Dog Breeds

Finnish lapphund

Finnish lapphund – Lapland Spitz to herd the reindeer, combining the independence of the primitive breed and the willingness to cooperate with a shepherd – in different proportions for different individuals. In his native Finland he is considered one of the best family dogs – he is in the top five of the most popular breeds.


Finnish lapphund is a dog usually friendly towards adults and children. He loves all household members. He easily gets along with other pets – cats, rabbits, etc. However, hunting instinct may play outside, which will push him to chase the cat.

Finnish lapphund

At home, lapinkoirs are calm and easy to get along with. In Finland, they are considered one of the best family dogs.


Finnish lapphund was a shepherd dog, nowadays he works as a family dog ​​and watchful guardian.

Training and education

Lapinkoira is curious and learns easily and quickly, although training predispositions are varied. Many Laplanders do well in obedience, agility or tracking. However, most do not like retrieving.

Working lapinkoirs had to make independent decisions, so a representative of this breed will not blindly obey. For some people, working with people is fun, others find it deadly boring.

Finnish lapphund

Relationships with other dogs of the same sex, especially strangers, can cause trouble, though this is not an aggressive breed. One should also pay attention to socialization, otherwise, distrust of strangers and unknown phenomena may become a problem.

Who is this race for?

This breed is suitable for most people who are looking for a nice and quite active companion.

Finnish lapphund. Advantages and disadvantages


  • the breed is out of balance in terms of willingness to cooperate with humans – some dogs are more sheepdog, others typical for Spitz, i.e. independent
  • most are more or less stubborn
  • requires careful socialization
  • molts abundantly


  • quiet at home
  • nice family dog
  • watchful watchman
  • economical to maintain

Finnish lapphund. Health

The breed belongs to healthy, resilient and long-lived. Sometimes there is hip dysplasia and genetic eye diseases, especially the progressive retinal atrophy that can already be detected by a genetic test.

Finnish lapphund

Hereditary (including juvenile) and other eye diseases also occur. In Finland, eye registration and x-raying of parents for dysplasia are required to register puppies.


Lapiki are not nutritious. They can eat both ready-made food of good quality and food prepared at home.

Finnish lapphund


Despite the generous coat, the care of the lap is not difficult, it is enough to brush it once a week (only during the molting period you need to do it more often).

Finnish lapphund. History

Suomenlapinkoira – literally Finnish Lapland dog – is one of three recognized breeds of Lapland herding dogs. Laplanders, or Sami (they consider the word “Sami” offensive) were the first to settle, among others area of ​​today’s Finland. After some time, they were pushed to the northern inhospitable areas by tribes that came here later.

They currently live in Lapland – a land covering the northern areas of four countries: Sweden, Norway, Finland and the European part of Russia. For centuries, the basis for their maintenance was reindeer. They were a source of food and clothing, tools were made of their body parts, they were draft animals, pack animals and mounts. Hunting was of secondary importance.

Dogs helped gather scattered herds of semi-wild reindeer, chase them to the right place and keep them together. They guarded animals and human settlements against predators and thieves helped in hunting bears, elks, wolves and smaller animals. Sometimes they were sled. The Sami valued them so much that it was said that before they eat them themselves, they will feed the dog first.

For centuries, the Sami were nomads following migrating herds of reindeers. These animals spend most of the year wandering, in winter they descend south into the forested area of ​​the forest, and in the spring they return to the tundra. They were guarded by two types of dogs, which is confirmed by excavations from the early Paleolithic.

The “summer” dog patrolled the herd’s borders, found lost animals and merged scattered pupils.

The “winter” dog was more durable, had stronger legs and thicker fur, and led the herd over longer distances. Some dogs did well in both areas.

Finnish lapphund

The nomadic settlements were very far apart, so the dogs living in them rarely crossed. Instead, there were many local types, differing in size, color, and coat quality. In the west, long-haired black and brown predominated (today the Swedish lapphund breed was based on them), in the east there were more varied colors and short-haired dogs were more frequent (today the latter were bred the lapinporokoira breed).

