Finnish Hound

FCI standard Nº 51

Origin
Finland
Group
Group 6 Scent Hounds and Related Breeds
Section
Section 1.2.Medium sized Hounds
Working
With working trial
Acceptance on a definitive basis by the FCI
Sunday 08 August 1954
Publication of the official valid standard
Thursday 17 July 1997
Last update
Tuesday 14 November 2000
En français, cette race se dit
Chien courant finlandais
Diese Norm ist in deutscher Sprache sichtbar
Finnischer Laufhund
En español, esta raza se dice
Sabueso finlandés
In het Nederlands, wordt dit ras gezegd
Finse brak
In his country of origin, his name is

Suomenajokoira

Usage

A hound for hunting hare and fox by following the scent. Eager to hunt also in difficult circumstances. He works independently, he is a versatile tracker and pursues the quarry with resonant barking.

Brief historical summary

In Finland in the beginning of 19th century there were in addition to the finnish country dogs also many dogs resembling the European hound breeds. After the establishment of the Finnish Kennel Club in 1889 the development of the Finnish Hound began. The first standard was written in 1932. The breeding associations in different parts of the country were very important to the development of the breed. The crosses made in the beginning of the 20Th century have also helped to create the stock from which the Finnish Hound descends.

General appearance

Tricoloured, medium in size, evenly high ; clearly longer in body than the height at the withers, strongly built but not heavy. The supporting area of standing is as long as the body or slightly longer, in front it is as broad as the chest and in rear at least as broad as in the front. The sex should be clearly stamped.

Important proportions

The ratio between the length of the body and the height at the withers is of 1,1 to 1.
The depth of the chest is a half of the height at the withers.
The length of the muzzle is equal to the length of the skull. The length of the skull is equal to its width and depth.

Behaviour / temperament

Calm, energetic and friendly, never aggressive.

Head

Cranial region

Skull
Seen from the front of even breadth, domed at the top of the skull. Forehead slightly convex in profile. The topline of the skull is parallel to the bridge of the nose ; the furrow between the eyes is barely visible ; eyebrows and occiput are clearly visible. 
Stop
Slight but clearly defined, accentuated by the eyebrows.

Facial region

Nose
Well developed, black ; large and mobile nostrils.
Muzzle
Equal in length to the skull, moderately deep, slightly tapering ; the bridge of the nose is straight. The lower lip forms the lower line which is almost parallel with the topline of the muzzle.
Lips
Well developed, good pigmentation. The upper lip beautifully curved. The lips and the corners of the mouth are close fitting.
Jaws and teeth
The jaws are strong. Teeth well developed, symmetrically set in the jaws. Complete normal dentition. Tight and complete scissor bite.
Cheeks
Moderately clean.
Eyes
Medium in size, not protruding, slightly oval, of a dark brown colour, looking forward. Expression calm. The eyelids are black.
Ears
Hanging with the front edge close to the head. Turned so that the back edge points outwards, the tip nearly forwards. Set on the line drawn from the nose to the eyes. Flat, reaching over half of the muzzle when drawn forward.

Neck

Of medium length, muscular, rather clean, the topline only slightly arched. When standing the tip of the nose is at the level of the topline or slightly higher.

Body

Back
Of medium length, straight and muscular.
Loin
Rather short and powerful.
Croup
Well developed, long and strong, slightly oblique. In profile the topline continues to a beautifully arched croup.
Chest
Long and deep, reaching to the elbows.
Ribs
Ribs well sprung ; the forechest clearly visible.
Underline and belly
Slightly rising.

Tail

Low set, slightly arched, reaching the hocks. Strong at the base, tapering towards the end. In repose hanging close to the hindquarters, in action it may rise but not higher than the level of the topline. The hair on the tail is similar to that on the body.

Limbs

Forequarters

Generality
Well angulated. Straight and parallel when viewed from the front ; the forearms are vertical. The deepest point of the chest is at the level of the elbows. The upper arm and forearm are equal in length.
Shoulders
Rather long, oblique and powerful ; close to the body but very mobile.
Upper arm
Equal in length to the shoulders, clearly oblique and powerful.
Elbows
Set well behind parallel to the body ; tightly close to the body.
Forearm
Powerful and sinewy with strong oval bones.
Pastern
Slightly oblique.
Forefeet
Slightly oval and high, with well arched tight toes. Nails strong, preferably black. Pads springy, preferably black and on the sides covered with dense hair.

Hindquarters

Generality
Strong, well angulated, straight and parallel when viewed from behind.
Upper thigh
Long and broad with strong muscles.
Lower thigh
Moderately long and oblique, sinewy.
Stifle
Pointing forward. The front line of the hind leg is smoothly curved.
Metatarsus
Rather short and powerful, vertical.
Hock
Strong, rather low.
Hind feet
Construction equal to the front feet, pointing straight forward.

Gait and movement

Trots lightly and effectively with a long-reaching stride. The topline remains level and firm on the move. The legs move parallel.

Skin

Thick, close-lying all over the body with no wrinkles.

