How big are they?
The Norrbottenspets is a small/medium dog, about 20 lbs and 17 inches tall. They are small enough to share your couch or your bed, but big enough to go everywhere and do everything with you.
Are they easy to train?
In my experience the breed is very easy to train. They are smart and willing, and respond well to positive training techniques. Harsh methods of training can be overwhelming for a Norrbottenspets, and are not recommended at all. As they are a hunting dog, early and consistent training is important- establishing a good recall early is paramount to success.
Are Norrbottenspets a healthy breed?
Yes. There are few genetic problems with the breed. Breeders in Canada are screening carefully to eliminate the possibility of passing on any of the problems. With proper diet and exercise, your puppy should live a long and healthy life, easily 15 years.
Are there any downsides to these dogs?
In many people’s opinion, there are two things about the breed that may be considered drawbacks. The first is that as a spitz breed, they have a double coat and they will shed unless combed out regularly. If your favourite colour is black, you will want to groom your Norrbottenspets weekly. I do mine over with a comb about once a month, and sweep the floor often!
The other thing that needs addressing about the breed is that as they are a hunting dog, and their hunting style requires them to bark loudly and frequently, early gentle training to limit the barking is required. They tend to bark when excited, hunting, playing or when someone is at the door, so simply teaching a different behaviour is quite easy.
What were they bred for?
The Norrbottenspets is a hunting dog. They originated in the north of Sweden, and were used for small game hunting. They are a natural bird dog, and love to hunt. Most in North America are companion animals, possibly trained for dog sports such as agility, which they excel at. They love to learn and work, and the hunting instinct is very strong. In their homeland they are still used for hunting a great deal, and the hunting instinct is tested for in the breeding dogs to ensure it is not diluted.
Why do you like the breed?
Personally, I love the Norrbottenspets breed for a bunch of reasons. I like that they are small enough I have had 3 of them sleeping on the bed and there was still room for humans, but that they are still big enough to hike, hunt or work all day, keeping up with or surpassing bigger dogs. I love how eager they are to train, and how much fun they have learning and performing their skills. Mine have always been good with strangers and other dogs, which is important to me. They are a very adaptable breed, I have lived on a boat with them, in the mountains, and on a coastal BC island, and they have thrived everywhere. They are so easy care, and low maintenance- I love how people comment on how clean they are, when I rarely bathe them, and often even the brushing is neglected.