Updated 05-09-2023

Finnish Lapphund

The Finnish Lapphund is a breed of dog that, contrary to popular belief, once made its living herding reindeer in their native Lapland, in the extreme north of Finland. While they are known for their friendliness and calm demeanor, this breed nevertheless has a healthy herding tendency.

Finnish Lapphunds, as you might expect, thrive in chilly environments. They show a lot of love to their families, including small children and other dogs. They require a great deal of exercise, though. Your dog will stay happy and entertained with playtime, walks, and dog sports. Facts and characteristics unique to Finnish Lapphunds are detailed here.


  • The Finnish Lapphund is a wonderful pet and family member. Originating in Lapland in northern Finland, they thrive in milder environments. The Lapphund's high exercise needs originate from its original function as a reindeer herder.
  • They have a strong need for social interaction and crave company. The fact that they are so adaptable helps make them a top breed in Finland. They are a source of national pride, prompting the establishment of laws intended to preserve their genetic heritage.
  • As herders, they are quick on their feet and have excellent reflexes. The Finnish Lapphund has an innate drive to guard its human pack.
  • Because of their high levels of sensitivity and protective instinct, they are great at protecting their owner from harm. However, due to their sociable temperament, they are not trusted as security dogs.


Social Appearance 


It's a common misconception that a little dog is better suited to living in a limited space. Many tiny dogs have too much energy and are too yappy to live in an apartment building. An apartment dog's best attributes include being quiet, low energy, somewhat peaceful indoors, and respectful to the other inhabitants. Your dog's personal space in your apartment can be improved by purchasing one of these fantastic dog cages.

Sensitivity Level

Depending on the dog, a strong rebuke can be taken in stride by some, while others regard even the tiniest hint of disapproval as a personal attack. If you have a loud or pushy owner, a chaotic home, or a routine that is unpredictable or variable, your low-sensitivity dog, often known as "easy-going," "tolerant," "resilient," or even "thick-skinned," will be able to handle it better. Do you have young children, host a lot of parties, or have a hectic lifestyle? Choose a dog that isn't overly sensitive.


You can't tell from looking at them whether or not they're hyperactive, but when they do anything, they do it vigorously. They tug at their leashes (unless you teach them not to), they push their way through barriers, and they down their meals in huge, gobbling gulps. A home with young children or an elderly or feeble person may not be the best place for these dynamos to learn proper etiquette. On the other side, a dog with poor vitality adopts a more reserved demeanor.

Potential for Playfulness

The playful nature of certain dogs never fades away, and they're always ready for a game, whereas the reserved and serious tendencies of other dogs develop through time. Think about how many times a day you want to play fetch or tag with your dog, and whether or not you have children or other dogs who can act as substitutes.

Personality Appearance


In the same way as working dogs, such as those that herd sheep, are bred for intelligence and decision-making, working dogs like those who run all day need to exercise their bodies. The two most common activities that a bored pet engages in are digging and chewing, both of which require mental stimulation. There are several ways to keep a dog's brain active, including obedience training, interactive dog toys like tug of war, and dog sports like agility and search and rescue.

Energy Level

Energy-draining dogs are always on the lookout for a new activity. There are several jobs that require a lot of stamina from dogs, such as herding livestock or recovering prey for hunters. Children are more likely to engage in activities such as jumping, playing and exploring new sights and smells as a result of this change in their environment

A low-energy dog is more like a couch potato than a dog that needs a lot of exercise. Think about your level of physical activity and whether or not you find a hyperactive dog irritating before making your final choice.

Easy To Train

Easy to train dogs can more easily form associations between a cue (like "sit"), an action (like sitting), and a reward than dogs that are more difficult to train. Dogs that require more time, patience, and repetition are more difficult to train.

Getting your dog interested in training will require incentives and games because many breeds are intelligent but have a "What's in it for me?" mentality when it comes to learning new things.

Family Affection Level

Affectionate With Family

Since puppyhood, some breeds remain aloof and independent; others form deep bonds with one individual but are uninterested in the rest of the family; still other types shower their entire family with affection. Canines raised in homes with people tend to be more open to human interaction and develop stronger ties, regardless of their breed or upbringing.


