The Finnish Spitz is a small-sized, rugged breed, with a fox-like appearance and a lively temperament. A member of the small hunting breeds, the Finnish Spitz originated in Finland and is one of the oldest known breeds, with the breed standards dating back to 1812.
Known as the Finsk Spets and Suomen-pystyykorva in Finland, meaning the "Finnish prick-eared dog", these dogs are famous for their hunting and watchdog capabilities. The Gun Dogs, as they are often referred to, exhibit a perfect combination of the finer attributes of the Setter, Pointer, and the Retriever.
This attractive breed has a typical Spitz look, with sharply pricked ears, dark, almond-shaped eyes, pitch-black nose, and a wedge-shaped head with a scissor bite. The dogs of this breed look immensely graceful with a square, well-balanced and symmetrical body structure.
Though placed in the Hound Group in Britain, in Finland, its native country, these dogs have been extensively used for hunting across centuries. They basically fall in the category of a bark pointer, which implies that they indicate the position of the game by barking to attract the hunter's attention.
Historically, the Finnish Spitz have been primarily used to bark at game that flees into trees, such as squirrels, grouses, and capercaillies, in addition to hunting for moose and elk as well. Interestingly, inspite of being a small-sized creature, a few of the Finnish Spitz breed have even been known to hunt for bear. Such traits have always been typically characteristic of the Finnish Spitz, making it stand out amongst other small-sized breeds.
As a matter of fact, the number of Finnish Spitz being registered often decreases in the years when the numbers of capercaille, the large game bird, dwindle considerably.
Alert and intelligent by nature, these dogs also make for excellent watchdogs, owing to their vocal nature, especially when provoked or encouraged. Specifically in their native country Finland, these dogs are commonly found to be working as watchdogs in villages, isolated hamlets, and farms.
The protective instinct of this Gun Dog makes it an ideal watchdog for the household, especially those having small children and elderly people. They are also the ideal guard dogs for bigger households, which require ample security measures.
The Finnish Spitz is an impulsive and natural hunter. These creatures have an inherent liking to hunt, built-in into their temperament. Hence, it is important that the Finnish Spitz is not allowed to be on a hunt all by themselves. However, being an extremely courageous breed of dogs, the Finnish Spitz generally loves to venture out on their own and explore their surroundings. They are seldom fearful of any new surroundings and will have to be under stringent supervision in an environment which could pose any form of a threat or potential danger to them.