About This Rare Breed
Temperament and Traits
Independent, lively, fearless and cheerful, the Norrbottenspets is a small dog with a large personality. They are vivacious, energetic, and playful, with an engaging and affectionate disposition. Exceptionally intelligent and trainable, they tend to bond strongly to their master, and will faithfully follow their beloved around the home.
Simon and Schuster’s Guide to Dogs (representing over 320 breeds) rates the Norrbottenspets among the top 10 breeds for gentleness with children. Norrbottenspets live 20 or more years and seldom have health problems. They are very clever and clean dogs, with no offensive smell. Thus, their perfect size, intelligence, health, cleanliness, child friendliness, longevity and overall beauty op off a long list of outstanding qualities and leave this breed in a class of its own.
The full-grown Norrbottenspets reaches approximately 18 inches at the shoulder and averages about 25 pounds in weight. It possesses a fox-like head which is compromised of broad, wedge-shaped skull and muzzle that taper off to a point. Overall body structure is compact, lithe, and well muscled. A bushy tail is kept loosely curled over the back. Large almond shaped eyes can vary in color from light amber to deep chocolate brown. Ears are moderately large, and stand erect.
The neck is short, and slender, however their double-coated fur (which insulates them from extreme heat or cold), makes it appear thick. Fur is white with red or brown markings. Except for regular brushing to remove loose hair, the Norrbottenspets requires no special care.
History Of The Norrbottenspets
Most breeds are descendants of the wolf; but the Norrbottenspets’ ancestor is the dingo, whose ancestors go back thousands of years. The breed itself originated in Sweden in the 1600’s as hunting companions. It is believed that the Norrbottenspetz descended from small spitz-type dogs that lived in ancient times with people of the Nordic hemisphere, where hunting was necessary for both food and clothing. The small hunting spitz lived and survived under natural selection where only the strongest and bravest had a chance to live and produce. Legends abound of these faithful and courageous Norrbottenspets rescuing their masters from attacks by bear or other large prey.
In 1948, the Norrbottenspets was declared extinct, but enthusiasts sought out and found the few remaining dogs and started a successful breeding program, and the breed has made a strong comeback. In 1967 the Swedish Kennel Club accepted the breed into its registry again and a new standard was written.
Today, the breed is considered part of the hound (hunting) group. Although dedicated breeders such as Valhallasun Kennels have stabilized its numbers, the Norrbottenspets remains scarce outside of its original country; less than 100 exist in North America. For this reason, as the Colins introduce the rare Norrbottenspets to Canada, the U.S. and Mexico, they ask owners to agree not to neuter or spay their puppy. In this way, they hope to help this outstanding breed proliferate once more.