Blessed is the person who has earned the love of an old dog. – Sydney Jeanne Seward
As his name suggests, the Finnish Lapphund is native to Finland, and was originally used as a hunter and herder of reindeer, and as a guard dog by the Saami people of Northern Scandinavia.
The Finnish Lapphund is a member of the spitz family of dogs and as such is believed to date back to 7000 BC. Spitz dogs have been seen in the cave paintings of this era.
The Finnish Lapphund is a medium-sized dog that stands up to 20 1/2 inches tall at the shoulder. Typical of dogs bred to withstand the harsh Arctic climate, he has a thick, coarse, water resistant, double coat that sheds twice (or more) per year. The coat comes in any colour as long as there is one dominant base colour. The light coloured hair around the eyes gives the Lapphund the effect of wearing glasses.
For the Finnish people, working abilities and temperament of the Lapphund are more important than appearance. The Finnish Lapphund possesses an even tempered, friendly disposition and is extremely loyal and devoted to his family.
He gets along well with people and other dogs, and is known to be a happy little clown who just loves kids!
Photos displayed courtesy of Johanne Parent, Fincaribou, Quebec
As is typical of a working breed, he also possesses an independent streak and is quite capable of assessing a situation and making his own decisions!
Fortunately, his eager to please personality makes him easier than some breeds to train, and therefore he is an excellent candidate for obedience training and dog sports. In his native land, “Lappies” have won national championships in obedience competition. The Finnish Lapphund can compete in dog agility trials, carting, mushing, obedience, Rally obedience, flyball, tracking, and herding events.
Training with patience and sensitivity will ensure your Lapphund develops his wonderful mild mannered temperament. Originally a drover of reindeer, Lappies used barking on the job to help reindeer distinguished it from predatory wolves. These instincts are bred into the dog which means he’ll make a good watch dog, barking at strange people and things. Even though the typical Lappie pet is no longer a herder, he may develop into a problem barker. This can be dealt with in training.
As a working dog, he is used to a fair degree of activity and needs daily exercise and walking.
This is a long-lived breed with a life span of 15 to 17 years.