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Lapponian Herder


Scandinavian Sami people used working dogs (spitz type) to protect them from predators and flock their reindeers. Lapponian Herder were primarily the Lapponians which differed in various aspects from today’s breeds. With growing demands, many herders and the Swedish and Finnish dog enthusiasts started to collect various information about this breed in the 1930s. However, there was a sharp decline in their population after the Second World War. Later, Finland breeders crossed this dog with other dogs to produce different varieties and produced Lapponian with a heavy coat and Kukonharjulainen with a short coat. With time other dogs were also developed and in 1966 the type was separated based on their furs, one was named as Lapphund and other as Lapinporokoira.

Facts About Lapponian Herder

Breed Group Watchdog, Spitz, Herding,
Breed Type Purebred
Country of Origin Finland
Other Names Lapland Reindeer dog, Lapsk Vallhund (Swedish), Lapinporokoira (Finnish)
Size & Height Medium
18-20 inches
Weight 55-65 lbs
Competitive Registration / Qualification Information FCI, UKC, AKC (FSS)
Shedding Moderate
Hypoallergenic No
Litter Size 5-8 puppies
Color Lower areas of the body are light; white markings may occur, dark gray, brown, black, head
Life Expectancy 12-14 years
Coat harsh outer coat, fine and dense undercoat, Medium-length/long, straight,
Price $600-$800


  • Lapphund
  • Lapinporokoira

Temperament & Personality

Lapponian Herder puppies are perfect family companion dogs that always try to serve and please its family members. Being a lively creature, it likes to be involved in something or the other throughout the day. They are well behaved with other pets and children with whom they are raised. But their interactions require a check. Their herding tendency can instigate them to act superior over other small creatures. Even puppies of this breed are alert and inform its owners if they see any suspicious activity making them a good watchdog.



Being energetic, they require a heavy exercising schedule; otherwise, they might become destructive and develop odd behaviors. Apart from taking them for long walks and jogs, one can leave them free in a yard where they can run and play to release their excess energy. Owners can also prepare them to take part in mushing, obedience, agility, carting, herding events, etc. To keep them mentally active, owners can offer them puzzle toys and different training methods.


Their double coat makes grooming tough, and the owner should brush them frequently to keep their coat clean and healthy. To prevent mats, brush, and comb around their hind legs, behind their ears, on their thighs ‘culottes’, etc. Bath them occasionally with a vet prescribed shampoo to keep their coat smooth and soft. Also, they are moderate shedders and shed when season changes, during this time, owners should brush their coat regularly to remove the loose hairs.

Additionally, unlike other dogs, Lapponian Herder tend to grow nails faster which can crack if not appropriately trimmed and hinder regular activities like walking, run, etc. Cutting them twice a month will serve the purpose. Their ears can catch infections due to water, dirt buildup and hence needs regular checking to prevent infections and pain. Clean their ears with Vet prescribed ear solution. Also, brush their teeth twice a week to avoid development of tartar and oral problems. Owners should wipe their eyes with a warm washcloth.

Health Problems

These dogs do not suffer from life-threatening diseases, but with age, they tend to develop some issues with ears, eyes, joints, hips, bones, etc. But some random tests like X-ray, blood test, Eye tests, and regular vet visits can keep the pet healthy.


Lapponian Herder respond ideally to consistent and firm training. Their eager to impress quality makes them easy to train. Socialization up to 16 weeks of age in different environments like puppy obedience classes, outings with its family members to different busy places like a supermarket, bus stops busy roads and Dogs Park, where it can meet unknown faces, and unfamiliar sounds will give them a positive view.

Command training is essential to polish their skills, and minimize their herding behavior. ‘No,’ ‘yes,’ ’stop,’ ‘come’ are some simple commands which are essential. Leash training is crucial for this breed as they have a hunting habit and if kept unleashed, they are generally seen running after small insects, lizards, squirrels, and other pets.


Quality food, specially manufactured for medium breeds or homemade food that is rich in vitamins, minerals, eggs, carbs, chicken breasts, lamb, veggies, cooked grains, etc. are perfect for this breed. If they gain weight, reduce table scraps and treats. It is also essential to visit a dietician or a vet before choosing food. Moreover, it is advisable to plan a diet depending on the dog’s size, age, activity level, and metabolism. It is advisable to offer them small meals multiple times a day and prevent heavy exercises to minimize the risk.

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