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Finnish Spitz: What's Good About 'Em, What's Bad About 'Em

Finnish Spitz temperament, personality, training, behavior, pros and cons, advice, and information, by Michele Welton, Dog Trainer, Behavioral Consultant, Author of 15 Dog Books

Finnish Spitz dog breed

The fox-like Finnish Spitz is lively and agile, quick and light on his feet.

He plays hard and enjoys vigorous exercise, especially in the snow. Without enough activity (physical and mental), this creative thinker will become bored and perhaps destructive.

He is very people-oriented and needs a great deal of companionship, especially from his favorite person. He doesn't like being left alone,and because of his extremely sensitive nature, he doesn't do well in an environment with frequent tension or loud voices.

The Finnish Spitz is sharp-eyed and keen of hearing and will immediately alert when he sees or hears anything unusual.

Conservative with strangers, he requires early and frequent socialization to ensure that his caution does not become suspicion or shyness. He also needs early physical handling as he often does not like being examined.

Typically bold with other dogs, he can be jealous and scrappy with those of the same sex and predatory with rodents and birds.

The Finnish Spitz learns quickly but is clever and independent and thus challenging to train.

These vocal dogs will greet you with throaty sounds of crooning, purring, and yodeling. They love to bark, and their barking pattern is high-pitched, piercing, and rapid (2.5 barks per second!). If left outside unattended, they can drive neighbors up the wall.

If you want a dog who...

  • Is medium-sized
  • Is lively and agile, quick moving and light on his feet
  • Enjoys vigorous exercise and athletic activities
  • Makes a keen watchdog (but not a guard dog)

A Finnish Spitz may be right for you.

If you don't want to deal with...

  • High energy level requiring plenty of exercise
  • "Separation anxiety" (destructiveness and barking) when left alone too much
  • Suspiciousness or timidity toward strangers when not socialized enough
  • Potential aggression toward other animals – chasing instincts
  • Stubbornness (mind of his own)
  • Emotional sensitivity to stress and loud voices
  • Heavy shedding
  • Extreme vocalness, including barking and yodeling

A Finnish Spitz may not be right for you.


Dog Breed Traits – Which Traits Are Right For You?

In this brand new series, I'll help you decide which dog breed traits would best suit you and your family, your home and yard, and your lifestyle, so you can choose the best dog breed for your family.

Keep in mind that the inheritance of temperament  is less predictable than the inheritance of physical  traits such as size or shedding. Temperament and behavior are also shaped by raising and training.

FREE eBooks by Michele Welton

dog icon"Respect Training for Puppies"  and "Teach Your Dog 100 English Words"  are free step by step guides to teaching your pup to be calm and well-behaved.

dog icon"11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy"  is a free guide to keeping your dog mentally, physically, and emotionally happy and healthy so you can enjoy a longer lifetime of companionship.

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  • You can avoid some negative traits by choosing an ADULT dog from an animal shelter or rescue group. With an adult dog, you can easily see what you're getting, and plenty of adult Finnish Spitz have already proven themselves not to have negative characteristics.
  • If you want a puppy, you can avoid some negative traits by choosing the right breeder and the right puppy.

More traits and characteristics of the Finnish Spitz

If I was considering a Finnish Spitz, I would be most concerned about...

  1. Barking. Finnish Spitz are extremely vocal dogs, quick to sound the alarm at every new sight and sound. If you have close neighbors, Finnish Spitz are not a good choice for you. For the same reason, these dogs should never be left outside in your yard, unsupervised. To make matters worse, many Finnish Spitz have rapid, high-pitched barks that can set your teeth on edge.
  2. Potential animal aggression. Finnish Spitz are hunting dogs, which means they have strong instincts to chase and seize other animals that run. Like cats, for example. Some Finnish Spitz are dominant or aggressive toward other dogs of the same sex.
  3. Providing enough exercise. Finnish Spitz don't need miles of running, but they definitely need regular opportunities to vent their energy by romping and playing in a large enclosed area, like a dog park. Otherwise they will become bored, which they usually express by barking and destructive chewing.

    Unless exceedingly well-trained, Finnish Spitz should be trusted off-leash. Remember that they are hunting dogs – they will take off after anything that runs.

  4. Fence security. Some Finnish Spitz are clever escape artists who will go over or under fences in search of adventure. To keep your Finnish Spitz in, you may need higher fences than you might imagine for their size. You may also need to sink wire into the ground along the fence line to thwart digging. Gates should have the highest quality locks.
  5. Providing enough socialization. Standoffish by nature, Finnish Spitz need extensive exposure to people and to unusual sights and sounds. Otherwise their natural caution can become shyness or suspiciousness, which are difficult to live with.
  6. Mind of his own. Finnish Spitz can be willful and obstinate and will make you prove that you can make them do things. You must show them, through absolute consistency, that you mean what you say. To teach your Finnish Spitz to listen to you, "Respect Training" is mandatory. Read my free online training programs.
  7. Emotional sensitivity. Be there tension in your home? Are people loud or angry or emotional? Are there arguments? Finnish Spitz are sensitive to stress and can end up with neurotic behaviors if the people in their home are having family problems.
  8. Heavy shedding. Like all spitz-type breeds, Finnish Spitz shed a lot. Be prepared for lots of brushing to get the dead hair out, and vacuuming!

Michele Welton with BuffyAbout the author: Michele Welton has over 40 years of experience as a Dog Trainer, Dog Breed Consultant, and founder of three Dog Training Centers. An expert researcher and author of 15 books about dogs, she loves helping people choose, train, and care for their dogs.

My best-selling books – now available  FREE  on my website

book coverRespect Training For Puppies: 30 seconds to a calm, polite, well-behaved puppy is for puppies 2 to 18 months old. Your puppy will learn the 21 skills that all family dogs need to know. Click here to read for free.
book coverTeach Your Dog 100 English Words is a unique Vocabulary and Respect Training Program that will teach your adult dog to listen to you and do what you say. Click here to read for free.
book cover11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy helps your dog live a longer, healthier life. Get my honest advice about all 11 Things before you bring home your new puppy, because some mistakes with early health care cannot be undone. Click here to read for free.

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