Pre World War II
Norrbottenspets, or Pohjanpystykorva in Finnish, are deeply rooted in the Swedish and Finnish cultures. The name Norrbottenspets comes from Norrbotten (North Bothnia) where Norrbottenspets originated. North Bothnia is the Northernmost county in Sweden. The climate of North Bothnia is very harsh with Winter temperatures commonly dropping into the negatives. To survive such climates, a dog had to be hardy and develop a double coat to stay warm and dry.
Norrbottenspets are a hound that use the spitz-hunting style. Norrbottenspets locate the prey and then vocalize in high-pitched and frequent barks so that the hunter can locate the dog and prey. The high-pitched bark also serves as a way to disorient the prey so that the hunter can approach unnoticed. This was a great help for hunters who relied on animals for food and fur. A top-quality Norrbottenspets was said to be able to find 40 pelts of small fur-bearing animals in one day.
Norrbottenspets were trained to hunt bears, moose, birds, and squirrels, to name just a few.
Post World War II
Norrbottenspets, along with many other breeds, were devastated by World War II. Due to the drop in fur prices, the use and interest in Norrbottenspets dropped drastically. The Swedish Kennel Club (SKK) noted that the breed "vanished" which resulted in the SKK declaring the Norrbottenspets extinct in the late 1940's.
In the 1950's, Norrbottenspets were found living on farms as companions and guard dogs in Northern Sweden and Finland. These dedicated men and women helped to get Norrbottenspets reintroduced to the SKK in 1967.
In 1996, the Canadian Kennel Club (CKC) recognized the Norrbottenspets and added them to the Hound group.
In 2007, the American Kennel Club (AKC) added the Norrbottenspets to AKC's Foundation Stock Service (AKC FSS). In February of 2013, AKC approved the request by the American Norrbottenspets Association (ANA) to have the Norrbottenspets moved to AKC's Miscellaneous class. Norrbottenspets are now one step closer to gaining full recognition by the American Kennel Club.