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Finnish Spitz

FinnishSpitz

A Rowdy & Intelligent Family Dog

Playful, devoted, vocal

Finnish Spitzes are alert, busy, and protective, medium-sized dogs. This hunting breed is good with children and families, but can be suspicious of strangers and unfamiliar dogs. With the right amount of attention and exercise, Finkies make great companions for active individuals, families with older children, and those who enjoy the outdoors. This breed needs plenty of exercise every day—either a long brisk walk or vigorous run.

Understanding their unique needs will help keep them healthy and create a strong bond between the two of you. Explore this page to learn more about the breed’s history, health concerns, characteristics, and care needs.

Breed Details

Height:15-18 in. Weight:23-36 lb Lifespan:12-15 years

Size
2

1=small 5=large

Grooming requirements
3

1 = little grooming - 5 = much grooming

Energy level
3

1 = low energy - 5 = high energy

Ease of training
3

1 = difficult - 5 = easy

Affection toward owners
3

1 = independent - 5 = very affectionate

Friendliness toward strangers
1

1 = shy - 5 = very friendly

Routine Care: Finnish Spitzes are smart dogs with lots of energy, so keep their mind and body active, or they'll get bored. That's when the naughty stuff starts. They have a high prey drive, so they need to be leash-walked and a sturdy fence is a must.

Grooming: Brush their coat as needed, at least weekly.

Dental: Finnish Spitzes generally have good teeth, and you can keep them perfect by brushing them at least twice a week!

Ear Care: Clean their ears weekly, even as a puppy. Don’t worry—your veterinarian can show you how!


Finnish Spitzes are playful companions that enjoy children. They need a lot of exercise, but are sensitive, loyal, and protective of their families.

Positive Traits:

  • Protective of family: good watch dog

  • Alert, curious, and busy

  • Playful and energetic

  • Good with children

  • Loving and loyal to their owners

  • Lively, with a friendly personality

Negative Traits:

  • Can be rambunctious and rowdy, especially as a younger dog

  • Sensitive by nature, a bit slow to mature

  • Barks or chews when bored

  • Can be independent and strong-willed

  • Likes to dig

  • Suspicious of strangers

Whether you are considering adding a new Finnish Spitz to your family or you already have one as a companion, it is important for you to know about the genetically linked diseases known to occur more often in this breed. Of course not every Finnish Spitz will have these problems, but research shows your pal is more at risk than other breeds. 

By exploring the health concerns specific to the Finnish Spitz you will become a knowledgeable and confident pet parent. Be sure to speak with your veterinarian about breed risks every time you visit and educate yourself on the most important signs to watch for at home. They are counting on you to be their health expert.

Some health issues a Finnish Spitz could encounter:

The Finnish Spitz originated in Finland and is an ancient hunting breed known for its foxlike appearance. They are the national dog of Finland and are affectionately called “barking bird dogs.” They are skilled hunters that will tree their prey, then use their bark to alert hunters. The Finnish Spitz is a highly intelligent dog that balances a strong will and independence with family loyalty. They are a generally healthy breed with an average lifespan of 12 - 15 years.

Consult with a veterinarian if your Finnish Spitz shows signs of the following:

  • Increased hunger and thirst, weight loss
  • Gums that are a color other than bright pink
  • Cloudiness to eye lens
  • Squinting, watery eyes, bluing cornea, redness, enlarged eye
  • Dilated pupils in daylight, or increase "eye shine" at night
  • General reluctance to run or play
  • Skin sores, shifting leg lameness
  • Any abnormal shaking, trembling, or excessive involuntary tremors
  • Shortness of breath, cough, or fainting
  • Woolly coat, growth abnormalities
  • Easily startled, no reaction to unseen sounds
  • Dull coat, hair loss, sluggish, weight gain
  • Care

    Routine Care: Finnish Spitzes are smart dogs with lots of energy, so keep their mind and body active, or they'll get bored. That's when the naughty stuff starts. They have a high prey drive, so they need to be leash-walked and a sturdy fence is a must.

    Grooming: Brush their coat as needed, at least weekly.

    Dental: Finnish Spitzes generally have good teeth, and you can keep them perfect by brushing them at least twice a week!

    Ear Care: Clean their ears weekly, even as a puppy. Don’t worry—your veterinarian can show you how!


  • Characteristics

    Finnish Spitzes are playful companions that enjoy children. They need a lot of exercise, but are sensitive, loyal, and protective of their families.

    Positive Traits:

    • Protective of family: good watch dog

    • Alert, curious, and busy

    • Playful and energetic

    • Good with children

    • Loving and loyal to their owners

    • Lively, with a friendly personality

    Negative Traits:

    • Can be rambunctious and rowdy, especially as a younger dog

    • Sensitive by nature, a bit slow to mature

    • Barks or chews when bored

    • Can be independent and strong-willed

    • Likes to dig

    • Suspicious of strangers

  • Health Concerns

    Whether you are considering adding a new Finnish Spitz to your family or you already have one as a companion, it is important for you to know about the genetically linked diseases known to occur more often in this breed. Of course not every Finnish Spitz will have these problems, but research shows your pal is more at risk than other breeds. 

    By exploring the health concerns specific to the Finnish Spitz you will become a knowledgeable and confident pet parent. Be sure to speak with your veterinarian about breed risks every time you visit and educate yourself on the most important signs to watch for at home. They are counting on you to be their health expert.

    Some health issues a Finnish Spitz could encounter:

  • History

    The Finnish Spitz originated in Finland and is an ancient hunting breed known for its foxlike appearance. They are the national dog of Finland and are affectionately called “barking bird dogs.” They are skilled hunters that will tree their prey, then use their bark to alert hunters. The Finnish Spitz is a highly intelligent dog that balances a strong will and independence with family loyalty. They are a generally healthy breed with an average lifespan of 12 - 15 years.

  • Watch Out For

    Consult with a veterinarian if your Finnish Spitz shows signs of the following:

    • Increased hunger and thirst, weight loss
    • Gums that are a color other than bright pink
    • Cloudiness to eye lens
    • Squinting, watery eyes, bluing cornea, redness, enlarged eye
    • Dilated pupils in daylight, or increase "eye shine" at night
    • General reluctance to run or play
    • Skin sores, shifting leg lameness
    • Any abnormal shaking, trembling, or excessive involuntary tremors
    • Shortness of breath, cough, or fainting
    • Woolly coat, growth abnormalities
    • Easily startled, no reaction to unseen sounds
    • Dull coat, hair loss, sluggish, weight gain

Finnish Spitz Discussions

Share your thoughts and experiences, ask questions, or just show your love for the Finnish Spitz breed here!

Select Another Breed

To view the sources for the information listed on this page, see our Dog Breed Guide Reference page.

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