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The Norrbottenspets, also known as the Nordic Spitz, is a versatile hunting breed originating from Sweden. Standing between 16 to 18 inches tall and weighing 20 to 30 pounds, they exhibit a compact and athletic build. Their coat is typically white with yellow or red/brown markings, and they have distinct pointed, upright ears and a curled tail over the back, contributing to an alert and attentive appearance.

In terms of temperament, Norrbottenspets are intelligent, active, and loyal. They require regular exercise and mental stimulation, thriving in environments where they can be physically engaged. While sociable and affectionate with family, including children and other pets, they retain a strong hunting instinct, necessitating early socialization and training. Their high energy and alert nature make them well-suited for active owners who can meet their exercise and companionship needs.

Breed Snapshot

Life Expectancy:

14 to 17 years



Maintenance Level:


Shed Level


Best For

The Norrbottenspets is best suited for active individuals or families who can provide ample physical exercise and mental stimulation, as they are highly energetic and intelligent. They are also well-suited for those who appreciate a sociable and loyal companion and can meet their grooming and training needs.

Norrbottenspets Traits

Breed Characteristics

Norrbottenspets are active, intelligent, and alert, known for their versatility as hunting dogs and affectionate nature as family pets. They have a medium build, typically weigh 20-30 pounds, and feature a distinctive white coat with yellow or red/brown markings.


Exercise Needs
Health Issues
Barking Tendencies
Grooming Needs
Shedding Level
Training Needs
Good With Kids
Good With Cats
Good As A Service Dog
Good For Apartments & Small Homes
Biting Tendencies
Energy Level
Good With Other Dogs
Sensitive to Cold Weather
Sensitive to Warm Weather
Good For First Time Pet Parents

Breed Appearance

The Norrbottenspets is a medium-sized dog with a compact and sturdy build, standing about 16 to 18 inches tall. They have a distinctive double coat, primarily white with yellow or red/brown markings, pointed upright ears, and a bright, alert expression. Their tail is typically curled over the back, adding to their lively appearance.

1. Ears
Pointed and upright, contributing to their alert and keen expression.
2. Eyes
Medium-sized, oval-shaped, and dark, reflecting their intelligence and attentive nature.
3. Nose
Usually black, providing a distinct contrast against their lighter coat.
4. Height
Typically stands about 16 to 18 inches at the shoulder.
5. Coat Length
Medium length with a dense, soft undercoat and a harsher, straight outer coat for weather resistance.
6. Coat Color
Predominantly white with yellow or red/brown markings, often including a distinctive facial mask.
7. Tail
Carried curled over the back, emphasizing their energetic and sprightly demeanor.
8. Weight
Generally weighs between 20 to 30 pounds, showcasing a balanced and sturdy physique.

Norrbottenspets Temperament

The Norrbottenspets is known for its energetic, alert, and friendly temperament. These dogs are highly active and display a keen intelligence, making them both responsive to training and in need of mental stimulation. Their origins as hunting dogs contribute to a strong prey drive and a natural inclination for alertness and agility.

In terms of social behavior, Norrbottenspets are generally friendly and sociable. They tend to bond closely with their family members and are known for being good with children, displaying patience and playfulness. However, their sociability extends beyond their human family; they usually get along well with other dogs, especially when socialized from a young age.

Despite their friendly nature, the Norrbottenspets can be somewhat reserved with strangers, showcasing a cautious yet not aggressive demeanor. They are often vigilant and can make good watchdogs, alerting their family to unfamiliar situations or people.

Overall, the Norrbottenspets is a loyal and affectionate breed, ideal for active families or individuals who can provide them with the physical exercise and mental engagement they require. Their adaptable and cheerful disposition makes them a joyful companion for those who appreciate an active and intelligent dog.

How to Care for a Norrbottenspets

Caring for a Norrbottenspets involves providing them with ample exercise and mental stimulation due to their high energy levels, along with consistent training and socialization. Regular grooming of their dense coat is essential, as is maintaining a balanced diet and routine veterinary check-ups to ensure their overall health and well-being.

Grooming a Norrbottenspets, with their dense double coat, involves a dedicated routine:

  1. Regular Brushing: Brush their coat at least once a week to remove loose hair and prevent matting. During shedding seasons, more frequent brushing may be necessary.

  2. Bathing: Bathe them every few months, or as needed, using a dog-specific shampoo to keep their coat clean and maintain skin health.

  3. Ear Care: Regularly check and clean their ears to prevent wax buildup and infections, particularly important for dogs with erect ears.

  4. Nail Trimming: Trim their nails regularly, typically every few weeks, to prevent overgrowth and discomfort.

  5. Dental Hygiene: Brush their teeth several times a week to prevent dental issues and maintain overall oral health.

  6. Eye Care: Gently clean around their eyes to remove any dirt or discharge.

  7. Seasonal Considerations: Pay extra attention to grooming during seasonal changes, as they may shed more heavily.

This grooming routine not only keeps the Norrbottenspets looking good but also provides an opportunity to check for any skin issues or parasites, contributing to their overall health.

