Canis lupus

Last updated: May 27, 2024
Verified by: AZ Animals Staff
© Gulija

Getting your hands on one of these pups might be a challenging task. At one point, the breed was on the brink of extinction.


Norrbottenspets Scientific Classification

Scientific Name
Canis lupus

Read our Complete Guide to Classification of Animals.

Norrbottenspets Locations

Norrbottenspets Locations

Norrbottenspets Facts

Name Of Young
Group Behavior
  • Social
Fun Fact
Getting your hands on one of these pups might be a challenging task. At one point, the breed was on the brink of extinction.
Most Distinctive Feature
White coat with red, or yellow patches
Other Name(s)
Nordic spitz or Norrbotten spitz
Gestation Period
58 to 68 days
Litter Size
3 to 5
  • Diurnal
Common Name
Sweden and Finland

Norrbottenspets Physical Characteristics

  • Brown
  • Yellow
  • Red
  • White
Skin Type
17 to 18 inches
Age of Sexual Maturity
6 to 9 months
Age of Weaning
3 to 6 weeks

Norrbottenspets as a Pet:

General Health
Energy Level
Tendency to Chew
Family and kid friendliness
Yappiness / Barking
Separation Anxiety
Preferred Temperature
Cold climate
Exercise Needs
Friendly With Other Dogs
Pure bred cost to own
$2000 to $3000
Dog group
Male weight
24-33 lbs
Female weight
18-26 lbs

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The Norrbottenspets English name is Norrbotten spitz and sometimes Nordic spitz. These stunning dogs were named after the region of Sweden where they originated, Norrbotten province. However, they are also native to the Lappland area in Finland, which is why they go by the more generic name, Nordic spitz.

Their captivating nature and features are quite attractive. They have thick short hair with long, sharp ears. Their coats are typically white with red or yellow patches.

Spitz is a German word meaning “pointed,” which applies to the Norrbottenspets because of their pointed snouts. In addition, spitz breeds have curled, feathery tails that they hold upright over their backs. While their features play a huge part in their appeal, their personalities are even better!

3 Pros And Cons Of Owning A Norrbottenspets 

Although they have a double coat, they don’t need vigorous groomingNorrbottenspets can bark a lot, which might be a problem for your neighbors
They have easy-going personalities, making them perfect for first-time dog ownersThese dogs become very close to their owners and might suffer from separation anxiety

History Of The Breed

The exact origin of the Norrbottenspet is not very clear. Although their name is from a Swedish province, it is believed that their ancestors most likely existed in the vicinity for thousands of years when semi-wild dogs would act as hunting companions for the people that lived in the area. The breed was actually declared extinct in the 1940s and it wasn’t until the 1960s when sufficient numbers were located that it was able to be declared alive.

The Best Dog Food For A Norrbottenspets 


Norrbottenspets dogs should be fed a high-quality, high-calorie diet because of their fast metabolic rate.

© Gulija

Norrbottenspets are small to medium-sized dogs that require a high-quality diet specifically catered to their size. For example, small dog breeds require a diet with a high-calorie intake because of their fast metabolic rate that burns through food quickly.

If these puppies don’t receive the correct diet and frequent meals, they can develop several health issues, including seizures, muscle tremors, and sometimes death. That’s why providing them dog food formulated for small dogs is so important. We recommend Taste of the Wild Appalachian Valley Small Breed Grain-Free Dry Dog Food. Owners should supplement their food with age-appropriate vitamins daily.

Best for Small Breeds
Taste of the Wild Appalachian Valley Small Breed Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

•Specialized small breed formula

•Antioxidants, prebiotics, and probiotics for overall health & wellness,

•High protein for muscle maintenance and growth

•Superfoods & fruits for vitamins & minerals

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Size And Weight

Norrbottenspets don’t get very big; males grow to around 17 to 18 inches long and weigh between 24 and 33 pounds. Females are the same length but weigh only 18 to 26 pounds.

These dogs have muscular, compact little bodies with large ears that stand at attention, similar to the German shepherd.

Common Health Issues

While there is not a lot of information about the health of Norrnottenspets, their small population and closely monitored breeding practices likely exonerate them from many health issues.

However, they are still exposed to age-related conditions like hip and elbow dysplasia and progressive cerebellar ataxia.


The Norrbottenspets is a loving and devoted dog. They are always by their owner’s side and hate being left alone, so separation anxiety is a big factor with this breed. This breed does get along well with children, but kids should always be taught how to interact with dogs and be supervised when around the pup.

Norrbottenspets make fantastic guard dogs because they are very vocal. In fact, their barking could pose a problem, especially with neighbors. However, this is something that owners can manage by training them from a young age. In addition, leaving this dog alone for long periods can cause it to bark uncontrollably.

