Finnish Spitz or Suomenpystykorva - Origin, Character and Behavior

Finnish Spitz or Suomenpystykorva: find out what this animal is like, its physical characteristics, character, behavior, etc. Want to learn more about the most...

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Want to learn more about the most sociable and energetic dog of all Nordic dog breeds? As you can imagine, we are obviously talking about the Finnish Spitz, an experienced hunter and an excellent pet that stands out for its intelligence and its ability to learn as well as its balanced and friendly character. These dogs are a very old breed which, over the years, gained more and more popularity, spreading all over the world in the 1960s. In this file of PlanèteAnimal we tell you about the elegant and daring Finnish Spitz , a multifaceted dog to discover!

Continue reading this PlanèteAnimal file and discover everything there is to know about the Finnish Spitz or suomenpystykorva, as it is called in its native language.


  • Europe
  • Finland

FCI Nomenclature

  • Group V

Physical Characteristics

  • Muscular
  • Proportional
  • Long ears


  • Average


  • 45-55

Adult Weight

  • 10-25

Life expectancy

  • 12-14

Recommended physical activity

  • High


  • Balanced
  • Society
  • Smart
  • Active
  • Affectionate
  • Dominant

Ideal for

  • Children
  • House
  • Walking
  • The hunt
  • Sports

Recommended climate

  • Cold

Hair type

  • Long
  • Hard
  • Big

Origin of the Finnish Spitz

With several centuries of history behind them, Finnish Spitz have traditionally been used as hunting dogs in many Nordic countries such as Finland or Sweden.These dogs were, and continue to be, highly prized by hunters, as they have incredible abilities to find prey (birds, grouse and moose). Thanks to these dogs, hunters knew where the prey they were pursuing was. The ancestry of these dogs is unknown, but researchers believe they share a genetic makeup with wild wolves.

The breed began to have an official registry in 1890, soon after, in 1892, the first official Finnish Spitz standard was established. During this same decade, the first competitions were held with a breed show and a bird hunting competition. The breed has always been highly valued in Finland to such an extent that it is considered Finland's national dog.

Currently, the breed standard includes those that were previously distinguished as two independent breeds: the Karelian-Finnish Laika and the Finnish Spitz. Both breeds were unified in the Finnish Spitz in 2006.

Characteristics of the Finnish Spitz

Finnish Spitz are medium-sized dogs that weigh between 14 and 16 kilograms for males and 11-13 for females for a height at the withers that varies from 43 to 51 centimeters for males and from 39 to 45 for females. A Finnish Spitz has an average lifespan of around 12 years.

The body of the Finnish Spitz is square and robust, with an athletic and slender bearing. Its limbs are straight and parallel, a characteristic that emphasizes their solidity and power. The tail of the Finnish Spitz curls over its back and, when extended, reaches the hock. It is covered with a large layer of hair.

The head of the Finnish Spitz is oval and widens at the cheeks and ears (where it is widest). It has a slight stop, a narrow muzzle with a straight profile and a marked and powerful jaw. The eyes are almond-shaped and lively, while the ears, high insertions, are small in size and triangular in shape.

The coat of the Finnish Spitz has a double coat structure, with a very insulating, soft and dense woolly undercoat, and a longer and rougher to the touch finish coat. The coat is quite long, especially on the shoulders, but much shorter on the legs and head. The coat color should be bright red or golden red, more intense on the back and preferably in lighter shades on the cheeks, ears, throat, chest, undersides of the legs and tail. Only small white spots on the feet are allowed in the breed standard.

Character of the Finnish Spitz

The Finnish Spitz is a very sociable dog, very happy in contact with others and very affectionate. Even with strangers, he is nice, because even if he can be a little more distant with them, he will never be aggressive or surly. He is a dog that can perfectly live with children, because he is patient, kind and playful!

The temperament of the Finnish Spitz is very balanced, very courageous and very determined. He doesn't like loneliness, but he likes having his space because he can be a little bit independent.

He's a very active dog and like other gun dog breeds, you're going to need to make sure he gets enough daily exercise and doesn't get bored when you're not. you're not at home. If your dog isn't exercising enough or isn't being stimulated enough, he's likely to end up developing behavioral issues.

Caring for the Finnish Spitz

One of the aspects to which we must pay the most attention if we have a Finnish Spitz will be the care of its coat and, above all, its skin. You will need to brush it every 2-3 days to remove traces of dirt and to make sure it is not infested with fleas or ticks clinging to the skin. These dogs' skin is quite sensitive, so you're going to have to take care of it, and if you see any redness or flaking appearing, you'll need to take it to the vet.

You also need to exercise him daily so he can release excess energy. With these dogs, a short walk is not enough for them to get fresh air and relief and they need intense exercise sessions. It is therefore advisable to practice canine sports with these dogs or activities such as going for a run with them, Agility, etc.

Finnish Spitz Puppy

The care of a Finnish Spitz puppy goes beyond that mentioned, as these little ones need some things that adult dogs already have. Thus, it will be essential to have a suitable and comfortable bed for him to sleep in, toys that are both fun and chewable, bowls of food and water, a claw clipper in the case where you plan to trim your dog's claws at home and a potty mat for him to relieve himself on,.

Training and education of the Finnish Spitz

When training a Finnish Spitz, you may come up against its strong character and its reluctance to obey. This is why, during training sessions, it is recommended to consider them as fun sessions. In this way, if learning is a game, your Finnish Spitz will play it with pleasure!

The training sessions should also not be too long and one or two daily sessions of about 15 minutes should be enough for us. Of course, we must always be patient and persistent if we want to see the changes. It is advisable to take it little by little, first teaching them the basic commands and gradually making the sessions more difficult.

On the other hand, the socialization of the Finnish spitz puppy, or the adult if we adopted it at an older age, is essential to ensure that you have a balanced dog.

He alth of the Finnish Spitz

The Finnish Spitz are a breed whose breeding is highly controlled and monitored, which is why it has been possible to avoid the development of serious congenital diseases in specimens of this breed. However, they seem to have high skin sensitivity because their skin is very fragile. This leads to skin disorders such as dermatitis or fungal infections. To avoid the proliferation of fungi and microorganisms, it is necessary to ensure that the skin remains dry, since humidity will cause the generation of more pathogenic infections.

In addition, regular veterinary checks should be carried out to assess the general state of he alth, carrying out the corresponding vaccinations and dewormings. In this way, we will avoid diseases as serious as rabies or canine distemper.

Pictures of Finnish Spitz or Suomenpystykorva

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