Finland are light on the ground when it comes to native dog breeds. Despite that fact, the small number of native dog breeds they do have are iconic and have gained popularity as pets all over the world.
Finland has five native dog breeds. Finnish Hound, Karelian Bear Dog, Finnish Spitz, Finnish Lapphund and the Lapponian Shepherd.
The Finnish dog breeds listed below might not be instantly recognizable and common in your local parks, but there has been a steady rise in demand for dogs like the Finnish Spitz and Bear Dog, and for good reason.
The five listed Finnish dog breeds below are known to be loving and friendly. Most are ideal family dogs that adore children and are protective of their owners. Most are easy to manage and train. This is why these types of dogs are becoming so popular.
In Finland, one of the most popular dog breeds is the Finnish Hound (Suomenajokoira). It is mostly only employed to hunt hares or foxes. The Finnish Hound is a working dog that was bred to hunt and scent both big game and small game.
It is very rare that you will see this breed of Finnish dog outside of Finland. They are very seldom kept as a pet due to their extra ordinary stamina and desire to hunt, although they are a friendly and loving dog.
They remain a well-known scent hound in their native area and are skilled at following odours for extended periods of time without becoming exhausted.
Temperament of a Finnish Hound
The Finnish Hound never bites and is quiet and gentle. It is a versatile tracker and hunts with vigour. It operates independently and barks fervently as it pursues the prey.
Karelian Bear Dog
You might think that with a name like the Karelian Bear Dog, that this breed would look like a bear. Well you would be wrong. This is a powerful, alert, and super strong canine, that hunts small to large wildlife, but also is used to scare away bears.
In its native Finland, the breed is referred to as the Karjalankarhukoira. This dog, who was bred to be hostile toward other animals, is an excellent hunter who has a lot of energy and requires plenty of exercise.
The Karelian Bear Dog is a hunting dog that is still prized by big game hunters today. They are used at Yosemite and Glacier National Parks for bear control, as well as with the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife. However, they can also make a great companion for families when placed in the right environment.
An iconic Finnish dog breed, the Finnish Spitz mostly barks at birds perched in trees to signal the presence of game. It is mostly used to hunt forest game birds, while it is also occasionally used to hunt elk, hunt small game, and retrieve birds fired into water.
They are a very vivacious breed of dog with a foxy-looking face and a flame-colored body. They are a small but courageous hunting dog.
They have prominent prick ears, a lively demeanour, and are no taller than 20 inches at the shoulder. They also have a curved tail with plumes.
The Finnish Spitz is known for its “Glow” due to its rich coat of magnificent golden-red that is never monochrome.
They make great watchdogs. They are apprehensive of strangers but not timid.
They are keen dog athletes and attractive show dogs, also referred to as “Finkies,” and are well-known for being intelligent, sensitive, and alluring companions.
If there was a fully weatherproof dog, then the Finnish Lapponian Dog is just that. They are a tough and formidable reindeer herder from north of the Arctic Circle.
The Suomenlapinkoira, also known as the Finnish Lapponian Dog, is clever, courageous, eager to learn, sociable, and generally docile. It exhibits an obvious intent to guard and a strong herding drive.
Finnish Lapphunds are easily distinguished from other Nordic dogs by their thickly covered tail that bends over their backs, luxurious coat, and wonderfully sweet spitz-like face.
They are surprisingly big and muscular given their height of 20 inches at the shoulder.
They yearn for friendship and suffer when abandoned or left alone. Strong “startle reaction” is a defining characteristic of the breed, developed during generations of dodging the antlers of obstinate reindeer.
Lapponian Shepherd (AKA Lapponian Herder
The Lapponian Shepherd or Herder (Lapinporokoira) is believed to have descended from dogs that have lived in Scandinavia’s northern regions since prehistoric times. However, as the Lapponian Herder plainly departs from conventional Spitz-type dogs, there is considerable controversy regarding the breed’s ancestry.
The Lapponian Herder is a medium-sized shepherd dog of the Spitz breed. It has solid bones and muscles, and its length definitely exceeds its height.
They are intelligent creatures who flourish when given a task to complete, and they have a reputation for being very outspoken while doing so. Nearly constant barking is a telltale sign of this breed. This is not a quiet breed of dog!! You’ve been warned!
The Lapponian Shepherd originated in the South of Finland.