A Finnish Spitz is a breed of dog originating in Finland. The breed was originally bred to hunt all types of game from squirrels and other rodents to bears. It is a “bark pointer”, indicating the position of game by barking, and drawing the gamer animal’s attention to itself, allowing an easier approach for the hunter. Its original game hunting purpose was to point to game that fled into trees, such as grouse, and capercaillie, but it also serves well for hunting elk. Some individuals have even been known to go after a bear. In its native country, the breed is still mostly used as a hunting dog. The breed is friendly and in general loves children, so it is suitable for domestic life. The Finnish Spitz has been the national dog of Finland since 1979.
The Finnish Spitz was originally named as (the Finnish Cock Eared Dog) or the Finnish Barking Birddog. It was brought to Finland over 2000 years ago
from the Volga River Area of Central Russia (now it is Finland). This dog is considered the National dog of Finland, and is even mentioned in several patriotic songs. The Finnish Spitz was bred to hunt a wide variety of game from squirrels and other rodents to bears and wild boar.
The breed was developed from dogs that owned different Finnish tribes, and therefore the early breed members were the pure-bred dogs with strong hunting instincts. The Finnish Spitz remained pure until the 1870’s when a French explorer De La Martiniere documented the breed for the first time. By the 1880’s, Finnish Spitz began to be interbred with different dogs that travelled with their owners to the area.
Hugo Sandberg and his hunting companion Hugo Ross decided to save the native breed of Finnish Spitz from almost certain extinction. They acquired several members of the breed, and began to develop a pure line over the next ten years. Sandberg was the first to create a formal breed standard by the end of the XIX century.