This is a very old and ancient dog breed that evolved throughout the centuries by adapting to the harsh and cold environment of northern Scandinavia, natural selection and surviving of the fittest. Their ancestors are definitely some very old Spitz and Laika dogs, that were used for hunting in North Sweden and Finland from prehistoric times. These dogs are closely related to other Scandinavian breeds such as Finnish Spitz, Karelo-Finnish Laika or Norwegian Buhund.
The Norbottenspets has a very descriptive name. Norbotten is a name of a region where the dog has its origin and it is known in english as North Bothnia and Spets is the swedish spelling of Spitz. So their name literally means a Spitz from North Bothnia. These dogs are known under some other names as well. The most common are Nordic Spitz and Pohjanpystykorva.
These dogs are excellent hunters and not only that it is their original purpose, they are still very often used for hunting these days. The Norbottenspets is most often used for hunting forest grouse, but they can hunt fur game as well and they can even baying elks. It is a very courageous and versatile hunter, with strong prey drive, high endurance and speed, excellent sense of smell but also very good hearing and sight. Typically the Norbottenspepts is released into the forrest where it is finding and chasing the game. When the game is cornered or treed, than they start barking to alert the hunter. They barking is quite loud, which makes it easier for the hunter to find the dog.
4) Almost extinct
In the past, the Norbottenspets was very highly valued for its ability to provide food and fur, which was not only necessary for survival, but the fur was used for trading and it was the currency of the past. According to the official FCI breed standard, when fur prices dropped drastically after World War II, so did the interest for the Norrbottenspets. The breed completely dissappeared the Swedish Kennel Club declared the breed as extinct. That changed approximately a decade later, when few purebred specimens of Norbottenspets were found inside the North Bothnia. Thanks to these few dogs and some determined people, the breed was revived and reintroduced in 1967. Today, the breed is not on the verge of extinction anymore, but it is very hard to find them outside Sweden or Finland.
You can tell on the first sight, that this is Spitz dog breed. They just have all the typical Spitz characteristics, which include the dense and thick fur, tail that is curled over the back, alert expression and erect ears. These dogs also have almond shaped dark eyes, deep chest and wedge shaped head.
This is a compact dog breed, which is quite muscular, but still pretty light and athletic The average height is between 40-47 cm, which is 16-19 inch and weight is typically between 11-15 kg, which is 24-33 pounds. Females are naturally slightly smaller than males.
Just like all the dogs from Northern parts of Europe, even the Nordic Spitz has a very dense and thick doublecoat which is protecting it from the cold weather and which enables them to hunt in chilly and snowy environment for long hours. The coat is not very long, it is rather short, but it is extremely dense. The coat is longer around the neck, on the tail and on the back of thighs. The base color is white with yellow or red patches and spots.
You already know, that the Norbottenspets is a good hunter, but it is also great loving and loyal companion dog. It is important to say, that it is a lively companion, so they are best suited for active families, who are able to provide the dog with a lot of outdoor exercise, long walks and hikes in the forrest and lots of playtime. These dogs are known to attach closely to its family. They can be good active partners for older kids, but of course, the kid should be old enough to know how to treat dogs gently. The Nordic Spitz can also live with other dogs in the family, especially if they are raised from the puppyhood. Other smaller household pets might be problematic due to the Nordic Spitz higher prey drive, but this can be vastly influeced by early socialization.
Even though the coat of Norbottenspets is very dense, the grooming is not very hard. There is no need for shaving or trimming the coat and the coat should be left natural. These dogs do shed quite a lot, so if you want to minimize the shedding, regular brushing, even daily brushing, will help it, but it is impossible to stop the shedding. No other grooming needs are needed. Of course, just like with all dogs, you should regularly check their eyes, ears, nails and teeth and clip them or clean them if needed.
This is pretty healthy and tough dog breed, which is typically very active and healthy well into their teen years. The typical lifespan is between 13-15 years. Of course, just like all breeds, they may suffer from some typicaly doggy health issues, such as some joint and bone problems like patellar luxation, eye problems like cataracts, bloating or skin allergies, but none of those should be very common with this breed.
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