About the Norrbottenspets
Nobs aren’t large dogs (a big male stands a shade below 20 inches) but their tough, sinewy bodies are built to withstand punishing terrain and harsh climates. They are a small-sized hunting dog of Spitz-type, which was thought to be extinct but survived as a farm and hunting dog in the Northern parts of Sweden and Finland. To be able to navigate the rough terrain and climate of the Scandinavian forests and hold large dangerous game, like moose, Norrbottenspets
(pronounced Nor-Boat-Ten-Spetz evolved to be extremely agile, rugged, and weatherproof with a fearless attitude, while at the same time kind and affectionate companions at home. They exhibit no extremes in physical characteristics because they must do all things well.
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- Temperament:Fearless, Agile, Attentive
- Height: 16.5-18 inches
- Weight: 20-30 pounds
- Life Expectancy: 14-17 years
- Group: Miscellaneous Class
For centuries, the people of the world’s northernmost climes have bred a type of dog known as spitz. These Nordic breeds can be burly like the Alaskan Malamute or dainty like the Pomeranian, but spitz types share certain traits. These include a profusely coated tail curved tightly over the back, a wedge-shaped head usually bearing a foxlike expression, and erect, pointed ears. The Norrbottenspets (nor-bo-TEN-spets) is a member of this ancient clan of cold-weather hunters and workers.
The Norrbottenspets (or Norrbottenspitz in English) means spitz from the county of North Bothnia and probably originates from small Laika type spitz that were known to live with hunting people in the North Cape area in prehistoric time; small hunting spitz have survived for thousands of years through natural selection. In the very harsh areas of the northern parts of the Scandinavian Peninsula, hunting for food and fur was a necessity for survival. Precious furs like sable, marten-skin and ermine were the only valid currency for centuries. When fur prices dropped drastically after World War II, so did the interest for the Norrbottenspitz.
The breed vanished and had no registrations for many years; hence the Swedish Kennel Club (SKK) declared it extinct. But only a decade later, news came that some true-to-type specimens had been found living as pets and watch dogs on small homesteads in the inland area of North Bothnia. Due to the very dedicated work of a few men, this old type hunting spitz was saved. In 1967, the Norrbottenspitz was reintroduced to the Registry in Sweden and a new standard was drawn up. The FCI accepted the new breed standard and the official name became Norrbottenspets.
Following the Swedish Kennel Club´s desire, Finns began to search the remote countryside of North Finland for native dogs that matched the standard to broaden the gene pool. They were successful and the majority of foundation dogs came from Finland. The studbook is still open in Finland, but was closed in the 1980s in Sweden. The Norrbottenspets population is about 1600 in Sweden and 1300 in Finland with scattered individuals counted in some tens around the world.
Norrbottenspets were accepted to the American Kennel Club’s Foundation Stock Service in November 2007. As of November 2012, 181 Norrbottenspets, 175 of these with 3-generation pedigrees, were recorded with the American Kennel Club’s Foundation Stock Service.
Care and Training
The Norrbottenspet should do well on a high-quality dog food, whether commercially manufactured or home-prepared with your veterinarian’s supervision and approval. Any diet should be appropriate to the dog’s age (puppy, adult, or senior). Some dogs are prone to getting overweight, so watch your dog’s calorie consumption and weight level. Treats can be an important aid in training, but giving too many can cause obesity. Learn about which human foods are safe for dogs, and which are not. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.
The Norrbottenspets is double-coated with a topcoat that is hard, short, and straight and an undercoat that is fine and dense. They are very clever and clean dogs, with no offensive smell. Beyond regular weekly grooming, the very occasional bath will keep them clean and looking their best. Their nails should be trimmed when necessary with a nail clipper or grinder to avoid overgrowth, splitting, and cracking. Ears should be checked regularly to avoid a buildup of wax and debris, which can result in infection. Teeth should be brushed when needed.
[bctt tweet=”To be able to navigate the rough terrain and climate of the Scandinavian forests and hold large dangerous game, like moose, Norrbottenspets evolved to be extremely agile, rugged, and weatherproof with a fearless attitude.” username=”alaskadogworks”]
Nobs are vivacious, energetic, and playful, with an engaging and affectionate disposition. Options for exercise include play time in the backyard, preferably fenced, or being taken for walks several times a day. Exercise can also come in the form of indoor activities, like hide-and-seek, chasing a ball rolled along the floor, or learning new tricks. Certain outdoor activities like swimming, hiking, and retrieving balls or flying discs can provide a good outlet for expending energy. If you live in an apartment, even short walks in the hallways can give your dog some exercise, especially during inclement weather. Training for dog sports like agility, obedience, and rally can also be a great way to give your dog exercise.
Some dogs may be faced with health challenges in their lives, but the majority of Norrbottenspets are healthy dogs. Working with a responsible breeder, prospective owners can gain the education they need to learn about specific health concerns within the breed.
Did You Know
- The Norrbottenspets has been assigned to the Hound Group designation.
- Norrbottenspets are active, but with daily exercise, can be quiet in the home.
- The breed was so rare, they were once thought to be extinct.