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Norrbottenspets – Dog Breed Guide

Breed summary

Size: Small to Medium
Weight: Depends on the canine registry. See Size Standard Section of this article.
Height: Depends on the canine registry. See Size Standard Section of this article.
Longevity: 15
Bark Tendency: Medium
Aggression: Low
Compatibility to other pets: High

Adopt a Norrbottenspets, Dog Breed Guide


Norrbottenspets is the smallest dog breed that belongs to the Scandinavian hunting dog family that is being promoted by the Finnish Spitz Club. This group includes that Finnish Spitz, Norrbottenspets and the Karelian Bear Dog. Norrbottenspets are small but not too small to be considered as a toy breed.

This dog breed is one of few dog breeds that have very long names. In Finland, the Norrbottenspets dogs are called Pohjanpystykorva. Immigrants who became farmers in both Sweden and Finland call this breed as Norbottens-skollandehund.

Official Name

This dog breed is also called as the Pohjanpystykorva or the Norbottens-skollandehund. There are some dog breeders that classify and call the Norrbottenspets as the generic Nordic Spitz.


North Spitz
Date – as early as the 17th century
Country – Sweden
Family / Group – Spitz, Northern, Nordic

Recognized By:
Canadian Kennel Club
Swedish Kennel Club
Finnish Kennel Club
Fédération Cynologique Internationale
Dog Registry of America, Inc.
North American Purebred Registry, Inc.
American Kennel Club – Foundation Stock Service Program


The Norrbottenspets is an ancient spitz-type dog breed that originates from Sweden’s Norrbotten region. Finnish breeders argue that they were bred originally in Finland’s Lappland – Kainuuland region. The precise date of their development is also not known but most dog historians and historical accounts points out that this Swedish dogs has been in existence since the 17th century. They were created to be Sweden’s original all purpose farm dog that can also be impressive hunters. Regardless of their precise area of origin, this breed is 100% Scandinavian and has been prized in both countries for their hunting and farm working talents.

After World War I, the Norbottenspets was on the verge of extinction. Their number declined so much that by 1948, only a few dogs were left and can only be seen in the non-Swedish speaking region of Sweden’s most Northern provinces where it was utilized as companions and all-utility farm dogs. By the 50’s and early 60’s, a local revival was initiated through a breeding program. This revival was very successfully and by 1966, a standard was set and that Norrbottenspets was officially recognized and registered with the Fédération Cynologique Internationale. The following year, the local Swedish Kennel Club follow suit and created its own set of standard. Finland recognized that standards set by the FCI and the SKC in 1973.


The Norrbottenspets is a Scandinavian dog breed that is prized for having a desirable combination of strength, speed, endurance and stamina. They are also very agile dogs and are very coordinated and have well balance making them efficient workings on very rough terrain and on various waterways. These very active dogs will be daring and confident when out in the field. They will be alert and very attentive when around their masters.

Size Standards
The different kennel clubs that recognize The Norrbottenspets have various set of standards for the breed’s size and height.

Canadian Kennel Club Standard
Ideal height for Male Norrbottenspets is 17.7 inches or 45 centimeters
Ideal height for Female Norrbottenspets is 16.5 inches or 42 centimeters
There is no standard set for this breed’s weight but the ideal size would be between 18 to 27 pounds or 8 tp 15 kilograms.
The Canadian Kennel Club does not disqualify based on the stated standard.

Finnish Kennel Club and the Swedish Kennel Club
17 inches or 45 centimeters
26 to 33 pounds or 6 to 18 kilograms
The Finnish Kennel Club or Kennelliitto and the Swedish Kennel Club of Svenska Kenneklubben disqualifies Male dogs over 47 centimeters and female dogs over 44 centimeters

Bred For

The Norrbottenspets was bred to hunt various game and game fowls including wood grouse, black grouse, capercaillie and hazel grouse as well as foxes, martens and raccoons. They were also bred before as squirrel hunters and some are strong enough to hunt large game including grizzly bear and moose.


The Norrbottenspets should not be kept as apartments. These dogs require large areas to move about. A home with a large yard is ideal for these dogs. They are dogs that will thrive in cool climates.


Norrbottenspets are dogs with coats that are easy to maintain. They do not emit doggy odor. This is a northern dog breed that shed hair heavily every season. They require to be groomed three to four times a week.


Norrbottenspets are naturally obedient, highly intelligent and always eager to please their masters. This makes them very easy to train.


This particular breed is generally healthy and breeding is carefully monitored by both Swedish and Finnish breeders to avoid genetic disorders that can affect the breed.


Norrbottenspets dogs are highly energetic and demand plenty of exercise. These dogs should be taken out for long and brisk walks every day or jogging, running, hiking at least three times a week. They should also be given ample time to run freely on wide open spaces.