Native to Finland, this lovely Nordic breed was originally bred to round up and herd reindeer. In their native land, they are still highly prized as family pets and are becoming very popular elsewhere too. They are lovely looking dogs with amazingly thick coats that offer them all the protection they need when the weather turns ultra cold. In fact, it’s because of this that the Finnish Lapphund does much better in colder climates than they do in warmer temperatures.
Finnish Lapphunds boast lovely personalities and are quite sensitive characters by nature, but having said this they are known to be very calm which is why they make such great family pets. They love lots of exercise and need to be kept busy both mentally and physically to be truly happy, well balanced dogs. Because they are so gentle and sensitive, they are not the best guard dogs on the planet, much preferring the quieter life the Finnish Lapphund likes to avoid any sort of conflict unless of course they are in working mode. This is when they are more alert and can be quite forceful which they had to be when dealing with a stubborn and rather large reindeer.
Loud noises tend to startle these lovely dogs, but once they know what's going on, their laid-back personalities soon see them calm down again. The one trait that really stands out in the Finnish Lapphund is their eagerness to please which as a result means they are highly trainable and actually enjoy learning new things. When they form a strong bond with anyone, they will follow them to the ends of the earth because they are so very loyal.
These lovely dogs boast a thick, plush coat very similar to a lot of other Northern Spitz breeds. It's around the face that the coat is so strikingly thick which is more mane-like that other breeds. Their coats are super well insulated against all weathers thanks to the extremely thick and dense undercoat which gives these lovely dogs such a fluffy look. Coat colour variations include brown, tan, black or blonde with one main colour being more evident all over their bodies.
Needless to say a gorgeously thick, plush coat means lots of brushing and grooming is necessary to keep it all looking good and tangle-free. Daily brushing not only helps keep their coat's in great condition, but it also helps stimulate all the oils in their skin, it gets rid of any dead hair and it helps promote blood flow too.
Like many other breeds, the Finnish Lapphund sheds more in the spring and then again in the autumn which is when they tend to drop more hair around the home. If you don't keep on top of things, it can quickly get out of control and their shedding becomes a real problem which is why daily brushing is so essential at these times of the year.
These lovely dogs were bred to be part of a “pack” and therefore they need to feel they are part of a family to be truly happy. They enjoy interacting with people and are lost when they find themselves spending too much time on their own which could result in them developing some unwanted behavioural issues like constant and annoying barking. They may even become a little destructive if they are left to their own devices for too long. They are definitely not the best choice for anyone living in an apartment much preferring to live where they can roam around in a garden as much as possible.
However, the fencing has to be such they cannot get out because the Finnish Lapphund has a very strong instinct to herd and chase just about anything they see which includes squirrels and other fast moving creatures commonly seen in gardens. They are also extremely good at digging their way out of gardens especially when they are puppies. The good news is most of these clever dogs grow out of the need to dig as they mature and as long as they are kept busy and have lots of human company, they will be kept busy enough not start in the first place.
These high energy dogs need to be given long walks that include lots of interactive games to keep them really happy. The old adage of a tired dog is a happy dog could never be truer than with the Finnish Lapphund because they really do benefit from lots of “outdoor” time.
They are known to be really good around children and form strong bonds with them which is hugely beneficial for both kids and their canine companion. When it comes to other pets and dogs, in general the Finnish Lapphund is not aggressive by nature, but they will not back down when confronted either. With this said, a well socialised puppy will grow up to be a well-balanced happy dog around other animals and pets.
The Finnish Lapphund is a gorgeous looking dog, they are high energy and pretty high maintenance in both the exercise and grooming department. However if you love spending time in the great outdoors and live in a rural setting, sharing your home with a Finnish Lapphund would be a real pleasure. When well cared for, these lovely dogs boast a long life span which could be anything from 12 to 15 years. In short, owning a Finnish Lapphund is a long-term commitment, but one that’s very worthwhile.