Norrbottenspets – The Hunter

What makes the Norrbottenspets Unique?

The Norrbottenspets is a breed of dog of the spitz type. It is an ancient breed whose original purpose was a farm and hunting dog but has recently became more popular as a companion dog. The Norrbottenspets is used to hunt wood grouse, black grouse, capercaillie and hazel grouse, but also fox, marten and raccoon. Some individuals are also effective with mammals as large as moose and grizzly bear. Norrbottenspets was formerly used in hunting squirrels, when squirrel fur was valuable in the beginning of 20th century and earlier.


Size: Males – 17.72′ / 45 cm,
Females – 16.54″ / 42 cm
Weight: Males – 26 – 33lbs / 11.79-14.97 kg
Females – 26 – 33lbs / 11.79-14.97 kg
Origin: Sweden
Life Span: 12 to 15 years
Colour: white with clearly defined large, yellow, fawn, red or orange patches. patches in other colors also accepted
Litter Size: 5 – 7 puppies

Is the Norrbottenspets Right For You?

This 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.

In 5 Words

  • Alert
  • Daring
  • Actives
  • Confident
  • Attentive
Fun Fact

The Norrbottenspets is used for hunting upland game birds, smaller fur-bearing mammals, and large game mammals like elk, deer, and bear..


Health Issues

Learn About the Norrbottenspets



General Description

The Norrbottenspets is a small, squarely built compact dog that stands between 16-18 inches and weighs about 18-33 lbs. There should be lightness and power reflected in the dog. It comes with a wedge-shaped broad skull and moderately long muzzle that tapers to a black nose. Large almond shaped eyes can be of any colour, from light amber to deep brown. High set ears are erect. The back is rather short but strong and muscular. The dog has a well developed fore-chest, a deep chest and a rib cage that reached below the elbows. The double coat of this breed has fine, soft and thick undercoat and rough, straight and close-fitting topcoat. White is common colour with red, tan or brown markings. Rather high set tail is carried in a high curve, loosely curled with the tip of tail touching side of thigh. This breed is NOT recognized by AKC but is registered with Foundation Stock Services, awaiting full recognition. It is recognized by other major kennel clubs like FCI, UKC and CKC.


This dog comes in primarily white colour with preferable markings of red, brown or tan. Black, fawn and agouti patches are also acceptable but not desired. Markings should be large. Colour should cover the sides of head and ears.


Double coat of the dog has soft, dense and fine undercoat and rough, straight and hard outer coat that lies close to the body. Both coats protects the dog from extremely harsh and cold weather conditions.

Short History

Short History of the Norrbottenspets

The breed originated in Norrbotten, Sweden and Lappland/Kainuuland, Finland, and have been documented as early as the 17th century. Sweden and Finland argue about the true home of the Norrbottenspets, but clearly the dog has spent much time in both countries. The dogs were mainly used as hunting companions.

By the end of WW1, the Norbottenspets came close to extinction. Due to the very small number of norrbottens, Sweden closed its studbook in 1948. Although some dogs were preserved, they were in a non-Swedish speaking area and in the far north as a farm dog and companion. Enthusiasts sought out the few remaining dogs and started a successful breeding program between the 1950s and early 1960s.



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.

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.

Caring for Your Norrbottenspets


General Health

Considering the small number of dogs in the genetic pool, the Norrbottenspetz is a very healthy breed in general. Breeding in Europe is done on a very controlled basis by using only distantly related, healthy animals, computer programs and consultants. Breeders are testing breeding stock to control hereditary diseases such as cataracts.

Grooming & Bathing

Grooming & Bathing

The Norrbottenspets has a shorter coat then most of the Northern Breeds and no doggy odor. The coat needs to be regularly brushed to maintain its good condition. Being short coated hair trimming is not necessary. The teeth should be regularly brushed, the nails regularly trimmed. Ears must be inspected on a regular basis to prevent infection.

Exercise & Training

Exercise & Training

As a former hunting and farm dog, the Norrbottenspets enjoys outside activity and happily engages in any exercise offered.This intelligent and eager to please dog is very trainable. Harsh training methods will not work on this dog as it needs gentle and innovative training routines. Repetitive training routines will make this dog bored so the owner/trainer should be innovative and gentle when training these dogs.