Training a Norrbottenspets, a breed known for its intelligence and independence, involves several key strategies:

  • Start Early and Socialize: Begin training and socialization in puppyhood. Expose them to different people, animals, and environments to develop a well-rounded temperament.
  • Use Positive Reinforcement: Employ treats, praise, and play as rewards. Norrbottenspets respond well to positive reinforcement, reinforcing their desire to learn and please.
  • Consistency is Crucial: Be consistent with commands and rules. This breed can be independent, so a consistent approach helps in better understanding and compliance.
  • Keep Training Sessions Engaging: Short, varied, and engaging training sessions maintain their interest. Their intelligence means they pick up commands quickly, but they can also get bored with repetition.
  • Focus on Recall Training: Given their hunting background and prey drive, strong recall training is essential, especially for off-leash play.
  • Address Prey Drive: Teach them to manage their natural hunting instincts, especially if you have other small pets.
  • Crate Training: Crate training can be beneficial, providing them with a safe space and aiding in house training.
  • Leash Training: Train them to walk nicely on a leash to prevent pulling, which is crucial for their safety and your control.
  • Mental Stimulation: Include activities that provide mental stimulation, like puzzle toys or tracking games, to keep their mind active.
  • Be Patient and Adaptable: Patience and adaptability are key, as their independent nature might require different approaches to training.

Training a Norrbottenspets can be a rewarding experience due to their intelligence and eagerness to engage, leading to a well-behaved and loyal companion.

Caring for the diet and nutrition of a Norrbottenspets involves several important considerations:

  1. Balanced Diet: Ensure they have a well-balanced diet rich in essential nutrients. This should include a good balance of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals.

  2. High-Quality Dog Food: Choose a high-quality dog food appropriate for their age, size, and energy level. Due to their active nature, they may benefit from food formulated for active breeds.

  3. Portion Control: Monitor their food intake to prevent obesity, a common issue in many dog breeds. Follow feeding guidelines and adjust portions based on their activity level and weight.

  4. Regular Feeding Schedule: Establish a regular feeding routine, typically two meals a day for adult dogs, to maintain their metabolism and energy levels.

  5. Limit Treats: Treats should be given in moderation and not exceed 10% of their total daily calorie intake. Use healthy treats, especially during training.

  6. Fresh Water: Always provide access to fresh, clean water to keep them well-hydrated.

  7. Special Dietary Needs: Be aware of any special dietary requirements or food sensitivities your Norrbottenspets may have.

  8. Avoid Harmful Foods: Certain human foods can be toxic to dogs; avoid feeding them chocolate, grapes, onions, and other harmful items.

  9. Regular Health Checks: Regular veterinary check-ups can help monitor their nutrition and overall health, making necessary dietary adjustments as they age.

Proper nutrition is key to maintaining the health, energy, and well-being of a Norrbottenspets, supporting their active lifestyle.

Ensuring adequate exercise for a Norrbottenspets is crucial due to their active and energetic nature:

  1. Daily Exercise: Provide them with daily exercise through walks, runs, or play sessions to meet their high energy levels.

  2. Mental Stimulation: Incorporate activities that challenge their mind, like training exercises, puzzle toys, or hide-and-seek games, as they are intelligent and enjoy mental stimulation.

  3. Outdoor Adventures: They thrive on outdoor activities. Hiking, jogging, or playing in a securely fenced area can be great ways to expend their energy.

  4. Agility and Sporting Activities: Consider involving them in dog sports like agility, tracking, or flyball, which suit their hunting instincts and agility.

  5. Interactive Play: Engage in interactive play sessions to provide both physical exercise and bonding time.

  6. Socialization Through Exercise: Use exercise time to socialize with other dogs, which can be beneficial for their temperament and behavioral development.

  7. Training Integration: Combine exercise with obedience training to keep them disciplined and engaged.

  8. Monitoring and Adjusting: Monitor their response to exercise and adjust the intensity and duration as needed, especially in extreme weather conditions.

Regular exercise is essential for a Norrbottenspets’ physical health and mental well-being, preventing boredom and potential behavioral issues.

Creating an ideal environment for a Norrbottenspets involves catering to their active and intelligent nature, ensuring they have ample space and stimulation:

  1. Adequate Space for Activity: Provide a living environment with enough space for them to move around freely. A home with a securely fenced yard is ideal for them to play and exercise safely.

  2. Access to Outdoor Activities: Since they are energetic and enjoy the outdoors, easy access to parks or open spaces for regular walks and play is beneficial.

  3. Safe Indoor Environment: Inside the home, ensure a safe, comfortable space for them to rest, free from hazards that a curious and active dog might encounter.

  4. Mental Stimulation: Provide plenty of toys and puzzles to keep them mentally stimulated, especially when left alone.

  5. Companionship: Norrbottenspets thrive on social interaction and companionship. They do best in environments where they are not left alone for long periods.

  6. Routine and Structure: Establishing a consistent routine for feeding, exercise, and play can provide them with a sense of security and stability.

  7. Climate Considerations: While they are adaptable to various climates, ensure they have protection from extreme weather, like a cool, shaded area in hot weather and warm bedding in cold temperatures.

