Finnish Lapphund, a Spitz breed with a medium-sized stature, originating in Finland, was traditionally employed to hunt reindeers. Besides a well built, rectangular body, other prominent features of this breed include a wedge shaped head, prick ears and a wavy tail that gradually curls to its back when it moves. Because of its affectionate and alert nature, the Lappie, as it is fondly called, makes for a wonderful companion as well as a great watch dog.
|Other names||Finnish Lapponian Dog, Suomenlapinkoira, Lapinkoira|
|Coat||Waterproof double coat ( Under coat: short and fluffy; topcoat: long)|
|Color||Black, sable, brown, red|
|Group||Spitz, Rare, Herding|
|Lifespan/ Life Expectancy||12 to 15 years|
|Height||Male: 18 to 21 inches; Female: 16 to 19 inches|
|Weight||33 to 53 pounds|
|Litter size||3 to 7 puppies|
|Behavioral Characteristics||Alert, intelligent, curious, friendly, affectionate|
|Good with children||Yes|
|Climate compatibility||Can withstand cold climate|
|Shedding (Does it shed)||Moderate to Heavy (shedding season)|
|Competitive Registration Qualification/Information||FCI, ANKC, CKC, NZKC, KC (UK), UKC, AKC|
The Sami or Lapp tribe who inhabited the Lapland region situated in the northern part of the Arctic Circle, encompassing Finland, Sweden and northwestern parts of Russia are credited to have been the first owners of the Finnish Lapphund, with the Lapponian Herder, Swedish Lapphund Norwegian Elkhound, and Jamthund being the other related breeds. In fact, this breed bears similarity to the long-haired that assisted the Sami people in herding, being highly favorable in winters to herd the reindeer in particular. Post the Second World War, they were at stake because of the distemper outbreak. Moreover, with the introduction of snow mobiles, their roles as reindeer herders became non-existent.
During the 1940s, after the war, dog fanciers took the initiative of preserving these dogs, which led to the development of a written breeding standard that was accepted in 1945 by the Finnish Kennel Club. Initially they were known as Lapponian Shepherds that included the long and short haired variety. However, in 1967, they were distinguished, with the long-haired ones being known as the Finnish Lapphund. The short-haired varieties were however more popular in reindeer herding after the snowmobile came into existence. They were perhaps introduced to the United States by the Finnish immigrants, and finally attained AKC’s recognition in 2011. It was even introduced in the United Kingdom (1989), and even acknowledged by the Canadian and Newzealand Kennel Club.
Intelligent and active, some owners have even spoken about their ability of reasoning while performing a certain action. Their alert nature and tendency of barking whenever they spot something unusual make them a great watch dog. However, they can get extremely noisy at times because of their tendency to bark excessively, which might pose a problem for your neighbors. They are wary of strangers but not shy and aggressive, mingling with them the moment the guests are accepted in their family. They are a good house pet and also fine with children, though parental supervision is needed especially when your Lappie is interacting with little ones owing to the curious nature of these dogs. They would even share a comfortable rapport with other dogs and cats if brought up with them.
Though intelligent and calm, it is known to have an ancestry of its own which could make training a little challenging if it is not handled with a firm hand.
High quality dry dog food would be essential to provide it proper nutrition and keep it fit. Homemade diet could be introduced alongside its regular kibble, though in measured amounts as overfeeding may result in obesity, triggering health problems.
Difference and Similarity between Swedish Vallhund vs Finnish Lapphund
|Swedish Vallhund||Finnish Lapphund|
|Good with children||Good with children|
|Easy-to-groom||Comparatively higher grooming needs|
|Frequent barker though a little less||Excessive barking|
|Good for new owners||Good for new owners|