History of the Finnish Lapphund Breed
A rare breed outside of Finland, history suggests that the Finnish Lapphund originated from a dog used to herd reindeer by the indigenous people of the Nordic countries, the Sami people. It is said that the Sami used dogs for herding for many years, and those dogs are described as having long, rectangular bodies, long coats, and straight tails. The Finnish Kennel Club set the breed standard for this dog in 1945. At that time, it was called the Lappish Herder. Research suggests that the dogs were the result of crossing the Karelian Bear dog and the reindeer dog. It was the Finnish Kennel Association that set the standard for what they called the Lapponian herder. It was in 1960 that the two kennel associations merged, and the breeds were assessed once again. The Lapponian herder was defined as having the shorter coat, while the Finnish Lapphund had a longer coat.
Size and Appearance of the Finnish Lapphund Breed
A medium-sized dog of strong build, the Finnish Lapphund is slightly longer that it is tall. The ears of this dog are almost always pricked and alert. The profuse coat is the memorable feature of this breed. It consists of the short but fluffy under coat and a long, coarse top coat. This double coat is weather-resistant and practically waterproof. The coat comes in a variety of colors including black, brown, red, sable, and white. One color that is found most often is black with tan. This face of this breed is also often found with markings like "spectacles" around the eyes. The tail is long and carried over the back in a curve, and it is covered with long hair.
Finnish Lapphund Temperament
This breed is considered to be both active and intelligent. It is close to its family and can be an excellent watch dog because it is a very alert breed. It is generally easy to train. This breed is one of the ten most popular breeds in Finland because of its friendly disposition and its usefulness.
Finnish Lapphund Recommended Maintenance
The heavy coat of this breed doesn't tend to mat, so grooming is easier than one might think. Weekly brushing is really all that is needed to keep the coat looking nice, except during times of heavy shedding. Pay attention to the hair around the ears and on the tail. This breed is considered to be a heavy shedder about once a year, otherwise it is an average shedder. Daily exercise is important to the health and well-being of this breed. It will enjoy playing games and running free in safe areas. It makes a good jogging companion.
Finnish Lapphund Health
Life span: 12 - 14 years
Major concerns: progressive retinal atrophy
Minor concerns: cataracts
Occasionally seen: hip dysplasia
Suggested tests: eye