Photo: Aino Pikkusaari


Finland has over 800,000 dogs, with over 580,000 of them registered with the Finnish Kennel Club, according to a new assessment of the country's canine population. This survey, which was conducted by Taloustutkimus Oy for the Finnish Kennel Club, was aimed at determining the situation regarding dogs after the coronavirus pandemic. The research was carried out via phone calls between February 20th and March 2nd, 2023.

The study revealed that 81% of all Finnish dogs, or 640,000, are purebred, with 582,000 of them registered with the Finnish Kennel Club or identification database. The number of purebred dogs registered with the Finnish Kennel Club is high by international standards, indicating that dog breeding and shows are popular in Finland. There are about 58,000 purebred dogs outside of the Finnish Kennel Club's register.

In addition to purebred dogs, there are also mixed-breed dogs that have not been registered with the Finnish Kennel Club. Moreover, the study found that about one in five households in Finland has a dog, with an average of 1.37 dogs per household. In one-dog households, 77% of households have purebred dogs.

Taloustutkimus surveyed 1,001 individuals, with the sample weighted to represent Finnish households nationally. The survey's margin of error is around ±3 percentage points with a 95% confidence level.

The Finnish government introduced a dog identification and registration requirement at the beginning of this year. The law requires all dogs to be microchipped, and the details of their identification and owners must be reported to the dog register, which is currently being developed by the Finnish Food Authority, by the end of this year.

The Finnish Kennel Club's registry has been a significant provider of information on dog origins for decades, as it is the only register that was available. All registered dogs have identification microchips, and since 2006, there has been a publicly accessible dog breeding database with pedigree, performance, and health information. The Finnish Kennel Club's registry is so important that a government agency has stated that it is sufficient to oversee dog breeding when a significant portion of dog breeding, which falls under the Finnish Kennel Club, can be monitored. If the number of purebred dogs that escape the register continues to increase, the monitoring of dog breeding could become more challenging.