The Finnish Lapphund was trained by the Sami group, an indigenous people who resided now along with countries of Sweden, Norway, Finland and Russia, as winter herders of reindeers. Long before, the Lapphunds were a part of the Spitz family bearing massive hair and strongly built, capable as a working dog, especially in cold climate regions.

Finnish Lapphund close up

Originally, their body is rectangular, longer than taller and is equipped with long hair with a straight tail curling up over their back.

When interbreeding was introduced, the appearance of the Lapphunds became shorter with double coat features and shorter coat hair.

The Norwegians and Swedes were the first to have levelled up the breed of the Lapphunds during World War I but later failed due to reported cases of massive canine distemper.

Because of this outcome, the population of the Lapphunds decreased eventually.

It was then that in Finland in 1945 that a search and rehabilitation program was initiated for this breed to revive their kind and gain recognition in the international kennel club as a standard breed with unique abilities and skills.

Traits and Behavior

The Finnish Lapphunds are active, playful dogs and are suitable in outdoor environments. They are resistant to cold temperature and can withstand wet conditions and will gladly accompany the owner/trainer or members of the family in activities that can make these dogs excellent companions.

Finnish Lapphund in snow

They are highly intelligent and obedient and, therefore, are easily trainable. Since they are naturally working dogs, they love to do much work as dog companions or herding dogs.

They can easily get bored if training and work tend to be repetitive exercise.

These dogs have a fondness for children, elderly ones, and even the handicapped. If trained well and know how to socialize in their early stage, they can serve as aid dogs for the handicapped or elderly people.

Relatively, they are barkers who tend to bark whatever or whenever they feel something strange is present within their parameters. Even in normal situations, Lapphunds like to bark because they are curious animals in nature.

Pet Care and Diseases

Due to their heavy double coat hairs, they need regular combing and brushing at least twice a week or daily when shedding starts. Bathing or dry shampooing is recommended only when needed as their coat already serves as protection from water or climate conditions. They usually produce natural oils to prevent skin diseases.

Finnish Lapphund lying on grass

They need regular exercises like long walks, running or other dog activities like fetching or Frisbee to help in their mental stimulation and, likewise, maintain a healthy body.

They are observed to be healthy dogs. However, due to other circumstances, they can be susceptible to other health issues like retinal atrophy, cataracts, and incidences of hip dysplasia.


This is a medium-sized type of dog with similar features to a Spitz dog featuring heavy, thick double coat hairs all over its body. Double coats are coarse and short, with a long topcoat, and short undercoats. Its thick coat serves as a protection for cold conditions and also as a waterproof covering.

The heaviest coat hairs are found in areas of the head and neck which gives an impression of a mane.

Finnish Lapphund side view

A Lapphund stands about 46-52 cm height in withers and weighs about 17-19 kg. Its color varies such as white, red, black, sable, wolf-grey, and brown though, in standard breeding, only one color should dominate. They have pointed pricked ears and a long muzzle that is proportional to their head size.

General Information

These dogs have a typical life expectancy of 12-14 years. The average litter size is 5. Other names include Suomenlapinkoira, Lapinkoira and LaplandDog.

Breed Club

Visit these dog club websites dedicated to Finnish Lapphunds. Click this link:



Featured Video

Watch this video: “Louhi, Finnish Lapphund…”