What is a Norrbottenspets?

What is a Norrbottenspets? | Breed Purpose | History in Canada | The Modern Norrbottenspets | Breed Standard

The Norrbottenspets probably descends from small spitz-type dogs that lived with the hunter peoples in the nordic hemisphere in ancient times. The small hunting spitz has lived centuries and survived where only the strongest and most effective individuals had a chance to live and produce. In these regions, hunting was necessary for both food and clothing. The fur hunters of the regions used the only possible means of trade – furs such as sable, marten and ermine. After the price of furs collapsed following WW2, so too did the interest for Norrbottenspets.

The Swedish Kennel Club defined the breed as extinct, but it was shown that the breed had survived as a farm guard dog and family dog in the Norrbotten region. Enthusiastic people found typical and studbook registerable dogs in late 1960s, and  confirmed that the breed should be retained as a hunting breed. In 1967 the Swedish Kennel Club accepted the breed to the register again and a new standard was written. CKC allowed the Norrbottenspets to be shown in Group 2 (Hounds) in 1996. The Norrbottenspets is mostly used as a barking bird dog for hunting in Europe, while in North America it is mostly a great pet, as it is clean, good with children and other pets, and is a fast learner.  The Swedish Kennel Club has recently submitted a new standard that was accepted by the FCI.

The Norrbottenspets is a light, small size (but not toy like), spitz dog.  They are white in colour with piebald spotting in a red colour that varies in shade from a yellow to a more brown colour.  The ideal colour is the yellow to red.  The dogs have ears that stand up – they are considered “pricked ear dogs” – and a tail that curls over the back to touch the hip.  The dogs are alert and active.  They are smart and do need activity.  The dogs have a double coat – meaning that they do shed, but that the shed is highly related to the weather.  A good brushing can reduce shedding during the seasonal changes that cause the undercoat to fall out or ‘blow’.