Finnish Spitz Breed Information and Buying advice

Finnish Spitz

Are You Looking to Buy or Adopt a Finnish Spitz?

Quick Finnish Spitz Facts

Average Size of Adult
Medium (3/5)
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Grooming Requirement
Low (1/3)
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Sociability
Medium (2/3)
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Average Life Span
12-14 years (5/8)
Exercise Requirements
Medium (2/3)
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Trainability
High (3/3)
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Shedding
Medium (2/3)
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Child friendly
Yes (1/2)
Intelligence
Medium (2/3)
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Breed Group
Hound (2/8)
Hypoallergenic
No (2/2)

Finnish Spitz (Suomalainen pystykorva, Suomenpystykorva)

Overview

The Finnish Spitz is the national dog of Finland and was originally used for tracking bears and elk. This small dog is now used to find game birds. Although the Finnish Spitz has a working background, these dogs are just as happy to be in a family home. This is an energetic breed that loves playing and being outside, Finnish Spitz make excellent friends for children. The Finnish Spitz is fox-like in appearance with a bright red coat and a narrow muzzle. 

Physical Appearance 

The Finnish Spitz is a small, fox-like hunting dog that has a beautiful red coat. The key “fox-like” features on the Finnish Spitz include their wedge shaped head, narrow muzzle and black nose. This breed has medium, dark coloured eyes that have black rims and the Finnish Spitz’s small ears are soft, pointy and cocked. Finnish Spitz have excellent eyesight and keen hearing so they are always aware of their surroundings. 


Finnish Spitzs have a long, muscular neck, a deep chest and tucked bellies, This gives them a square outline and strong appearance. The plumed tail of the Finnish Spitz is carried curled from the base. The double coat of the Finnish Spitz is perfect for cold weather, the undercoat is soft and dense while the outer coat is straight and coarse. The Finnish Spitz is always red or red gold in colour and their fur is usually shorter on the head and front legs and longer elsewhere, particularly on the back of the Finnish Spitz’s thighs and tail. 


How big do Finnish Spitz dogs get? 

  • Height - Male: 38 - 51cm, Female: 38 - 51cm

  • Weight - Male: 14 - 16kg, Female: 14 - 16kg

Character Traits

Finnish Spitz are energetic dogs that want to be busy all the time. They are active, playful and extremely loyal. Finnish Spitz are not the kind of dog that wants to spend the day relaxing on the sofa so are best suited to families that love being outdoors. As you may expect with a working dog, the Finnish Spitz is very intelligent and easy to train. 


Are Finnish Spitz dogs intelligent? Yes, they are very clever and pick up on things quickly. 

Are Finnish Spitz dogs affectionate? They like to play more than cuddle so are not as affectionate as other breeds.

Do Finnish Spitz dogs have high or low energy levels? High energy levels

Are Finnish Spitz dogs loyal? Yes, they are extremely loyal.

Are Finnish Spitz dogs playful? Yes, these dogs will play at any opportunity.

Are Finnish Spitz dogs aggressive? No, they will often bark at things they don’t like. 

Are Finnish Spitz dogs easy to train? Yes, they learn quickly but can be independent at times.

Are Finnish Spitz dogs good guard dogs? Yes, Finnish Spitz are always alert.


Ability to Socialise 

Around their family, Finnish Spitz are friendly, playful and lively. They are fiercely loyal and wonderful companions. However, Finnish Spitz are suspicious of strangers and aren’t particularly interested in socialising with other dogs. The breed is usually tolerant of other dogs but it’s vital to socialise your Finnish Spitz from a young age to avoid aggressive behaviour. If you have other pets then think carefully about whether the Finnish Spitz is right for you, this breed has a high prey drive so will likely see smaller pets as prey. However, Finnish Spitz can get along with cats they have grown up around without a problem. 


