Finnish Lapphund

Finnish Lapphund
Finnish Lapphund pictures
Finnish Lapphund suitability

In my own words

“Sorry, I appear to have herded the children”

Yay! Aren’t I clever for mastering that heel trick? I am easy to train and I love to learn. I also like being rewarded hint, hint. A treat? Oh, if you insist. What are we doing now? Is it time for a grooming? My fur is my pride and joy. It is weather proof and means I am prepared for any kind of situation. It also means I don’t mind sleeping outside. I’d prefer to be with the family of course. Anything family oriented is fine by me. I especially like spending time with the children, and hold a soft spot for grandma. It has nothing to do with the treats she brings, honest! I am just a universally friendly dog.

I might have a peek outside now, I am naturally curious and an excellent watch dog. I enjoy protecting you and alerting you to anything unfamiliar. I am not a fighting dog though! Anything too aggressive and I will run the other way. Oh, are you off to cook? That’s fine; I’ll entertain myself with one of my new toys. I might take it into the garden and do some exploring.  Did you know my ancestors herded reindeer? This explains my natural love for the outdoors and desire to work hard. I still have loads of energy to burn, so maybe we can walk that dinner off later? The more I’m walked the better. It’s good bonding time for us as well. Deal? Okay, I’ll see you after dinner. Unless some of that bacon is going spare..?


My ideal owner(s)


Singles or couples with active lives

People who like the outdoors

Ranchers and Farmers in cool climates.


What they say about me

Well Balanced

Hard Working




How am I coming across? Good, I hope! Read on to see if you are my perfect match!


Is this Finnish Lapphund for you?

Test your knowledge about the Finnish Lapphund

Information essential about the Finnish Lapphund

Kennel Club Group:  Pastoral (not yet recognised by the AKC)

Size: Medium

Weight Male 45 – 47 lb. (20 –21 kg) Female 42 – 45 lb. (19 – 20 kg)

Height Male 18” – 20” (46 – 52 cm) Female 16”–20” (41 –47 cm)



The Finnish Lapphund remains popular in its native Finland ranking as number 6 on the most popular dogs. They are also recognised in the UK, Canada and have also enjoyed a growing popularity in North America

Breed History:

The Finnish Lapphund is considered to be an ancient Scandinavian breed possibly dating back to 7000 BC.  They were originally used to herd reindeer which was of utmost importance at the time in Lapland, where the dog is believed to have its beginnings.  They are an Arctic Spitz breed and are still used for herding cattle and reindeer alongside companionship. They have been known by many names including ‘The Lappish Herder’, ‘The Lapponian Sheep Dog’ and affectionately as ‘Lappie’. The official name ‘The Finnish Lapphund’ was confirmed in 1993.

Although mostly popular in their native Finland and other Nordic countries, the Finnish Lapphund is slowly gaining recognition elsewhere. The first American litter was born in the 1988, and the breed was first introduced into the UK in 1989. During the 90s, the Finnish Lapphund was introduced to Australia and Canada and is now recognised by the Canadian Kennel Club and the New Zealand Kennel Club. They have not yet been recognized fully by the American Kennel Club but have rather been accepted into the miscellaneous group for now.



Your Finnish Lapphund can be infuriatingly intelligent. He takes very well to training and is extremely hard working. Due to his background in herding, he is very alert and holds a watchful eye. This doesn’t mean he is aggressive by any means; he is actually incredibly friendly and likes company. He has been working with humans for years in his ancestry and would rather co-operate with you rather then work against you. Of course he can be a little stubborn sometimes (who isn’t?) but you can work round him with rewards and praise.  He loves the outdoors and enjoys playing with a variety of toys, especially as a puppy. Although he is quite independent and can amuse himself, be wary of leaving him alone for extended periods of time as he can become bored. Although a good watch dog, he is not a good guard dog as he tends to flee from confrontation and aggression.



Like a box of chocolates, the Finnish Lapphund appeals to everyone. His considerate and friendly demeanour means he gets on with the elderly, young children and the disabled. This makes him a prime choice for a novice dog owner, or for someone who may have had a bad experience with dogs in the past. If introduced properly, he will remain considerate of other household pets, and is mostly friendly towards other dogs.  He can be protective, which makes him wary of strangers and unfamiliar things and he will bark to alert his owners of anything untoward. He absolutely loves the outdoors and his cold proof coat alongside his curious nature means endless fun for him once allowed to roam. His pastoral nature makes him an excellent companion and extremely affectionate. If you want a good all-rounder with a good work ethic, the Finnish Lapphund is the dog of your dreams!



The Finnish Lapphund is extremely distinctive with his double coat. The undercoat is thick and short and the top coat is long straight and coarse. This coat is extremely durable, waterproof and ‘winter proof’ which led the breed to be one of only two dog breeds permitted to live outside. They have a broad head with a slightly rounded forehead and dark features such as a black nose and oval, dark eyes. They have straight muzzles which are shorter than the skull with a slightly tapered view from the side. Their ears are erect and pointed. They have a strong jaw with scissor bite and a strong neck. The whole body is strong and sturdy, with strong straight fore and hind legs and well arched, oval feet. The tail is covered with long hair, curled up when in motion and hanging whilst the dog stands. Around the head and neck, the Finnish Lapphund sports an abundance of thick fur, giving an almost wolf-esque mane. The Finnish Lapphund is a handsome dog with a humble, understated and relatively low maintenance appearance.



