Finnish Lapphund

The Finnish Lapphund is a new as well as an old breed. It is believed that the arctic spitz breed of Lapland descends as far as from 7000 BC. Being a part of the Sami culture, the breed gradually changed from a guarding and hunting dog to a reindeer herder.
The first breed standard was accepted in 1945, the breed being then called "Lapponian Shepherd Dog". Square-typed, longhaired dogs found in Lapland were given a breed standard in 1967. This breed forms the basis of our current Lapphund. The Lapphund register is still open, allowing "natural", unregistered dogs be admitted to the breed if they meet the standard. The standard has been renewed in 1996. Since 1993 the official name of the breed has been Finnish Lapphund.

The popularity of the Lapphund has been on the increase, and throughout the 1990's it has been among the 15 most popular breeds in Finland. In 1998, 579 Lapphund were registered. But with the itroduction of Ski-doos and Quad Bikes in recent years, they have lost ground to the faster and more agile Border Collie and Australian Kelpie in the working capacity.

Sue and Rodger Dunger imported the first Lapphund into Britain in 1989 and in November 1995 The Finnish Lapphund Club of Great Britain was provisionally recognized by The Kennel Club. 


The Lapphund is intelligent (even cunning), independent, humble and co-operative. As a proof of his intelligence, a Lapphund thinks before going into action. He is a quick learner. He likes to watch his family's life from aside, treating the family as a reindeer herd, a flock to be tended. Being a humble herder, he will do everything for you upon encouragement. He is easy to train, a most suitable companion for dog sports, and also weatherproof.


For a hundred years, the appearance of the Lapphund has remained the same. He is a genuine arctic spitz with long, straight and coarse coat, and a thick undercoat. The dog has an impressive collar of hair. The expression is soft and humble with an individual look. The ears are prick, or have folded tips.

All colours are allowed as long as the primary colour is dominant. A Lapphund specialty is a black dog with "eye-glasses".

The sexual distinctions between a dog and a bitch are clear. The sexes must be easily distinguished from one another. The dog and bitch stand 49 and 44 cm at the withers (3 cm less or more is allowed) respectively. The right type is more important than the size.

Health and Care

The Lapphund is one of the healthiest breeds in Finland. Lapphund often reach the age of 13 to 15. A small percentage of the Lapphund have PRA or HC, and very few hip dysplasia cases are found. The Lapphund belongs to PEVISA (the program against inheritable diseases), which requires examination of the breeding stock before the puppies can be registered.
The thick coat demands only regular brushing and a wash once a year.


Classification             Spitz and primitive types

Size                       Medium

Height                    Males 49 cm (19.5 ins), Females 44cm (17 ins)

Grooming                  Regular

Exercise                  At least twice a day

Activity                   Medium

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