Origin and Purpose The Finnish Lapphund traces its origin back to the dogs kept by the Lapp people used as reindeer herders and watchdogs in Finnish Scandinavia and in the northern parts of Russia. Over the years, as reindeer herding subsided, the dogs were effectively used on sheep and cattle. Today the breed is very popular in the whole of Finland and around the world as a companion.
General Appearance:The Finnish Lapphund is a medium sized herding breed that is intelligent, alert, agile, friendly, and eager to learn. Developed to live and work outside in the cold, the breed is strongly built and thickly coated. Despite its strength, the Finnish Lapphund conveys a certain softness, particularly in expression.
Height and Weight Males: 49 cm (19”), 15 – 20 kg (35 – 45 lbs) Females: 44 cm (17”), 12 – 17 kg (28 – 38 lbs) There is a tolerance of +/- 3 cm (just over 1”). Type is more important than size.
Coat and Colour The Finnish Lapphund’s hair is profuse —the males especially have an abundant mane. The outer coat is long, straight, and harsh. On the head and on the front of the legs, the coat is shorter. There must be a soft and dense undercoat, which does require regular grooming, particularly during the shedding season which generally occurs once or twice a year. All colours are permitted. The basic colour must be dominant. Colours other than the basic colour can occur on the head, neck, chest, underside of the body, or on the legs and tail.
Temperament Keen, calm and willing to learn. Friendly and faithful. The Finnish Lapphund has many great qualities; they are smart and quick to learn, make great alert dogs, are wonderful family companions, and are often referred to as clowns. When herding reindeer, the dogs are extremely active and noisy. They must be constantly on the watch, and as a result, the breed has a very strong ‘startle reflex,’ as well as being very agile and alert. When interacting with people, Finnish Lapphunds are calm, friendly, and submissive. At times, they may appear a little distant or aloof. This combination of submissiveness and being reserved should not be misinterpreted as shyness.
Training and Obedience Coming from the herding family, the Finnish Lapphund is intelligent and quick to learn, yet at the same time can be independent and strong-willed. Often referred to as a ‘thinking’ breed, the Lappies do well in all aspects of performance.
Activity Finnish Lapphunds are a laid-back type of personality, but when asked, they perform with enthusiasm. Their exercise needs are moderate and would benefit from a daily walk. Barking It is important to remember that the Finnish Lapphund used their bark to perform their job of herding reindeer, so barking during the excitement of play is common.