Showsight Presents the Finnish Spitz

Class in 1983 and was formally recognized for registration with the American Kennel Club in 1987. Assigned to the Non-Sport- ing Group by the AKC, the breed became eligible to fully compete on January 1, 1988. Finnish Spitz were introduced in Canada by a native of Finland, Mr. Ray Rinta, who was essential to the recognition of the breed with the Canadian Kennel Club. In 1974 the breed was formally accepted and assigned to the CKC’s Hound Group. An additional early supporter of the breed, Mrs. Joan Grant, imported Finkies from the renowned Cullabine Kennel of England to establish her successful Jayenn Kennel in Canada. Performance In its native country of Finland, the Finnish Spitz is still used primarily as a hunting dog. It is a “bark-pointer”, indicat- ing the position of game with a ringing,

constant bark that secures the hunter’s attention and holds the game in place until the hunter is in position. Although mainly used for grouse and capercaillie in Finland, in Russia and other countries the breed is also used to hunt small game such as tree martens, squirrel and rodents, as well as for large game such as moose, elk, bear and boar. Th e Finnish Spitz Club of Finland has produced an excellent video of Finnish Spitz on the hunt, which can be found at http:// www.spj.f i/f i/rodut/suomenpystykorva/. Finnish Spitz mainly work alone with their hunter, but may be used in groups of two or three for larger game. Finnish Spitz are highly intelligent, capa- ble problem solvers. Th ey learn very quickly, but can become bored with repetitive train- ing. Although not a traditional obedience breed, owners attuned to their dogs have dis- covered that the natural tendency to hunt as

one dog/one handler can be readily adapted for success in companion events such as agil- ity, rally and barn hunting. Finkies have proven especially adept at agility, a sport that pairs well with their quickness and natural athleticism. Th inking outside the box and keeping training sessions short and fun will result in an enjoyable experience for both dog and handler. Comanionship Finnish Spitz need to be an integral part of their family’s life and therefore make excellent companions and family pets. Th ey are particularly fond of children and dili- gent in alerting the family about “intruders” around the home. A talkative breed, Finkies enjoy “conversations” with family members using many unique vocalizations. Th eir independent nature means that, although devoted, they are not an “in-your-face”

268 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , A PRIL 2014

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