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Grand old man and Finland’s favourite dog breeds

February 9, 2006
This is Hinkka. He is also "Mr. Personality" and "Mr. Attitude". He is a 14 year-old Norwegian Elk Hound and he’s in great shape. He’s been out with moose hunting groups every fall since he was a puppy. Hinkka belongs to my in-laws and they live up in Kuopio. Just before Christmas, the poor old guy had an innner ear infection and my father in-law brought him to the vet. The vet exclaimed that in spite of a heart problem (it has persisted for years now, but is controlled with medication) and the ear infection that Hinkka was by far the oldest dog of his breed in the entire Kuopio region. He only went out hunting a couple of times last fall. He was so stiff after running through the bush all day that there was no way he would make it two days in a row (the year before he did…).
He also has quite a personality – like most dogs, if you have food or offer to scratch their favourite spots, you are their new best friend. This defines Hinkka to a "T". If you yell "lenkille" (let’s go for a walk), but don’t put on your shoes and jacket fast enough he starts barking. He barks when he’s hungry (a LOT) and he sounds like a whistle when he begs for more food; for example, when us humans sit down at the table to eat OUR supper. Of course his is never good enough, he wants ours too.
Anybody who likes dogs has stories to tell, but I’ll leave it at that for now. (I could be here for days!) I can tell you however that a recent article in Vartti (a new free newspaper in the capital region) featured a list of the top 20 breeds in Finland in 2005 based on puppy registrations. So here they are, some of Finland’s favourite dog breeds (number of puppies registered):
  1. Finnish Hound (Suomenajokoira) (2126) – I am taking a stab at the translation! If I am wrong, let me know.
  2. German Shepard (1800)
  3. Norwegian Elk Hound (1478)
  4. Labrador Retriever (1379)
  5. Golden Retriever (1374)…

Some of the other favourites included 7. mini Schnauzer (983), 9. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel (846), 13. Border Collie (753) – my mom has two of these, they’re better than a home entertainment system! , 15. Rottweiler (644), 17. Beagle (567) and 20. mini Pinscher (525)


See more about dogs in Finland at (unfortunately it’s only in Finnish).
One Comment leave one →
  1. Diana permalink
    February 11, 2006 12:38 am

    Sounds like an interesting dog…. love the mat he’s sleeping on – my mom makes them!

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