Finnish Spitz

FCI standard Nº 49

Origin
Finland
Translation
Finnish Kennel Club
Group
Group 5 Spitz and primitive types
Section
Section 2 Nordic Hunting Dogs
Working
With working trial only for nordic countries (Sweden, Norway, Finland)
Acceptance on a definitive basis by the FCI
Tuesday 03 August 1954
Publication of the official valid standard
Monday 04 April 2016
Last update
Friday 03 June 2016
En français, cette race se dit
Spitz finlandais
Diese Norm ist in deutscher Sprache sichtbar
Finnen Spitz
En español, esta raza se dice
Spitz finlandés
In het Nederlands, wordt dit ras gezegd
Finse Spits
In his country of origin, his name is

Suomenpystykorva

Usage

A hunting dog mainly for forest game birds, also predatory small game, water-fowl and elk. Eager hunter; rather independent, yet works co-operatively to game, marking game by barking.

Brief historical summary

The origin of the Finnish Spitz is unknown. However it is known that hundreds of years ago dogs of the same type as Finnish Spitz were already being used for all game hunting over the whole country. Originally the main goal was to develop a dog which barked well at game up in trees and was also beautiful. When acceptance to the breed register started in the 1890:s, individuals similar in type and usage were found mainly in the eastern and northern parts of the country. The first standard was established in 1892. The first speciality show was held the same year and the first bird-hunting trial in 1897. Today the breed is very common in both Finland and Sweden. It has been developed from pure natural stock and is an essential part of the Finnish culture. The Finnish Spitz was named as the National Dog of Finland in 1979.

General appearance

Smaller than medium-sized, almost square. In conformation lean, firm and carries itself well.

Important proportions

The length of the body is the same as the height at the withers.
The depth of the chest is slightly less than half of the height at the withers.
The ratio between the muzzle and skull is approximately 3:4.
The skull is a little broader than long; its breadth is the same as its depth.

Behaviour / temperament

Lively, vigorous, brave and determined. Possibly a little reserved towards strangers, but never vicious.

Head

Cranial region

Skull
Viewed from above egg-shaped broadening gradually towards the ears, broadest between the ears. Viewed from the front and in profile the skull is slightly convex. The upper axes of the skull and muzzle are almost parallel. The frontal furrow is very shallow. The superciliary ridges and the occiput are slightly visible. 
Stop
Not very pronounced, the angle between the nasal bridge and the skull is clearly marked.

Facial region

Nose
Rather small, jet-black.
Muzzle
Narrow, clean, viewed from above and in profile evenly tapering. The nasal bridge is straight. The lower jaw is clearly visible.
Lips
Tight, rather thin and close fitting. Good pigmentation.
Jaws and teeth
The jaws are strong. The teeth are well developed and symmetrical; normal dentition. Tight scissor bite.
Cheeks
The zygomatic arches are slightly emphasized.
Eyes
Medium-sized, almond-shaped, slightly oblique and preferably dark. The expression is lively and alert.
Ears
Set rather high, always erect. Rather small sized, pointed, very mobile and covered with fine hair.

Neck

Muscular; it appears to be rather short in males due to the thick ruff, of medium length in bitches. Throat without dewlap.

Body

Withers
Clearly defined, especially in males.
Back
Rather short, straight and muscular.
Loin
Short and muscular.
Croup
Of medium length, well developed and slightly sloping.
Chest
Deep, reaching almost the elbows, not very broad. The ribs are slightly arched; the forechest clearly visible, not very broad.
Underline and belly
Slightly tucked up.

Tail

Curved vigorously forward from the set-on tightly along the back, down-and slightly backwards pressed against the upper thigh, the tip of the tail reaches to the middle of the upper thigh. When straightened reaches approximately down to the hocks.

Limbs

Forequarters

Generality
Viewed from the front straight and parallel. The bone is of medium strength. The upper arm is a little shorter than the shoulder blade and the forearm.
Shoulders
Firm, very mobile and relatively straight.
Upper arm
A little shorter than the shoulder blade. Slightly sloping and strong.
Elbows
Placed in front of a vertical line drawn from the highest point of the shoulder blade; pointing straight backwards.
Forearm
Rather strong, vertical.
Pastern
Of medium length, slightly sloping.
Forefeet
Roundish cat-feet. Toes tight and well arched. Pads elastic, always black, the sides covered with dense hair.

Hindquarters

Generality
Strong, viewed from behind straight and parallel, medium angulation. The bone is of medium strength. The upper thigh is slightly longer than the second thigh.
Upper thigh
Of medium length, rather broad with well developed muscles.
Lower thigh
Muscular.
Stifle
Pointed forward, medium angulation.
Metatarsus
Rather short, strong and vertical.
Hock
Set moderately low, medium angulation.
Hind feet
A little longer than the front feet, otherwise the same. The dewclaws should be removed.

