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The Finnish Spitz is the national dog of Finland since 1979. Its origins date back thousands of years ago when the Finno-Ugrian people inhabited Central Russia. Fiercely loyal and protective, this charming fox-like dog breed loves children and is an excellent guard dog. Originally bred as a hound dog, it barked to point hunters to the location of bird preys. It is an active breed that needs to be kept busy.
Here is a brief background of the Finnish Spitz. Find out if this is the perfect breed for you.
The Finnish Spitz originated in Finland and has been around for thousands of years. Although much of its history is undocumented, it is believed that the breed was brought from Central Russia to Finland by the Finno-Ugrian tribes when they migrated. Primarily used as an all-purpose hunting dog, the Finnish Spitz is widely known as the "bark pointer," indicating the location of live game by barking.
By 1880, the advanced transportation brought people to where the Finnish Spitz lived, bringing with them their dogs. Most of the Finnish Spitz was bred with other dog breeds and almost drove the original breed to extinction. In 1890, Hugo Sandberg and Hugo Roos from Helsinki witnessed the efficient skills of the Finnish Spitz during one of their hunting trips. From then on, they were determined to save the breed.
The Finnish Kennel Club first recognised the breed in 1892 utilising Hugo Sandberg's apt description of the Finnish Spitz as the breed standard. The Finnish Spitz has become widely popular in Finland and Sweden and has established itself as the national dog of Finland since 1979.
Based on accepted breed standards, Finnish Spitz must have a square build, meaning it is slightly shorter in length than it is in height. It stands 38 to 51 centimetres at the withers and weighs 20 to 35 pounds. With its fox-like appearance, the breed has pointed muzzles, red coats and pricked ears. Nose, lips and rims of the eyes are coloured black.
Sporting a double coat, the Finnish Spitz has a soft, dense undercoat, and a long, harsh guard hair as a topcoat. Its head wear short tight hair, whereas the hair in the body and back of their legs is slightly longer. Stiff, harsh coat can be found on its neck up to its back. There are only two accepted breed colours that contribute to its foxy appearance, and those are red and gold. Grooming a Finnish Spitz can be a bit challenging especially in keeping its coat clean and pristine-looking. It does not help that it sheds quite heavily throughout the year, which requires daily brushing to remove any loose and dead hair.
Aside from making sure the coat is tidy and skin looking good, it is also necessary to pay attention to other parts of its physical well-being. When too much wax build up in the ears, this makes the dog breed susceptible to infections. Cleaning the ears on a regular basis using a vet-approved solution will prevent bacteria from growing in its ear canals. Brushing of teeth at least twice a week is also essential to keep gum disease and bad breath at bay. We must not forget to trim the nails. Untrimmed nails can lead to overgrowth, cracking and splitting, which will be painful for any dog breed.
The Finnish Spitz is a happy and easy-going breed. Behind its charming temperament is an extremely protective and fiercely loyal nature, which makes it an excellent guard dog. It is wary of strangers but will not exhibit any aggressive behaviour unless it senses danger or is provoked. No doubt, this dog breed adores its family and will love nothing than to be with its owners. Unlike most breeds, the Finnish Spitz is less likely to suffer from separation anxiety. Nevertheless, lack of physical and mental stimulation will cause it to get bored and destructive.
Since the Finnish Spitz is a hunting dog, it has an inherent need to be outdoors to do rigorous activities such as running and hiking. With this said, active families who engage in outdoor activities are perfect for this breed. Barking is one of the Finnish Spitz specialities since it was originally bred to be "bark pointers." So if you have pesky neighbours who do not like dogs that bark a lot, then either you move or skip getting a Finnish Spitz altogether. However, another alternative is to train this breed to control its excessive barking tendencies.
The Finnish Spitz is intelligent and often has a stubborn and independent streak, making training difficult. It is crucial that this dog breed understands who the leader is. Once leadership is established, you will have already won half the fight for making this breed obey. Needless to say, every dog breed is unique and may exhibit a different temperament. Socialisation and training, as well as the environment will largely contribute to shaping its personality and behaviour.
A typical serving for an adult Finnish Spitz is 1.75 to 2.5 cups of high-quality dog food daily, split into two meals. Many dog food companies offer breed-specific formulas. However, it is highly recommended to consult with a veterinarian to determine the frequency of meals and nutrition it will need to be healthy.
Typical calorie needs of adult Finnish Spitz per day:
Finnish Spitz will require enough protein found in real me for muscle growth at. Plenty of fruits and vegetables will also assist in making sure your dog receives a well-balanced and healthy diet. Since the Finnish Spitz is prone to canine hip dysplasia, it is best to feed it food rich in Glucosamine.
The average life expectancy of a happy and healthy Finnish Spitz is 12 to 15 years. However, some health problems of most dog breeds are inherited. In the case of a Finnish Spitz, a serious cause of concern for this breed is Epilepsy and Diabetes. Thus, it is best to consult with a veterinarian at least every 6 months for preventive measures. Other health issues include Cataracts, Elbow and Hip Dysplasia and Luxating Patellas.
The Finnish Spitz is a high-energy character that requires at least 40 to 60 minutes of daily exercise. Being a hound dog means it needs to be able to run, hike, or jog to let off steam. However, owners must ensure that any off-leash outdoor activity must be done within a securely fenced area.
Since only a few puppies are registered with The Kennel Club every year, buying a Finnish Spitz means going on a waitlist. However, you have more time to get enough funds for its purchase and to care for it. For instance, you can set aside £400 to £500 to buy a Finnish Spitz puppy once it becomes available. Other costs to prepare for are as follows:
The average cost to care for a Finnish Spitz is roughly £750 to £1,000 a year. If you can afford that much, then you're more than ready to care for one.
Are you sure the Finnish Spitz is the best breed for you? Take the Pet Breed Selector Quiz to find your perfect breed match.Dog Breed Selector Quiz
Are you willing to wait for a Finnish Spitz puppy to become available? If you're open to other choices of dog breeds, our Pet Finder can help.
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