The Finnish Lapphund is seen in a wide array of colours, including black, sable, tan, white, brown and golden. Sometimes they have markings of different colours alongside their main colour. This breed can also have markings around the eyes (a bit like glasses), where a different colour to their main outlines their eye socket


Finnish Lapphunds are known for excelling in dog shows and obedience classes. They have competed in dog agility trials, herding tasks and showmanship contests.

Although the Finnish Lapphund takes well to training, it must be introduced at an early age in order to keep consistent order. This is due to the breeds’ intelligence, and without a firm hand he could easily fall out of line. Not too firm, as they do not respond well to a military style atmosphere. It is recommended that training sessions are kept short and varied as if not, he will get bored and you will lose your faithful audience! It is also recommended to socialise from as early as possible in order to get him used to both fellow pets and humans alike. Provided he is trained from an early age with a strong upper hand, he will aim to please you. A strong will is key here; don’t let his cuteness sway you!



The Finnish Lapphund requires a great deal of exercise daily. He will be at his happiest having had 60-80 minutes of exercise per day and should be let off the lead to run freely. They will enjoy any kind of games you introduce them to which is great exercise as well as bonding time. Provided he is given a strong exercise routine, he will be happy in any sized home



The Finnish Lapphund is not recommended in a household with those who have allergies due to his thick coat. A male dog will shed heavily once a year, and a female twice a year. During those times it is important to pay particular attention to grooming. Outside of these times, they will need to be groomed daily and bathed only when absolutely necessary


You can expect your Finnish Lapphund to live up to 17 years if cared for correctly. They have fairly few health complaints, but can succumb to hip dysplasia (when the hip moves abnormally), and eye problems such as cataracts. Check-ups, proper nutrition and the correct shots at the Vet will ensure that any illness is caught early on and your new pal will enjoy a long and healthy life.


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Advice on choosing your breed »

Find an animal shelter or rescue home where a Finnish Lapphund is waiting for a new home »

The following grid gives a fast track review which covers all breeds. You can apply it to help you decide if a Finnish Lapphund is suitable for you, the environment where you live, your personality and your lifestyle. On the grid, 1= strongly disagree, and 5= strongly agree. For example, if you are looking for a dog that is good for older people, scroll down and you will see in red the Finnish Lapphund score is 5, this means he is very good for older people. You might like to save or print off this section and keep it for reference while you check some other breeds before making your final choice.


Be the first to rate this breed »

Noahs Breed Rating | Community Breed Rating

Good jogging companion5/5
Good walking companion5/5
Likes water/swimming5/5
Likes learning new tricks5/5
Likes to hunt3/5
Likes to fetch5/5
Good gundog/retriever3/5
Barks a lot5/5
Gets easily jealous3/5
Friendly with strangers4/5
Expensive to insure3/5
Expensive to feed2/5
Happy to sleep outside5/5
Prefers countryside5/5
Suits urban environment3/5
Prefers temperate climate5/5
Prefers hot climate3/5
Prefers cold climate5/5
Moults a lot4/5
Requires lots of grooming5/5
Role and Suitability
Ideal for elderly5/5
Ideal for singles5/5
Ideal for couples with no children5/5
Ideal for family with children5/5
Good watch dog5/5
Good guard dog2/5
Good with other pets5/5
Good with other dogs5/5
Time and Energy
Happy being left alone for 4hrs3/5
Happy being left alone for 2hrs4/5
Requires lots of exercise5/5
Training and Obedience
Good for first time owners5/5
Good for experienced owners5/5
Good recall4/5
Easy to train5/5
Good jogging companion0/5
Good walking companion0/5
Likes water/swimming0/5
Likes learning new tricks0/5
Likes to hunt0/5
Likes to fetch0/5
Good gundog/retriever0/5
Barks a lot0/5
Gets easily jealous0/5
Friendly with strangers0/5
Expensive to insure0/5
Expensive to feed0/5
Happy to sleep outside0/5
Prefers countryside0/5
Suits urban environment0/5
Prefers temperate climate0/5
Prefers hot climate0/5
Prefers cold climate0/5
Moults a lot0/5
Requires lots of grooming0/5
Role and Suitability
Ideal for elderly0/5
Ideal for singles0/5
Ideal for couples with no children0/5
Ideal for family with children0/5
Good watch dog0/5
Good guard dog0/5
Good with other pets0/5
Good with other dogs0/5
Time and Energy
Happy being left alone for 4hrs0/5
Happy being left alone for 2hrs0/5
Requires lots of exercise0/5
Training and Obedience
Good for first time owners0/5
Good for experienced owners0/5
Good recall0/5
Easy to train0/5

*PLEASE NOTE: All our breed profiles are general, and all dogs are individuals. Always talk to the breeders and meet the owners you are buying from. Try to meet the dog and its parents if it is a puppy in their home environment.

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Finnish Lapphund Pictures & Videos



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