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  Key Elements of
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Males should be square

What do we mean by ‘square’. The measurements are taken from the point of shoulder to the point of buttock and the highest point of the withers to the ground. It is not always easy to assess proportion because of the coat so a dog that is generally square can seem to be longer than square. This sometimes leads judges to think that longer than square is correct and so they ‘allow’ some extra length. This is a mistake. The proportions between the depth of chest and the height at the withers should be almost exactly 50/50. The belly should be well tucked up. This needs to be felt for, as the tuck up is difficult to see under the coat. The tuck up ensures a strong loin that enables flexibility over difficult terrain so it is extremely important.

The back should be straight
The back being straight does not necessarily mean that is should look ‘level’. A dog standing four square and relaxed will normally have a level back but the breed is supposed to be alert and many of the best dogs exhibiting this characteristic bring themselves up and forward so that the back slopes slightly. This line demonstrates the absolute maximum allowable and it is important to remember that most of it is down to the thickness of the coat over the withers. However, what is absolutely unacceptable is a dip in the back and the breed should never stand higher at the hip than at the withers.

Females may be a little longer
In terms of overall proportion the allowable difference is virtually imperceptible. The standard ‘allows’ for a 1 cm increase in length (less than half and inch). In practice a bitch will look female and from across the ring it should be immediately apparent whether a Finnish Spitz is male or female. The body is lighter and the expression more feminine but that square outline remains an essential element of the breed.

This is too long (9 high:10 long)
There are many dogs in the ring that have these proportions. It important to check the couplings. If an increase in length is acceptable it must be in the length of rib cage and not in the loin.

This is much too long (8 high:10 long)
This is not acceptable. Even with very short couplings (unlikely) this dog is much too long.

This is too short (10.5 high:10 long)
As soon as there is an impression of, say, the ‘over square’ proportion of a BSD, then the dog is too short. (The required proportions of the BSD are the same as for the Finnish Spitz but the difference in build and coat give a quite different impression.)

This is what they should look like

Nothing to add here – this is just right.

This is what they should not look like

Although the dog on the left has a good tuck up, its rump is too high, its neck is too short, its head is too small, ears set too wide apart, its tail rises too high and its eyes are too narrow. It is sickle hocked into the bargain. It is lightly boned and although the colour is not bad this is about all that can be said for it.

The dog on the right is far too heavy,thick set and long and has too much chest. It head is too small for the size of body, it has a Roman nose and a tail that curves round too far. The colour is good but that is about all. These are typical of dogs that some judges are putting up in the UK today.

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