Are you considering getting a Lapponian Herder breed dog as your next pet? If so, you’re in for a loyal and intelligent companion. Lapponian Herders, also known as Lapphunds, are a medium-sized breed originally from Finland. They are known for their thick, fluffy coats, which make them well-suited for colder climates. These dogs are highly adaptable and can thrive in various living situations, from apartments to large homes with yards. They are also excellent family dogs, as they are gentle with children and other pets. However, before bringing a Lapponian Herder into your home, it’s important to understand their needs and temperament to ensure they are a good fit for your lifestyle.

Breed Category: Herding
Country of Origin: Finland
Average Size:51-57 cm (male), 46-52 cm (female)
Average Weight:25-30 kg (male), 20-25 kg (female)
Average Life Span: 12-14 years
Grooming Requirements: Moderate
Exercise Requirements:High

History and Origin

The Lapponian Herder, also known as the Lapphund, is a breed of dog that originated in Lapland, a region that spans across Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Russia. These dogs were primarily used by the Sami people, who are indigenous to the region, for herding reindeer and as a general-purpose working dog. The breed is known for its intelligence, loyalty, and adaptability, making it a popular choice for families and working professionals alike.

The history of the Lapponian Herder can be traced back to the 16th century, when the Sami people first began using dogs for herding and transportation. These early dogs were likely a mix of local breeds and imported dogs, such as the Karelian Bear Dog and the Siberian Husky. Over time, the Sami people began to selectively breed their dogs for specific traits, such as endurance, intelligence, and a strong work ethic. This led to the development of the Lapponian Herder as we know it today.

In the early 20th century, the Lapponian Herder was recognized as a distinct breed by the Finnish Kennel Club. However, the breed remained relatively unknown outside of Lapland until the 1970s, when it began to gain popularity as a family pet and working dog. Today, the Lapponian Herder is recognized by several international kennel clubs, including the American Kennel Club and the United Kennel Club.

Despite its growing popularity, the Lapponian Herder remains a relatively rare breed, with only a few thousand dogs registered worldwide. This is partly due to the breed’s limited geographic range and the fact that it is primarily used as a working dog rather than a show dog. However, the breed’s loyal and affectionate nature has made it a beloved companion for many families and individuals.

In terms of appearance, the Lapponian Herder is a medium-sized dog with a thick, double coat that comes in a variety of colors, including black, brown, and gray. The breed is known for its distinctive curled tail and upright ears, which give it a regal and alert appearance. Despite its thick coat, the Lapponian Herder is a relatively low-maintenance breed, requiring only occasional grooming to keep its coat in good condition.

In conclusion, the Lapponian Herder

Lapponian Herder Dog

Size and Breed Category

The Lapponian Herder is a medium-sized dog breed that originated in Lapland, a region in northern Finland. They are classified as a working breed and are known for their exceptional herding abilities. These dogs have a sturdy and muscular build, with a broad chest and a thick, dense coat that provides insulation in cold weather. Their coat can be black, brown, or gray, and they have a distinctive white blaze on their chest. The Lapponian Herder has a wedge-shaped head with a broad skull and a strong jaw. Their ears are erect and pointed, and their eyes are almond-shaped and dark.

The Lapponian Herder is a highly intelligent and energetic breed that requires plenty of exercise and mental stimulation. They are loyal and affectionate towards their owners but can be reserved with strangers. These dogs are natural herders and excel at working with livestock, particularly reindeer. They are also used for hunting and sled pulling. The Lapponian Herder is a hardworking and versatile breed that thrives in an active and outdoor lifestyle. They are a rare breed outside of their native Finland but are gaining popularity in other parts of the world.

Fur Length and Colour

The fur of the Lapponian Herder is typically long and dense, providing excellent insulation against the harsh Arctic climate. The fur is made up of two layers, with a soft undercoat and a longer, coarser outer coat. The undercoat is thick and woolly, while the outer coat is straight and slightly wavy. The fur is usually longer around the neck, chest, and tail, giving the dog a distinctive mane-like appearance. The fur can come in a range of colours, including black, grey, brown, and tan. Some dogs may have white markings on their chest, feet, or face. The fur is easy to maintain with regular brushing and occasional bathing.

