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Finnish Lapphund

The Finnish Lapphund is a medium-sized dog with a robust build and coat designed to cope with the harsh, icy conditions of Lapland. A squarely built dog capable of galloping, they show the typical spitz features of pricked ears and plush tail that curls over the back.

12 – 15 years
17 – 19kg
44 – 49cm
The coat comes in all colours except merle, and Lapphunds usually display a distinct light mask over the face that gives them a very attractive smiling appearance
UK Kennel Club Groups
The need-to-know
  • Dog suitable for owners with some experience
  • Extra training required
  • Generally healthy breed
  • Enjoys vigorous walks
  • Enjoys one to two hours of walking a day
  • Medium dog
  • Minimum drool
  • Requires grooming once a week
  • Chatty and vocal dog
  • Barks and alerts to visitors/anything unusual
  • Could have issues with unknown dogs but gets along with known dogs
  • May need additional training to live with other pets
  • May need additional supervision to live with children
  • Needs a small garden
  • Can live in semi-rural areas
  • Can be left occasionally with training
Generally healthy breed

The Finnish Lapphund can occasionally suffer from:
- Hip dysplasia
- Progressive retinal atrophy which is an inherited disorder where part of the eye degenerates and wastes away which can result in blindness.
Priority Kennel Club health schemes and testing: 
- Hip dysplasia screening scheme 
- Eye screening scheme 


Keen to work with their owners, the Finnish Lapphund retains a strong herding instinct and is an instinctive hunter outdoors. At home they are alert yet calm, affectionate and loyal. Not as noisy as some spitz types, they will still require some effort put into training to stay quiet as they are naturally inclined to alert to anything they perceive as novel or suspicious.

Did You Know?

  • These attractive smiling dogs are so clever and trainable, the breed club in the UK (Finnish Lapphund Club UK) runs versatility awards, where owners can submit evidence of their dog’s achievements both in the show ring and at activities such as flyball, agility, mountain rescue and more.
  • Through mitochondrial DNA testing, the Finnish Lapphund is known to be a part of the d1 subclade, which can be traced back over 3000 years. This subclade has been pinpointed to have occurred as a result of a female wolf mating with a domesticated male dog.
  • The Finnish Lapphund is also known as the ‘Lapinkoira’.
  • This breed is incredibly smart which makes them perfectly suited to working roles and sporting, however some owners report that they’re ‘too smart for their own good’.
  • Finnish Lapphund’s toes are spread out to act as a snowshoe and have fur on their feet and between their paw pads.
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