Coat

Hair
Undercoat short, dense and soft in texture. Outer coat medium in length, close-lying, straight, dense and rather harsh.
Colour
Tricoloured. Black mantle, rich tan colour on the head, lower parts of the body, shoulders, upper thighs and also elsewhere on the legs. White markings usually on head, neck, forechest, lower parts of the legs and on the tip of the tail.

Size and weight

Height at withers
Males from 55 cm to 61 cm, bitches from 52 cm to 58 cm.
Ideal height males from 57 cm to 59 cm, bitches from 54 cm to 56 cm.

Faults

• Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog and its ability to perform its traditional work.
• Faults listed should be in degree of seriousness.

General faults

 Too light or too heavy in construction.
 Wrong sex characteristics.
 Head shape obviously triangular.
 Loose skin on the head.
 Muzzle snipey or short.
 Level or slightly overshot mouth.
 Square or too long body.
 Short and at the same time steep croup.
 Long, splayed or flat feet.
 Short and obviously soft hair.
 Mottled colour.
 Clearly broken mantle colours.
 Lot of grey hairs or so called wolf hair.
 Height at the withers 1 cm more or less than given in the standard.
 Slightly timid or excessively rough with other dogs.

Disqualifying faults

 Shyness or aggressiveness.
 Total lack of pigment in the nose.
 Undershot or clearly overshot bite.
 Kinky tail.
 Height at the withers more than 1 cm more or less than given in the standard.

NB :

• Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities shall be disqualified.
• The above mentioned faults when occurring to a highly marked degree or frequently are disqualifying.
• Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.
• Only functionally and clinically healthy dogs, with breed typical conformation should be used for breeding.

Bibliography

http://www.fci.be/

 

Detailed history

Many hunters consider the Finnish Hound to be the world's best game-pursuing breed at the moment.

The Finnish Hound is a native breed and one of the most popular dog breeds in Finland. It is used almost solely to hunt hares or foxes. It works independently, tracking either earth or airborne scent and will pursue game and bark passionately. The long hunting season for hares and foxes contribute to the breed's popularity. The Finnish Kennel Club registered 1,475 Finnish Hounds in 2012. In total, 20,030 Finnish Hounds were registered in 2003-2012.

The systematic development of the Finnish Hound breed can be said to have begun when hunting enthusiasts established Suomen Kennelklubi, a precursor of the Finnish Kennel Club, in 1889. One of their first objectives was the development of a hound-type breed for Finnish conditions.

As the breeds introduced to our country from abroad, primarily Russia, Sweden and England, did not meet the requirements of the Finnish hunting community, a group of active hunters began to search the existing Finnish dog population for individuals with the best hunting traits. The aim was to breed a native hound-type dog from them.

Three dogs were selected from the first dog show arranged by Suomen Kennelklubi and eight more were added the next year. The first breed characteristics were determined on the basis of these dogs in 1893. Reddish brown was confirmed as the dog's approved colour. The colour did not fully stabilize, however, because the black mantle tendency was so powerful. This forced the organisation to accept a three-coloured specification in the early 20th century. The present breed definition for the most part dates back to 1932.

The height at the withers of a male Finnish Hound is 55-61 cm, 52-58 cm for bitches. It has a three-coloured double coat that is quite smooth. Its structure is of even height, with length clearly exceeding height. It is strong, but not heavily built. It has a calm and friendly temperament. At home, the Finnish Hound barks and guards only a little or not at all. It is more suited to serve as a hunting dog than a companion because of its very powerful hunting instinct.

The annual main event for working Finnish Hounds is the Kilpa championship. The inaugural Kilpa event took place in 1937 and, since then, it has been arranged every year apart from the war period. The three best Finnish Hounds from each kennel district's championships are chosen for a group qualification trial. There are four groups, out of which the three best competitors gain entry to Kilpa. The previous year's overall champion gains entry to Kilpa by default. The winner of the final trial is crowned King of the Hunt (Ajokuningas).

The hare hunting trial results of Finnish Hounds are used to calculate a breeding value prediction, the BLUP index, for hunting characteristics. The index depicts the dog's genetic standard for a desired characteristic. Its calculation takes account of all of the results achieved by the dog's relatives and corrections are made to adjust for factors, such as the weather during a trial and the dog's age, that affect results. The BLUP index sets a breed's mean value at 100. A rating below 100 is weaker than the breed average and a higher rating is better.

The basic structure of the Finnish Hound is quite natural for a hunting dog and the breed is thus free of problems associated with structural peculiarities. The monitoring of hereditary defects and illnesses is nevertheless necessary to prevent any proliferation of undesirable tendencies in the breed population.

One illness that afflicts the breed is cerebellar ataxia. A genetic test has been developed for this condition and it is used to prevent the birth of sick pups by avoiding the pairing of two individuals that carry the ataxia gene. A carrier can be paired with a dog that has an ataxia-normal genetic makeup.

The breed suffers from heart disease (cardiomyopathy), lymphoma, black hair follicular dysplasia and atopic dermatitis. These diseases are the subject of university research, which is conducted in cooperation with the breed association. There is also some occurrence of hip dysplasia, which can be monitored with the aid of a hip index. The aim is that the hip index average of the dam and sire exceeds 100 in the majority of pairings.

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