The colour of the Lapponian Herder’s fur can vary depending on the individual dog. Some dogs may have a solid colour, while others may have a mix of colours or markings. Black is a common colour, with some dogs having a shiny, jet-black coat. Grey and brown are also common colours, with some dogs having a lighter or darker shade of these colours. Tan is less common but can be seen in some dogs. The fur may also have a slight sheen or gloss to it, giving it a healthy and vibrant appearance. Overall, the fur of the Lapponian Herder is an important feature that helps the dog thrive in its native Arctic environment.

Termperament and Trainability

Lapponian Herders are known for their high energy and active temperament. They are a breed that thrives on physical activity and mental stimulation, making them an excellent choice for owners who enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking, running, and biking. They are also highly intelligent and require regular training and socialization to prevent boredom and destructive behavior. Lapponian Herders are known to be vocal and may bark excessively if not properly trained. However, with consistent training and positive reinforcement, they can become well-behaved and obedient companions.

The Lapponian Herder is a highly trainable breed that excels in obedience and agility competitions. They are quick learners and respond well to positive reinforcement training methods. However, they can be stubborn at times and may require a firm and consistent approach to training. Lapponian Herders are also known for their strong herding instincts and may try to herd other animals or even people. Early socialization and training can help to curb this behavior and ensure that they are well-behaved around other animals and people. Overall, the Lapponian Herder is a highly trainable breed that requires regular mental and physical stimulation to thrive.

Lapponian Herder Dog training on mountain

Known Health Conditions

Lapponian Herders are prone to certain health conditions that are common among many dog breeds. One of the most common health issues that affect Lapponian Herders is hip dysplasia. This condition occurs when the hip joint does not develop properly, leading to arthritis and pain. Lapponian Herders are also prone to eye problems such as cataracts and progressive retinal atrophy, which can lead to blindness. Additionally, they may develop skin allergies and ear infections, which can be caused by environmental factors or food allergies. It is important for owners to monitor their Lapponian Herders for any signs of these health conditions and seek veterinary care if necessary.

Another health condition that Lapponian Herders may experience is epilepsy. This neurological disorder can cause seizures and can be genetic or caused by other factors such as head trauma or infections. Lapponian Herders may also be prone to digestive issues such as bloating and gastrointestinal problems, which can be caused by overeating or consuming foods that are difficult to digest. Additionally, they may develop heart conditions such as dilated cardiomyopathy, which can lead to heart failure. Owners should be aware of these potential health issues and work with their veterinarian to develop a plan for preventing and managing them.

Lapponian Herder Dog fresh air good for health

Openness to Strangers

Lapponian Herders are known for their friendly and welcoming nature towards strangers. They are a breed that is naturally curious and sociable, making them great companions for those who enjoy meeting new people. Their open and approachable demeanor makes them a popular choice for families with children, as they are patient and gentle with little ones. Additionally, their eagerness to please and learn new things makes them easy to train and adaptable to different environments. Overall, the Lapponian Herder’s friendly disposition towards strangers makes them a beloved breed among dog owners.

In addition to their friendly nature, Lapponian Herders are also known for their loyalty and protective instincts towards their owners. They are a breed that is deeply devoted to their family and will go to great lengths to protect them from harm. This makes them an excellent choice for those who are looking for a dog that can provide both companionship and security. Despite their protective instincts, Lapponian Herders are not aggressive and are generally well-behaved around other dogs and animals. Their calm and gentle nature makes them a great addition to any household, whether you live in a busy city or a quiet rural area.

Playfulness Level

The Lapponian Herder is a highly energetic and playful breed of dog. They are known for their love of play and their ability to keep their owners entertained for hours on end. Whether it’s playing fetch, chasing after a ball, or simply running around in circles, these dogs are always up for a good time. They are also very social animals and enjoy spending time with their owners and other dogs. This makes them an excellent choice for families with children or other pets. Overall, the Lapponian Herder is a fun-loving and playful breed that is sure to bring joy and laughter to any household.

