The national dog of Finland, the Finnish Spitz, is by far the oldest of all the Finnish breeds. It was bred directly from the native landrace dog population without crossbreeding, and it has followed the Finnish people since ancient times. A dog similar to the Finnish Spitz has been found in prehistoric cave paintings. The Finnish people lived in isolated residential areas in the wilderness in the Northern part of Finland, from Kainuu all the way to Murmansk, and their dogs remained purer in comparison with dogs living more south where they easily got mixed with other dogs.
See More: From the Finnish Dog Museum (Online)
Links to Breed Descriptions:
From: Kennelliito (The Finnish Kennel Club) Native Breeds: Finnish Spitz
Below is archived content... from the Finnish Kennel Club website.
"The Finnish Spitz is the end result of high-standard domestic breeding work. It was bred directly out of the native landrace dog population without crossbreeding, making it a real rarity as a hunting dog on the international level as well.
The Finnish Spitz primarily barks at birds perched in trees, using its voice to indicate the location of game. It is mostly used to hunt forest game birds, but also to some extent as an elk-hunting dog as well as to hunt small game and retrieve birds shot into the water.
When retrieving game, the Finnish Spitz will move over a distance of 100 - 500 metres and often even further away from the hunter. The connection with the hunter will be retained in spite of this distance, however. It finds birds on the ground or in trees with the help of its extremely sensitive nose and is capable of tracking an escaping bird for several hundred metres in even the most difficult terrain. It indicates the location of the bird with its bark and behaviour, and will try to keep the bird in the tree by barking until the hunter gets there." read more... at the Internet Archive -
Finnish Spitz Club of America - Judges Education PowerPoint
Internal (retained for archiving purposes) Finnish Spitz - fsca_seminar_2016
Finnish Spitz Club -- Finnish Spitz -- Finland's National Breed
Also see: TOVERI FINNISH SPITZ
And from the American Kennel Club (IPFD Founding Partner):
AKC Video (link - https://youtu.be/sRMKFLsISQk😞
View more videos on AKC's YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/AmericanKennelClub
Other Names for Breed:
Country of Origin and Parent Breed Club:
Finnish Kennel Club - An IPFD Founding Partner !
WOW! Awesome new link; The Finnish Canine Museum. Fabulous online resource and the first focus is on the National Breed of Finland ... the Finnish Spitz. Everything here on history, art and more.
The Finnish Spitz is bred from a native landrace
Health and Well-Being:
Some sources of health information include:
National kennel clubs and breed clubs (see, e.g. Breeding/Health Strategy Documents, below)
Population-level statistics (see, e.g., Swedish Insurance Data, below)
Breed club surveys
The following article by Katariina Mäki (2021) offers in-depth information on development of the Finnish Spitz Breeding Strategy.
The article, Breed-specific breeding strategies to achieve positive outcomes - the Finnish Spitz as an example, is presented in 3 parts.
Part I. Tackling the main health conditions
Part II. Success story regarding epilepsy
Part III. Increasing and maintaining genetic diversity
THE FINNISH SPITZ-FROM A LECTURE TO TRAINEE JUDGES BY MRS DOREEN DUFFIN.pdf
Check out the electronic archive... Suomen Pystykorvajärjestö • Finska Spetsklubben ry. which offers a collection of published issues as PDFs, dated from 2014 to as early as 2002. (Publication written in Finnish)
There are numerous breed standards.
The basis of breed/conformation shows is the judging of pedigree dogs against the 'Breed Standard', which is a picture in words that describes the range of features that are deemed appropriate for the breed.
Three of the major international standards are:
The American Kennel Club
The Kennel Club, UK
FCI (Federation Cynologique Internationale)
1. Swedish Insurance Data
Breed-specific information on rates of disease and death from Agria Pet Insurance (Agria Djurförsäkring) is available for many breeds.
This breed has information on Veterinary Care and Life Insurance.
2. Finnish Kennel Club:
Breeding/Health Strategy Documents:
Health/Breeding Strategy Documents and Links:
The Kennel Club, UK: Breed Watch (Category 1)
Sweden: Breed-specific Breeding Strategies: (in Swedish) and/ or English summary
Finland: Summary of the Breed-Specific Breeding Program (JTO) Finnish Spitz -- 2016-2020
This file contains extensive information and statistics in English pertaining to the breed management strategy for the Finnish Spitz breed.
Finnish Spitz Club - The Spitz Club of Finland (Suomen Pystykorvajärjestö-Finska Spetsklubben r.y. (SPJ-FSK r.y.)
