The Finnish Lapphund


Finnish Lapphunds originated in Finland as reindeer herders for the Sami: natives spread throughout Finland, Sweden, Norway, and Russia. Reindeer herding is a tradition to the Sami people who are still involved with it today.

The breed started to gain popularity in the 1940s. They were first known as the “Lapponian Shepherd Dog” and included a shorthaired and a longhaired version. Then in 1967 the two types were declared as separate breeds. The longhaired version is now the Finnish Lapphund.

The Finnish Lapphund was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 2011.

Sizing up

  • Weight: 30 to 50 lbs.
  • Height: 16 to 21 inches
  • Coat: Double coat with a short, fluffy undercoat and a longer, coarse topcoat
  • Color: Wide variety of colors including cream, black, red, brown, sable and wolf-sable. The most common is black and tan.
  • Life expectancy: Twelve to fifteen years

What’s the Finnish Lapphund like?

The Finnish Lapphund is a very intelligent breed and due to his intelligence it’s usually a breeze to train him. On some occasions he may even be smarter than humans because he always thinks through his actions before proceeding. 

The Lappie is very friendly and gets along with small children. He’s also extremely alert which makes him an excellent watch dog; although, curiosity can get the best of him sometimes so you should stay alert as well.

The Lapphund has a thick coat that sheds and requires regular brushing. Brush the double coat weekly to remove dead hair.


The Finnish Lapphund is a naturally healthy breed but you should be on the lookout for any of the following:

  • Progressive retinal atrophy
  • Cataracts (hereditary)
  • Hip dysplasia (very rare)

Takeaway Points

  • The Finnish Lapphund is easy to train because of his intelligence as long as you start early.
  • The Finnish Lapphund is a wonderful family dog and great with small children.
  • The Finnish Lapphund loves to explore so keep a watchful eye on him.

If you have any questions or concerns, you should always visit or call your veterinarian -- they are your best resource to ensure the health and well-being of your pets.