Kids-friendly dogs are calm, strong enough to bear the hefty hugs and pets kids can dish out, and have an unfazed attitude about rushing, scream-inducing children. There are several names you may not expect to see on the list: Fierce-looking Both Boxers and American Staffordshire Terriers are regarded as family dogs (which are considered Pit Bulls). Chihuahuas, which are small, sensitive, and potentially sharp, are not always family-friendly.

Dog Friendly

Dog friendship and human friendship are two entirely different things. The fact that a dog is friendly with humans doesn't mean it's immune to aggression or aggression from other dogs; some canines choose to play rather than fight; others will just run away. The type of animal isn't the only consideration. Dogs who have spent a lot of time playing with their littermates and their mother at the age of six to eight weeks are more likely to be socially competent.

Physical Appearance

Amount of Shedding

Having a dog in the house means that you'll have to deal with some level of dog hair on your clothing and in the home. It's worth noting, however, that shedding varies widely among breeds. Some dogs shed all year long, while others ``blow" just during specific times of the year, and still others don't shed at all. If you're a stickler for cleanliness, you'll need to choose a breed that sheds less or lower your expectations. You can use a deshedding tool to keep your house a little cleaner.

Drooling Potential

While greeting you, some dogs may cover their arms with ropes of drool and create large, wet patches on your clothing. If you don't mind a little drool, go for it; but if you're a stickler for cleanliness, you may want to look for a dog with a low drool rating.

Easy To Groom

Some breeds of dogs can simply be brushed and left alone, while others require frequent washing, trimming, and other grooming in order to maintain their health and appearance. If you don't have the time or money to take care of a dog that requires a lot of grooming, you may want to look into hiring a professional.

Exercise Needs

Evening walks around the neighborhood are perfectly acceptable for some breeds. Others, particularly those trained for physically demanding vocations like herding or hunting, require regular, rigorous exercise.

They can gain weight and release their pent-up energy in ways you don't like, including barking, chewing, and digging, if not given enough exercise. Those looking to train their dog for an energetic canine activity, such as agility, should consider getting a dog that needs a lot of exercise.

Average sizes and life expectancy of the breed


17 to 20 inches tall at the shoulder


33 to 53 pounds

Life Span:

12 to 15 years


The ancestors of the Finnish Lapphund, a spitz-type dog, arose in Lapland, a region near the Arctic Circle. The locals bred dogs with thick coats to use as hunting companions and later as reindeer herders.

The antlers and hooves of recalcitrant reindeer necessitated the agility and quickness of these dogs. The modern Lapphund still possesses a robust "startle reflex," which enables it to respond instantly to sudden movements or noises.

Breed standards for the Finnish Lapphund did not appear until the middle of the twentieth century. However, the American Kennel Club didn't officially recognise it as a breed until 2011. It is still rather popular in Finland, despite being relatively uncommon in North America. Even as a reindeer herder, a role it no longer fills as frequently as it once did, it still plays.

Personality & Temperament

The Finnish Lapphund is a breed of very clever and active dog. It is a good watch dog because, despite its amiability, it will bark at anything it doesn't recognise. Historically, the breed's distinctive barking helped herders tell their canines apart from wolves.

It has a streak of independence but is never willful or obstinate, and is instead incredibly obedient to its masters. Lappies are wonderful with kids and also make for a smart and patient companion for the elderly. They get along well with other dogs, but their hunt drive is moderately high, so they need strict supervision around cats and other small animals.


Finnish Lapphunds are energetic dogs, thus their owners should be too. They require persistent training and socializing as well as regular grooming.


The Finnish Lapphund rarely experiences serious medical issues. There is no increased risk of hip or elbow dysplasia in the breed, despite the fact that most dogs are checked for it using radiographic grading. The following ailments have been identified as problematic:


Occurring in some Lapphunds at an early age, opaque bodies grow in the lens of the eye. It is believed that this is a genetic condition because many affected people have been used for breeding prior to the onset of symptoms. Cataracts can impede one's vision if they are bad enough.

