The Finnish Lapphund: Lapland’s Trusty Companion

Finnish Lapphund

The Finnish Lapphund, often referred to as the “Lapinkoira” in its native land, is a versatile and affectionate breed known for its adaptability, gentle nature, and strong herding instincts. Originating from the northern regions of Finland, particularly Lapland, this breed has a rich history deeply intertwined with the local Sami people and their reindeer herding traditions. In this article, we will explore the world of the Finnish Lapphund, delving into its history, distinctive characteristics, herding abilities, care requirements, and much more. Whether you’re a herder seeking a loyal partner or a dog enthusiast fascinated by this charming breed, this comprehensive guide will provide valuable insights.

Historical Heritage

The Finnish Lapphund’s history is deeply rooted in Lapland’s herding traditions.

Sami Connection

  • Sami Herding Dogs: Lapphunds were originally bred by the Sami people for herding reindeer.
  • Lapland’s Heritage: They played a crucial role in Lapland’s cultural heritage.


  • Versatile Helpers: Lapphunds adapted to various tasks, from herding to guarding.
  • Lapland’s Climate: Their dense double coat provided insulation in the harsh Arctic climate.

Distinctive Physical Traits

The Finnish Lapphund is known for its charming appearance.

Plush Coat

  • Double Coat: They have a plush double coat that comes in various colors, including black, brown, and tan.
  • Fluffy Tail: Lapphunds have a distinctive plume-like tail that curls over their back.

Friendly Expression

  • Warm Eyes: Their eyes have a friendly and expressive quality, conveying their gentle nature.
  • Alert Ears: Lapphunds have erect, alert ears that capture sounds in their herding environment.

Temperament and Behavior

Understanding the Finnish Lapphund’s temperament is key to building a strong bond.

Gentle and Friendly

  • Gentle Disposition: Lapphunds are known for their gentle and kind nature.
  • Affectionate Companions: They form strong bonds with their families and are loyal.

Herding Instincts

  • Natural Herders: Lapphunds retain their herding instincts, making them excellent working dogs.
  • Protective Nature: They are protective of their herd and family.

Herding Prowess

Finnish Lapphunds are skilled herding dogs.

Reindeer Herders

  • Reindeer Management: They excel in herding and assisting in the management of reindeer.
  • Sami Partnership: Lapphunds have a long history of cooperation with the Sami herders.


  • Versatile Working Dogs: They adapt to various herding tasks, from large reindeer to smaller livestock.
  • Intelligence: Lapphunds use their intelligence to anticipate and respond to herding needs.

Care and Health

Providing proper care ensures the well-being of your Finnish Lapphund.

Diet and Nutrition

  • Balanced Diet: Feed them a high-quality diet suitable for their age and activity level.
  • Weight Management: Monitor their weight to prevent obesity.

Exercise and Activity

  • Regular Exercise: Lapphunds require daily exercise and mental stimulation to stay happy.
  • Herding Simulations: Engage them in activities that mimic herding tasks.

Common Health Issues

  • Hip Dysplasia: Regular vet check-ups are essential to monitor and manage this condition.
  • Eye Health: Monitor their eyes, as they can be prone to certain eye conditions.

Training and Socialization

Effective training and socialization are key to a well-behaved Finnish Lapphund.

Obedience Training

  • Positive Reinforcement: Use positive methods for training, as they respond well to praise.
  • Consistency: Be consistent with commands and expectations.

Early Socialization

  • Positive Experiences: Introduce them to various people, animals, and environments from a young age.
  • Reducing Anxiety: Early socialization helps reduce fearfulness and anxiety.


In conclusion, the Finnish Lapphund is a charming and versatile breed that played a vital role in Lapland’s herding traditions. Whether they’re herding reindeer through the snow-covered landscapes of Lapland or providing affectionate companionship to their families, their gentle and adaptable nature shines through. With proper care, training, and an appreciation for their herding instincts, Finnish Lapphunds make exceptional companions for herders and dog enthusiasts alike.



1. Are Finnish Lapphunds good with children?

Yes, with proper socialization, they are known to be good with children and make excellent family dogs.

2. Do Finnish Lapphunds require a lot of exercise?

Yes, they have high energy levels and require regular exercise and mental stimulation to stay happy and healthy.

3. Can Finnish Lapphunds adapt to apartment living?

They are adaptable and can live in apartments if their exercise needs are met, but they thrive in homes with access to a yard.

4. Are Finnish Lapphunds prone to health issues?

Like all breeds, they can be prone to certain health issues, but responsible breeding and regular vet check-ups can help manage these concerns.

5. Do Finnish Lapphunds shed a lot?

Yes, they do shed, especially during seasonal changes, and regular grooming is necessary to manage their coat.

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