The Finnish Lapphund: A Complete Guide

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The Finnish Lapphund is a herding dog of ancient heritage, with some historians estimating their birth as far back as 3000 years ago.

The Finnish Lapphund is a breed of Scandinavian origin, to which it owes its Finnish title.

Despite its medieval history, the Finnish Lapphund was only accepted by the American Kennel Club as late as 2011, and in Finland by 1945.

The Finnish Lapphund is famous throughout Scandinavia and seen as a regional treasure by those who live there, outside of the Arctic states though the Lapphund is relatively obscure compared to other successful herders, particularly in North America.

The Finnish Lapphund’s Wolfish appearance is no mistake; the breed is believed to have been originally bred by combining the ancient genealogy of a male northern Spitz with that of a female Scandinavian wolf.

The nomadic indigenous people of the region, the Sami, are said to be the first people to breed the Finnish Lapphund.

Finnish Lapphund Puppies – Before You Buy…

Finnish Lupphund
Image Credit By: hobbs.thelappie, instagram

Welcoming a new dog into your family is a huge decision to make, financially and personally. It can be stressful and overwhelming when there is so much to consider.

Hopefully, this guide can help mitigate your stress and give you a step-by-step guide for whether or not the Finnish Lapphund is the right dog for you and your home.

What Price are Finnish Lapphund Puppies?

The Finnish Lapphund is a relatively inexpensive breed for its size and extensive skill set, with puppies typically selling for between $600 and $900 USD.

The Finnish Lapphund has been compared in intelligence to breeds such as the Poodle and the Border Collie, expensive breeds prized for their high levels of intelligence and work ethic, so in that sense, the Lapphund could be considered a bargain.

It is not always the best idea to go with the cheapest breeder, finding one of repute that you trust is much more important for your peace of mind and the future health and happiness of the dog you take home with you.

Where to Find Reputable Finnish Lapphund Breeders?

Finding a good breeder should be the first step in your quest for a new dog, Finnish Lapphund breeders can be few and far between outside of arctic Europe, though dedicated breeders do exist and if you are serious about buying a Lapphund puppy, then you shouldn’t compromise on quality.

The Lapphund is a very special breed of unique genealogy; you want to make sure you choose a quality breeder.

A good Lapphund breeder should be able to meet the following criteria:

  • A good breeder will be a true professional. They will respect your patience and understand the financial and personal weight behind your decision and give you time, thought and consideration while you come to your decision. A good breeder will never pressure you to make a purchase.
  • A good breeder is an animal lover. They should be more than happy to answer any questions you have about the breed, how to care for them how to maintain their coats etc. Feel free to ask as many questions as you like, regardless of context, if they seem hesitant or unable to answer your queries consider meeting with a different breeder.
  • Importantly, the breeder’s facilities should be clean, spacious and well maintained. They should appear hygienic and professional; a poorly run breeding facility will likely produce unhappy and unhealthy animals.

Again, do not compromise, trust your gut and follow your instincts. You must find a breeder you are comfortable with.

If you find yourself overwhelmed or lost just take a deep breath and refer to this guide.

You will work it out, the joy of your new friend will outweigh the stress of acquiring it.

3 Little-Known Facts About Finnish Lapphund Puppies

  1. The Finnish Lapphund is considered one of the loudest dog breeds in the world. It is imperative to wrap this habit around your finger during training early on in the dog’s life, or else you will have a very loud, vocal, stubborn Lapphund on your hands forever. Despite their noisiness, the Lapphund is an incredibly friendly and docile breed, so it does not make a great guard dog.
  2. Thankfully, the Finnish Lapphund is easily trainable. They are a sociable breed which loves to follow orders and takes great enjoyment from learning new commands. These traits have made the Lapphund a reliable and efficient working dog.
  3. The Finnish Lapphund has begun to lose popularity as a herding dog, as the invention of snowmobiles has more-or-less made the training of herding snow dogs irrelevant. However, the Lapphund has risen drastically in popularity as a companion pet, being the 6th most common dog breed in Finland.

Physical Traits of the Finnish Lapphund

A baby Finnish Lapphund in the snow
The Finnish Lapphund faces a few major health issues.

The Finnish Lapphund is a mid-sized dog with a lot of fur; it is extremely fluffy which makes it appear larger than it actually is.

The Finnish Lapphund has a very thick double-layered coat which keeps it dry and warm in arctic weather, very handy for a herding dog.

The coat density rarely differs for Lapphunds, but its colours can vary from a mixture of colours such as black, cream, white, red, sable and brown.

