AKC Group: Herding
Originally Finnish Lapphund (or Lapinkoira or Svomenlapinkoira) were used to help the Sami, a tribe of semi-nomadic people that lived in Lapland (the northern regions of Finland, Sweden that extended into Russia). Eventually the Sami settled down to keep their reindeer herds and the Lapphund evolved into a herder of the reindeer. When the snowmobile came on the scene, the Lapphund was pushed out of his job and moved on to herd other livestock. Around 1940, interest grew in saving the breed. Breeders collected dogs from the original Sami tribe to develop their program. Today, the Lapphund is the 8th most popular breed in their native Finland.
Size: 16 to 20 inches; 33 to 53 pounds
Color: Lapphunds come in any color. The solid color should dominate the coat.
Life span: 12 to 15 years. Newer research suggests their life span is close to 15 to 17 years.
Health problems: A small percentage of purebred Lapphunds have been afflicted with progressive retinal atrophy, cataracts or hip dysplasia
The Lapphund is a hardy, muscular, medium-sized, spitz-type dog. His coat is long, straight and coarse. His undercoat is thick and dense. His double coat requires little maintenance and makes him weather resistant. (A good thing since he hails from the Arctic.) The Lapphund ears are small to medium in size and either stand erect (pricked) or have folded tips with hair inside.
The Lapphund is an intelligent, friendly, mild-mannered dog. Eager to please, they’re very loyal to their family yet retain an independent streak. As a working breed, he learns eagerly and excel at dog sports like agility.
Having a double coat, your male Lapphund will shed once a year while your female will shed twice a year. Brush him or her regularly and bathe occasionally. Lapphunds require early socialization and obedience training. Training sessions should be short and varied, Lapphunds become bored easily. You need to be firm, fair and consistent and things should go swimmingly.