Meet The Breed: Ancient Finnish Lapphund

Have you ever heard about Finnish Lapphund, the famous breed from Finland? This breed is submissive toward people and a real attention seeker. Read on to discover more about Finnish Lapphund.

Finnish Lapphund is one of the most skillful reindeer herders from north of the Arctic Circle. This breed is also considered to be the friendliest of all dogs.

The Finnish Lapphund comes with a beautiful and adorable coat, a spitz-like face, adn coated tail that curves over the back.

All in all, Finnish Lapphund has traits of Nordic dogs. They may not be large in size, but that won’t stop them from being extremely quick and agile.

This breed is often described as friendly, submissive (which means that they are easy to train), and a bit wary of strangers.

Finnish Lapphunds hate being left alone for long periods and will be miserable when neglected.

Their signature trait is a strong “startle reflex,” the result of centuries spent ducking the antlers of ornery reindeer.

They shed quite a bit, but it doesn’t stop them from being the first choice as household pets.

Quick Facts

Real name: Finnish Lapphund
Other names: Finnish Lapponian Dog (FCI name), Lapinkoira, Suomenlapinkoira
Nickname: Finnish Lapponian Dog (FCI name), Lapinkoira, Suomenlapinkoira
Origin: Finland
Breed type: Herding Dogs
Weight: 33-53 pounds
Height: 18-21 inches (male), 16-19 inches (female)
Lifespan: 12-15 years
Litter Size: 2 – 9 puppies
Color: A wide variety of colors and markings, but a single color should dominate
Coat: Longer, straight, and soft coat
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Finnish Lapphund History

Lapland is a wide region of the Arctic Circle that takes in parts of Sweden, Norway, Finland, and northwestern Russia.

This region got its name from the Lapp people (also known as Sami) who inhabited this region for several thousand years.

The Sami people developed a coated spitz-type dog in ancient times, to help them hunt reindeer. Historians claim that the Sami people shifted from hunter-gathering to full-scale nomadism.

They moved in search of pasture land, lived in tents, and ate along the way by hunting and fishing. As this society that traveled in groups of five to six families, evolved so did their furry companion.

Finnish Lapphund Evolution

The Lapphund went from hunting reindeer to herding them while keeping their duties as hunting dogs, guardians, and close companions to humans. Lapphunds spent thousands of years keeping people and other dogs warm at night.

Plus, this is was the most effective way to keep everyone safe from the renderers. In their natural habitat, reindeers are stubborn and big animals that can do serious damage.

To keep property reindeer-free dogs had to be brave, independent, quick, and intelligent. These are qualities that can be found even today in Lapphund.

Lapland is still home to several hundred thousand reindeer and ts still possible to see the Finnish Lapphund, and its sister breed, the Swedish Lapphund, moving herds across the cold and frozen north.

Finnish Lapphund Physical Appearance

The Finnish Lapphund is a medium-sized breed taht resembles the northern type dog. Even today they have a true character of the herding dog, and as such, they are alert, agile, and highly intelligent.

They were bred to work and live outside, which is why they have strong and thick coats. Since there weren’t intended to be guarding, they are submissive toward people.

Don’t let their softness fool you, because this breed is quite strong. Males are larger than females.

Overall, their expression is soft. Ears are set apart and may be erect or semi-erect. In dog shows, drop ears are considered to be a fault.

Eyes are oval in shape, the neck is medium in length, while the ribs are slightly arched.

Legs are set straight, and dewclaws may be removed. Nails are strong. The coat is double and specially designed for cold weather and harsh winters.

The outer coat is straight and short on the front part of the legs and head. The undercoat is soft and short with density varying with climate.

Finnish Lapphund Temperament

The Finnish Lapphund is often described as an all-around dog, eager to please. They are quick learners and love non-agressive training methods, as all dogs do.

They are not agressive toward people, children, or other dogs and are considered to be a wonderful companion breed. Although they are submissive, it doesn’t mean that they are shy – they still have to be trained to be well-behaved dogs.

Lappies should be taught from an early age to follow house rules, how to behave around visitors, and how to walk on a leash.

Since this breed is no stranger to harsh winters, expect long walks even when it’s snowing.

No matter how much your child loves being around dogs, there should always be supervised when children and dogs are together, even if your Finnish Lapphund is just a puppy.

Living With Finnish Lapphund

Finnish Lapphunds are great house pets. They are even suitable for city living as long as you provide enough exercise and outdoor time. They are very social dogs and like to be part of the family.

They want to be loved and prefer to be around their people. They are working dogs and love to be busy.

Provide enough training and exercise time to keep them physically and mentally stimulated and you won’t have issues with this breed. Plus, grooming this breed is easy so you won’t have to vacuum all day long.

Finnish Lapphund Grooming

The Finnish Lapphund has a double coat, which is why you should expect weekly brushing. During the shedding season, you should brush your Finnish Lapphund daily to minimize shedding.

Overall, this breed requires a small amount of grooming. During the grooming sessions, you shoudl focus on the area around the ears. No trimming is required.

Make sure that you have the right grooming tools. If you don’t have time to groom your Finnish Lapphund, think about hiring a professional groomer.

As with all breeds, you should check gums and teeth regularly, learn how to trim nails, and bath only when needed. This breed almost had no odor so no excessive bathing is really needed.

Finnish Lapphund Health

The Finnish Lapphund is a healthy breed, but there are a few conditions the breed is prone to. Two of these are elbow and hip dysplasia, conditions that can easily be detected with X-rays.

When working with serious breeders you will always know the right condition of dog’s health, because responsible breeders will always screen puppies for the most common medical issues.

As with all breeds, provide the best nutrition, mind parasite control, and react for any signs of infection.

Finnish Lapphunds can develop several types of eye disorders, which is why you should check their eyes regularly.

For any sign of trouble, contact your veterinarian. To keep your dog healthy and enable them to live longer, have regular veterinarian check-ups.

Finnish Lapphund Nutrition

Providing the best high-quality dog food is always a plus. Make sure that you know how much you should feed your dog, and which human foods are safe for your pooch.

Always choose food appropriate to your dog’s age. Puppies should never eat food for adults, and senior dogs should be fed only with food that would support their health and keep them agile longer.

Be careful when it comes to feeding your dog table scraps and use treats only as a reward. If you have any concerns about your dog’s diet or weight gain, check with your vet.

Finnish Lapphund Climate Considerations

The Finnish Lapphund will always choose colder days over hot summer nights. Since they have a correct double coat to keep them warm, they would often go outside and play in the snow.

Although they can spend hours outside in the cold, it doesn’t mean that they don’t like sleeping in the warm.

They will be a real couch potato that can keep your feet warm in winter.

If you live in an area with a hot climate make sure that Lappy has access to air-conditioning and a huge area with tiles, especially if you are based in an area with high humidity.

Be careful during summer, to avoid heatstroke and always enable easy access to dog bowl with fresh water.

The Bottom Line

The Finnish Lapphund is great with children. Make sure that you educate your children on how to behave around dogs, and not to disturb them when they are eating or just chilling in their crate.

This is not an agressive dog and usually doesn’t start a fight, but still be careful when introducing him to other dogs and pets.

They can even live happily with cats under the same roof. They may bark from to time when soemone approaching your home.

After all, they were bred to hunt and herd. They may bark when bored or in need of attention. If you are ready to deal with occasional barking, digging, and walks on cold days, the Finnish Lapphund might be for you.