History in Canada
The Norrbottenspets breed was first imported into Canada in the early 1990′s with just 10 foundation dogs. In 1996, the breed was officially recognized by the CKC. Since then, it has had representation in many of the dogsports across the country. From Conformation rings to Obedience trials to Flyball matches the Norrbottenspets is becoming far more recognizable. However, they are still quite rare. Estimates are that there are around 400 in Canada with a further 200 or so in the United States. Today, the CKC averages about 50 new registrations in Canada per year since 2009, with some of those dogs being from south of the border. This is a dramatic increase from 2007 when only 15 dogs were registered. As of January 2014, the Norrbottenspets has been added to the AKC Miscellaneous group, and is now able to earn a conformation Certificate of Merit. Once there are 300 registered dogs with 3 generation pedigrees in at least 100 households in 50 states, the parent club can petition to have them included in the regular groups. The regular groups are where full AKC Champion titles can be earned. Hopefully the Norrbottenspets will be included there in the near future.
The one thing that North American Norrbottenspets cannot participate in however is, that for which they were bred. In Canada, it is illegal to use a dog to bark at large game animals. In some parts of Canada, anyone can shoot a dog on sight if it is seen barking at a game animal. This makes it quite risky for owners to allow their dogs to roam in rural situations. There is some work going on to have the Norrbottenspets recognized as a breed of bird dog, and have it used for hunting game birds, and currently there are some hunters using them for “non-game” hunting. The Norrbottenspets is well-suited to operate in the vast forests of BC and the northern portion of most of the country. Hopefully, they will one day be allowed to show Canadian hunters why they are so popular in their home countries.