Despite their playful nature, the Lapponian Herder is also a very intelligent breed of dog. They are quick learners and enjoy being challenged with new tasks and activities. This makes them an excellent choice for owners who are looking for a dog that can be trained to perform a variety of different tasks. Whether it’s obedience training, agility training, or even search and rescue work, these dogs are up for the challenge. They are also very loyal and protective of their owners, making them an excellent choice for those who are looking for a dog that can provide both companionship and security. Overall, the Lapponian Herder is a highly intelligent and playful breed that is sure to bring joy and excitement to any household.

Suitability as a Pet for Children

Lapponian Herders are known for their friendly and loyal nature, making them a great choice as a pet for children. They are highly intelligent and easy to train, which means they can be taught to behave well around kids. Additionally, they are energetic and love to play, which makes them great companions for active children who enjoy spending time outdoors. Their thick coat also means they can withstand colder temperatures, making them a great pet for families living in colder climates.

Lapponian Herder Dog comfortable with kids

Exercise Needs

Lapponian Herders require a significant amount of exercise to maintain their physical and mental health. As a working breed, they have a high energy level and need plenty of opportunities to run, play, and explore. A daily walk of at least an hour is essential, but they will benefit from additional exercise such as hiking, running, or playing fetch. It is important to note that Lapponian Herders have a strong herding instinct and may try to herd other animals or people during exercise. Therefore, it is crucial to provide them with a safe and secure environment to prevent any accidents or injuries.

In addition to physical exercise, Lapponian Herders also require mental stimulation to prevent boredom and destructive behavior. They are intelligent dogs that thrive on learning new skills and tasks. Activities such as obedience training, agility, and scent work can provide mental stimulation and help strengthen the bond between the dog and owner. Lapponian Herders also enjoy interactive toys and games that challenge their problem-solving skills. It is important to provide a variety of activities to prevent boredom and keep the dog engaged and happy.

Lapponian Herder Dog morning exercise

Suitability for a Multi-Pet Family

Lapponian Herders have a reputation for being friendly towards other pets. They are known to be sociable and enjoy the company of other animals. However, as with any breed, individual temperament can vary and it is important to introduce them to other pets slowly and carefully. It is also important to supervise interactions between pets to ensure that they get along well. Overall, Lapponian Herders can make good companions for other pets if introduced properly.

Housing Requirements

Lapponian Herders require a spacious and comfortable living environment that can accommodate their active lifestyle. They need a shelter that is well-insulated and can protect them from harsh weather conditions. The ideal housing for Lapponian Herders should have a minimum floor area of 10 square meters and a height of at least 1.5 meters. The kennel should be made of durable materials that can withstand the dog’s strong and energetic nature. It should also have a secure door and windows that can be opened for ventilation. The kennel should be cleaned regularly to maintain a hygienic environment for the dog.

In addition to a suitable kennel, Lapponian Herders require a large outdoor space where they can exercise and play. The outdoor area should be securely fenced to prevent the dog from escaping. The minimum size of the outdoor space should be 100 square meters, but larger areas are preferable. The outdoor space should have a shaded area where the dog can rest during hot weather. It should also have a water source to keep the dog hydrated. Owners should provide toys and other forms of entertainment to keep the dog mentally stimulated while outdoors.


Lapponian Herders have a strong work ethic and are highly intelligent, making them a great choice for active families who are willing to provide plenty of exercise and mental stimulation. They are known for their loyalty and affection towards their owners, but may be reserved around strangers. As with any pet, proper training and socialization is key to ensuring a happy and well-behaved companion.


Lapponian Herder Dog FAQS

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Lapponian Herders are intelligent and eager to please, making them relatively easy to train.

Yes, Lapponian Herders are known to be good with children.

Lapponian Herders are generally healthy, but they may be prone to hip dysplasia and eye problems.

Yes, Lapponian Herders are known to be vocal and may bark frequently.

Yes, Lapponian Herders shed moderately throughout the year and heavily during shedding season.

A Lapponian Herder needs at least 2 hours of exercise per day.

The amount of food your Lapponian Herder needs depends on their age, weight, and activity level. Generally, they need 2-3 cups of high-quality dog food per day.

You should groom your Lapponian Herder at least once a week.

The average lifespan of a Lapponian Herder is between 12-14 years.

The average weight of a Lapponian Herder is between 25-30 kg.