Fédération Cynologique Internationale

The Kennel Club

United Kennel Club

Finnish Spitz

(Suomenpystykorva)

Finnish Spitz

Finnish Spitz

These illustrations do not necessarily show the ideal example of the breed.

ORIGIN

:
FCI
Finland.

PUBLISHED

:
FCI
04.04.2016.
KC
October 2009

UTILISATION

:
FCI
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.

CLASSIFICATION

:
FCI
Group 5Spitz and primitive types
Section 2Nordic Hunting Dogs
Working trial only for the nordic countries (Sweden, No

KC
Hound
UKC
Northern Breed

TRANSLATION

:
FCI
Finnish Kennel Club.

BRIEF HISTORICAL SUMMARY

:
FCI
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 1890s, 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.
UKC
A native of Finland, the Finnish Spitz has the distinction of being that country's national dog. It is an old, established breed, and has had a written breed standard since 1812. Its primary use was as a hunting dog, a heritage it honors to this day. The Finnish Spitz is often referred to as the “barking hunting dog” because of its characteristic continuous barking while on track. The Finnish Spitz was recognized by the United Kennel Club in 1992.

GENERAL APPEARANCE

:
FCI
Smaller than medium-sized, almost square. In conformation lean, firm and carries itself well.
KC
Dog considerably larger and carrying more coat than the bitch. Bearing bold. Whole appearance, particularly eyes, ears and tail indicates liveliness. Compact, hard-conditioned hunting dog with medium bone and no suggestion of coarseness.
UKC
The Northern Breeds heritage is evident in the pointed muzzle, small, erect ears, dense coat and curled tail of the Finnish Spitz. The Finnish Spitz is square in proportions, the length from the forechest to the point of the buttocks being equal to the height, measured from the withers to the ground. A square, well-balanced, symmetrical body is of highest importance. Their expression is fox-like. Their coat is a glorious red-gold; carriage is bold; movement is brisk. Males are clearly masculine without being coarse, and females are feminine without being over-refined. Any deviation from the standard is to be evaluated according to the degree of deviation from the ideal. It is to be understood that all structural faults are undesirable even though they may not be mentioned in the standard.

IMPORTANT PROPORTIONS

:
FCI
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 34. The skull is a little broader than long; its breadth is the same as its depth.
KC
Eagerness to hunt, courage tempered with caution, fidelity and intelligence.

BEHAVIOUR / TEMPERAMENT

:
FCI
Lively, vigorous, brave and determined. Possibly a little reserved towards strangers, but never vicious.
KC
Alert, lively, friendly but independent.
UKC
The Finnish Spitz is active, lively, friendly, eager and faithful. Its liveliness, in particular, is evident in its entire being, and is especially expressed through the eyes. It is brave, but cautious.

HEAD

:
KC
Head medium sized and clean cut. Longer than broad. Forehead slightly arched, stop moderate. Muzzle narrow, seen from above and from sides, evenly tapering. Nose pitch black. Lips black, tightly closed and thin.
UKC
The fox-like head is clean cut. The distance from the occiput to the tip of the nose is more than the width of the skull, measured at the widest part, in a ratio of 7:4. This ratio still applies to females, even though their head may be more refined, with less coat or ruff.

CRANIAL REGION

:

Skull

:
FCI
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.
UKC
The skull is flat between the ears, with some minimal rounding ahead of the ear set. The forehead is slightly arched. The frontal furrow is very shallow, and the occiput is only slightly visible. The ratio of skull to muzzle length is 4:3.

Stop

:
FCI
Not very pronounced, the angle between the nasal bridge and the skull is clearly marked.

FACIAL REGION

:

Nose

:
FCI
Rather small, jet-black.
UKC
Rather small and black.

Muzzle

:
FCI
Narrow, clean, viewed from above and in profile evenly tapering. The nasal bridge is straight. The lower jaw is clearly visible.
KC
Jaws strong with perfect regular scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaws.
UKC
When viewed from above and in profile, the muzzle is narrow. It is of equal width and depth where it sets into the skull. It tapers evenly to the tip. The nasal bridge is straight, and the top lines of the skull and muzzle lie in nearly parallel planes. The thin, tight lips have black pigment. The lower jaw is clearly visible.

Lips

:
FCI
Tight, rather thin and close fitting. Good pigmentation.

Jaws/Teeth

:
FCI
The jaws are strong. The teeth are well developed and symmetrical; normal dentition. Tight scissor bite.
UKC
The Finnish Spitz has a full complement of strong, white teeth that meet in a close scissors bite.

