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.