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Home > Dogs > Dog Breeds > Norrbottenspets Dog Breed Guide: Info, Pictures, Care & More!

Norrbottenspets Dog Breed Guide: Info, Pictures, Care & More!


The Norrbottenspets is an ancient Nordic breed of hunting dog, with the confidence and personality to match. The first Norrbottenspets developed centuries ago in the far north of Sweden and Finland. Surviving in such a harsh environment is not easy, so Norrbottenspets developed into rugged, intelligent, loyal companions that will follow their owners anywhere.

Breed Overview


16-18 inches


20-30 pounds


12-15 years


White with cream, black, brown, or red patches

Suitable for:

Active families or individuals, multi-dog households, farm or hunting dogs


Confident, intelligent, bold, alert

The Norrbottenspets’ background in hunting and guarding farms makes it a highly trainable dog that can do well with families and other dogs, especially with training and socialization. Norrbottenspets do have a strong prey drive and a tendency to bark. Because of this and their high energy, daily activity and proper training is a must if you want to own this breed of dog. However, owners who put in the time and effort report a unique bond with their all-weather furry friend.

Norrbottenspets Characteristics

High-energy dogs will need a lot of mental and physical stimulation to stay happy and healthy, while low-energy dogs require minimal physical activity. It’s important when choosing a dog to make sure their energy levels match your lifestyle or vice versa.
Easy-to-train dogs are more skilled at learning prompts and actions quickly with minimal training. Dogs that are harder to train will require a bit more patience and practice.
Some dog breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, and some more than others. This doesn’t mean that every dog will have these issues, but they have an increased risk, so it’s important to understand and prepare for any additional needs they may require.
Some breeds, due to their size or their breeds potential genetic health issues, have shorter lifespans than others. Proper exercise, nutrition, and hygiene also play an important role in the lifespan of your pet.
Some dog breeds are more social than others, both towards humans and other dogs. More social dogs have a tendency to run up to strangers for pets and scratches, while less social dogs shy away and are more cautious, even potentially aggressive. No matter the breed, it’s important to socialize your dog and expose them to lots of different situations.

Norrbottenspets Puppies


In the United States, Norrbottenspets are still a rare breed, so finding a reputable breeder can be difficult. Most breeders of Norrbottenspets puppies have a waiting list. Because Norrbottenspets are rare, they are not commonly found in shelters or in rescue organizations. If you are looking for a Norrbottenspets breeder, beware of breeders who advertise extremely low prices. Often, low prices come because the breeder disregards animal safety and health. Reputable breeders will care for the adult dogs and puppies they own. They will make sure that their dogs have enough food, space, exercise, and veterinary care to be happy and healthy.

If you’re lucky enough to find a Norrbottenspets, be sure to read their full care guide so you know what they need in terms of food, grooming, exercise, and more. Be ready to welcome your Norrbottenspets puppy with a warm bed, treats, toys, and plenty of love to shower them with!

Temperament & Intelligence of the Norrbottenspets

Norrbottenspets are highly intelligent, energetic, bold, and loyal. They are good at solving problems and are often easily trainable. Norrbottenspets are active and energetic dogs. They love to be outdoors in all weathers and enjoy playing with their owner and with other dogs. They are also incredibly loyal dogs. They love to get attention and care from their owners, and they can be protective of the ones they love. Norrbottenspets become highly affectionate as they build a deep bond with their human family.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 👪

Norrbottenspets are active, friendly, and fiercely loyal. They often get along well with children because they love to play and are on the smaller side. However, both dogs and children should be taught good etiquette around each other. Norrbottenspets should be socialized around children and may require training to be secure and happy around children. Children should know how to act around dogs, so they do not scare or injure them. Norrbottenspets can be a fun, exciting, loving playmate to children of all ages.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?

Norrbottenspets usually get along well with other dogs. They treat other dogs as friends and workmates instead of enemies, especially with socialization. Because Norrbottenspets are usually small but bold, they get along with all kinds of dogs.

Norrbottenspets were originally bred as hunting dogs, so they have a strong prey drive. They may see smaller animals like birds, rabbits, rodents, and cats as a prey source instead of a playmate. Although Norrbottenspets can often get along with smaller animals with training and socialization, if you have smaller pets, it may be difficult to introduce a Norrbottenspets into your household.divider-dog

Things to Know When Owning a Norrbottenspets:

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

Norrbottenspets need to eat good quality dog food split into at least two meals a day. The total amount of food should be at least 1¼ cups and possibly up to 2 cups. The amount of food will be higher for younger and more active dogs and might also depend on your dog’s individual health and metabolism. Norrbottenspets are often quite stocky and are moderately prone to obesity. Because of this, owners should monitor their dog’s food intake and adjust if necessary to maintain a healthy weight.

