Finnish Lapphund

Finnish Lapphund is a friendly and gentle spitz-type dog breed used for reindeer herding. In their homeland Findland, they are very popular but it is not very common to see these dogs outside of the Nordic countries. These dogs enjoy the cold climate and they developed profuse coats. They thrive on human attention, and although they are great family dogs they still have strong instincts for herding as they are great working dogs. These dogs also go by the names Lapinkoira and Suomenlapinkoira.

FUN FACT: These dogs origin from the Lapland, a place in Finland north.

Finnish Lapphund


16-21 in (40-53 cm)

Finnish Lapphund


33-53 lb (15-24 kg)

Finnish Lapphund



Finnish Lapphund

Life Expectancy:

12-15 years

Breed History

Finnish Lapphunds were kept by the Sami people who have lived in the Lapland region. Lapland region consists of parts of Norway, Sweeden, Finland, and Russia. The job of these dogs was to herd reindeers and in 1940 standard for these dogs was written and it was accepted by the Finnish Kennel Club in 1945. At that time these dogs were called Lapponian Shepherd Dogs but in 1967 these dogs got its name as we know it today - Finnish Lapphund.

These dogs came to the US by Finnish immigrants that bought their dogs with them. American Kennel Club first showed interest in these dogs around 1987 and in 2011 they became members of the Herding group.

Dog Breed Characteristics

Energy Level
Grooming Needs
Exercise Needs
Kid Friendly
Dog Friendly
General Health

Finnish Lapphund is accepted by the majority of kennel associations across the world. Finnish Lapphund standard describes these dogs as strongly build for their size and slightly loner than their height at the withers. They are intelligent, calm, and docile.


  • Group 5 Spitz and Primitive types. Section 3.4 Nordic Watchdogs and Herders. Without working trial.
  • Height at the withers: males 19 in (49 cm) and females 17 in (44 cm)

black finnish lapphund

Finnish Lapphund Grooming

Since these dogs have a double coat, weekly brushing is advised. Finnish Lapphund can come in many different colors including black, red, white and brown, and also in combination of colors. Their coat consists of a smoother outer layer and a soft and dense undercoat. Regular brushing will keep his coat healthy and clean. During shedding season (twice a year) daily brushing is a must if you want to keep hair under control. Many people think that these dogs need to be shaved in order to help them with the hot summer days, but the truth is that their coat is protecting them from both hot weather during summer and cold days during winter. The rest is a basic car: if you hear their nails clicking on the floor is time to trim them, regularly brush their teeth and check their ears for any signs of irritation or infection (bad odor, redness).

FUN FACT: Because these dogs come from cold climates, they are intolerant to heat, so be sure you take good care of your dog during hot summer days.

Finnish Lapphund Exercise

Finnish Lapphund is a moderately active dog breed that doesn’t require much exercise. Daily walks should be enough to secure that your dog is happy and healthy. They will also enjoy playtime with his owner or another canine friend. Since this is a herding dog breed they love to participate in many heading competitions.

FUN FACT: Besides herding, these dogs enjoy participating in agility, rally, and tracking competitions.


As all herding dog breeds, this is also a very intelligent dog that learns quickly. Keep in mind that they can be independent and strong-willed. Proper training and socialization is an essential process if you want to secure that your dog grows into a well-rounded dog. From the puppy age expose your dog to many different sights, people, and other animals so he will learn how to behave in many different situations he may find himself into. Finnish Lapphunds are pack animals and they want to be with his family, and if you leave them alone for too long they can develop some undesirable behavior.

Finnish Lapphund and kids

These dogs are a great choice for families with children. They know how to communicate with kids, but no matter how good your dog is, you should always supervise playtime between dogs and kids so it won't happen any unwanted behavior.

Other animals

Finnish Lapphunds get along well with everybody. They can live with other dogs and cats in the same households. Take note that this is not an aggressive dog breed, but if the fight starts he won't back down from it.


Finnish Lapphunds are healthy dogs but like most of the dog breeds in the world, they are prone to some health problems that every (future) owner should be aware of. These problems include hip and elbow dysplasia, PRA- progressive retinal atrophy, cataracts.

There are also some recommended health tests that you can perform on your dog to be sure that your dog is healthy: hip and elbow evaluation, patella evaluation, PRA Optigen DNA test, and ophthalmologist evaluation.

Finnish Lapphund Breeders

This is an excellent dog for families and you can be sure that you will not make a mistake if you decide to buy one. Like we already mentioned Finnish Lapphunds are fairly rare outside the Scandinavian part so you must do a fair amount of research and you must be prepared to wait for your new puppy. We advise you to only buy a dog from a responsible and official dog breeder because if you do so you will end up with a dog with the best possible traits. Good breeders regularly test their breeding dogs and they take good care of their puppies so you can be sure you will get the best dog possible.


World Dog Finder team


Updated at15.05.2021.