The double layer of fur makes the outer layer stick out and puff up, giving the Lapphund its robust, almost husky-like appearance.

The Finnish Lapphund’s coat must be maintained weekly, being brushed all over to avoid matted fur and the subsequent health risks associated.

The Lapphund isn’t a smelly dog though, so only requires cleaning intermittently when it becomes dirty.

How Big is a Full-Grown Finnish Lapphund?

The Finnish Lapphund is a mid-sized breed, the male dogs stand up to between 17 and 20 inches tall, and weigh between 33 and 52 pounds.

While the female Lapphund can stretch between 16 and 19 inches, while it’s average weight doesn’t differ from the male (33-52 pounds).

What is the Finnish Lapphund’s Life Expectancy?

The Finnish Lapphund is expected to live between 12 and 14 years of age making it roughly the average for mid-sized dogs and herding dogs of similar makeup.

A Lapphund can live up to 16 years old if it is regularly walked, fed healthily, and of strong genetics.

Intelligence, Temperament, and Personality Traits of the Finnish Lapphund

A beautiful Finnish Lapphund with blue eyes
The Finnish Lapphund is a relatively inexpensive breed.

The Finnish Lapphund is a highly intelligent, social and trainable breed.

It has won plaudits for its intelligence, arguably it is underrated in this field as it’s smarts are overlooked for its other positive traits, but they should not be understated, the Lapphund is a great learner and a very insightful, creative thinker.

The Lapphund is naturally docile and submissive toward humans; this is part of what makes it a successful working dog but it also makes it a great companion dog, supported by its popularity for that reason within Scandinavia.

The Finnish Lapphund loves to impress its owners, it is eager to please and can be quite the showman.

This sociable behaviour is endearing. However, the flip side is that the Finnish Lapphund can also become destructive if not mentally stimulated enough.

If left to its own devices the Finnish Lapphund may adopt bad behaviours such as chewing, digging, etc. The Lapphund is a social animal which needs its friends and family around it to thrive.

The Finnish Lapphund’s Diet

The Finnish Lapphund enjoys a regular diet for a medium-sized dog, it will happily eat high quality, protein-rich dog food and is rarely a fussy eater.

Two and a half cups of dog food per day will suffice the Finnish Lapphund.

How Much Exercise Does the Finnish Lapphund Need?

The Finnish Lapphund is a very energetic and active animal.

It is happiest when walked daily, or at least gets some sort of physical activity in its yard.

It is recommended to give a Finnish Lapphund up to 45 minutes of physical activity per day, and up to 8 miles of walking per week.

If possible, take your dog to the dog park or another public area where they can socialize with other dogs.

Doing so helps them grow into confident dogs that won’t harm other pets or children when they come into contact with them.

Finnish Lapphund Health and Conditions

The Finnish Lapphund is of generally strong stocks, and it faces few serious or minor health issues.

Serious Issues

  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) is a serious eye disorder which affects some Finnish Lapphunds; PRA is a degenerative issue which causes blindness in both eyes.

Minor Issues

  • Hip and elbow dysplasia is occasionally apparent in some Finnish Lapphunds, though this tendency can be avoided through selected breeding. It is worth asking your breeder about if you have any concerns.

Can it travel by car?

All dogs can travel by car to some extent or the other, but it doesn’t always mean they want to.

The size of the Finnish Lapphund makes it comparatively easy for them to enter and exit a car, but there are lots of reasons why the dog might or might not enjoy it.

Much of this has to do with getting the pet used to the car and its role in the family early on in life.

This can help to prevent fear or apprehension about the car coming forward and disrupting your travel plans.

Laying the favourite blanket of your Finnish Lapphund on the back seat of the car is a good way of getting a familiar scent into your vehicle, and also assuring your dog that this is a safe place to be.

Keep in mind that – as you’re no doubt aware – this breed is a somewhat vocal one.

As such, particularly in the early days of your Finnish Lapphund safely travelling by car, he or she might bark at passing vehicles, people outside the car who are walking other dogs, and anything else they find interesting.

This can be trained out over time but should be kept in mind because too much barking can naturally prove pretty disruptive for the driver.

Some dog owners like to keep their Finnish Lapphund busy with a chew toy or other trinket in the back so they’re left to their own quiet devices.

My Final Thoughts on the Finnish LapphundThe face of a Finnish Lapphund

The Finnish Lapphund is a remarkable dog with a long, storied history.

It is striking in appearance, faces few major health issues, is a loving and loyal companion and is capable of performing many working roles with great success.

The Finnish Lapphund would make a fine addition to any family and household.


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