Gait and movement

Light, covering the ground effortlessly. Changes easily from trot to gallop, which is the most natural style of movement. The legs move parallel. When rushing after game, he bursts explosively into a fast gallop.

Skin

Tight overall without wrinkles.

Coat

Hair
Rather long on the body, semi-erect or erect, stiffer on the neck and back. On the head and the legs, except at the back of the hindquarters, short and close-lying. The stiff hair on the shoulders, especially in males, is noticeably longer and coarser. On the back of the thighs (trousers) and on the tail the hair is long and dense. The undercoat is short, soft, dense and light in colour.
Colour
The hair on the back is red-or golden brown, preferably bright. A lighter shade inside the ears, on cheeks, throat, chest, belly, inside the legs, back of the thighs and on the tail. A white stripe on the chest and small white markings on the feet are permitted.

Size and weight

Height at withers
Ideal height for males 47 cm, ideal height for females 42 cm. With a tolerance of ± 3 cm.
Weight
Males 12 - 13 kg, Bitches 7 - 10 kg.

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

 Heavy head.
 Coarse muzzle.
 Weak underjaw.
 Ears pointing forward in a sharp angle, leaning sideways or close together at the tips, curving backwards or ears that are long-haired inside.
 Slack or too tightly curved tail.
 Too flexible in pasterns.
 Long, soft, too short or close-lying coat.
 Clearly defined diversity of colours.

Disqualifying faults

 Aggresive or overly shy.
 Flesh-coloured nose.
 Overshot or undershot mouth.
 Eyes bright yellow or wall eye.
 Ears with drooping tips.
 Kinky tail.
 Wavy or curly coat.
 Colour shades differing clearly from the basic colour.
 Large white markings on the chest and/or a white sock.

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

To be the national dog in many ways remarkable; of his country does not mean, for this Spitz, that his fame has crossed the frontiers of his native Finland.

In the canine encyclopedias, it is very briefly described under different names: Suomempystykorva, its official name, Finsk Spets, Finnish Loulou, Finnish Spitz (name adopted in the Anglo-Saxon countries and sometimes in France) and Finnish Spitz, as it is calls in the hexagon. In his country, he is also the "barking bird dog", which perfectly defines his traditional task. For his friends, he is simply the "Finkie". It is finally a "fox dog", by the color of his dress and his panache, as well as his malice. Of course, it can not be attributed to any kinship, even distant, with the fox, since it is admitted that the vulpine and canine species are not interbreeding.

The Finn Spitz is above all a superb representative of the Spitz family and, as such, a direct descendant of the Chien des Tourbières, the oldest domestic dog widespread in Europe and Asia. For him to be considered a national heritage in his country, his presence must have been familiar since time immemorial. It is generally thought that he arrived in the company of the first Finns, coming from the highlands of Asia (it is known that Finnish is, like Hungarian, a language of Asian origin belonging to the Finno-Ugric group). He is also quoted in Kalevala, Finland's national epic song.

This dog was very popular, but, as often happens with the widespread breeds, his selection was of little concern to his amateurs, who in many places allowed him to cross with other Spitz. By the end of the 19th century, most of these dogs had lost much of their characteristics. It was then that Finnish cynophiles, who were at the same time sports hunters, wanted to find the ancestral type of the national race: to choose specimens remained pure of any cross, they had to traverse the most remote countries of the country. It is right to emphasize; the fact is not so common; that the selection they undertook had no need of the contribution of another race.

The registration of these dogs on a breeding book began in 1880, and the standard of the breed was written in 1892 (that is, to a few details, the text of the standard in force today). In some works, it is specified that the characteristics proper to the race were fixed as early as 1812, which does not correspond to the generally accepted chronology. Be that as it may, the Finn Spitz can not be considered a recent breed, nor even as a newly restored breed. On the contrary, it unites all the criteria of an authentically ancient race, which, since its "enthronement" in the dog world, has not undergone any notable change in its appearance and has been maintained in its original use. It is now firmly established in Finland, where efforts are made, in particular, to preserve its ancestral hunting skills. However, its diffusion is not very important, at least as a purebred, since the book of origins does not register more than one hundred and fifty births per year.

If it is well known in the other Scandinavian countries, the Finnish Spitz has long been ignored in the rest of continental Europe, because the Finska Kennelklubben (the Finnish equivalent of the Central Canine Society in France) joined the International Cynological Federation after the Second World War.

The British, for their part, always on the lookout for the rarities of the canine world, were not slow to take an interest in Finnish Spitz. Lady Kitty Ritson was the first, in the early twenties, to introduce the breed across the Channel. Many current topics come from her breeding. According to Stanley Dangerfield, after traveling over Finland, Sir Edward Chichester also brought back a very good couple in 1927. The recognition of the breed by the Kennel Club took place in 1935.

