≡ Menu

Finnish Lapphund Dog Breed… Everything You Need to Know at a Glance!

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the Finnish Lapphund or “Lappie” as they’re often referred to, you’re in luck!  Because in this article we’re going to take a few moments and discuss what it might be like to own one of these little guys.

And the first thing we want to get out of the way is…

Just because these guys are often referred to as “Lappie” does not mean that they’re great “lap dogs”.  Now that’s not to say that they wouldn’t necessarily “mind” sitting in your lap because they are SUPER friendly and affectionate, it’s just that these little “balls of energy” like to run around a lot and can weigh up to 53 pounds.

And if you…

Ask us, this isn’t a good combination to have deciding to jump on you while your sitting on the couch!  That said however, just because these guys aren’t great lap dogs doesn’t mean that they don’t have a TON of other admirable qualities that will make them an ideal choice for many families, it just means that they may not be right for everyone!

This is why…

In this article, we want to focus on what some of the pros and cons of owning a Finnish Lapphund will be so that if you ever do get an opportunity to make one of these guys your own, you’ll know if it’s a good choice or not.

So, without further ado, let’s dive right in.

Finish Lapphund Dog Breed Fast Facts

Country of Origin:  Finland

Original Purpose:  Hunting reindeer, herding livestock

Height:  16 to 21 inches

Weight:  33 to 53 pounds

Dog Breed Classification:  Herding Group

Lifespan:  12 to 15 Years

Origin of the Finnish Lapphund

While nobody really knows when the Finnish Lapphund was originally “created” it is fair to say that this is a pretty old dog breed dating back at least several 1000 years ago.

It was during this time…

That the Finnish Lapphund traveled and lived with the Sami or Lapp people who occupied an area North of the Arctic Circle called Lapland.  Hence the reason why the Finnish Lapphund is not often referred to as a “Lappie”.


This area that was once referred to as Lapland makes up the majority of Norway Sweden, Finland and northwestern Russia, which is why we now refer to these guys as Finnish Lapphunds.

Which makes sense…

To us and give us an idea of what “kind” of dogs a Finnish Lapphund will be, because it’s pretty safe to assume that if you were originally a dog that was breed to travel around with nomadic people living near the Artic Circle, chances are you’re going to be pretty tough!

And guess what?

Finnish Lapphund dogs are just that!  Because, not only were these heavily-coated Spitz type dogs tough enough to survive the harsh artic climate, were also used to hunt reindeer over the hash weathers of the barren tundra.


Because the Sami people were a nomadic people, not much is known about how the transitioned from a hunting/gathering way of life to becoming full-scale nomadic people using reindeer as livestock rather than just hunting them, but what is known is that as the Sami people adapted, so too did the Finnish Lapphund because they too transitioned from being dogs used to hunt reindeer to dogs being used to herd them.

Which is no easy…

Task because reindeers are HARD to control and can cause a lot of damage. Herding and controlling them isn’t like herding and controlling sheep.  It requires a lot of quickness, courage, and intelligence, all of which the Finnish Lapphund has in abundance.

Then in 1940…

Folks began to take an interest in this breed and wanted to make sure that it was preserved and that a “breed standard” was created so that the breed could be “officially” recognized.  During this time, the two “versions” of the Finnish Lapphund were divided into “separate” breeds with the “long-haired” version becoming known as the Finnish Lapphund, and the “short-haired” version becoming known as the Finland.


As immigrants from Finland began coming to America, this breed slowly started to become more popular in the United States, however it wasn’t until the late 1980’s when the American Kennel Club even really started taking any notice in them and even then, they weren’t “officially” recognized as a breed until 2011.

Physical Characteristics of the Finnish Lapphund

The Finnish Lapphund is a medium-sized dog breed that has many of the physical characteristics of a Northern-type dog combined with the temperament of a herding dog.

Which means that…

This dog will be strongly built and have a profuse coat with pricked and highly mobile ears and distinctive markings on the nose.

Following are the breed standards:

  • A male Finnish Lapphund is between 18 to 21 inches in height and weighs between 33 to 53 pounds
  • A female Finnish Lapphund is between 16 to 19 inches in height and weighs between 33 to 53 pounds

It’s also safe to say…

That these dogs will have a profuse double coat with a short yet fluffy undercoat and a long topcoat making these dogs extremely resistance to the extreme cold and water.  Yet not so good at living in temperate climates like the California, Nevada, Arizona or Florida.

They can also…

Come in a wide variety of colors and many different markings on his coat. Common colors include:

  • Black and tan,
  • Cream,
  • Red,
  • Black,
  • Sable,
  • Brown,
  • And wolf sable.

All of which…

Will become a “matted mess” if not brushed frequently.  Which is why we generally recommend that any Finnish Lapphund owner brush his or her dog’s fur at least 3 times a week.

Personality and Temperament of a Finnish Lapphund.

The first thing that you’re going to want to know about the Finnish Lapphund dog breed is that they are an intelligent and active dog breed.  Some owners even claim that these dogs think through their actions!

The dogs will…

Excel in herding trials, agility, and obedience trials, and will be very eager to lean any new tricks you can throw at them.  In fact, as long as you keep these little guys active and provide them with plenty of activities to keep their body and minds busy, you really shouldn’t have any problems with them at all.

That said however…

If you’re looking for a dog that won’t mind spending all day in an apartment alone, then this is definitely not the “right” dog for you.  Now this isn’t because the Finnish Lapphund is a “bad” dog, it’s just when you take a highly intelligent dog, that requires a ton of exercise and lock him or her up in an apartment all day, that dog will find “things” to do.


That you’re not likely to approve of like, tearing apart a couch, eating all of your shoes, digging up carpet or your hardwood flooring, etc, etc…


We should mention that Finnish Lapphunds make good watchdogs as they are friendly and alert.  Which mean that they also have a “tendency” to bark at things that are unfamiliar with.


If you live in an apartment or have neighbors living very close to you, this may not be the best dog for you either because this could become a problem and isn’t always something you can train him or her to stop doing.

But if…

You’re looking for an outdoor companion animal that is great with kids and loves getting wet, you would have to look long and hard to find a better dog to adopt.  This is why, we here at IndulgeYourPet are quite fond of these little guys and think that anyone looking for a great family pet should definitely put these guys on their “short list” of dog breeds to consider.

Finnish Lapphund Health Concerns

As a whole, the Finnish Lapphund dog breed is a pretty health dog breed with really only three “known” hereditary conditions that affect the Finnish Lapphunds which are:

And while…

Neither of these diseases are life threatening, they can become quite expensive to treat particularly if they recurring.

This is why…

We here at IndulgeYourPet always advise any new pet owner to take a moment and see what it might cost to purchase a pet insurance policy on their new loved one.  This way if they ever do become sick or injured in the future, you won’t be on the “hook” for 100% of the cost of treatment.

For more information on who we “feel” currently offers some of the “best” pet insurance policies on the market right now, be sure to check out our Top 10 Best Pet Insurance Companies article.

{ 0 comments… add one }

Leave a Comment