The Swedish Lapphund is medium-sized and has typical spitz characteristics – a thick, stand-off coat, a bushy tail that can curl over the back, and prick ears. The coat comes in bear-brown, black, brown or black and brown. Rectangular in shape, he is longer than he is tall, with adult males standing at 45-51cm and adult females at 40-46cm. Adults weigh 19-21kg approximately.
An ancient breed, archaeologists have unearthed the skeleton of a dog similar to the Swedish Lapphund in its homeland, which is thought to be around 7,000 years old. Bred initially as a hunting dog, they worked with the nomadic Sami people in Lapland, herding the reindeer, and also acting as watchdogs and companions. The breed's vocal nature was selectively bred for not only detering predators and alert the Swedish Lapphund but also to reassure the reindeer that they were not a predator but their guardian.
An alert, energetic dog, the Swedish Lapphund dog breed is good-natured and loyal. He is naturally vocal and is a keen watchdog. He hates to be separated from his loved ones and has strong herding tendencies, too. If you can devote the time to him, he makes a most rewarding pet.
The Swedish Lapphund is generally a healthy breed, but as with many breeds, hereditary eye disorders and hip dysplasia (a condition that can lead to mobility problems) can arise. Eye testing and hip scoring of dogs prior to breeding is therefore recommended.
The Lapphund breed needs at least an hour's daily exercise – preferably more. He is an active dog, amenable to training, who has competed with success in the canine sports. Unsurprisingly, the cold weather does not deter him – he thrives in wintry weather – but do be sure that he doesn't overheat in warm temperatures.
Your dog's diet needs to have the right balance of all the main nutrient groups including a constant supply of fresh water. It's also important to conduct regular body condition scores to ensure you keep your dog in ideal shape and remember to feed him at least twice daily and in accordance with the feeding guidelines of his particular food.
The weather-resistant coat consists of a dense undercoat and a top coat that stands straight out from the body. The coat is longer on the thighs, tail, chest and 'mane'. A thorough groom, brushing down through the undercoat, is required a couple of times a week to prevent tangles and mats from forming.