However, the Finnish Spitz is struggling to conquer Britain. The number of annual births has never reached 100, and the current stability of the workforce does not suggest this possibility. There are, however, excellent breeders in this country, among whom are Mr. and Mrs.. Cavill, Mrs. Priee and Miss PA McQuaide. Two breed associations, the Finnish Spitz Society and the Finnish Spitz Club, ensure the breed's improvement in full respect of the original standard (for once). It is true that it seems difficult, in theory, to perfect or modify anything in Finnish Spitz.

The English breeding remains modest, and Finland far (until last year, this country had instituted a forty-four months, which did not facilitate the discovery of Finnish dogs), the breed hardly spread throughout the world. The American Kennel Club, for example, did not recognize it until 1987.

The first couple arrived in France in 1954, thanks to a Finnish diplomat. Well before that, one of the founders of the French Club of Nordic dogs, Mr. Fornier de Savignac, had judged this race at the famous Cruft's exhibition in 1936, and, going back in time, it seems that a French explorer had already described in 1675. However, it is not until 1968 that the Finnish Spitz has really established itself in the Hexagon. That year, four subjects were acquired: Kronby and Kukkoha of Finmark (Mr. Proust), Cullabine Windfall, by Mr. Grace, and Cullabine Belinda, by Mrs. Bartolozzi-Carion, followed quickly by Cullabine Ruby at Mr. Grace, and by Cullabine Quaintly and Cullabine Sorrel, at Mrs. Bartolozzi's. Belinda was the first registered champion in France. Uko and Villi of Cascade des Jarreaux, children of Belinda and Windfall, were the first champions born on French soil. Here again, the Finnish Spitz herd progresses, but with a slowness that we must regret. It must nevertheless be recognized that this situation has an indisputable advantage: French breeding can claim its high quality.

The Finnish Spitz does not pretend to make the crowd giggle, but it is not anonymous. His flamboyant coat does not go unnoticed. His presence and his pride easily compensate for the modesty of his size. Moreover, for lack of means to evaluate its size, one finds it even big. From the first contact, one does not miss to notice its harmonious and well made aspect, as well as its eminently sympathetic side. His vivacity, his malice and his intelligence are immediately apparent.

By its type, it is also not a "go-anywhere" dog. Proud and sensitive at the same time, he shows no tendency to servility. His education must therefore be carried out with understanding and gentleness, but also with firmness. No question of wanting to train "the button" to put "in his boot." A good dose of patience, a sense of justice and a certain constancy will be rewarded with a deep attachment and a friendship that will not be denied under any circumstances. With a little "fingering", it is possible to get almost everything from him.

Although independent, this dog does not appreciate being left alone; on the contrary, it should be associated as much as possible with the life of its master and his family. Its vitality is not suitable for the elderly, who could be annoyed by its sometimes turbulent side (especially in its young age). It is also understandable that this native petulance does not particularly predispose him to blossom in an apartment (unless many joggings are offered to him) and that his sensitivity prevents him from teaming up with nervous, irritable, velletic people, like to live in an unstable environment.

This vigilant guardian notices everything and does not fail to report it. On this subject, it should not be forgotten that he is a natural enough "talkative" and that he even has an extensive "vocabulary". This propensity to express itself loudly increases if it does not have enough activity, if it is bored, if it remains for a long time left to itself. Such behavior is also common to all dynamic dogs; of any race, who have no alternative but to bark to deceive their idleness. This excellent alarm will be able to be courageous, without tending to become aggressive.

Very awake and even full of mischief, charmer, player, he is naturally on the same wavelength as children. It is also "at their size" and does not show brutality. On the subject of children, there is the case of a Finnish Spitz who, a few years ago, saved his young master from drowning in a lake whose ice had given way, keeping him out of the water until he what help arrives.

The Finnish Spitz is therefore a very good family dog, but in his country he has one main use: hunting the black grouse. He follows the grouse from tree to tree, no matter what the terrain is, and then holds it to a standstill when it perches while holding or "captivating" its attention with a frenetic dance, thus using a ruse similar to that of a master. Goupil, who, on the occasion, does not hesitate to make antics to lull the mistrust of the game and thus be able to approach and seize it. In addition, by its acute and modulated barking, the Finnish Spitz guides the hunter with precision.

Special field-trials are regularly organized. A big annual contest allows to dedicate the "king", that is to say the dog who reveals himself as the "best barker", knowing how to inform his master by the diversity of his vocalises, not without having previously proven the his flair, his sense of hunting and his tenacity. Some people also hunt rabbits and other small game. Finnish Spitz is sometimes used on moose or even bear. A complete hunting dog, in short. Of course, all this is only valid in his country: in France, there are enough hunting breeds so we do not need to appeal to him in this area.

Lastly, this dog is solid and rustic, naturally very clean, and has a modest appetite. Its dress, neither short nor very long, which preserves it from all bad weather, does not require any other care than a good brushing: no detangling, no grooming, no baths. Sparkling with intelligence, smart, very friendly, Finnish Spitz wins to be known.

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