(aka: Nordic Spitz, Norrbottenspitz)
The Norrbottenspets should be a light spitz dog, yet powerful in appearance. There should be lightness and power reflected in the dog. Males are noticeably more masculine than females, who are smaller and of lighter build. It should give the impression of being alert, spritely, and intelligent. In proportions the Norrbottenspets is slightly taller than long - fit for the original use as a hunter. The tail should curl over the back and rest on the hips.
The Norrbottenspets is a physical mixture of endurance, speed, and strength. The ribcage has elements of both speed and strength. Viewed from the front the ribcage is oval and relatively deep, half from height. The ribcage is also relatively long with well developed last ribs. The arched neck, distinguishable withers and slightly slanting croup makes the lines of the body very speedy. The underline has only a slight tuck up, which with the long ribcage reflects endurance.
Viewing the legs one can see both elements of speed and endurance. The relatively slanting shoulder blades, long upper arms and strong back angulations reflect endurance. The upper thigh forms a nearly 90 degree angle with the pelvis. Small, tight paws belong to an endurance trotter, but relatively long hocks add to the speed in gallop, especially in the start.
A Norrbottenspets is an affectionate and loving dog that would form and display unwavering loyalty to the owner. The dog can be likened to a shadow as it would follow the master where ever he goes. These dogs are vivacious and playful. They make excellent family companions as they are very gentle with children. A Nordic Spitz is one of the ten breeds of dogs noted for their gentleness with children. The dog can be depended to guard the children. This breed is never known to hurt a child. The dog would simply retreat when teased or harassed by an obnoxious child. However the dog may never play again with the child. Because of the dog' herding background it gets along well with other dogs and other smaller pets,
These are hunting dogs and bravery is inherent. These dogs like to bark too. They would warn the owner of approaching strangers. However the dog would not make an excellent guard dog as it is friendly with everyone. Excessive barking can be corrected with obedience training. The dog's intelligence coupled with their desire to please the master makes training the dog easy. Training however must be done in a positive manner as the dog would not take to harsh reprimands. The dog would get bored with repetitive commands too.
Being working and hunting dogs, a Norrbottenspets is highly energetic. The dog would appreciate being given a task to do. They would also need more exercise. This is why the dog is more suitable for sports minded people who love the outdoors. The dog will be an excellent companion in hiking, jogging, camping and other outdoor activities. Apartment living may not be a very good idea given that the dog would need ample space where they will be given the opportunity to roam, to exercise and to burn their excess energies.
The Norrbottenspets is easy to care for. It is a clean dog with no doggy smell. Bathing should be done on a necessary basis only. The coat does need to be brushed regularly to maintain its good condition.
The breed originated in Norrbotten, Sweden and Lappland/Kainuuland, Finland, and have been documented as early as the 17th century. Sweden and Finland argue about the true home of the Norrbottenspets, but clearly the dog has spent much time in both countries. The dogs were mainly used as hunting companions.
By the end of WW1, the Norbottenspets came close to extinction. Due to the very small number of norrbottens, Sweden closed its studbook in 1948. Although some dogs were preserved, they were in a non-Swedish speaking area and in the far north as a farm dog and companion. Enthusiasts sought out the few remaining dogs and started a successful breeding program between the 1950s and early 1960s.
The Norrbotten is extremely easy to train because of their high intelligence. They can get bored with repetitive sit, down, roll-over, shake, etc. commands when in obedience classes if these exercises are repeated over and over again. We have taken dogs up through advanced obedience and they do very well. They do love to play fetch. Most of the puppies pick this up naturally with no training. Agility and search and rescue are two additional interests to consider when looking for Norrbottenspets' type activities.
The Nordic Spitz is a healthy breed and seldom suffers from health problems.