Do Finnish Spitz dogs get along with other pets? While they will get on with cats they have grown up with, Finnish Spitz shouldn’t be left around smaller animals as they have a high prey drive and may see them as prey. 

Do Finnish Spitz dogs get along with other dogs? They are tolerant of other dogs but can be aggressive towards dogs they don’t know. 

Are Finnish Spitz dogs good with kids? Yes, they are great with children of all ages.

Are Finnish Spitz dogs good with strangers? No, they tend to be suspicious of strangers.


Lifestyle Suitability

Finnish Spitz may not be the biggest dogs but they need lots of space due to their high energy levels and on-the-go attitude. This means the Finnish Spitz is best suited to larger homes with access to a secure garden where they can run around and play. The breed is also sensitive to loud noises so do better in quieter areas. Finnish Spitz have an independent nature which means they can be left alone for short periods of time during the day. 


Are Finnish Spitz dogs good for first-time owners? No, they need an experienced owner that is familiar with their handling, training and socialisation needs. 

Are Finnish Spitz dogs hypoallergenic? No.

Are Finnish Spitz dogs prone to drooling? No.

Are Finnish Spitz dogs a good breed for apartment living? No, although Finnish Spitz are small-medium dogs they have a lot of energy so are best suited to living in places with plenty of space and access to a secure garden. 

Do  Finnish Spitz dogs shed a lot? Yes, they shed heavily throughout the year. 

Do  Finnish Spitz dogs bark a lot? Yes, they have a tendency to bark a lot as barking was a key part of their role when hunting. 

Can Finnish Spitz dogs be left alone at home? Yes, the independent nature of Finnish Spitz means they are okay to be left alone for short periods of time. 

Can Finnish Spitz dogs handle the heat? No, they have thick coats and can get hot quickly.

Can Finnish Spitz dogs handle cold temperatures? Yes, they are well suited to cold temperatures.

Are Finnish Spitz dogs sensitive to loud noises? Yes, they don’t do well in loud environments. 

General Health & Health Issues

Finnish Spitz have an average life span of 12 - 15 years, they are generally known to be healthy and active dogs. However, there are a few hereditary conditions that Finnish Spitz are more prone to including: 

  • Spitz Thrombopathia - This is a defect in platelets that increases the risk of spontaneous hemorrhage and excessive bleeding due to injury. The condition can be identified with DNA testing. There is no cure for this condition but dogs should be monitored closely and treated by a veterinarian whenever excessive bleeding occurs. Regular blood tests are sometimes recommended to ensure blood count is normal.

  • Immune mediated haemolytic anaemia - This is a condition that causes red blood cells to be destroyed by the body. It causes severe anaemia that leads to pale gums, low energy, breathing problems and collapse. The treatment of this includes steroids or immunosuppressant drugs, a blood transfusion if the dog is severely anaemic, a fluid drip and oxygen. Most dogs recover with intensive veterinary care. 

  • Cataracts - Cataracts are cloudy areas in the lens of the eye that  impact your dog's vision. They develop slowly and eventually cause blindness. Cataracts can be removed if necessary but many dogs can cope well with cataracts. 

  • Epilepsy -  This causes repeated seizures and can be caused by a number of underlying conditions. In most cases, epilepsy cannot be cured but can be managed with medication. 


How long do Finnish Spitz dogs live? - 12 - 15 years


Exercise & Play Time

Finnish Spitz love to be busy, they need to be walked for at least 45 minutes per day. Unlike some dogs, the Finnish Spitz won’t lay down and relax for the time they are not out walking; they will want to be playing, learning new things and spending time in the garden. Finnish Spitz is a dog breed you’re unlikely to tire out. They enjoy being off lead but it is important to take care when and where you let your Finnish Spitz off lead as they will often chase animals and livestock. Due to the aloof nature of the Finnish Spitz, they tend to enjoy going on calm, countryside walks.


How much exercise does a Finnish Spitz dog need? At least 45 minutes per day

Do Finnish Spitz dogs like water play? Yes, they enjoy swimming and playing in water during hot weather.

