National Dog of Finland
Spitz-type dogs have evolved over thousands of years
as ancient tribes bred dogs according to their needs and
thus created several separate strains. One such clan settled
in the far north, where it produced a pure breed of invaluable
hunting ability, the Finnish Spitz. By 1880 the Finnish Spitz
had been cross bred with so many other breeds, that it was in
danger of becoming extinct, whereupon a concerted effort was
successfully made to save the breed. Some early names for the
breed included "Suomenpystykorva" which translated means,
"Finnish Cock-Eared Dog" and "Finnish Barking Bird Dog."
Upon its arrival in England, it was called "Finsk Spets" but in
1891, the name was officially changed to Finnish Spitz. It was
affectionately nicknamed "Finkie," in England in the 1920s,
a name still used by many fanciers. Finkies were first bred in
the US during the 1960s, and they were finally admitted to the
Non-Sporting Group in 1988. Although in North America he
is valued primarily as a family pet, in Finland, he is still
used as a hunting dog.
This medium size dog is very active and friendly. They
can be, as most Spitz breeds, very independent and sometimes
aloof. Finkies can be stubborn, but are very loyal to its family.
They have strong hunting instincts, so a secure backyard, and
plenty of exercise is a must. They are very good with children,
wary of strangers and are natural watchdogs with a large bark.
They are aware of their place in the dominance hierarchy, and
some males may try to dominate. Proper training, at an early
age, by all family members, will make him realize his place in
the family hierarchy. Its double coat needs grooming one or
two times per week. The hair is not oily, so the dog has very
little doggy odor. They are a clean and healthy breed.
Dog: 17½-20 in. (44-51 cm) at withers
Bitch: 15½-18 in. (39-46 cm) at withers.
Watchdog: Very good.
Life Expectancy: 12 - 14 years.
Other Names: Suomenpystykorva,