A strong, spitz-type dog (thick coat, tail curled over the back, prick ears), the Finnish Lapphund is a medium-sized dog, with adult males standing at around 49cm and adult females at 44cm. They weigh about 17-19kg when fully grown. The coat comes in many colours and combinations – see the breed standard for details.
- Category size: Medium
- Grooming requirements: More than once a week
- Shedding: Moderate
- Allergies: No
- Noise: Vocal
- Dog Group Kennel Club: Pastoral
- Alone: More than 3 hours
- Other pets: Medium
- Stability as a guard: Medium
This dog has worked with the semi-nomadic Sami people of Lapland for centuries – primarily as reindeer herders, though in their early history it is likely that they were also used as hunting and protection dogs. Although he is no longer used as prolifically, due to the development of the snowmobile, the breed is still used for reindeer herding today. A galloping dog when herding, the Finnish Lapphund dog breed works alongside the Lapponian Herder a shorter-haired, trotting dog that is another native breed of the area.
The Finnish Lapphund has a strong herding instinct and is a keen hunter outdoors. Inside the home, he is alert and makes a good watchdog, as well as a calm, affectionate and loyal companion. Although not as noisy as some spitz breeds, he can be vocal; training will be needed to teach him to 'shush' on request.
As with many breeds, the Finnish Lapphund can occasionally suffer from various hereditary eye disorders, and hip dysplasia (a condition that can lead to mobility problems). Eye testing and hip scoring of dogs prior to breeding is therefore important.
The Finnish Lapphund needs about an hour's daily exercise. An active breed, he will enjoy a canine hobby, such as agility or canicross, too. Some have a keen hunting instinct, so a reliable recall is a must, to call him away from his targeted prey when necessary.
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 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 double coat is made up of a long, straight top coat, which is shorter on the head and the front of the legs, and a thick, soft undercoat. Males have a 'mane' of thick hair around their neck and chest. The coat will need grooming a couple of times a week, but daily grooming may be necessary when shedding.
Is this the right dog breed for you?
All dogs have their own, unique personality, but some instincts and behaviours they’re born with. Try our breed selector and find out which dog breeds better match your preferences and lifestyle. If you and your dog enjoy similar things, you will be more likely to live a happy, fulfilling life together.
What to Consider next
It is incredibly fulfilling to adopt a dog from an animal shelter or rescue organization. It often means offering them a second chance in life. There are many dogs waiting for a loving family, a forever home. Reputable centers will be very careful about matching the right people with the right dogs. Staff learns all they can about the dogs they take in, and will spend time getting to know you, your family and your lifestyle, before they match you with any of their dogs. They’ll also be happy to give you advice and answer any questions you might have before and after the adoption.
Finding a good breeder
If your heart is set on a pedigree puppy, then your best bet is to find a reputable breeder. Contact The Kennel Club or a breed-club secretary who may have a list of litters available, or should be able to put you in contact with breeders in your area. Try to choose a breeder who is part of the Kennel Club’s assured breeder scheme.Visit dog shows to meet breeders in person and inquire about availability of pups of your chosen breed.
Welcoming your dog home
Whether you’re bringing home a tiny puppy or rehoming an adult dog, this is a hugely exciting time for everyone. While you’re waiting for the big day you might need to distract yourself, so luckily there are a few things you need to sort out before you welcome your new arrival. Click here for more information