The Finnish Hound (suomenajokoira, Finnish Bracke) is a breed of dog originally bred for hunting hare and fox.
Appearance The nob of the Finnish Hound is short, dense and coarse to the touch. The coat pattern is tricolor with tan, a black saddle and small white markings on head, feet, chest and tail tip. Height is commonly 20-30 inches (52–76 cm) and weight 45-70 pounds (20–31 kg).
Temperament The Finnish Hound is friendly, calm and never aggressive. It is energetic in the hunt and is a versatile tracker. It works independently and pursues the quarry with passionate barking.
Exercise Finnish Hounds are energetic working dogs with great stamina. They need long, brisk daily walking, and plenty of running and playing free. Life expectancy is about 12 years.
Grooming The smooth, short haired coat is easy to maintain. The brushing can be done with a firm bristle brush, and dry shampoo may be used occasionally if needed. The coat does not need bathing unless extremely dirty. Finnish hounds are average shedders.
Cerebellar ataxia Finnish Hounds suffer from an inherited disease, cerebellar ataxia, forcing people to euthanize many puppies. This has been traced to a single mutation in a gene called SEL1L. Mutant cells suffer disruptions in their endoplasmic reticula, leading to disease. It is hoped that a test will be developed to screen for this mutation and eventually breed it out of the population.
History The Finnish Hound was a result of a breeding programme in the 1800s, which involved French, German and Swedish hounds. The goal was to develop a hound dog that could work on hilly terrain and in deep snow. The Finnish Hound has become Finland's most popular dog breed. Although the breed is very popular in Finland and Sweden, it is quite uncommon elsewhere.