Exercise 🐕

Norrbottenspets love exercise! They are an extremely active breed that will require some form of exercise every day. They enjoy walks, runs, and indoor and outdoor play. Norrbottenspets should have at least an hour of exercise daily and will often enjoy more. Norrbottenspets are also very intelligent dogs that require stimulating play and engagement from owners. Norrbottenspets enjoy accompanying their owners as much as possible, and are great companions for hiking, even in rough terrain.

Training 🎾

Norrbottenspets dogs are highly trainable. They are eager to please and learn quickly with proper training. Norrbottenspets are ideal candidates for complex tasks, like becoming a hunting dog or watchdog, but all owners will appreciate their trainability in day-to-day life as well. One of the first tasks for a Norrbottenspets owner is often controlling barking. Norrbottenspets naturally have a loud, rapid-fire bark, so teaching your pup to quiet down when needed is important. Norrbottenspets also might need training to ignore small animals.

Grooming ✂️

The Norrbottenspets has an average coat that requires occasional brushing to keep clean and healthy. A Norrbottenspets will likely need brushing about two times a week, along with baths as necessary. Some amount of shedding is normal, but regular brushing will help minimize shed fur around the house. They have relatively short, thick coats that do not require regular haircuts.

Norrbottenspets dogs also require other types of regular grooming. Owners should keep their dog’s teeth in good shape by brushing them a few times a week. If necessary, owners may need to trim their dog’s nails, taking care to only trim the tips of the nail.

Health and Conditions 🏥

Norrbottenspets are quite healthy dogs, with few major or minor health concerns. Recently, genetic tests have shown that some Norrbottenspets carry the genes for a Progressive Cerebellar Ataxia. This condition causes dogs to have balance issues that worsen over time. In serious cases, affected dogs will eventually be unable to care for themselves.

Minor Conditions
  • Hip and Elbow Dysplasia
Serious Conditions
  • Progressive Cerebellar Ataxia

Male vs Female

Some people suggest that male Norrbottenspets are more aggressive or energetic than females, however, there is no research on the differences between male and female Norrbottenspets. Both male and female dogs are more likely to be aggressive or have training difficulties if they are not spayed or neutered. It is recommended that both genders of dogs are spayed or neutered unless they are meant to be used in breeding.


3 Little-Known Facts About the Norrbottenspets

1. Both Sweden and Finland Lay Claim to Them

Everyone agrees that the ancestors of modern Norrbottenspets found their homes in the far north of Scandinavia. But exactly where that home is remains a mystery. Today, many people call it a Swedish dog breed, but people from Finland also claim that the first Norrbottenspets were from their own country.

Wherever they developed, the first Norrbottenspets probably belonged to farmers who used them for hunting. They are easily trainable and adept at chasing small prey. The Norrbottenspets will bark repeatedly when they have prey cornered, alerting human hunters. Today, hunters all over the world love to work with Norrbottenspets dogs.

2. Norrbottenspets are Super Rescuers

Search and rescue dogs need a particular set of skills. They should be intelligent, eager to please, and trainable. They need to be able to work in rough terrain and all kinds of weather. And they should be skilled at tracking by scent and other senses. Norrbottenspets fit the bill. Many search and rescue operations prize Norrbottenspets for their ability to use all their senses when tracking. Norrbottenspets can be trained to find humans that are lost in the wilderness or in other dangerous situations. The Norrbottenspets’ loud and rapid bark is also a boon in search and rescue operations—when they find the person they’re looking for, they can alert their handlers from a distance.

3. They Were Once Thought to Be Extinct

Norrbottenspets were a relatively common breed historically. They spread all across Northern Scandinavia as working dogs that helped fur trappers make a living. But in the 20th century, demand for furs decreased and fewer and fewer dogs were needed. Before long, many people thought that Norrbottenspets were extinct.

That all changed in the 1950s and 1960s when a few surviving dogs were found in remote, isolated villages. The first real breeders started expanding the Norrbottenspets’ role from a working dog to a treasured pet. Breeders across Sweden, Finland, and Norway saved the breed from extinction and brought them into the home.



The Norrbottenspets is a fantastic pet for many families, but not for everyone. Before getting a Norrbottenspets, consider your household’s needs carefully. Norrbottenspets are generally healthy, friendly, loving, and trainable, which makes them a good fit for many households. However, they have very high engagement needs—owners of Norrbottenspets dogs need to put aside some playtime and exercise time every day. The Norrbottenspets is not just an accessory dog—those who are lucky enough to own one know that their dog is a member of their family.

Featured Image Credit: Northsweden, Shutterstock

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