Looking for an easy-going playmate who’s anything but a lapdog? Take a look at the Finnish Lapphund. This breed is a medium-sized dog with an active past and an array of colourings. This Lappish Herder or “Lappie” as it’s also known, is not for the allergic. A long coat requires daily brushing but they’re not too precious about it – they love getting involved in doggy activities of every kind. Extremely active and alert, they’ll want to know exactly what’s going on and help out in anyway they can. The Lapphund has a natural instinct for herding and can be a noisy companion, a trait once used while herding reindeer. Despite its size and energy, the Finnish Lapphund is notably gentle and patient with children.
Breed Group: Pastoral
Coat length: Long
Exercise: An hour per day
Grooming required?: Every day
The Finnish Lapphund, related to their cousin the Spitz, was bred hundreds of years ago by the Sami people of Lapland in northern Scandinavia. The dog’s role was to herd reindeers and later, to help with modern farming methods. Their coat remained reasonably short in the 1960s which helped them to be more agile during farming, but as they became coveted as pets, the longer coat we see today rose in popularity.
The Finnish Lapphund is a naturally healthy breed, and typically lives 12–14 years, although dogs of 16–17 years have been seen in Finland. Lapphunds can be prone to Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) as well as other hereditary eye conditions, although most breeders will check for these conditions prior to breeding.
Finnish Lapphunds gain admirers wherever they go with their gentle, yet fun-loving temperament. If that doesn’t win you over then their doggy manners will. Not only do they love playing with other dogs but they have an innately gentle nature when it comes to children, the elderly and those with a disability.
The Finnish Lapphund isn’t for those looking for a quiet life. Barking is their thing and was once a powerful method of herding and driving reindeer. If they want attention, they’ve cbe known to use their voice to get it, especially when they believe they’re working with you. With consistent training, this is a behaviour that can be reduced but if you live in an area where barking is frowned upon, you may want to consider a quieter breed.
Lappies are born to hunt so when given the chance, they’ll always be ready to seek out new experiences. This makes them an excellent companion for walking, climbing and camping, or practically any outdoor sport. Although this may mean you need to watch them while off lead, they’re prone to follow their nose on a new adventures.
Finnish Lapphunds take well to training due to their intelligence and are even said to have the ability to think through their actions first. Positive reinforcement will help them to learn quickly, as their sensitive soul can tune out if treated too harshly. Lappies excel at doggy sports such as agility, herding, flyball, tracking – in fact, any type of activity you can think of. They can have a slightly stubborn streak, so socialisation and obedience from a young age is highly recommended.
Finnish Lapphunds are easy to housetrain, when taught from a young age.
Where to find the Finnish Lapphund
This breed has become so popular you’ll be spoilt for choice on where to pick a puppy from. Here are some breed groups to look at:
Elbereth Finnish Lapphunds https://www.finnishlapphund.uk
TabanyaRuu Finnish Lapphunds http://www.tabanyaruu.co.uk
Infindigo Finnish Lapphunds http://www.infindigo.com
Finnish Lapphund Club of Great Britain http://www.finnishlapphund-club.co.uk
This list of Kennel Club assured breeders (KCAB) is a great place to start to track down your Finnish Lapphund companion.
Adopt a Finnish Lapphund
Make a Finnish Lapphund part of the family by adopting one from one of the rescue centres below:
FLCGB Rehoming – The Finnish Lapphund Club of Great Britain http://www.finnishlapphund-club.co.uk/rehoming.htm
Finnish Lapphund Rescue Facebook Group https://www.facebook.com/LappyRescue/