about getting the Finnish spitz make sure that you get familiar with all of the breed’s needs and obligations.

Quick Facts

Real name: Finnish Spitz
Other names: Finkis, Barking bird dog
Origin: Finland
Breed type: Sporting Dogs
Weight: 20 to 35 pounds
Height: 15 to 20 inches tall at the shoulder
Lifespan: 12 to 15 years
Litter Size: 3 – 6 puppies
Color: Golden-red or honey-colored
Coat: Double coat

Finnish Spitz History

With certain dog breeds, no matter how popular they are, there are still few records on their history.

Finnish Spitz is one of these breeds. They are small in size, enormous when it comes to popularity and there is still space to make them well-documented.

The origin of this explosive breed is undocumented, although some facts are well-known. For example, dog experts claim that this breed came to western Europe from Russia.

They also claim that credits to this breed’s popularity should be given to Finno-Ugrian people who actually migrated into Finland and brought these dogs with them.

This was a couple of thousand years ago, making Finnish Spitz an ancient breed. Originally, these powerful and fast dogs were used to hunt small game and birds.

This is why they are known as the ‘barking bird dog’ because they will always point hunters to game by barking. This is why your Finnish Spitz will be the first to bark on anything that moves around or in front of your doors.

Fun fact: Finnish Spitz has been bred to develop his barking skills, which is why barking contests are held in Finland even today.

Finnish Spitz Physical Appearance

The Finnish Spitz is a medium-sized dog with a pointed muzzle. They have short and always straight and alert ears that only add to their overall alert look.

They have a lush coat that only tells about their link with harsh Nordic winters. Their coat will always come in golden-red or honey-colored color that gives them that famous fox-like appearance, which isn’t that common for dogs. This is a cold-weather dog which means that you should be careful about heatstroke on hot summer days.

As a breed with a coat suitable for cold climates, Finnish Spitz will always prefer colder climates. Females are slightly smaller than males, and both sexes are equally enthusiastic when it comes to activity.

They love to run. In fact, to keep them mentally stimulated and physically satisfied you will have to provide enough space for outdoor runs. This is why they are maybe better suited for more rural areas where they can organize their time as they like.

Thanks to their size they can live in busy city areas and will easily adapt to apartment living, as long as they are given enough exercise time.

However, they are a bit of barker and noisy dogs, which can be really challenging for having good relations with neighbors. Fanciers of the breed say that proper training is mandatory to have a well-behaved Finnish Spitz.

Finnish Spitz Personality

The Finnish Spitz is described as an active and friendly dog.

After all, they were bred to spend time with humans, and it’s known that dog’s brains evolved over time, making them even closer to people.

These dogs are highly alert making them great at watching dogs. In fact, if you are looking for a watchdog, this Nordic breed should be on the top of your list.

Not only that they will be fast to notify you when someone is nearby, but they will do their best to keep family members safe all the time. Thanks to their strong protective nature, these Nordic dogs may be careful around strangers, but never aggressive toward them or extremely shy.

The Finnish Spitz should get along nicely with children and other pets. Still, children should be educated on how to behave around dogs, which means that they know:

  • Not to disturb dogs while eating or sleeping
  • Not to make strong and sudden moves, or to pull their tail or ears
  • Not to enter inside their crate
  • Not to disturb a dog while sleeping or resting in his crate
  • Not yelling at his ear
  • Not trying to hug them, or ride (this is more common in toddlers than younger children, since they tend to see animals as moving toys)

No matter how well they behave around children, and how much children care about them one is for sure – they should never be left alone. Dogs and children shouldn’t be left without supervision no matter what.

On the downside, the Finnish Spitz is strongly independent which usually means that training might be a real challenge. This is why this breed isn’t recommended for first time dog owners.

Like every, dog, the Finnish Spitz needs well-structured training and early socialization. This is the only way to make your Finnish Spitz a well-rounded dog.

Finnish Spitz Training

Did you know that dogs are capable of learning basic commands as of eight weeks of age? During this period your Fido should know commands, such as ‘no’, ‘come’, ‘leave’ and ‘sit’.

In general, the socialization period should be used to help your dog get familiar with the world around him. That being said, your Fido should know basic commands, house dog rules, visitors rules, and how to interact with strangers.

As soon as your veterinarian allows it, you should take your Finnish Spitz to the dog park. When it’s safe, expose your puppy to new areas, and other animals.

If you are adopting an adult or senior dog, bear in mind that even they can learn new tricks.

All you need is enough care, patience, and treats. Dogs love rewards, so use treats to benefit from them.

Just don’t overuse them, because too many treats can lead to obesity. Obesity in dogs is on the rise across the States and weight gain in dogs isn’t so uncommon. However, it doesn’t mean that is safe or good for your pet.

Extra weight in dogs can lead to numerous heart-related and joint-related issues in your Fido. If you have any doubts regarding your dog’s weight or feeding guidelines, you should talk with your veterinarian.

Finnish Spitz Grooming

If you want a really low-maintenance breed, the Finnish Spitz might not be for you. This isn’t a wash-and-go dog, but grooming him won’t take all of your time.

Grooming is a big part of dog ownership but isn’t the biggest. A bit of proper organization, a bit of help, and a proper timeline will make grooming an enjoyable and fun experience.

Plus, grooming is a process and as such it presents a great opportunity to bond with your Fido. How challenging Finnish Spitz will be grooming-wise? The biggest part of this grooming care will be the dog’s coat.

They have a lavishing and dense coat and undercoat that should be brushed with a proper brushing tool. Weekly brushing should be enough to keep the dog’s coat clean and soft.

They do shed, so expect to vacuum regularly. Additional shedding occurs during the shedding season in spring and autumn. If you are not fond of famous and adorable dog smell, you are in luck.

This breed’s coats aren’t oily, which means that they don’t have an odor. Bathe only when needed. Be careful with bathing, because don’t need as frequent bathing as humans do. Also, make sure that you only use shampoo designed for dogs.

Trim or grind his nails once a month, check his eyes and gums weekly, and if recommended by your vet brush his teeth.

Just like with the shampoo you should use toothbrushes that are designed for dogs.

Introduce your Finnish Spitz to being brushed and handles when he is a puppy. This way, he will get used to being handled and won’t see grooming as a negative experience. Always serve a treat after every grooming session.

Finnish Spitz Health

Getting a dog is always a serious decision. Not only that you get to walk the dog, explore the city with him, but you get to play and have a friend for years to come.

Yet, getting a dog is a lot about responsibility, planning, and dealing with unplanned situations. This is why dog insurance is a major thing to think about.

Owning a dog means providing the best care for him, keeping him healthy and long-living. In other words, owning a dog means caring for his health.

If you are getting a puppy you should deal only with responsible dog breeders.

This way you will get a puppy with medical documentation saying that he is healthy. If you are adopting from a local shelter, you will know the exact condition of the dog.

In both cases, you will be informed of the dog’s current well-being and possible health issues in the future. That being said, below are conditions that may appear in this breed.

This doesn’t mean that your Finnish Spitz will get any of these issues. No, it just means that you should bane informed on certain health topics and do your best to prevent them.

Here is what you can see in this breed health-wise:

  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Patellar luxation
  • Epilepsy

To get the most of your dog ownership, do your best. Do your best to provide the best care possible, enable the safest surrounding, and to bring the best games all day long.

If you manage to provide high-quality food, proper care, and regular veterinary check-ups, you can expect to spend a minimum of 12 years with your Finnish Spitz.

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