Glycogen Storage Disease

An uncommon disorder characterized by the accumulation of carbohydrate deposits in different body tissues. Adolescent dogs with genetic disorders often display a variety of neurological or muscle symptoms. It's getting worse, and it's going to kill you.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy

Causes blindness in several dog breeds and is very common. Currently, all Lapphunds being considered for breeding should undergo a genetic test that can reveal several carriers of the illness.

Recommended Health Tests 

  1. Patella Evaluation
  2. Hip Evaluation
  3. Elbow Evaluation
  4. Ophthalmologist Evaluation
  5. PRA Optigen DNA Test
  6. Degenerative Myelopathy DNA Test
  7. Pompe's Disease DNA Test


To avoid any health problems, your dog needs access to clean water at all times. And do so in the form of two measured meals per day of a high-quality canine feed. The amount and type of food your dog requires will vary depending on his or her age, level of activity, and other considerations, so it's important to discuss these specifics with your veterinarian. Additionally, watch your intake of sweets to avoid binge eating and gaining weight.


The coat of your Finnish Lapphund has to be brushed at least once a week to eliminate dead hair and prevent mats. The spring and fall seasons are peak shedding times, so you may need to brush as frequently as once a day. You should never shave your dog because doing so can compromise the coat's capacity to insulate the dog from cold and heat.

Finnish Lapphunds rarely have any sort of unpleasant odor. However, you should still schedule a bath for your dog once a month or so, depending on how dirty he gets. At the very least once a week, you should check to determine if your dog's ears need to be cleaned. Cut its claws around once a month. Additionally, you should make brushing your teeth a daily habit.


Your Finnish Lapphund will need at least an hour of daily activity. Although they don't have as much pep as some other herding dogs, these canines nonetheless enjoy a good game of fetch. Taking them on daily walks, jogs, hikes, or engaging them in strenuous play sessions is a great approach to help them release some of their excess energy. Not to mention the mental stimulation that can be gained from playing with puzzles. Finnish Lapphunds thrive in dog sports such as agility and herding contests.


Your Finnish Lapphund should begin its training and socialization as early as possible. Puppies might benefit from learning basic commands and social graces at an obedience school. In addition, it is important that you introduce your puppy to as many new people, canine companions, and environments as possible.

Always reward good behavior during training with treats and compliments. As long as training is done in a good and enjoyable way, these dogs tend to learn rapidly.

Training your dog to be calm and relaxed when you have to leave him or her alone may take some extra time and effort. Finnish Lapphunds are social dogs that can suffer from separation anxiety if they are left alone for too long. You can get advice on how to deal with this from an expert dog trainer or behaviorist. However, this breed is best suited for a home where someone spends the most of their time at home.

Children and other Pets

The Finnish Lapphund is a popular pet in Scandinavia because of its charming appearance and the fact that it reminds people of a teddy bear.

Finnish Lapphunds herded reindeer despite the fact that the animals did not fear them, and the dogs were smart enough to escape harm by knowing when to retreat. This breed is known to be boisterous, active, and vigilant when on the job. These canines are easily startled but swiftly recover. They're fearless and devoted to their jobs, but also kind and approachable to others.

Finnish Lappies have a loud, persistent bark. They are not hostile, but will alert you to the presence of strangers with a bark. These dogs are probably bored if their barking becomes an issue.

Lappies are pack animals who suffer from separation anxiety and behavioral issues if they are ever left alone for too long. These canines are not suited to being left in a yard or alone for extended periods of time.

If properly socialized, the breed gets along great with kids and other dogs, and they normally accept cats without any problems.


The Finnish Lapphund puppy is so adorable and energetic that it borders on becoming nauseating. However, they need early socialization with humans and other animals to avoid developing aggression problems.

Similar breeds to Finnish Lapphund

  1. Norwegian Elkhound
  2. Swedish Lapphund
  3. Lapponian Herder
  4. Norwegian Buhund
  5. Norwegian Lundehund