A wonderfully vivid description of the Finnish Spitz’s color comes from Kathryn Braund’s “The Uncommon Dog,” published in 1975. She wrote: The Finnish Spitz is the color of the early morning sun when it splashes the sky with rich red rays of light.”
Ironic as it is to write during the Christmas season that a dog’s coat glows (we’re mindful of the song, “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer:” Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer • Had a very shiny nose • And if you ever saw it • You would even say it glows), the breed’s AKC standard says as much:
“Color: Varying shades of golden-red ranging from pale honey to deep auburn are allowed, with no preference given to shades at either extreme so long as the color is bright and clear. As the undercoat is a paler color, the effect of this shading is a coat which appears to glow.”
In fact, of all the 192 dog breeds that the AKC recognizes as of this writing, the Finnish Spitz has the only breed standard that uses the word, “glow.”
The first documentation of the Finnish Spitz is credited to a 17th century French explorer, De La Martiniere, who made special note of the dog’s color when he described them as “Deep Red dogs.” Others have described the breed as resembling a fox in its coloring, and indeed, the breed is sometimes called the “red-fox colored hound.” All that said, the glorious coat is functional: Comprised of two parts, the first part that is closest to the skin is dense, fluffy and protective from temperature extremes of cold. The second part has the red longer, straight, and harsh guard hairs that help the dog shed moisture, a killer in the cold climate from which this breed originates.
As an aside, we came across this Finnish Spitz coloring book suitable for both children and adults. Just be sure there are plenty of crayons on hand that are all shades of red and gold!