Dog Breeds

6 Interesting Facts About The Finnish Lapphund Dog Breed

The Finnish Lapphund is an round friendly, intelligent and easy to groom dog breed! Their distinctive look thanks to the typical spits traits of small, pointed ears, thick fur and a curled tail, and red-coated dogs of the breed look a lot like well-fed foxes!

If you are considering buying or adopting a dog of the breed, finding out a little bit about their background and core traits is of course very important.

Unique genetics of a wolf & domesticated dog

DNA testing of the Finnish Lapphund and back-tracing of their lineage has revealed a lot about the breed as a whole and its role in the modern world today, and this is really interesting in and of itself.

Mitochondrial DNA testing of the breed places them in a subclade known as d1, and this only occurs within dog breeds that originate from Northern Scandinavia. The d1 subclade can be traced back for over 3,000 years, and is shared by other breeds from the region, including the Swedish Lapphund and the Norwegian Elkhound. The d1 subclade itself has been pinpointed to have occurred as the result of a female wolf mating with a domesticated male dog, and this exact match has not been found anywhere else in Eurasia.

A herding breed for reindeers

When you learn that a dog belongs to a herding breed or type, the image of a flock of sheep or possibly cows is usually what comes to mind immediately-but the Lapphund’s working history actually involves herding reindeer, which comes with challenges of its own! Reindeer are of course large and rather flighty, which comes with its own challenges; the Lapphund is agile, adaptive and very fast on their feet, as well as having fast reflexes that are essential to avoid being trampled or kicked when herding.

They can be very vocal

The Finnish Lapphund is definitely one of the more barky dogs that you will encounter, which can potentially be problematic if they are continually making a noise! Finnish Lapphund needs to be fairly vocal in order to keen their herd moving and communicate back and forth with their handler and with other working dogs.

In a more domestic environment, this trait makes them very good watchdogs, as they will alert you quickly to the presence of someone approaching. Although, this does not translate into the breed making for good guard dogs, as they are simply too personable and friendly and would be very welcoming to strangers!

They are super friendly

The Lapphund breed as a whole tends to be easy to get on with and understand, as they are very friendly, personable and keen to please. This makes them one of the easiest breeds to train, and they are widely considered as a good pick for the first time dog owner who is not that experienced with dogs.

They get on well with children and are open and easy to read, as well as being playful, loving and entertaining.

They are really smart

The Finnish Lapphund is one of the brightest breeds around, which makes them ideal for working roles and canine sport alike, and also makes them a pleasure to train. The Lapphund really loves to learn, follow commands and work.

They have a double coat

Like all spitz breeds, the Lapphund has a thick, profuse coat that sheds seasonally and requires regular brushing to keep flying fur under control. Brush his double coat weekly with a Leave On Conditioner to keep it clean and remove dead hair. During spring and fall shedding seasons, daily brushing will help to keep excess hair under control. It is important to begin grooming the Finnish Lapphund when he is very young. An early introduction teaches him that grooming is a normal part of his life and to patiently accept the handling and fuss of the grooming process.


Dog Breed Group:       Herding Dogs
Height:                        1 foot, 5 inches – 1 foot, 8 inches at the shoulder
Weight:                        33 – 53 pounds
Life Span:                     12 – 15 years



With all the above said, the Finnish Lapphund does need to have lots of mental stimulation as well as physical exercise, and games that require them to think and adapt to new situations are a great pick. Agility is notably a sport that dogs of the breed tend to excel at, so if you are looking for a medium sized breed to get started with in canine sports, the Finnish Lapphund may well be the perfect pick!


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