Finnish Lapphund
UKC Ch Sugarok Amazing Grace
Photo courtesy of Finnish Lapphund Club of Canada

Breed Registries:

Note: The breed registries indicated above are the most recognized all-breed registries. The breed may also be recognized by other registries not indicated here. For further details about dog registries, please see the document: Dog Breed Registries in North America.

Note 1: — The Finnish Lapphund is currently eligible to participate in the Miscellaneous Class and still enrolled in the AKC Foundation Stock ServiceĀ®. FSSĀ® enrollment is maintained until the AKC Board of Directors accepts the breed for regular status.

Note 2: — The FCI is the World Canine Organization, which includes 84 members and contract partners (one member per country) that each issue their own pedigrees and train their own judges. The FCI recognizes 339 breeds, with each being the "property" of a specific country. The "owner" countries of the breeds write the standards of these breeds in co-operation with the Standards and Scientific Commissions of the FCI, and the translation and updating are carried out by the FCI. The FCI is not a breed registry nor does it issue pedigrees.




Males: 18 to 20½ inches at the withers - Females: 16 to 18½ inches at the withers

Breed Profile:

The Finnish Lapphund (Suomenlapinkoira) is believed to be the original native breed used by the Sami people to hunt reindeer in the region known as Lapland. Over time, the breed gradually changed from a guarding and hunting dog to a reindeer herder. For centuries, the Sami people depended on the help of the Spitz dogs and, eventually, these herding dogs developed into three breeds: the Swedish Lapphund, the Lapponian Herder (Lapinporokoira), and the Finnish Lapphund. The first breed standard was accepted by the Finnish Kennel Club in 1945 with the breed known as the Lapponian Shepherd Dog. At this time, there were two coat types — a short and long coated dog. By 1967, the long coated dog was given a separate standard and officially named the Finnish Lapphund or Suomenlapinkoira and the short-haired breed was named the Lapponian Herder or Lapinporokoira. The breed was first introduced into the United States in 1987 and was recognized by the United Kennel Club in 1994. Today, in Finland, the breed is among the 15 most popular breeds with a steady increase in popularity throughout the 1990s.

The Finnish Lapphund is intelligent, independent, affectionate, adaptable and always willing to work. He has natural herding instincts and makes an excellent watchdog. A fast learner and easily trained, the Lapphund enjoys having a job to do and does very well in many dog sports.

In appearance, the Finnish Lapphund resembles many of the Spitz-type dogs with a profuse double coat, a tail that is set high and curls over the back when the dog is moving. His outer-coat is long, straight and coarse and the undercoat is very thick. His ears are either prick or may have folded tips.

Finnish Lapphund

Sugarok Buster Brown, Sugarok Northern Sky and UKC Ch. Sugarok Amazing Grace
Photo courtesy of Finnish Lapphund Club of Canada

Health Issues

The Finnish Lapphund is long lived with an average life expectancy of 13 to 15 years and is known as one of the healthiest breeds in Finland.

If you are considering the adoption of a Finnish Lapphund puppy, or any breed, it is very important to be selective in choosing a responsible and reputable breeder. Ensure that the prospective puppy's parents have all health clearances. Breeding of any dog should not be done until after they have been proven to be free of evidence of significant hereditary diseases. (For more information on selecting a breeder, see the articles on the main Breed Listing and Breeders page.)

Recommended Health Screening:

For the Finnish Lapphund, the CHIC* database includes health screenings for:

  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) DNA Test
  • Eye Examination by a board Ophthalmologist
  • Also listed as Optional: Elbow Dysplasia; Patellar Luxation
* CHIC - The Canine Health Information Center - "is a database of consolidated health screening results from multiple sources. Co-sponsored by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) and the American Kennel Club (AKC) Canine Health Foundation, CHIC works with parent clubs to identify health screening protocols appropriate for individual breeds. Dogs tested in accordance with the parent club established requirements, that have their results registered and made available in the public domain are issued CHIC numbers." To learn more, visit:

Additional Health Resources:

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Breed Standards

Grooming Information

The Finnish Lapphund's thick coat requires regular brushing and the occasional bath.

  • Grooming — This section of the Canada's Guide to Dogs website includes tips, articles and information covering all aspects of dog grooming along with a listing of Groomers from across Canada.

Training Resources

  • Training — For training information, see this growing section of the Canada's Guide to Dogs website for tips, articles, as well as listings of training centres across Canada.

Training Tools & Equipment
Choose from a wide variety of items from

Additional Information

  • Lapphunds by Linda Rorem
  • Herding Dogs — A new section of the Canada's Guide to Dogs website which includes training and general information about Herding/Stock Dogs; listing of Stock Dog Clubs and Associations; listing of upcoming shows and events; and more.
  • Clubs, Sports & Activities — For information on the many sports and activities you can get involved in with your dog.
  • Working Dogs — The Working Dogs section of the Canada's Guide to Dogs website provides information and listings of organizations that are involved in various dog jobs, such as Guide Dogs, Therapy Dogs, Police Dogs, Protection Dogs, and much more.

Select from the following links to view Breeder listings; Breed Clubs; Rescue Organizations; as well as Books and other Merchandise specific to the breed:

Breeders  /  Breed Clubs  /  Rescues  /  Books & More