The life of the Sami changed in the 20th century. Many of them settled in permanent homes. They still raised reindeers, but began to use snowmobiles and even helicopters to herd them. Animals, however, were afraid of the noise of the engines and many of them died of fear of a heart attack or broke their neck or legs during a panic escape. So they returned to traditional breeding methods. However, this was not enough to save old breeds, because border collie, for example, began to be used.

Two World Wars and a post-war epidemic caused a sharp decline in Lapland dogs. However, enthusiasts wanted to save them from total destruction. Both Swedes and Finns have admitted to the breed, so two, slightly different (mainly in color) were created: Swedish and Finnish lapphund. In 1945, the first Finnish Lapland Shepherd was created, however, various rural dogs, not necessarily authentic Lapland herding dogs, were registered on its basis. Some of them came from hunting spitz or samoyeds.

It wasn’t until the late 1960s and early 1970s that many animals were brought from Lapland. In 1967, separate pedigree books were opened for short-haired dogs imported from there, and a separate template was created. The breed was called Lapinporokoira (Lapland reindeer dog). Long-haired quadrupeds stayed in the old register and gained a new name: Lapinkoira (Lapland dog). Long-haired dogs from Lapland were also placed here.

In the early 1970s, however, the future of the long-haired variety did not look promising – it was shown less and less at exhibitions. Peski kennel has special merits in saving and consolidating the lapinkoir type. Gradually, the breed’s popularity grew, but until the mid-1990s both Lapland dog breeds were registered by the Spitz club. He sought to diversify them more clearly.

Long-haired dogs were required to be even more spitz-type, so that they had a shorter torso (Lapland dogs were rectangular as typical trotters), weaker angulation and strongly twisted tails. Reluctant ears were also looked upon.

In 1975 a new template was created (amended in 1982, 1987 and 1996). The name of the breed was changed to suomenlapinkoira – to distinguish it from the Swedish lapphunda. In the 80s she was already in the top ten favorite breeds of Finns, and in 2004 – in the top five. Today, 1000-1200 individuals are registered here annually – in total there may be over 10,000

Not all breeders and owners liked the direction of lapinkoira development. That is why in 1981 the Association of Working Lapland Dogs was established, which set itself the goal of keeping dogs in their original type. This is a separate breed line, registered as show in cynological association. Working type dogs are distinguished by a longer torso, deeper angulation, lower set tail and less abundant coat.

The club treats all naturally occurring colors, the presence of wolf claws and dejected ears equally. Externally, these dogs are more diverse. Currently, individuals from the working line account for 20-25 percent. all lapinkoir. The Lapland Club allows free mixing of both lines, but the club of working Lapinkoir opposes this.

Lapinkoirs are popular not only in the homeland. In 2009, more than 500 Laplanders were registered in neighboring Sweden, a total of 2-3 thousand live there. There are also relatively many representatives of this breed in Denmark, the Netherlands, Great Britain and the United States.


Suomenlapinkoira (Finnish lapphund) – Group V FCI, section 3, reference number 189

  • Place: Finland
  • Character: smart dog, brave, calm, willing to learn; friendly and faithful
  • Size: ideal height – dogs: 49 cm, bitches: 44 cm (with a tolerance of +/- 3 cm)
  • Weight: 16-25 kg
  • Coat: long, two-layer: dense, soft undercoat and straight, rough coat hair; in males, the fur on the neck forms a mane
  • Ointment: all colors allowed, the primary color must prevail; non-primary colors may occur on the head, neck, breast, stomach, legs and tail
  • Lifespan: 13-15 years
  • Vulnerability to training: average; as a shepherd dog, he is focused on carrying out orders, but he is also characterized by independence typical of primitive dogs
  • Activity: moderate; he likes to move, but at home he is calm
  • Resistance: very resistant; sporadic and eye diseases occur sporadically

Interesting facts

Finnish lapphund is one of the breeds with the greatest variety of colors. In addition to the fact that the pattern does not allow spotted coat with a predominance of white, lapincoirs are characterized by a huge variety of encountered colors – from white as in Samoyed , through cream, red, dark brown, wolfish, brown, blue to black – and there may be arson or not.

In practice, there is not only marbled color. Most often, however, chocolate and tan and black and tan dogs are found.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

error: Content is protected !!