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Home > Dogs > Dog Breeds > Finnish Lapphund Dog Breed Guide: Info, Pictures, Care & More!

Finnish Lapphund Dog Breed Guide: Info, Pictures, Care & More!

finnish lapphund_cynoclub_Shutterstock

You’ve probably already guessed it by their thick, fluffy coats, but the Finnish Lapphund is a breed that fairs well in colder climates and has a family to show their affection to. These are a tough and playful breed, and they require someone who is going to spend time outside with them to get out all their energy.

Breed Overview


16-20 inches


33-53 pounds


12-14 years


White, black, sable, wolf-sable, brown, red

Suitable for:

Active families with yard space to run and play


Friendly, courageous, faithful, energetic

As a former reindeer herder from the Arctic circle, giving the Finnish Lapphund a job with a purpose is the best way to keep them entertained. These dogs may be soft on the outside, but they have courageous personalities and would do anything they can to make you happy. If you are considering welcoming home a brand-new Finnish Lapphund puppy, then try to guarantee that you are going to fit nicely into each other’s lives.

Finnish Lapphund Characteristics

High-energy dogs will need a lot of mental and physical stimulation to stay happy and healthy, while low-energy dogs require minimal physical activity. It’s important when choosing a dog to make sure their energy levels match your lifestyle or vice versa.
Easy-to-train dogs are more skilled at learning prompts and actions quickly with minimal training. Dogs that are harder to train will require a bit more patience and practice.
Some dog breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, and some more than others. This doesn’t mean that every dog will have these issues, but they have an increased risk, so it’s important to understand and prepare for any additional needs they may require.
Some breeds, due to their size or their breeds potential genetic health issues, have shorter lifespans than others. Proper exercise, nutrition, and hygiene also play an important role in the lifespan of your pet.
Some dog breeds are more social than others, both towards humans and other dogs. More social dogs have a tendency to run up to strangers for pets and scratches, while less social dogs shy away and are more cautious, even potentially aggressive. No matter the breed, it’s important to socialize your dog and expose them to lots of different situations.

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Finnish Lapphund Puppies

The Finnish Lapphund has a fairly high ranking across the board. The biggest category you’ll want to be concerned with is the amount of energy they have. These dogs were born to run, and if you can’t handle their constant, playful nature, then you’ll want to go for a breed that is a little more relaxed. Despite their high energy level, they are very intelligent, and training them is possible for almost anyone who is willing to have the patience to do so.

Finnish Lapphunds have an average health rating. Like all animals, they are prone to a few health issues, but most have a good lifespan that will keep them around for over a decade. Another characteristic that might attract you to this breed is its friendly personality. They are welcoming to almost all pets, but they are a little wary of strangers since they feel it is their personal duty to protect you.


Temperament & Intelligence of the Finnish Lapphund

Because of their history with herding and hunting large animals, the Finnish Lapphund is a quick, crafty, and brave animal. Despite this, they are calm and friendly towards their family. They aren’t the biggest fans of strangers, but they won’t become aggressive or shy. Instead, they just keep a very watchful eye and make sure everyone is safe.

These dogs have a long history of training and their bright minds help them catch on to commands quickly. Lapphunds respond best to positive reinforcement like praise, food, and playing. Keep all of your training sessions short so that they don’t get bored and start to act out.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 👪

Finnish Lapphunds are excellent family dogs. They are friendly towards most people and do well with kids. They aren’t the best choice if you’re looking for a guard dog. Even though they want to protect you, they aren’t aggressive because it isn’t in their DNA. Take comfort knowing that they will alert you if something is wrong but won’t ever attack another person unless threatened.

Finnish Lapphund
Image By: Hannu Makela, Shutterstock

Does This Dog Breed Get Along with Other Pets?

This breed is excellent around other dogs and cats. They are very gentle animals and don’t usually show signs of aggression towards other animals or people. They would love to have another playful dog in the home to get some extra exercise in during the day. There isn’t a lot of in-depth information on how these dogs respond to more unique pets, like rodents or reptiles. We recommend keeping them separate more for the safety and sanity of the other pet.


Things to Know When Owning the Finnish Lapphund:

Dogs have to have a few basics in order to live life to the fullest. Your goal should be to keep them happy and healthy in any way possible. If you can’t supply them with food, exercise, training, and proper grooming, then you might consider a dog breed that is more suitable to your preferences.

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

Two cups of food per day are usually more than enough for the Finnish Lapphund. This breed moves a lot, but too many treats or table scrabs could make them obese. Ask your vet which high-quality dog food they recommend to guarantee that they are getting all the nutrition they need.

Finnish Lapphund sitting on the grass
Image By: Scandphoto, Shutterstock

Exercise 🐕

The minimum amount of regular exercise you should give the Finnish Lapphund is 30 minutes per day, but they benefit when they have more. These dogs are not suitable for small apartments. These dogs need a yard where they can run, chase, and play to keep their bodies and minds occupied. Try taking this breed for a long walk or run every day. If you can’t do that, go outside and play fetch or tug-of-war with them to burn off some energy.

Training 🎾

Training this dog breed is easy to achieve, especially when you have a few treats in your hand to show them that you approve of their behavior. Keep all of your training sessions short and start them young so they have plenty of time to learn your expectations. Most dogs do not respond well to yelling or aggression. Do not plan to train a dog yourself if you are unable to go about it in a calm and understanding way.

Grooming ✂️

The Finnish Lapphund has a thick coat that sheds seasonally. You have to brush these dogs regularly, or your home will be covered in hair in no time. Try to brush them a couple of times a week to keep the fur clean and remove loose hair. Brushing sessions have to increase when the shedding season happens in the spring and fall.

Basic care is required for everything else on this breed. Keep their nails trimmed and ears clean and dry. Check them over weekly to ensure there are no infections and brush their teeth regularly.

Finnish-Lapphund_Scandphoto, Shutterstock
Image By: Scandphoto, Shutterstock

Health and Conditions 🏥

It’s common knowledge that purebred dogs have to potential to develop particular health problems. Any breeder who tells you your dog is perfectly healthy with no predispositions isn’t being honest. All good breeders are aware of their dog’s potential health issues and should be upfront about them.

Minor Conditions
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Elbow dysplasia
Serious Conditions
  • Cataracts
  • Progressive retinal atrophy


3 Little-Known Facts About the Finnish Lapphund

1. Finnish Lapphund come from north of the Arctic Circle.

This dog breed has a coat that was built to withstand cold temperatures and wick away water. This breed comes from the Lapland region of the Arctic Circle. These Lapp, or Sami, people have lived in this area for several thousand years.

2. They used to hunt and herd reindeer.

The Finnish Lapphund was historically used for hunting reindeer over the vast barren tundra of the region. Over the past few centuries, they have shifted their focus to herding. These dogs tend to migrate with their owners as the herds roam the land.

3. They are incredibly courageous.

A reindeer from Santa’s sleigh doesn’t seem like an aggressive creature, but these are dangerous animals in the wild. Reindeer are known for being stubborn and cranky animals, and their huge antlers can cause severe damage to other animals. The Finnish Lapphund has to be brave, intelligent, and quick to herd these large beasts.


Final Thoughts

The Finnish Lapphund is an active dog who fits well with a family willing to take them on adventures. Don’t expect that they will do well living in the city. These dogs were born to roam their land and they benefit from having a job to do. Although they are a little pricey, we know that they will fit right into your family after your first day of bringing them home. The Finnish Lapphund makes their owners feel safe and loved while bringing a playful mood to every situation that they’re in.

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Featured Image Credit: cynoclub, Shutterstock

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