Finnish Spitz Dog Breed Information and Personality Traits

Friendly, playful, home-loving and loyal, the Finnish spitz is not considered aggressive, but tends to bark at anything especially outside. It also is best suited for a cooler climate.

Finnish Spitz at a glance
The Finnish Spitz Dog Breed

The Finnish spitz has been bred to develop its barking behavior and has a distinct ringing bark or yodel. Barking contests are even conducted in Finland


Weight Range:

Male: 31-36 lbs.
Female: 23-29 lbs.

Height at Withers:

Male: 17-20 in.

Female: 15-18 in.


Upright ears (naturally)


Exercise Requirements: 20-40 minutes/day
Energy Level: Average
Longevity Range: 12-14 yrs.
Tendency to Drool: Low
Tendency to Snore: Low
Tendency to Bark: High
Tendency to Dig: Low
Social/Attention Needs: Moderate

Bred For:

Hunting birds, small mammals


Length: Medium
Characteristics: Double coat, straight, dense
Colors: Shades of golden red
Overall Grooming Needs: Moderate

Club Recognition:

AKC Classification: Non-Sporting
UKC Classification: Northern Breeds
Prevalence: Rare

The Finnish spitz is a medium-sized dog with a pointed muzzle; short, erect ears; and a lush, golden-red or honey-colored coat that makes the dog look much like a fox.

Like other dogs of the spitz breeds, the Finnish spitz has an erect tail that curls over on the back, thick fur around the neck, and a sturdy, square stance.

The Finnish spitz is about 15 to 20 inches tall and weighs 30 to 35 pounds (14 to 16 kilograms). The breed's life span is an estimated 12 to 15 years.


The Finnish spitz is home-loving and friendly. The dog is loyal to his family, playful, and yet patient with children, and is generally good with other pets.  

The Finnish spitz is leery of people he does not know and will guard by barking if a stranger comes around, but he is not considered an aggressive dog.

Living With:

The Finnish spitz is a cold-weather dog and prefers cooler climates. He sheds heavily and requires frequent brushing and combing. He is known for barking; fanciers say the dogs will bark at anything, particularly when outdoors, so they are not suitable for households who cannot tolerate a noisy dog or for anyone who has neighbors that will complain about barking.

This dog needs plenty of exercise and probably is best suited to living in places where he can run. A Finnish spitz will do well in an apartment if he has a family devoted to providing daily exercise either in a good-sized yard or with long walks or jogs.

Fanciers of this breed say patience is required for obedience training.


The Finnish spitz is the national dog of Finland and has been in existence for centuries. The dog is thought to have descended from the early hunting dogs of Lapland and Scandinavia, and is related to the Russo-European Laika.

The breed is well known throughout Scandinavia. The Finnish spitz is used to hunt small game and birds and is known as the "barking bird dog" because it points hunters to game by barking. The dogs have been bred to develop their barking behavior, and barking contests are held in Finland. The Finnish spitz has a distinct ringing bark or yodel.

The breed makes an excellent family pet. The Finnish Spitz was admitted into the AKC non-sporting group in 1988.