Country/Date of Origin: Finland/1800s
One of the oldest European breeds of dog, the Finnish Spitz accompanied the early Finns on hunting expeditions. Unlike most members of the spitz family, which hunt larger game, this is primarily a bird dog. If it finds birds, it points at the prey, waving its tail back and forth to mesmerize them. It also will bark loudly to attract the attention of the hunter, giving it the sometimes used name of Barking Bird Dog. In contests it is judged on the number of barks per minute, which can top 160 per minute.
Extremely popular in its homeland and the rest of Scandinavia, its good qualities as a housepet have won it fanciers in England and the United States in the last few years as well.