Finnish Lapphund

History and Purpose

Native to the arctic regions of Western Europe, this breed is descended from the dogs that followed the Saame (also spelled Sami) people of ancient Lapland. They have no known dog breeds as predecessors, or which were mixed with the native dogs. The dogs were primarily camp followers, who have changed their purpose as the lifestyle of the Saame people evolved. In the earliest of time, the dogs helped their masters hunt and guarded the nomadic tents. As time progressed, the Saame began to keep reindeer herds as their primary food source, settled into a less nomadic existence and their dogs became reindeer herders. It is important in understanding the breed, to also understand this primitive lifestyle. To survive, the dogs had to be very hearty and able to withstand extremely cold temperatures. In general, reindeer herds are not driven in the same sense as sheep or cattle, so the herding abilities of the dogs are somewhat different from most modern herding breeds. The dogs were used to keep the herd together, not direct it, so they have a strong instinct to "gather" but not to move the livestock.

Lapphunds, as a breed, were recognized in Finland in the early 1920s, and efforts began to register and preserve breeding stock. The Lappish dogs actually evolved into three distinct breeds, still considered cousins in their native lands. These are the Finnish Lapphund, the Swedish Lapphund, and the Laponian Herder.

The Finnish Lapphund is not a true spitz. It is a herding dog which has descended primarily from spitz-like, wolf-like ancestors. The result is a dog which has some spitz-like characteristics, and some herding dog characteristics. The overall picture of the ideal Finnish Lapphund should be a dog that is quite strongly built, and that strength of body is accentuated by a long, thick coat. Despite this strength of body, there should be an expression of softness. The gentle temperament of the breed should shine through. The genders should be easily distinguishable, with males masculine but still retaining a "teddy bear" look. Bitches should look feminine, without sacrificing the strength of bone and body.

Although a Finnish Lapphund should be easily recognizable as a member of its breed, this is not a cookie-cutter breed. Each dog is unique in its own way. This is particularly emphasized by color, as the wide variety of colors available leaves few dogs that are identically marked.


The most essential characteristic of the Finnish Lapphund is patience. This breed was used at a time when reindeer herds grazed great ranges and were continuously followed and watched by their herdsmen. The dogs were used to watch the herd and keep it together. This type of work requires long periods of waiting, interspersed with short burst of intense activity. In addition, winters sometimes meant long periods of no activity at all. The dogs had to become accustomed to easily changing from a very low activity level to a very high one, often with little warning.

Like any breed which lived closely with humans in the harsh arctic environment, Lapphunds share a strong natural bond with people. Unlike the sled dog breeds, however, this bond more clearly places the human in a superior position. Lapphunds love people and are eager to be with them, but they always expect the human to be in charge.

Temperament can hardly be evaluated in the show ring. However, it is important to remember that Lapphunds are never harsh. They are not snappy or sharp, and they are not fighters. Although males may occasionally grumble at each other, particularly around a bitch, they should still tolerate each other. A mature Lapphund interacting with a human stranger should be open, friendly, but not overly so, and clearly acknowledge the human as superior. Inexperienced dogs and particularly puppies, may roll over, belly up. A Lapphund, particularly a bitch, which lowers its head, body, and/or tail, should never be faulted for shyness, as this is typical of the normal temperament of the breed.


Lapinlumon Riina

Sire: SUCH Girongardens Tjuorri  X  Dam: Lapinlumon Jultlandia

Prcd B

Sugarok Kalbarri Windsong

Sire UKC Ch Sugarok Buster Brown X Dam UKC Grand Ch Viksalan Noaidi

Prcd Obligate A, OFA Hips Fair, Elbows Good, Patella's Normal, Cerf clear 11/11


Fidelis Verissimus

Sire: Turnukan Resu-Pekka X Dam: Tiilitehataan Fidelis

Prcd A, Hips Good, Elbows Normal, Patella's Normal, Cerf Clear 11/11


Yutori Kalbarri Suomiborealis

Sire: UKC Gr. Ch. Orso Farm Naappero, HIC, CGC X Dam: UKC Ch. Peikkovuoren Niiskuneiti, HIC

Prcd B, OFA TBD, Cerf Clear 11/11


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