The Finnish Lapphund is a medium-sized Spitz type dog originally bred to herd reindeer. It is one of the most popular dogs in its country of origin, Finland, and has become a well-liked companion dog. The breed originally herded for the Sami, a group of people who once inhabited the areas between Russia, Norway, Sweden, and Finland. The breed was eventually standardized before World War II, and the original breed standard was set in 1945. The breed is currently recognized in Finland, Europe, Great Britain, Australia and the USA
The Finnish Lapphund stands 15 to 20 inches high and weighs 33 to 53 pounds. It has the pricked ears commonly seen in Spitz type dogs. It has a very thick double coat with a long, coarse, weather resistant topcoat. Its coat forms a mane-like ruff around its neck. It can come in many colors; black and tan is the most common, but white, black, red, brown, sable, and wolf-sable can also be seen. The dog often has “spectacles”, or rings of lighter color around its eyes. The tail of the Finnish Lapphund is full and curves over its back.
The Finnish Lapphund is hard working, intelligent, and easy to train. It can excel in obedience, agility, pet therapy, and herding trials. It makes an excellent herding dog, as well as a watch dog and a companion. It is very active and enjoys being outdoors.
The breed is generally healthy and typically lives for an average of 12 to 14 years. It does have a few known health issues such as generalized progressive retinal atrophy, cataracts, and hip dysplasia.