Cheeks

:
FCI
The zygomatic arches are slightly emphasized.

Eyes

:
FCI
Medium-sized, almond-shaped, slightly oblique and preferably dark. The expression is lively and alert.
KC
Medium sized, lively, preferably dark. Almond shaped with black rims, set slightly aslant, with outer corners tilted upwards.
UKC
Medium in size, almond shaped, set slightly obliquely, and preferably dark in color. The expression is lively and alert.

Ears

:
FCI
Set rather high, always erect. Rather small sized, pointed, very mobile and covered with fine hair.
KC
Small, cocked, sharply pointed. Fine in texture and mobile.
UKC
The small, erect, sharply pointed, very mobile ears are set on high, and covered with fine hair. When the dog is alert, the ears stand upward, are parallel and open toward the front, with the tips directly above the corner of the eyes.

NECK

:
FCI
Muscular; it appears to be rather short in males due to the thick ruff, of medium length in bitches. Throat without dewlap.
KC
Muscular, of medium length, with no excess of skin or fat. In males may appear shorter due to dense ruff.
UKC
The muscular, clean neck is well set. It may appear shorter in males due to their heavier ruff.

BODY

:
KC
Almost square in outline. Back straight and strong. Chest deep. Belly slightly drawn up.
UKC
The body is muscular and square. The backline is level and strong from the withers to the slightly sloping croup. The loin is short. The chest is deep, reaching almost to the elbows, and not very broad. The forechest is clearly visible. The ratio of chest depth to total height (the distance from the withers to the ground), is 4:9. The ribs are slightly arched. The tuck-up is slightly drawn up.

Withers

:
FCI
Clearly defined, especially in males.

Back

:
FCI
Rather short, straight and muscular.

Loin

:
FCI
Short and muscular.

Croup

:
FCI
Of medium length, well developed and slightly sloping.

Chest

:
FCI
Deep, reaching almost the elbows, not very broad. The ribs are slightly arched; the forechest clearly visible, not very broad.

Underline and belly

:
FCI
Slightly tucked up.

TAIL

:
FCI
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.
KC
Plumed, curves vigorously from its root in an arch, forward downward and backward, then pressing down against thigh, with its tip extending to middle part of thigh. Extended, the bone of tail usually reaches to hock joint.
UKC
The plumed tail is set on just below the level of the backline. It forms a single curl, curving vigorously from its base in an arch forward, downward and backward, falling over the loin, with the tip pointing toward, and extending to the middle part of the thigh. The tailbone reaches to the hock joint when the tail is straightened.

LIMBS

:

FOREQUARTERS

:
FCI
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.
KC
Strong and straight.
UKC
The shoulder blades are very mobile and relatively straight. The upper arm is a little shorter than the shoulder blade, slightly sloping, and strong. The elbows are placed in front of a vertical line drawn from the highest point of the shoulder blade and point straight backwards.

Shoulder

:
FCI
Firm, very mobile and relatively straight.

Upper Arm

:
FCI
A little shorter than the shoulder blade. Slightly sloping and strong.

Elbow

:
FCI
Placed in front of a vertical line drawn from the highest point of the shoulder blade; pointing straight backwards.

FORELEGS

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UKC
When viewed from the front, the front legs are moderately spaced, parallel and straight. The bone is strong, without being heavy, and is always in proportion to the overall size of the dog. The pasterns slope slightly when viewed from the side.

Forearm

:
FCI
Rather strong, vertical.

Pastern

:
FCI
Of medium length, slightly sloping.

FEET

:
KC
Preferably round.
UKC
Roundish, with tight, well arched toes, and elastic, black pads that are well covered on the sides with dense hair.

Forefeet

:
FCI
Roundish cat-feet. Toes tight and well arched. Pads elastic, always black, the sides covered with dense hair.

Hind feet

:
FCI
A little longer than the front feet, otherwise the same. The dewclaws should be removed.

HINDQUARTERS

:
FCI
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.
KC
Strong. Moderate turn of stifle. Hock of medium angulation.
UKC
The hindquarters are strong, with medium angulation.

Thigh

:
FCI
Of medium length, rather broad with well developed muscles.

Stifle

:
FCI
Pointed forward, medium angulation.

HIND LEGS

:
UKC
Viewed from behind, the legs are straight and parallel. The bone is of medium strength. The upper thigh is rather broad and muscular and slightly longer than the second thigh. There is moderately angulation at the stifle and hock. The rear pasterns are rather short, strong and vertical. Dewclaws should be removed.

