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Lapponian Herder – Dog Breed Guide

Breed summary

Size: Medium
Weight: approximately 70 pounds
Height: 16 to 20 inches
Longevity: 14
Bark Tendency: High
Aggression: Low
Compatibility to other pets: High

Adopt a Lapponian Herder, Dog Breed Guide


Lapponian Herder dogs, also called Lapinporokoira in Finnish as well as Lapland Reindeer dog or simply Reindeer Herders, is one of three Spitz-type dog breeds used by the indigenous Sami people for hunting and herding their reindeer livestock. Among the three, they are the heaviest, weighing up to 70 pounds.

Official Name

Lapponian Herder
Other Name: Lapinkoira, Suomenlapinkoira


Date – 20th Century / Country – Finland
Family / Group: Northern, Spitz


Among the three Lapphunds used by the Sami people, the Lapponian Herders are not considered as ancient. They are relatively young for a breed; with origins going back just by a couple of decades from our present times. They were developed to have thicker and heavier coats as well as have more body mass but still retain their original height. The reason for this is to produce a Nordic dog that remains agile but stronger than its predecessors.


Calm, friendly, and docile, but also energetic are some of the admirable traits of the Lapponian Herder. Like their Finnish and Swedish counterpart, these Reindeer herding dogs are also excellent athletes, showing impressive skills in agility trials, carting, mushing, obedience, rally obedience, showmanship, flyball, tracking and of course, on herding trials.

Bred For

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


These are not city dwellers or suburban types of home pets. They were bred to withstand the freezing temperatures of the Arctic region and are natural Spitz built for a hunt and always eager to herd and guard.


Their profuse, thicker and heavier double coat requires only a modest amount of maintenance.


Lapponian Herder takes well to training due to their intelligence.


Lapponian Herder is a dog breed 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.



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