The Finnish Spitz has a foxlike appearance, incorporating the typical traits of a northern breed: small erect ears, dense double coat, and curled tail. They are square-proportioned, and without exaggeration, quick and light on their feet. Their double coat, consisting of a short soft undercoat and harsh straight outer coat about 1 to 2 inches long, provides insulation from the snow and cold, which once allowed them to hunt tirelessly under the coldest of conditions.
The Finnish Spitz originated from ancestral northern spitz dogs that accompanied early Finno-Ugrian tribes as they journeyed across Eurasia to Finland. These dogs probably originated as camp followers and watchdogs, later developing into hunting dogs. The breed remained pure, not by design but by isolation until the early 1800s. When other groups of people brought their dogs to the region in the 1800s, interbreeding almost obliterated the pure Finnish Spitz.
In the late 1800s, two Finnish sportsmen spotted some dogs that had apparently not been interbred, and they were so impressed that they determined to rescue the imperiled breed. Early names for the breed included Suomenpystykorva (Finnish Cock-Eared Dog) and Finnish Barking Bird Dog. When it first came to England it was called the Finsk Spets (derived from its Swedish name), but in 1891, the name was officially changed to Finnish Spitz. The breed gained its nickname of Finkie after its arrival in England in the 1920s. It wasn’t until the 1960s that Finkies began to be bred in the United States. The breed was officially admitted into the Non-Sporting Group in 1988.
Like most spitz breeds, the Finkie is independent and may be somewhat stubborn, although they are more hunting oriented than other spitz breeds. They are alert, inquisitive, and playful, but they are also sensitive, tending to be devoted to one person. They are a breed conscious of their place in the dominance hierarchy, and some males can try to be domineering. They are usually good with children, and generally good with other pets, but they may be assertive to strange dogs. They are reserved, even aloof or suspicious, with strangers. In keeping with their barking heritage, the Finkie is proud of their barking ability and likes to show it off— loudly!
This is an active and lively breed and needs daily exercise, either a long walk on leash or a run in a fenced area. As a hunting breed, care must be taken that they do not go off on a hunt by themselves. Their double coat needs brushing one or two times weekly, more often when shedding.