Finnish Spitz are agile, lively and affectionate dogs. They are independent and occasionally stubborn by nature; usually wary of strangers and often other dogs, making them good watch dogs. Stubbornness may be reduced by using motivational tools such as treats and favorite toys in reward-based training. They love to bark, and will practice often and loudly.
The Finnish Spitz is the national dog of Finland, however, some believe the Finnish Spitz may have originated from older Spitz breeds that were brought to Finland from Eurasia. Others insist the Finnish Spitz was developed in Central Russia where extreme interbreeding nearly destroyed the breed. In the late 1800's two sportsmen from Finland, Hugo Sandberg and Hugo Roos, found a few of the dogs that had not been interbred and are credited with saving the breed. The Finnish Spitz breed is known under a number of different names including the Finnish Barking Bird Dog, Suomenpystykorva (meaning Finnish prick-eared dog) and the Finsk Spets. In 1891 the breed's name was officially changed to Finnish Spitz. The Finnish Spitz is used to hunt and alert hunters by barking loudly. Should the prey move, the dog will follow it and re-alert the hunters by barking again. In Finland, the barking talents are so valued that each year a "king barker" of the breed is named. The Finnish Spitz is relatively new to the United States, arriving in the 1960's and was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1991.