Another year begins.

The start of a new year is a good time to look at the work that was accomplished over the past year. It is the right time to take stock, and this year will be no exception.

Once again, 2016 has been a busy year for the FCI Office –we owe it to the extensive activities of our members, of their breeders, of the exhibitors, etc. 2016 has been a year of major and remarkable events. A year during which our new premises have been brought to life as we organised a few receptions and hosted the meetings of several Committees or Commissions.

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Y. De Clercq
Executive Director
Finland celebrates native breeds and 100 years of independence

Finland celebrates 100 years of independence in 2017. In honour of the jubilee year, the Finnish Kennel Club launches the project “Finnish breeds as our national treasures”. The project is a part of the Finland Centenary Programme. With the project, the Finnish breeds are made well known, and the preservation and the breeding of the Finnish breeds are enhanced, as well.

The Finnish breeds have a long history as Finnish people’s helpers in everyday chores, house guards, and faithful companions on hunting trips. They are national treasures and all important parts of the Finnish cultural heritage.

There are five domestic dog breeds in Finland: the Finnish Spitz, the Karelian Bear Dog, the Finnish Hound, the Lapponian Herder, and the Finnish Lapponian Dog. They are all important parts of the Finnish culture. Our national dog, the Finnish Spitz, is a native breed which was bred directly from a landrace dog population. The Finnish Spitz barks at birds perched in trees, and it is therefore a rarity in the world.

© Ida Photography
Finnish Hound

The other Finnish breeds are important parts of the Finnish national heritage, as well. The Lapponian Herder and the Finnish Lapponian Dog have a long history as reindeer herders, the Karelian Bear Dog is a brave dog used for big-game hunting, and the Finnish Hound is at his very best when hunting hare and fox in the forest. Common for all the Finnish breeds is that they are all still used for their original purposes.

Familiarity with the Finnish breeds belongs to Finnish general knowledge. The theme is nationally publicised to reach not only the 150.000 members of the Finnish Kennel Club, but also all the other Finnish people. The programme is composed together with several organisations within the canine field.

© Emilia_Laakkonen
Finnish Lapponian Dog

The Finnish breeds are displayed at events through Finland

The theme is at display at different events throughout Finland. The events are organised by the Finnish Kennel Club together with the breed associations for the Finnish breeds; the Finnish Hound Association, the Finnish Spitz Club, and the Lapphund Club of Finland. There is also cooperation with operators outside the canine field.

As the expert in Finnish dog breeding, the Finnish Kennel Club is putting a lot of effort during the jubilee year in different materials that include information of the Finnish breeds. Furthermore, the Finnish Kennel Club is writing several press releases concerning the Finnish breeds, and displays the breeds in the Finnish Kennel Club’s member magazine Koiramme.

© Hannu Huttu
Finnish Spitz

Gene bank established to secure genetic diversity

The Finnish Kennel Club has committed to the national animal genetic resources programme with the Finnish dog breeds. The Finnish Kennel Club is involved in the project coordinated by the National Resources Institute Finland, to establish a gene bank which is composed to secure the genetic diversity and the preservation of the breeds in the future, as well. The gene bank is a last resort. Its purpose is to revive the population, if necessary. A part of the bank is held in long-term storage, and is used only in an extreme emergency situation where the breed has to be recreated.

The Finnish Spitz and hunting with it are important parts of the Finnish tradition. Cherishing the breed and the hunting tradition is a point of honour for Finnish Kennel associations. The Finnish Kennel Club works actively together with the Finnish Hunters’ Association and the Finnish Spitz Club to include hunting with the Finnish Spitz to the UNESCO list of Intangible Cultural Heritage. Hunting with the Finnish Spitz is already included in the National Board of Antiquities’ Wiki-inventory for Living Heritage.

© Tuomo Turunen
Karelian Bear Dog

Goals of the jubilee year

  • To inform the general public about the Finnish breeds
  • To thank the breeders of Finnish breeds for their splendid work
  • To improve preservation and breeding of the Finnish breeds

Read more about Finnish dog breeds

© Jonna Mäkinen
Lapponian Herder