Aestiva Finnish Spitz
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Living with Finkies

Who SHOULD get a Finnish Spitz? Who SHOULDN'T get a Finnish Spitz?

SHOULD: Someone with time to share with a dog.
SHOULDN'T: Someone who will leave the dog alone most of the time.

Finnish Spitz are very smart dogs. Smart dogs need something to do or to think about to keep them busy. A bored Finnish Spitz will try to amuse itself, usually in ways that could get it into trouble! Yes, it is possible to have a Finkie and work full-time, but you need to make sure the dog gets lots of attention when you are home. It is also a good idea to give the dog a "project" to work on or play with while you are gone, like filling a kong toy with peanut butter (only a little and make it hard to reach) and giving it to the dog as you leave. A busy dog is a happy dog!

SHOULD: Someone who believes in strong leashes and secure fences ALL THE TIME.
SHOULDN'T: Someone who wants a dog who behaves off-leash.

Finnish Spitz are hunting dogs in Finland. Their job requires them to go off alone into the forest to find the game. A Finnish Spitz WILL RUN after the sight and sound of the game animal, ignoring everything else, including a frantic owner and a busy street in its path. There aren't many areas in the USA remote enough to allow a Finnish Spitz to run safely off-leash.

SHOULD: Someone who understands the dog's hunting heritage.
SHOULDN'T: Someone who prefers a lazy, couch-potato dog.

Finnish Spitz have high prey drives and lots of energy when outdoors. They love to chase small animals and birds. (Thankfully, mine don't actually CATCH what they chase, but many do.) They need to burn off their energy outside so they will behave properly indoors.

SHOULD: Someone who will include the dog in the family and household.
SHOULDN'T: Someone who wants a backyard-only dog.

Finnish Spitz have been bred and raised for hundreds of years to be the hunter's COMPANION as well as his assistant. These dogs need the companionship of their human families. It is good for a Finkie to have a yard to play end exercise in, but not to be confined there away from its favorite people. A lonely dog can develop some of the same behavior problems as bored dogs, like barking, digging and inappropriate chewing.

SHOULD: Someone who doesn't mind some extra brushing and vacuuming chores during the shedding season.
SHOULDN'T: Someone who hates the idea of dog hair in the house.

Finnish Spitz shed their undercoats about twice a year. The shed takes about 1 to 3 weeks. During most of the year, twice-weekly brushing is usually enough, but during the shed, a daily thorough brushing of about 15 minutes is required to keep clumps of hair from being deposited all over the house. It is better to get it in the brush than in the house!

SHOULD: Someone who wants an alert watchdog.
SHOULDN'T: Someone who wants a home guard or protection dog.

A Finnish Spitz will bark to warn you if people, cars or dogs approach your house, but they will NOT be able to physically defend you or your home against an intruder. A Finnish Spitz is an alarm ONLY.  Some Finnish Spitz are more sensitive and may bark at some things you think are unimportant. It is natural for a Finnish Spitz to use its voice to communicate, but it can and should be taught when it can or cannot bark. I use the command "Enough!" to let my dogs know that their message was understood and now they must stop!

SHOULD: Someone who can take charge (kindly) of an intelligent dog.
SHOULDN'T: Someone who wants a dog to behave like a child or like his/her last dog.

Finnish Spitz are sweet dogs, and make great family pets, but they have a mischievous streak. They like to try to see just how much they can get away with. They will test your patience at times! They are sensitive to harsh treatment, but they will take over your house if you are too lenient. They need CONSISTENT training and treatment from someone who is a "benevolent leader."

SHOULD: Someone who likes a devoted dog but moderate displays of affection.
SHOULDN'T: Someone who wants a dog who is always kissing or snuggling.

Each Finnish Spitz is different, but overall they are independent dogs. When they want to be, they are very snuggly and affectionate dogs. Mine will sit in front of the TV or on the newspaper to interrupt me if I am busy when they want to be petted. Sometimes they will force the issue by pawing or nudging at me until I relent. The rest of the time, they are content to just be in view of me, usually in the corner or the doorway of the room I am in. Mine are not big face-kissers (except puppies) but love to lean on you for hugs and petting. Some are dedicated toe-washers (or hand, leg, arm, ear; whatever is handy). Always remember your Finkie loves you, as it may not always be apparent, but then it will do something to make it very clear.

Copyright 2000, 2001, 2002  by Melissa L. Carr