The Norrbottenspets is a breed of dog of the spitz type. It is an ancient breed whose original purpose was a farm and hunting dog but has recently became more popular as a companion dog. The Norrbottenspets is used to hunt wood grouse, black grouse, capercaillie and hazel grouse, but also fox, marten and raccoon. Some individuals are also effective with mammals as large as moose and grizzly bear. Norrbottenspets was formerly used in hunting squirrels, when squirrel fur was valuable in the beginning of 20th century and earlier.
The Norrbottenspets should be a light spitz dog, yet powerful in appearance. There should be lightness and power reflected in the dog. Males are noticeably more masculine than females, who are smaller and of lighter build. It should give the impression of being alert, spritely, and intelligent. In proportions the Norrbottenspets is slightly taller than long - fit for the original use as a hunter. The tail should curl over the back and rest on the hips.
The Norrbottenspets is a physical mixture of endurance, speed, and strength. The ribcage has elements of both speed and strength. Viewed from the front the ribcage is oval and relatively deep, half from height. The ribcage is also relatively long with well-developed last ribs. The arched neck, distinguishable withers and slightly slanting croup makes the lines of the body very speedy. The underline has only a slight tuck up, which with the long ribcage reflects endurance.
Viewing the legs one can see both elements of speed and endurance. The relatively slanting shoulder blades, long upper arms and strong back angulations reflect endurance. The upper thigh forms a nearly 90 degree angle with the pelvis. Small, tight paws belong to an endurance trotter, but relatively long hocks add to the speed in gallop, especially in the start.
Although rare, bobtails do occur naturally, as in the Finnish Spitz and Karelian Bear Dog. This is an automatic disqualification for the showring for the Finnish Spitz and the Norrbottenspets, but not the Karelian. The hunting dog does not need a tail to be very efficient.
The coat is hard, straight, dense, and lies close to the body. It must always have a double coat (although after a coat loss, the undercoat can be rather sparse), and the under-coat is softer than the outer-coat. The ground colour is white, with yellowish red or reddish brown markings. Also, markings of other colours are permitted. The ideal amount of white varies from 30% to nearly 100%, but in extreme cases it should have colour at least on the ears and a small spot near the base of the tail. The more coloured dogs must have a broken saddle(white crossing completely over the shoulders) with the white clearly dominant. Symmetry is not essential in facial colouring, nor is any pattern more correct than another. White on both ears, however, is highly correlated with deafness and is not desirable. Ticking(small spots of 0.25-1.0 cm) is allowed, as is a dark face. There is a gene that is dominant that leads to the dark coloured mask on the face. Often, the mask is accompanied by dark tipping of the guard hairs. For a show dog, symmetrical color can be preferred, but structure and the original purpose are always the most important.
Source of information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norrbottenspets
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