As the name implies, the Finnish Lapphund is one of the breeds of dogs native to Finland. They are hardy, medium-sized spitz-type dog with a friendly and happy disposition. The breed is one of the dogs the nomadic people of Northern Scandinavia and Northern Russia employed to hunt or herd reindeer. In Finland, the Finnish Lapphund is the sixth most popular dog breed just behind the Labrador Retriever, Finnish Hound and Swedish Elkhound. Being a working breed, his trainability and ability to learn is quite apparent, qualities that makes him suitable to excel in dogs sports.
Character and General Appearance
The male ranges from 46 to 52 centimetres (18 to 20 in) in height at the withers for a male, while the female are slightly smaller ranging 41 to 47 centimetres (16 to 19 in) for a female. Weight ranges from 15 to 24 kilograms (33 to 53 lb), depending on size of the dog. They are double coated with long coarse topcoat with a shorter soft undercoat. The coat tends to make the lapphund waterproof and resistant to cold harsh temperatures.
Another fun thing with the finnish lapphund are the variety of colours and markings that can be found. The breed standard allows any colour however one colour should predominate, with colours other than the main colour occuring in the head, neck, chest or the underside of the body. Lappies can either be black, brown, red, cream/blonde, wolfsable, fawn-sable or domino. For markings, you can see a variety either with a black mask, tanpoints or white markings. Another interesting feature of the lapphund is the presence of spectacles, the light hair colouring around the eyes that gives an impression of the dog wearing"eyeglasses".
Health and Care
The Finnish Lapphund in general is a healthy breed, but like most purebreds, some lines do carry genetic diseases. A small percentage could be carriers of Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) or suffer from varying degree of Canine Hip Dysplasia (CHD). It is the mandate of the Club and its members to be responsible with their breeding practices to reduce and minimize the incidence of hereditary diseases with the breed. Hip and eye testings should be routine practice for dogs being planned for breeding to ensure good quality offsprings.
It is widely acknowledged that the average lifespan is between 12-15, however based on experience a better estimate is 15-17 years.
The double coated dog do shed at least once a year (twice or more for females). Maintenance of the coat is not labor and time intensive, regular brushing and occassional baths are fairly sufficient. Care should still be observed when combing out dead hair to avoid skin diseases.