Pet Advisor Blog

Finnish Lapphund – Dog Breed Guide

Breed summary

Size: Small to Medium
Weight: 33 to 53 pounds
Height: 16 to 20 inches
Longevity: 16
Bark Tendency: High
Aggression: Low
Compatibility to other pets: High

Adopt a Finnish Lapphund, Dog Breed Guide


Finnish Lapphund or locally called in Finland as Lapinkoira or Suomenlapinkoira is one of three Spitz-type dog breeds used by the indigenous Sami people for hunting and herding their reindeer livestock. In Finland, these dogs rule when it comes to popularity as they have served countless generations of Scandinavians, servicing the ancient Sami people by hunting, herding and guarding their livestock, properties and families, up to the modern times where it is still being used by Nordic people for various purposes such as hunting, herding, guarding, companion, working dogs, obedience and agility trials and more.

Among the three varieties of the Scandinavian reindeer herders, the Finnish Lapphund has the longest lifespan, averaging 14 years with most reaching a full 16 year before expiring.

Official Name

Finnish Lapphund
Other Name – Lapinkoira, Suomenlapinkoira


Date – Ancient Times / Country – Finland
Family / Group – Northern, Spitz

Recognized By

Australian National Kennel Club
Dog Registry of America, Inc.
North American Purebred Registry, Inc.
American Kennel Club


Sami people have been using the Finnish Lapphund as well as the other two varieties of this Scandinavian spitz breed for centuries, using them for hunting and herding reindeers across the unforgiving terrain and climate of the Arctic which covers modern day Norway, Sweden, Finland and the Kola Peninsula in The Russian Federation. In Finland, the first breed standards were set in 1945 by the Finnish Kennel Club.


The Finnish Lapphund is a very intelligent and active breed. Locals allege that these Nordic dogs even have the capability to think through actions first. They also show great traits as competitors, excelling in activities such as obedience trials, agility, herding trials, and pet therapy.

Bred For

Hunting and herding reindeer in the rugged climate conditions of the Arctic regions.


These are neither city dwellers nor suburban types of home pets. They were bred to withstand the freezing temperatures of the Arctic region and are natural Spitz eager to hunt, herd and guard.


Their profuse double coat requires only a modest amount of maintenance.


Finnish Lapphunds take well to training due to their intelligence.


Finnish Lapphunds are considered to be generally healthy, but some do suffer from diabetes mellitus and progressive retinal atrophy.


They are true Northern dogs who are active and intelligent. These Nordic dogs require daily exercise is highly recommended.