Contact persons: http://www.spj.fi/en/finnish+spitz+club/activities/contact/
Breed-Specific DNA Tests:
Other Breed-Specific Webpages:
Associated research... Origins and wanderings of the Finnish hunting spitzes
MyDogDNA® contributes to the understanding of the breed history and diversity of the Finnish national dog
NOTES: The MyDog DNA link is no longer accessible...
14/03/2017 at 05:21 pm – Heidi Anderson
This week the Journal of Animal Breeding and Genetics
published a study regarding the impact of breed history on the genetic diversity in Finnish and Nordic Spitz. The study was conducted in collaboration between Genoscoper Laboratories, breed enthusiasts and the department of Environmental and Biological Sciences, University of Eastern Finland
. Besides combining traditional pedigree analysis and genotyping in a unique way, the work is also a rare example of citizen science. With the publication, the authors of the study want to raise the awareness of the historical significance as well as the present state of the two breeds and thus to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Finnish independence.
The closely related Finnish Spitz and Nordic Spitz represent a direct continuation to the prehistorical, medium sized hunting spitzes, which were once used for subsistence hunting throughout the northern Fennoscandia. Breeds started to diverge only after the founding of the Finnish Spitz in 1892. When compared to the Nordic Spitz, Finnish Spitz has been always very popular and owned a large population size. In contrast, the Nordic Spitz nearly went extinct before being resurrected as a breed in Sweden in 1966 from a handful of dogs, which were later supplemented with Finnish feral spitzes. The studbook was closed in Sweden in 1980’s but remains open in Finland.
Due to its long history, Finnish Spitz has been until recently under intensive breeding regime, including the overrepresentation of few champion males in the breeding population. This quite likely explains the lower than average genetic heterozygosity in the breed. The situation has already been known for a while and the Finnish Spitz club has intensified efforts to broaden the breeding population and to increase genetic diversity in the breed.
Rather surprisingly, the study revealed high diversity in the Nordic Spitz, with heterozygosity levels similar to mixed breed dogs. This diversity is explained partly by the short breeding history but also by the recent admixture with other dog breeds, as evident from the existence of a genetic disease mutation originating from the Finnish Hound.
Another interesting outcome of the study is the evaluation of the historical effective population sizes (Figure 1). For both breeds, the effective population size collapsed concomitantly with the breed establishment, demonstrating how breed standard efficiently blocks the gene flow among dog populations. The large historical population sizes do not necessarily indicate large local populations, but rather the fact that the ancestors of our modern spitz breeds are genetically connected to most northern hunting spitzes. The historical effective population size of Nordic Spitz is somewhat larger than Finnish Spitz, probably due to the recent admixture with other modern breeds.
Finnish Spitz and Nordic Spitz represent thousands of year’s old cultural history, whose continuation will be dependent on maintaining the breeds in hunting use. Finns have particular responsibility in this, as not only the majority of the world population of these two breeds lives in Finland, but also because these dogs are a living link to the traditional lifestyle that enabled subsistence in the wilderness.
Link to the publication: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jbg.12262/abstract - SEE the publication below.
Founder representation and effective population size in old versus young breeds—genetic diversity of Finnish and Nordic Spitz
M. Kumpulainen H. Anderson T. Svevar I. Kangasvuo J. Donner J. Pohjoismäki First published: 10 March 2017
Origins and wanderings of the Finnish hunting spitzes
Pedigrees of Finnish Spitz traced back to the 19th Century
See the article that describes the research in English...
Pedigree data of Finland’s national breed, going all the way back to the 19th Century, can now be reviewed in the Finnish Kennel Club’s Breeding Database.
"It is fair to say that the Finnish Spitz has been an established breed since the 1930s. It was declared Finland's national dog breed in 1979. The Finnish Spitz is a valuable aspect of our vibrant national cultural heritage and it is closely linked to the history of the Finnish people. The Finnish Kennel Club, The Finnish Hunters' Association, and the Finnish Spitz Club of Finland have worked together in order to include hunting with the Finnish Spitz in UNESCO’s lists of Intangible Cultural Heritage."
More information in Finnish...
We are listing sites for breed clubs with health or other information that might be helpful. Follow links below.
Finland: Finnish Spitz Club - The Spitz Club of Finland (Suomen Pystykorvajärjestö-Finska Spetsklubben r.y. (SPJ-FSK r.y.)
USA: Finnish Spitz Club of America
UK: The Finnish Spitz Society