A Finnish Spitz (Finnish language: Suomenpystykorva) is a breed of dog originating in Finland. The breed was originally bred to hunt all types of game from squirrels and other rodents to bears. It is a 'bark pointer', indicating the position of game by barking to attract the hunter's attention. Its original game hunting purpose was to point to game that fled into trees, such as grouse, and capercaillies, but it also serves well for hunting moose and elk. Some individuals have even been known to go after a bear. In its native country, the breed is still mostly used as a hunting dog. The breed is friendly and in general loves children, so it is suitable for domestic life. The Finnish Spitz has been the national dog of Finland since 1979.
The Finnish Spitz resembles a fox. The proper conformation is a square build, meaning that the length of the body is the same or slightly shorter than the height of the withers to the ground. The length of the body is measured from the point of the shoulder or forechest in front of the withers to the rump. Females are usually a little longer in the back than males. Both sexes should appear slightly longer in the leg than the back.
Dew claws can appear on front and/or back feet. If back claws appear, they should be removed. The front dewclaws can be removed, but they generally are not since they are usually small.
The Finnish Spitz has a typical double coat, which consists of a soft, dense undercoat and long, harsh guard hairs that can measure one to two inches (2.5 to 5 cm) long. The outer coat should not exceed 2.5 inches (64 mm) at the ruff. The coat should be stiffer, denser, and longer on the neck, back, back of thighs, and plume of the tail, shorter on the head and legs. Male dogs should sport a slightly longer and coarser coat than female ones, who have a slightly more refined coat.
The plume of the tail is important to the overall look of the dog but should not be too long. Feathered long tail hairs without sustenance can give the dog an unkempt look. Additionally, the tailset is important and the Finnish Spitz should be able to move its tail from one side to the other. Most Finnish Spitz have a preferred side and this is not incorrect.
Proper care of the coat is most important. The Finnish Spitz blows coat or loses its undercoat twice a year. It is imperative that owners brush out the old undercoat so the new coat can grow properly. Although a dog may look fluffy and full, excessive undercoat may be causing serious skin problems.
In the show ring, the coat should be shown as completely natural; a brush through the coat is acceptable, but no trimming is allowed, not even of whiskers. However, any excessive undercoat should be removed. Some exhibitors choose to show dogs with excessive undercoat to make the dog's coat appear more lush. Failing to shed undercoat is considered neglect by some judges who prefer a clean and combed coat. Another exception is the hair under the bottom of the feet. The hair under the feet as well as the toe nails should be nicely trimmed for show.
Puppies are often described as looking similar to a red fox cub. They are born dark grey, black, brown, or fawn with a vast amount of black. A fawn-colored puppy or one with a large amount of white of the chest is not preferable for show purposes. The color of the adult dog can be assessed by an experienced breeder at birth, but even then, the color may change slightly as the puppy grows.
The adult color is typically a golden-red with variations from pale honey to dark chestnut. There is no preference for a particular shade as long as the color is bright and clear with no hints of dullness. The coat should never be a solid color. It should be shaded and without any defined color changes. The coat is usually at its darkest shade on the back of the dog, gradually getting lighter around the chest and belly. The undercoat must always be lighter in color than the topcoat, but is never allowed to be white. A small patch of white, no more than 0.6 inches (1.5 cm) wide, is allowable on the chest, and white tips on the feet are acceptable, but not desired.
The nose, lips, and rims of eyes should always be black.
Source of information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Finnish_Spitz
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