A very independent and often aloof dog, the Finnish Spitz is a breed that is strong minded and lively. These dogs love to play and stay active, and physical and mental stimulation is a must in order to avoid boredom and associated destructive behavior. Although these dogs are very independent, they can also be very loyal and devoted to their families, and are known to be particularly fond of children. The Finnish Spitz may often bond with a particular person, but in general is a dog that loves the companionship of people and enjoys being a part of the family action. He does have a sensitive nature, and you should therefore ensure that he is not in an environment that is wrought with tension. Because of the independent nature of the breed it is important to ensure that he is socialized early on.
Although the Finnish Spitz gets along with most pets, he can be aggressive towards same sex dogs, and may chase smaller creatures such as birds and rodents. His aloof and conservative personality means that he will also be reserved with strangers in most cases. This is an intelligent breed that is quick to learn, which can make training easier, but this can be offset by his independence and willful streak, which means that assertiveness and confidence is needed by the owner. That said, the Finnish Spitz is a dog that is well suited to both experienced and inexperienced dog owners.
Finnish Spitz Temperament
The grooming requirements for the Finnish Spitz are relatively low, despite the fact that he can be a high seasonal shedder, which means that he is not really suited to those with allergies. You should brush his coat one a week, but this should be done more frequently during the periods when he is shedding more heavily.
The Finnish Spitz has historically been brought over from the Volga River Area of Central Russia, and evolved from the hunting tribes of Finland over 2000 years ago. It has become the national dog of Finland, and has often been mentioned in several Finnish patriotic songs. The breed is widely known throughout Scandinavian countries, and it was first recognized by the AKC in 1987. The first Finnish Sptizes were thoroughly inbred during the 1880s, and the first English Spitzes arrived in England in 1927.
These dogs make excellent family pets and have also been found to be good estate dogs. They are also excellent at hunting birds, and they can maintain careful watch over families and small children. Astute, swift, and intelligent, these dogs display many fox-like mannerisms. It is important that they are trained appropriately and managed with care; they have long been bred with an aggressive streak and have a tendency to fall into overly aggressive patterns as a result of their heritage.
A healthy and well-bred dog, the Finnish Spitz is handsome in appearance and strong as a leader.
The Finnish Spitz is a very smart, astute, confident, and intelligent breed. It learns new skills very quickly and they are easy to train with the appropriate amount of attention and care. These dogs are not difficult to train but they can become stubborn if they are overly anxious or fearful. It is important to work with them in a relaxed manner whenever possible. These dogs are willful and bold, and will perform at a high level once they are comfortable and have respect for their owners.
The Finnish Spitz has often been used in competition as a show dog with many of its virtuous traits and qualities. These dogs are impressive hunters, racers, and rescuers and can be trained from a very early age. They are sensitive to cues and owner demands, and will perform tricks as needed. Firmness and consistency are important for these dogs, and the best type of training is both motivational and playful. These dogs enjoy being outdoors and training them with 2-3 fifteen minute sessions per day is ideal. They are natural explorers, and taking them outside to new environments can also help improve their skills.
It is important to remember that this dog has become famous as a 'barking hunting dog' and it can be a very valuable asset during hunting phases. If it finds itself in an unpleasant situation, it will bark excessively but this acts more as a warning and the dog rarely bites. This dog makes an excellent watchdog, and will become naturally protective of its family. It has a special love for children and a strong sense of duty towards its owners.
Since the dog is exceptionally sensitive, it can pick up on harsh tones of owners and other any tension or bickering amongst family members as well. It is important to train these dogs with a positive tone and make sure they are addressed with firm and gentle voice. They respond well to touch but become too 'soft' without the appropriate control. Training needs to be brief and direct as these dogs are easily bored and may require ongoing obedience classes in conjunction with at-home training.
The life span of the Finnish Spitz is around 13-15 years, and in general this is a hardy and healthy breed with few problems associated with it in terms of health. Some of the health issues to look out for include cataracts, HD, and luxating patella. The parents of the Finnish Spitz puppy should have OFA and CERF certificates.