  8. Socialization Opportunities: An environment that allows for regular interaction with other dogs and people will help in keeping them well-socialized and happy.

By providing an environment that meets these needs, a Norrbottenspets can lead a balanced, contented, and healthy life, becoming a well-integrated and beloved member of the family.

Norrbottenspets Health

Norrbottenspets are generally a healthy breed, but like all breeds, they have certain health issues to which they may be predisposed:

  1. Hip Dysplasia: Although more common in larger breeds, hip dysplasia, where the hip joint doesn’t fit together perfectly, can occur, leading to arthritis.

  2. Elbow Dysplasia: Similar to hip dysplasia, this condition affects the elbow joints and can cause pain or lameness.

  3. Eye Problems: They can be prone to certain eye conditions, such as Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA), which can lead to blindness.

  4. Dental Issues: Regular dental care is important, as small breeds can be susceptible to periodontal disease.

  5. Patellar Luxation: This condition, involving the dislocation of the kneecap, can affect small dogs like the Norrbottenspets.

Regular veterinary check-ups are important for early detection and management of these potential health issues. A healthy diet, regular exercise, and proper dental care are also crucial for maintaining the overall health and well-being of a Norrbottenspets. With proper care, they can enjoy a long and healthy life.

Norrbottenspets Breed Comparison and Consideration

When considering a Norrbottenspets and comparing them to other breeds, several aspects are important to note:

Compared to Finnish Spitz:

  • Norrbottenspets are typically smaller and less vocal than Finnish Spitz.
  • Both breeds are active and intelligent, but the Finnish Spitz may have a higher propensity for barking.

Compared to Swedish Vallhund:

  • The Swedish Vallhund is stockier and might have a stronger herding instinct compared to the more hunting-oriented Norrbottenspets.
  • Both breeds are hardy and active but differ in historical uses and physical characteristics.

Compared to Shetland Sheepdog:

  • Shetland Sheepdogs are herding dogs and may show more herding behaviors than the hunting-focused Norrbottenspets.
  • Shelties are also known for their longer, flowing coats, in contrast to the Norrbottenspets’ shorter, dense coat.

Considerations for Potential Owners:

  • Norrbottenspets are ideal for active individuals or families who can meet their high exercise and mental stimulation needs.
  • Their friendly and sociable nature makes them great companions, but their high prey drive requires careful management.
  • Potential owners should be prepared for regular grooming and health care needs.
  • They adapt well to different living environments but thrive best where they have space to explore and be active.
  • Early socialization and training are crucial for managing their independent streak.

Choosing a Norrbottenspets means welcoming an energetic, intelligent companion into your life, best suited for those who appreciate an active and engaging dog breed.


They are well-adapted to cold weather thanks to their dense double coat, originally bred in the cold climates of Northern Sweden.

They can be suitable for first-time owners, provided they are prepared for the breed’s high energy levels and exercise needs.

Generally sociable, they can get along with other pets if properly socialized, but their prey drive should be considered around smaller animals.

They require regular brushing to maintain their coat but are not as high-maintenance as some other breeds with longer hair.

They can adapt to apartment living if they receive adequate exercise and mental stimulation.

They are an active breed that needs daily exercise, including walks, playtime, and mental challenges.

They are intelligent and capable of learning quickly, but their independent nature may require a consistent and patient training approach.

Yes, they are known to be affectionate and good with children, making them excellent family pets.

Absolutely, they excel in activities like agility, obedience, and tracking due to their intelligence and agility.

They typically have a long lifespan, often living 12-15 years or more with proper care.

Top Takeaways

When considering a Norrbottenspets, here are the top takeaways:

  1. Adaptable to Cold Climates: With their dense double coat, they are well-suited for cold weather.
  2. High Energy and Exercise Needs: They require regular physical and mental stimulation, making them ideal for active families or individuals.
  3. Sociable Nature: Norrbottenspets are generally friendly and sociable, capable of getting along well with other pets and children, especially when socialized early.
  4. Independent and Intelligent: While intelligent and trainable, they possess an independent streak that may require a consistent and patient training approach.
  5. Suitable for Various Living Situations: They can adapt to different living environments, including apartments, as long as their exercise needs are met.
  6. Regular Grooming Required: Their coat needs regular maintenance, although they are not as high-maintenance as some longer-haired breeds.
  7. Good Family Pets: Their affectionate nature makes them great companions for family settings.
  8. Active Participation in Dog Sports: They excel in dog sports like agility and obedience, thanks to their agility and intelligence.
  9. Moderate to Low Health Issues: Generally a healthy breed with a lifespan of 12-15 years, but routine veterinary care is important for their well-being.
  10. Ideal for Experienced Owners: Best suited for those familiar with active breeds or willing to engage actively in their training and care.

In summary, the Norrbottenspets is a versatile and engaging breed, perfect for those who appreciate an active, intelligent companion and are committed to providing a stimulating and nurturing environment.

Top Norrbottenspets Names

These names, inspired by Nordic heritage and mythology, suit the Norrbottenspets’ lively and robust character.

Female Names











Male Names











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