Breed history of Nordic Spitzes

Spitzes originate from ancient breeds that have long been used in arctic areas for hunting, herding, and guarding. It is currently unclear, however, how the approximately twenty Spitz breeds are related to each other, and whether they descent directly from the very first dogs of the area. This project studies the genetic history of Nordic Spitz breeds by using genome-wide data and state-of-the-art computational methods.


Study breeds (breeds with ongoing sample collection are underlined):

  • Finnish Spitz
  • Norrbottenspitz
  • Karelian Bear Dog
  • Karelo-Finnish Laika
  • Russian-European Laika
  • West Siberian Laika
  • East Siberian Laika
  • other Laikas
  • Finnish Lapphund
  • Finnish Reindeer Herder
  • Swedish Lapphund
  • Swedish Vallhund
  • Swedish Elkhound
  • Swedish White Elkhound
  • Hälleforshund
  • Hedehund
  • Norwegian Elkhound Grey
  • Black Norwegian Elkhound
  • Norwegian Lundehund
  • Norwegian Buhund


Dogs eligible for study:

We welcome blood samples from dogs that are not closely related, irrespective of their health status. For most of the target breeds, we already have enough samples in our Canine DNA Bank, but we are still collecting samples for the breeds that are underlined in the list above.


Copies of diagnoses and other information needed:

Because the project studies general breed history, individual health details are not as crucial as for disease gene studies. It is sufficient to provide general health information about the dog, preferably through our electronic health questionnaire. We also need to know the dog's pedigree. If the dog has been registered by the Finnish Kennel Club, we will get this information from KoiraNet, but for other dogs we wish to receive their pedigree along with the samples.



Further information on sending blood samples.

A sample form to be sent along with the blood samples.

An electronic form for details and updates of dog's health and owner's contact information.