This breed gets along well with other pets but should be supervised during the introduction phase. Norrbottenspets are very active dogs and will need copious amounts of physical and mental stimulation to keep them happy. A simple walk won’t cut it; they need to run, play, and sniff. In addition, these dogs thrive with interactive games that make them think and push them physically, which is why they excel at agility and obedience sports.

How To Take Care Of A Norrbottenspets 

The Nordic Spitz has a thick double coat with straight to medium-length fur.

©Kaisa Huhtala/CC BY-SA 3.0 – Original / License

Taking care of a Norrbottenspets is fairly easy, but there are still a few things prospective owners should know:


The Norrbottenspets have thick double coats with straight, short to medium-length fur. Because of their dense coat, they need daily brushing, which will help control the shedding.

Their nails need clipping every three months or when they start to touch the ground. These dogs need their ears checked regularly for wax buildup that can cause infections.

Dental hygiene in these dogs is very important; they need their teeth brushed at least three times a week with toothpaste specifically formulated for dogs. They are known for their hygiene practices, so they only need a bath when necessary.

Because of their low-maintenance grooming needs and loving personalities, they make a wonderful addition to any home.


©Manjusha Kennels, BY-SA 3.0 – Original / License

The Norrbottenspets were bred to be hunting companions, making them cunning, intelligent, and easily trainable. They are dedicated and quick learners that thrive on treat-and-praise-based training. However, they are an independent breed and might be a bit willful at times.

If owners don’t have patience, training can be frustrating. In fact, some people cannot handle their independent and stubborn nature.


These dogs would not be a good fit for inactive people because they need a lot of exercise. They need daily off-leash walks, preferably hiking or running in a dog park. Playing games like fetch in your backyard is also ideal.

If they don’t receive the physical and mental stimulation they need, they will act out in various ways, including chewing, digging, and other destructive behaviors.

Their mental state is also important, so they need outlets to keep their minds healthy and happy. These may include puzzle feeder games, obstacle courses, mazes, and obedience training.

Agility training is also a good idea because the Norrbottenspets likes to show off its athleticism and reasoning.


Getting your hands on one of these pups might be challenging. At one point, the breed was on the brink of extinction. Therefore, their numbers are limited. Reputable Norrbottenspets breeders are few and far between.

You can find a reputable breeder through the American Kennel Club and get on a waiting list. Alternatively, you could reach out to rescues and shelters and ask if they can contact you if they come across a Norrbottenspets, even if the chances are slim.

Pregnant females generally give birth to a litter of three to five pups. One of these beauties can cost around $2000 to $3000, depending on its location and pedigree. This exorbitant cost is due to the rarity of this breed.

Norrbottenspets And Children

The Norrbottenspets is an excellent breed for families. Their small size, playfulness, and friendly nature make them perfect companions for children.

In addition, they get along well with other dogs because they are social working dogs and see other canines as friends and teammates.

Dogs Similar To The Norrbottenspets 

The Norrbottenspets is closely related to other spitz breeds. They come in all shapes, colors, and sizes, but they all have loosely curled tails.

  • Alaskan Malamute: This ancient breed is highly intelligent, but they need a lot of affection and training to avoid becoming bored, which leads to destructive and mischievous behavior.
  • Chow Chow: This dog is also known as the chow spitz dog or Chinese chow chow, and they are the biggest, fluffiest bears you’ve ever seen!
  • Japanese spitz: The origin of this breed is a mystery because many records were destroyed during the Second World War. However, they are likely a crossbreed of various spitz breeds.
  • Tucker
  • Rocco
  • Oscar
  • Bo
  • Bailey
  • Willow
  • Coco
  • Luna
  • Abbie
  • Lola
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What's the right dog for you?

Dogs are our best friends but which breed is your perfect match?


If you have kids or existing dogs select:

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About average energy.
I want a dog that I have to chase after constantly!
All energy levels are great -- I just love dogs!
How much should they shed?
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About the Author

Melissa Bauernfeind was born in NYC and got her degree in Journalism from Boston University. She lived in San Diego for 10 years and is now back in NYC. She loves adventure and traveling the world with her husband but always misses her favorite little man, "P", half Chihuahua/half Jack Russell, all trouble. She got dive-certified so she could dive with the Great White Sharks someday and is hoping to swim with the Orcas as well.

Norrbottenspets FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Are Norrbottenspets rare?

Getting your hands on one of these pups might be a challenging task. At one point, the breed was on the brink of extinction. Therefore their numbers are limited.

How many Norrbottenspets are there?

There are only 150 Norrbottenspets registered with the AKC.

What are Norrbottenspets bred to do?

Norbottenspets were bred to be companions for small game hunting.

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  1. Petkeen / Accessed October 23, 2022
  2. Dogzone / Accessed October 23, 2022
  3. Wag Walking / Accessed October 23, 2022