An Affectionate, Child-Friendly, Energetic Dog Who Will Warn You of Danger
An alert, energetic and affectionate breed, the Norrbottenspets is both an excellent watchdog and devoted friend to the family. Prone to barking at the prospect of intrusion, this dog will keep you well apprised of imminent danger if strangers approach. At the same time, this breed enjoys the challenge of activity and is gentle with children. While it will sound the alarm if it detects something unfamiliar, it is basically a friendly dog who just wants to keep you informed.
An ancient breed that was originally a farm dog, the Norrbottenspets is also an avid hunter of various types of grouse, fox and squirrel. Since the early 17th century when the breed was first documented, Finland and Sweden have disputed the true origins of the breed. According to history, the Norrbottenspets originated in Kainuuland/Lappland, Finland, and Norrbotten, Sweden. Having spent significant time in both countries, the breed’s true heritage is uncertain.
Like many other breeds, the dog faced near extinction following World War I. In 1948, Sweden closed its studbook because of the small number of Norrbottenspets. Although a few of these dogs survived, they were in the far north where the population did not speak Swedish, serving mostly as companions and farm dogs. In the 1950s and early 1960s, aficionados began a breeding program that met with great success. In 1966, the FCI confirmed a new breed standard and the name officially became the Norrbottenspets.
Shortly thereafter in 1967, the Swedish Kennel Club accepted the breed for registration as did the country of Finland in 1973. Both countries have dedicated great efforts to preserving the health and integrity of the Norrbottenspets breed, which is known as Pohjanpystykorva in Finland.
A small and muscular, the Norrbottenspets is a compact dog that looks almost square in shape, mostly because its height and length are almost equal. This breed has a moderately long muzzle that tapers off to a point, a broad, wedge-shaped skull and black nose.
The Norrbottenspets has two coats, the undercoat being thick, soft and fine. A rough overcoat is straight and fits close to the body. The double coat helps keep the dog warm and well insulated in extremely harsh, cold weather. Dense, thick hair on the dog's neck give it a thick appearance, although it is actually short and slender. With a tail that curls loosely over its back, long hair gives it a bushy look. The hair on the back of thighs and neck is slightly longer than the rest of the body as well.
In most cases, Norrbottenspets puppies are primarily white, with reddish brown or yellow-red markings, but other colors in marking are permitted as well. Height varies from about 16 inches to 18 inches at the withers, with females a bit shorter than males. This breed typically weighs between 18 and 33 pounds; females generally do not weigh more than 27 pounds.
While most who adopt the Norrbottenspets enjoy this dog’s friendly disposition, like most dogs, it can have a mind of its own, so proper training at an early age is required. The perfect pet for children, the dog has abundant energy and stamina for family activity and playing games. The dog is also an excellent companion if you love to hunt.
A larger home with a spacious yard or a rural farm environment is ideal for the Norrbottenspets. This breed thrives on mental stimulation and exercise, so it's important that your Norrbottenspets stays occupied. Families with children who enjoy sports will find this breed the perfect pet for a vigorous, outdoor life. If you live in a smaller home or have confined space, just be sure that you take your Norrbottenspets out for a long daily walk or romp in the park to exhaust its ample energy and keep it positively motivated.
Generally speaking, this is a breed with few health concerns, and one that lives a long life. Most Norrbottenspets will average 12 to 15 years, with some as many as 20! The few health issues your pet may encounter include hip dysplasia, patellar luxation (dislocation of the knee), and common joint problems like arthritis.
The only grooming your dog will need is regular brushing, more frequently during the two times each year the breed sheds heavily. Brushing a few times a week will remove dead hair and keep your pet neat and well-groomed. Check ears occasionally and clean when needed.