The Finnish Spitz dog breed was originally used to hunt games, from bear to squirrel. It was particularly good at hunting Finnish game birds, known as capercaillie and black grouse.

Over time, the tribes bred their dogs based upon their geographical and familial needs, and separate lines were developed. One tribe which was isolated in the northern part of the area, now called Finland, developed the Finnish Spitz pure breed.

In the 1880s when improved transportation methods brought people and dogs from different backgrounds together, the original Finnish Spitz dog was crossed with other breeds and almost reached extinction. In the 1890s, many hunters and foresters from Helsinki picked many superior specimens of the pure native breed during a hunting expedition in the hope of salvaging the dog breed.

stock-photo-hunting-dog-barking-at-the-swamp-234396760Hugo Roos is one of the early pioneers of the breed who took a number of trips to remote parts of Scandanavia to get the untainted stock. He bred this dog for over thirty years before retiring from breeding to conformation show judging. Hugo Sandberg is another early pioneer of the breed who also started a rescue campaign.

The first Helsinki dog show was held in the year 1891 in which five Finnish Spitz dogs earned ribbons. The breed was recognized by the Finnish Kennel Club in 1892 and used Mr. Sandberg’s observations to develop a standard. The standard was modified in 1897, when the dog breed was officially christened the Finnish Spitz.

In 1927, Finnish Spitz was brought back to England by a hunter following a trip to Scandinavia. English Finnish Spitz breed club was formed by the early British fanciers. By 1935, there were many Finnish Splitz dogs so they were registered with The Kennel Club of England. In 1974, this dog breed was admitted to the Canadian Kennel Club studbook. In 1959, the first Finnish Spitz dog imported into the US was brought from England’s Cullabine Kennel. Finish imports also played a major role in promoting this breed in the country during the 1960s. In 1975, the Finnish Spitz Club of America was formed and the American dog breed standard was prepared a year later based on the Finnish standard. In the year 1983, the dog breed was accepted into the Miscellaneous Class of the American Kennel Club. The Finnish Spitz entered the Stud Book of the American Kennel Club in August, 1987. The dog breed was allowed to compete at events licensed by American Kennel Club in January, 1988, as a Non-Sporting member.

While Finnish Spitz is commonly known as a loyal house companion that is friendly to kids, in Finland the breed is still considered as a worker. The breed has a distinctive escalating bark and pointing stance. Hunters still use these two features to follow a game as they indicate the direction.
The conformation championship title in Finland is based on these features and so no Finnish Spitz can earn it without proving their ability to exhibit these features.