Finnish Lapphund

Breed origin: Lapland (the northern region of Finland, Sweden and, in part, Russia)
Original purpose: Originally helper dogs of a tribe of semi-nomadic people, the Sami, in Lapland. Later evolved to become herding dogs used on reindeer herds.

AKC recognized: No
AKC group: Foundation Stock Service

Size: Weight: 33 to 53 lbs
Size: Height: males 18 to 21 inches; females 16 to 19 inches
Color: Any color, although a single color should predominate.

Life span: 12 to 15 years.

General characteristics/temperament: The Finnish Lapphund is intelligent, courageous, active, alert, agile, hardy, sweet, and social. Because they were developed to herd reindeer, an animal that is not as fearful of dogs as many other herd animals, their temperament reflects a need to both control, and get away from, these animals. They are extremely active and noisy when herding, and are constantly on the watch so they don't get trampled by the reindeers. They are extremely agile and alert, and have a very strong “startle reflex”. On the other hand, they are calm, friendly, and very submissive with people, but may appear a little distant or aloof at times. They make loving and devoted family pets and do well with children and other pets when properly socialized. They are very social dogs and must be made an integral part of the family, not left alone outside. They do require regular exercise, but are happy to just lay next to their owner inside the house. Because of their thick double-coat, they can withstand extreme cold temperatures and love to play in the snow, but do not tolerate the heat.

Good with children? Yes

Good with other dogs? Yes

Good with cats? Yes

Good watchdog? Yes

Protective? No

Intelligent? Yes

Suitable canine sports/activities: obedience, agility, flyball, disc, herding, therapy

Known health problems: Progressive retinal atrophy, cataracts, hip dysplasia.

Additional photos of Finnish Lapphund

Recommended books for further reading:

Finnish Lapphund (A Comprehensive Owner's Guide)
By Toni Jackson
Published in 2003
158 pages

Northern Breeds (Complete Pet Owner's Manual)
By Margaret H. Bonham
Published in 2001
96 pages

Other websites for additional information:

American Kennel Club breed page
Finnish Lapphund Club of America
Wikipedia breed information page

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Page Last Updated: February 1, 2018

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