Many people love hounds for their easygoing nature and adorable puppy faces. One hound that is a bit rarer than others is the Finnish Hound. Despite its rarity, this dog makes a great family and hunting dog. It is highly intelligent and loving, though it requires a whole lot of exercise and an experienced owner.
20 – 24 inches
45 – 55 pounds
10 – 12 years
Active families who have a yard and do outdoor activities often
Loving, intelligent, stubborn, and highly active
With the right family, a Finnish Hound can be a great addition to any household. That being said, the Finnish Hound is not ideal for every family. To find out if the Finnish Hound is right for you, read on. In this guide, we tell you everything you need to know about Finnish Hound ownership.
Finnish Hound Characteristics
Finnish Hound Puppies
Temperament & Intelligence of the Finnish Hound
Being gentle, intelligent, and relatively easygoing, Finnish Hounds make great pets. Active families who have a yard and go on frequent walks and hikes will especially like this dog. It even gets along well with other dogs and children.
Are These Dogs Good for Families? 👪
Finnish Hounds make great family dogs because they are gentle, easygoing, and loyal. With early socialization, Finnish Hounds are great with children and adults alike. Even around strangers, Finnish Hounds tend to get along fine, so long as they have early socialization.
Keep in mind that you should never let a child play with any dog, including a Finnish Hound, without proper supervision. Even well trained dogs can snap if annoyed or scared enough.
If you are looking for a guard dog specifically, Finnish Hounds are a great choice. Like many other hounds, this breed barks quite a bit and will let you know if an intruder is on your property. This may be a downside for those not looking for a very talkative dog.
Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?
One area that you have to be careful with when owning a Finnish Hound is socialization with other pets. Because Finnish Hounds were originally hunting dogs, they have a high prey drive. This makes them less suitable for homes with cats and other small mammals.
That being said, Finnish Hounds are great with other dogs. Especially with early socialization, you won’t have much to worry about with your Finnish Hound getting along with the other pups in your household or at the park.
Things to Know When Owning a Finnish Hound
Even though the Finnish Hound makes a great family dog, there are things you need to know before purchasing one. For example, Finnish Hounds do not make good apartment dogs. They also aren’t great if you intend on being away from the home very frequently.
Food & Diet Requirements 🦴
Being a medium sized dog, Finnish Hounds require a good amount of food. We recommend 2.5-3 cups of high quality dry dog food twice a day. Feeding the dog twice a day will help to prevent bloat. Make sure to portion out the food accordingly because hounds can be a bit lazy, leading to obesity if overfed.
One of the most difficult parts of owning a Finnish Hound is that they require a high amount of exercise. Because these dogs were used for hunting, they need a whole lot of physical and mental stimulation. Finnish Hounds are best for people with yards and a lot of space to play.
Even though Finnish Hounds make great pets, we do not recommend them for those who live in an apartment. Apartments simply do not provide enough space for these dogs to get adequate exercise. Even with a yard, you need to play with your Finnish Hound frequently and take it out for long walks.
For best results, only get a Finnish Hound if you yourself are very active. Families that go on hikes or jogs are best for a dog of this kind.
Another difficult part of owning a Finnish Hound is that they are not very easy to train. Hound dogs in general are known for having a mind of their own. Even though they can pick up on commands rather quickly, they will take off if they smell something intriguing.
Finnish Hounds are not recommended for first time dog owners. You need to have a firm voice yet be gentle and kind to the dog. If you do not assert yourself as the alpha early on, this dog will likely wander away frequently.
Even though Finnish Hounds have short hair, they shed quite a bit. You will want to brush out your Finnish Hound’s hair frequently to prevent the shed hair from infiltrating every corner of your home. You will also need to brush the dog’s teeth weekly and trim nails as necessary.
Something else you’ll need to do frequently is clean out the dog’s ears. Finnish Hounds and other dogs with drooping ears experience ear infections really easily. Clean out the dog’s ears as necessary and take your dog to the vet if you suspect an ear infection.
Health and Conditions 🏥
Finnish Hounds are considered very healthy, but they can get a few illnesses or diseases. For the most part, making sure to provide your Finnish Hound with adequate exercise and a healthy diet will prevent the dog from developing any unwanted diseases.
To ensure that your Finnish Hound is as healthy as possible, make sure that the puppy you get is bred from a reputable breeder too. The likelihood of your dog developing serious health conditions increases if the dog is not bred responsibly.
The biggest serious condition to be aware of is called cerebellar ataxia. This health condition causes lesions on the brain, which affects the dog’s eyes, balance, movement, and gait. Dogs will be born with this issue and are often put down as soon as it is detected. Irresponsible breeding can cause this issue.
Some other serious conditions to be on the lookout for include obesity, mange, and joint dysplasia. These serious conditions are shared by most dogs of this size.
Like many other hounds, Finnish Hounds can experience ear infections and eye problems. These minor conditions can be treated and are often avoided with proper care.
Male vs Female
There is very little difference between male and female Finnish Hounds. The males may be slightly larger, but the size difference won’t be that noticeable. Select one based on your preferences. The individual hound’s personality and background are more important than its gender.
3 Little-Known Facts About the Finnish Hound
1. They Are an Older Breed.
Knowing the exact history of any dog is a bit difficult because most dog origins were not explicitly recorded. Nevertheless, it is believed that Finnish Hounds originated in the 1800s, at the latest. Scholars do know that there was a hunting dog bred in Finland during the early 1800s.
This dog could hunt in the winter and in elevated terrain. The hound was created by crossing German, French, and Swedish hounds with local scent hounds in the area. During this time, Finland was part of Sweden, not its own country.
The first definitive roots of the Finnish Hound can be found in 1889. During this year, the Finnish Kennel Club was created to preserve the breed’s pedigree. It is during this time that the classic Finnish Hound we see today really started to take off and take shape.
2. They Make a Great Hunting Dog.
Like many other hounds, the Finnish Hound makes a great hunting companion. In fact, the Finnish Hound was actually one of the most popular hunting dogs during the early and mid 20th century. Even in America, Finnish Hounds became a popular hunting companion during this time, though it was still most popular in Sweden and Finland.
Its hunting instincts developed from its hound and sent dog background. As we mentioned above, the Finnish Hound was bred specifically for hunting purposes by breeding different hound and scent dogs. As a result, it has a true nose for fetching and hunting.
3. They Are Rarely Used for Hunting Today.
Even though Finnish Hounds make great hunting dogs, they are rarely used as hunting companions today outside of Finland and Sweden. Even in these countries, Finnish Hounds are used most as show dogs and family dogs. Occasionally, you can find some families that take these dogs out for a hunt, but it is rare.
Finnish Hounds are a great choice for active families, especially families who like to be outside and go hunting. If you are an apartment dweller or do not have the time to commit to this dog, go with a different breed. Even though it makes a great family dog, it has high requirements that must be met for a happy and healthy life.
If you provide your Finnish Hound with proper exercise, diet, and attention, it should live to be between 10 and 12 years old. During these years, you will have a very loyal and loving companion that loves everyone in your household, including adults, children, and other dogs.
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Featured Image Credit: Rita Romanyshyn, Shutterstock