Lapponian Herder

The Lapponian Herder is a Finnish dog breed and is one of the five native Finnish breeds. The other four breeds were bred for hunting, while the Lapponian Herder, as their name suggests, was bred for herding and shepherding purposes. This breed doesn’t have a curled tail like the rest of them and has a shorter coat.

This breed is generally rather mild and docile so it has a great pet potential. A great thing is that this breed is really tolerant of pulling and slightly rougher handling because that means it will be great with kids. If you have children at home and want to get a dog that will be a great family companion and a playmate for the kids, look no further than the Lapponian Herder.

Lapponian Herder


18-20 in (45-51 cm)

Lapponian Herder


55-70 lb (25-32 kg)

Lapponian Herder



Lapponian Herder

Life Expectancy:

10-14 years

Breed History

Lapponian Herder dogs were used from the beginning to herd reindeer. They earn the nickname “the reindeer herder”. This is still a fairly rare dog breed today.

Dog Breed Characteristics

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

The Lapponian Herder’s characteristics are somewhat different than what you might expect of a Nordic breed. It is still a Spitz-type dog breed so it has some of their typical characteristics like pricked ears completely covered with fur and they have a double coat that was developed as an insulator from the arctic weather conditions. They have a relatively short outer coat and a thick, wooly undercoat that keeps them well insulated.

The Lapponian Herder is longer than it is tall and has eyes that are oval-shaped and usually dark in color. Their ears are pricked and of medium-length. They have a medium-length tail and powerful, well-muscled limbs.

Lapponian Herder standards


  • Group 5 (Spitz and primitive types), Section 3 (Nordic Watchdogs and Herders)
  • height - males in 19-21 in (48-54 cm), females 17-19,2 in (43-49 cm)
  • date of acceptance - 11/13/1970

Coat & shedding

Lapponian Herder has a thick double coat that requires proper care to keep the dog looking good. These dogs shed during shedding season and at that period daily brushing is required to keep the amount of hair under control.

Lapponian Herder coat colors:

  • black in different shades

They will also need other basic care; brush their teeth at least three times a week. Check their ears for signs of infection and redness, bathe them regularly, and trim their nails if they don’t wear them down naturally.


Lapponian Herders are active and require a lot of daily activities to be happy and healthy. With these dogs you can take long walks, throw them a ball or simply play various games inside. If their physical needs are met you will have the most lovable and calm dog at home and you don’t have to worry that your dog will misbehave.

Lapponian Herder temperament

One of the best traits a Lapponian Herder has is its temperament. This is a working breed and thrives on having a job to do. They love being busy and do really well with different tasks. They have a natural herding instinct that can be polished through training. With proper training, these dogs can do well in herding trials and competition.

As a family pet, the Lapponian Herder is calm, affectionate and full of love. They get along great with their whole family but can be rather reserved towards strangers. They are an active breed and they need enough daily activities, both mental and physical, to remain healthy and happy. They do not like to be bored and not have their physical needs fulfilled and if that happens, they can become destructive and problematic.

Lapponian Herder training and socialization

The Lapponian Herder’s training sessions should be fun and engaging. They respond pretty well to positive training methods. They are rather intelligent and that means they are quick learners. Use food and treats as a training motivation and you will start noticing positive results in no time.

These dogs can be a bit dominant when it comes to being around other dogs and that is precisely why proper socialization is needed for Lapponian Herders. Start socializing your puppy as soon as it comes to your house and expose them to different situations and environments. Socialization will ensure that your Lapponian Herder puppy develops in a stable and well-behaved dog.


Lapponian Herders are excellent family dogs that will get along with every family member including children. Take note that kids need to be taught how to properly play and interact with a dog so Lapponian Herder can enjoy their company. If they are raised together from an early age they will be their playing parting and they will enjoy spending time together.

Other animals

Lapponian Herder gets along with other dogs and animals including cats and even smaller animals.

Health problems

Like any other dog breed, the Lapponian Herder can potentially develop health problems. If you are buying a dog, make sure the breeder can provide you with the necessary health tests and guarantees. Always ask to see the results of tests from the puppy’s parents. The health problems these dogs are associated with are: 

  • Hip dysplasia - Genetic problem affecting hips resulting from an improperly formed hip joint.
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy - Group of diseases that affect the retina and cause it to deteriorate over time.
  • Cataracts - Cloudy spots on the lens of the eye

The Lapponian Herder is generally considered a very healthy breed that can live 10-14 years.


If this breed is a good fit for you and/or your family, make sure that you find a registered and reputable Lapponian Herder breeder that can provide you with a great dog that will be physically and mentally healthy. Ask the breeder to show you the health certificates of his breeding dogs and if you can try and see what the puppy’s parents look like.

Lapponian Herder is still a rare dog breed and if you are interested in getting one of these dogs you must be prepared that you will be put on the waiting list.

World Dog Finder team


Updated at16.05.2021.