Lower thigh

:
FCI
Muscular.

Hock joint

:
FCI
Set moderately low, medium angulation.

Rear pastern

:
FCI
Rather short, strong and vertical.

GAIT / MOVEMENT

:
FCI
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.
KC
Light and springy, quick and graceful, with drive.
UKC
Light and effortless, changing easily from trot to gallop, which is the most natural style of movement. The legs move parallel at slow speeds and tend towards a center line as speed increases. When hunting, this breed can burst explosively into a fast gallop.

SKIN

:
FCI
Tight overall without wrinkles.

COAT

:

HAIR

:
FCI
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.
KC
On head and front of legs short and close, on body and back of legs longish, semi-erect, stiffer on neck and back. Outer coat on shoulders considerably longer and coarser, particularly in males. On back of thighs and on tail, hair longer and denser. No trimming allowed, not even of whiskers. Undercoat short, soft and dense.
UKC
The breed is double-coated. The long, harsh, straight guard hairs measure approximately one to two inches on the body. It is stiffer and longer on the neck and back. It is much more profuse in males, giving them a more ruffed appearance. The undercoat is short, soft and dense. The hair on the head and legs is short and close. It is longest and most dense on the tail plume and the back of the thighs. Males carry more coat than females. The coat is not to be trimmed, except for the feet. The whiskers are not to be trimmed.

COLOUR

:
FCI
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.
KC
On back reddish-brown or red gold, preferably bright. Hairs on inner sides of ears, cheeks, under muzzle, on breast, abdomen, behind shoulders, inside legs, back of thighs, underside of tail, of lighter shades. Undercoat also a lighter colour, making whole coat glow. Narrow white stripe not exceeding one and half centimetres in width on breast permitted. Black hairs on lips and sparse separate black pointed hairs on back and tail permitted. Puppies may have black hairs which decrease with age, black on tail persisting longer.
UKC
The following varying shades are allowed, with no preference given to shades at either extreme, as long as the color is bright and clear: Golden-red, ranging from pale honey to a deep auburn. Coat color is lighter on the inner sides of the ears, the cheeks, under the muzzle, on the chest and abdomen, behind the shoulders, inside the legs, on the backs of the thighs and on the underside of the tail. The undercoat is a paler color, causing the coat to appear to glow. The following white markings are permitted: on the tips of the toes; and a quarter-sized spot or narrow white strip, ideally no wider than a half inch, on the forechest. Sparse black hairs along the lip line are permitted, as are separate black hairs on the tail and back. Puppies may have more black hairs, which decrease with age; the black hairs in the tail remaining the longest.

SIZE

:
KC
Height at withers: dogs: 43-50 cms (17-20 ins); bitches: 39-45 cms (151/2-18 ins). Weight: 14-16 kgs (31-35 lbs).

Height at withers

:
FCI

Ideal height for males 47 cm,
Ideal height for females 42 cm.
With a tolerance of ± 3 cm.
UKC
Males are considerably larger than females. Height is measured at the withers. The ranges are: males, 17½ to 20 inches; females, 15½ to 18 inches.

Weight

:
FCI

Males 12 - 13 kg,
Bitches 7 - 10 kg.

FAULTS

:
FCI

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.
  • 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.
KC
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 on the dog’s ability to perform its traditional work.
UKC

Muzzle: Muscular, coarse head. Long or narrow head, with snipey muzzle.
Eyes: Eyes too far apart or too close together. Round. Light. Running or weepy.
Ears: Set too high, too low, or too close together. Long hair, excessive hair inside the ears.
Forelegs: Fine bone, which limits endurance. Heavy bone, which makes working movement cumbersome. Weak pasterns. Weak, pinched, bowed fronts.
Body: Roached, dipped, long back.
Hind Legs: Cow hocks. Severely straight stifle joints. Unsound hock action.
Feet: Flat, splayed, long feet.
Tail: Low or high tail-set. Too curly. Too short.
Coat: Silky, wavy, curly, long or short coats.
Color: Muddy or unclear color. Any white other than specified.

SERIOUS FAULTS

:
UKC

Teeth: Overshot or undershot bites. Missing teeth.
Nose: Any color other than black.

DISQUALIFYING FAULTS

:
FCI

  • Aggressive 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.
Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities shall be disqualified.
UKC
Unilateral or bilateral cryptorchid. Viciousness or extreme shyness. Albinism.


Anatomical Features of the dog

N.B.:

Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.