Norrbottenspets: Care & Characteristics of the Dog Breed

Three Norrbottenspets on leashes outside

A small to medium-sized spitz-like dog breed from Sweden, the Norrbottenspets has a short, thick double coat that is normally white with colorful patterns. This dog, often referred to as the Nordic spitz, has an almond-shaped face, erect ears, and almond-shaped eyes. Additionally, its tail is held high and curves over its back. Overall, it is a hardy breed that can tolerate harsh weather and terrain since it is small but strong, well-balanced, and tough. It previously had a crucial function as a hunting and agricultural dog in Scandinavia. However, it now largely serves as a playful and devoted companion animal.

Breed Overview

Group: Miscellaneous

Height: 16.5 to 18 inches

Weight: 20 to 30 pounds

Coat: Short double coat

Coat Color: White with/without orange, fawn, or cream markings, red or tan patches, sable, and/or a black mask

Life Span: 14 to 17 years

Temperament: Active, affectionate, fearless

Hypoallergenic: No

Origin: Sweden

Characteristics of the Norrbottenspets

The Norrbottenspet is often attentive and affectionate. It is affectionate with its owners but not always patient with kids. This dog's personality is shaped by its high activity level and it prefers an active family.

Affection Level High
Friendliness Medium
Kid-Friendly Medium
Pet-Friendly Medium
Exercise Needs High
Playfulness Medium
Energy Level High
Trainability High
Intelligence High
Tendency to Bark Medium
Amount of Shedding Medium

History of the Norrbottenspets

In Scandinavia, spitz-type dogs have lived in various guises for generations. Uncertain origins exist for the Norrbottenspets. However, its name mainly refers to a spitz from the Swedish area of Norrbotten. Its ancestors probably inhabited the area for hundreds, if not thousands, of years when semi-wild canines served as the locals' hunting partners.

For a very long time, hunting was necessary in this region for both food and fur. After World War II, however, the need for fur decreased, and the Norrbottenspets breed all but disappeared since it was no longer required for hunting. In order to maintain the breed, breeding programs were started with the surviving purebred dogs, which were found in Sweden and Finland.

In order to aid supervise breeding, the American Kennel Club accepted the Norrbottenspets into its Foundation Stock Service in 2007. It is currently included in the AKC's miscellaneous category. In Scandinavia it is still relatively rare, and it is extremely unusual elsewhere.

Norrbottenspets Care

Plan to spend a good amount of time each day exercising your Norrbottenspets. Grooming needs for this dog are fairly straightforward. And it generally takes well to training.


This intelligent and active dog should have at least an hour or two of exercise every day. Ideal activities include brisk walks, running, trekking, swimming, and intense games of fetch. Additionally, canine sports like agility and rally can assist to cognitively and physically challenge your dog. The Norrbottenspets might become destructive, indulging in unwanted chewing or other disruptive habits, if they don't get enough mental and physical exercise.

Furthermore, always keep your dog on a leash or in a securely fenced area when outdoors. Otherwise, this breed’s prey drive might cause it to run off chasing small animals or other perceived prey.


To get rid of any filth and loose fur, brush your dog once every week. Also prepare for times when shedding will be heavier, which is frequently around spring and fall weather changes. To keep up with the loose fur during these periods, you'll probably need to brush your pet at least a couple times every week.

Depending on how unclean it becomes, give your dog a bath around once a month. This breed is renowned for having a fresh coat with no smell. At least once a week, check your dog's ears to see if they need to be cleaned. Trim its nails about once a month. And make an effort to daily wash its teeth.


To inculcate excellent manners and curb negative behaviors, begin socializing and training as early as feasible. Positive-reinforcement training techniques work best with clever Norrbottenspets; avoid employing harsh punishments. Additionally, make training sessions enjoyable and interesting to keep your dog's interest.

When meeting new people, this breed might be a little reticent. So, from a young age, try to introduce it to other people and other canines. Having many happy memories might assist to lessen some of its skepticism.

Common Health Problems

Regarding the Norrbottenspets' health, nothing is known. However, because of the limited number, breeding is strictly regulated. As a consequence, the breed has no known inherited health problems and is generally highly healthy. These canines can still develop age-related health problems, just like any other dog.

Diet and Nutrition

Keep fresh water readily available for your Norrbottenspets at all times. And give it a high-quality, nutritionally balanced dog food, often in the form of two measured meals each day. To ensure you are addressing your dog's specific needs, talk to your veterinarian about the sort of food you are feeding him as well as the quantity. A person's nutritional needs might change depending on their age, degree of exercise, and other factors. Additionally, exercise caution while giving out sweets and any extra food; avoid being persuaded to overfeed by a persistent beggar.

Where to Adopt or Buy a Norrbottenspets

A Norrbottenspets will probably be difficult to find. This breed's population is still small despite having once been in danger of going extinct. Even so, it's worthwhile to search for local animal shelters and rescue organizations, and if you can, add your name to a breed waiting list. In general, there aren't many responsible breeders. Expect to pay, on average, $2,000 to $3,000 for a puppy from a good breeder and to wait a while for one to become available.

For further information to help you find a Norrbottenspets, check out:

  • American Kennel Club Breeder Listing
  • American Norrbottenspets Association
  • National Icelandic Sheepdog Rescue Alliance

Norrbottenspets Overview

  • Typically affectionate with family

  • Generally very healthy

  • Good for active owners

  • Very rare and thus can be difficult to find

  • Needs ample exercise and mental stimulation

  • Can have a high prey drive

More Dog Breeds and Further Research

Before taking a Norrbottenspets home, conduct extensive study to be sure it's the correct breed for your lifestyle. To find out more, speak to breed owners, rescue groups, trustworthy breeders, and veterinary specialists.

If you’re interested in similar breeds, check out:

There’s a whole world of potential out there—with a little research, you can find the right one to bring home!

  • Are Norrbottenspets rare?

    The Norrbottenspets is rare, especially outside of Scandinavia. The breed nearly went extinct during the 1900s, but its numbers are slowly climbing back up.

  • Are Norrbottenspets good family dogs?

    The Norrbottenspets can be a good dog for families with respectful older children. However, it's not always tolerant of young children.

  • Are Norrbottenspets aggressive?

    The Norrbottenspets is moderately reserved around strangers and other dogs. However, with proper training and socialization, it is generally not an aggressive dog.


"Norrbottenspets. American Kennel Club.", "Norrbottenspets. Dog Breeds List." ;