The Finnish Spitz, or Finsk Spets, is the national dog of Finland. They are an independent, reserved, cautious and sometimes aloof breed. This does not, however, overshadow their friendly and loyal nature towards their family. As they were bred to be hunters, they need to be kept in a secure fenced yard or else they may go off on a hunting expedition. Finnish Spitzes are sensitive and strong minded, but also loyal to their human family. They especially love being with children. They are intelligent, sturdy, and easy to care for. They have often been described as "catlike" in cleanliness. They have a happy temperament, and are still used today for hunting in Finland. Finnish Spitz have been described as showing "devotion and self-sacrificing faithfulness." They are said to be courageous and selfless, but at the same time demand reward at a job well done. They do very well under poor circumstances with their owner, but alone in a kennel they become depressed and unhealthy. Finnish Spitz are largely used for hunting birds, especially the capercaillie, a large bird of Finland. They are a small to medium sized dog, making up for size with their loud bark. They are reddish brown and gold in color, and have prick ears that are a trademark of the Spitz. Their tails curl over their backs, touching the outer thigh of one side. A favorite hunting dog of the Finns, the Finnish Spitz is very popular as a companion in other countries.
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