Nutrition & Feeding

Finnish Spitz are not known for being fussy eaters, they do well on a high-quality dry food diet. However, if your Finnish Spitz suffers from Thrombopathia your vet may recommend you switch from feeding dry food to wet food. 


A Finnish Spitz puppy will need between 190 - 225g of high quality dry food each day, the actual amount will depend on the individual puppy and should be split up into 3 or 4 portions that are offered throughout the day. This is just a rough estimate, as every dog is unique it is important to have a personal dietary plan made that suits them. 


Are Finnish Spitz dogs prone to weight gain? No.

How much should I feed a Finnish Spitz puppy? Between 190 - 225g of high quality dry food per day, depending on the age and build of the puppy. 

How much should I feed an adult Finnish Spitz dog? Between 175 - 250g of high quality dry food per day, depending on the dog's weight and activity level. 


Care & Maintenance

Grooming: The beautiful red coat of the Finnish Spitz is self-cleaning so water and mud will simply fall from it keeping it looking clean. However, Finnish Spitz do shed a lot and this makes them high maintenance. Due to this, Finnish Spitz require daily brushing to get rid of loose hair and keep their coats tidy. They should also have their ears checked and cleaned regularly. If your Finnish Spitz has thrombopathia then it is recommended they have their nails cut by a professional as accidentally cutting their nails too short can cause bleeding. 


Emotional Care: Finnish Spitz are adaptable dogs that are playful and full of energy. They can handle being left alone for short periods of time thanks to their independent nature. To keep a Finnish Spitz happy they need to have plenty of exercise and playtime. Dog sports is a good way to keep a Finnish Spitz entertained. If this breed doesn’t get enough physical and mental stimulation they quickly become bored and may bark excessively or become destructive as a way of relieving stress and boredom. 


History of the Finnish Spitz

The Finnish Spitz was developed from ancient Russian Spitz-type dogs that were brought to Finland by migrating tribes thousands of years ago. The Finnish Spitz was favoured for their loyal nature and excellent hunting skills but the breed was almost lost in the 19th century when the Spitz dogs were being bred with local dogs. However, a breeding programme was set up by Hugo Roos to save the Finnish Spitz breed. The first breed standard for the Finnish Spitz was written in 1892. 


Now the Finnish Spitz is the national dog of Finland. The breed is highly prized in Finland but is little known in the rest of the world. They have a fan base in New Zealand, Australia, Canada, America and Holland but there are only a few Finnish Spitz dogs found in the UK. Due to this, there are long waiting lists for Finnish Spitz puppies in the UK 

Interesting Facts About Finnish Spitz Dogs

  • The Finnish Spitz is the national dog of Finland 

  • Finnish Spitz bark to alert hunters of prey 

  • Finnish Spitz have been around for thousands of years 

  • The breed almost went extinct due to cross breeding with local dogs

  • Finnish Spitz are common competitors in a annual barking competition in Finland

Getting a Finnish Spitz Puppy

If you are considering getting a Finnish Spitz puppy, take a look at our buying guide for advice on finding and buying your new dog. There are risks to buying puppies online so always be aware of scams and bad practices. On Puppies, we make sure all breeders have been vetted to ensure they are responsible. Take a look at our Finnish Spitz page to find puppies available in your area. 


How much does a Finnish Spitz cost to buy? £800 - £2000 

How much does a Finnish Spitz cost to feed? £35 per month

How much does insurance for a Finnish Spitz cost? -  £20 - £45 per month depending on the level of cover


As there are very few Finnish Spitz dogs in the UK, you may have to join a waiting list for a puppy. However, you could also consider adopting a Finnish Spitz in need of a home. We recommend speaking to your local rescue centre or contacting the associations below:


Rehome a Finnish Spitz with the Dogs Trust 

Talk to the Finnish Spitz Society about rehoming a rescue 

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