Lapponian Shepherd: Dog Breed Profile

lapponian herder

Courageous and unfailingly loyal, the Lapponian Shepherd dog combines the beauty of the Nordic dog with the character of the sheepdog.

History of the breed

The Finnish Lapland Shepherd was traditionally employed by Lapp shepherds for the care of their reindeer herds, a job of which it quickly showed excellent skills. To achieve the breed as we know it today, contributions from German Shepherds and Collies have been added.

Registered in the studbook in the 1950s, the Finnish Lapland Shepherd was nevertheless only one and the same breed with the Finnish Lapland Dog. The separate recognition of the 2 breeds was not formalized until December 1992. The Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) recognized it definitively on November 13, 1970.

Physical features

  • The Finnish Lapland Shepherd is a medium-sized, spitz-type shepherd dog with well-developed bones and musculature, but without the impression of heaviness. Its silhouette is writable in a rectangle, its length being 10% greater than its height at the withers.


  • Its hair: straight, stiff, erect, of medium to long length. More abundant and longer on the neck, on the chest and on the back of the thighs. Lined with a fine and dense undercoat.
  • Its color: all shades of black, even grayish or dark brown. Presence of clearer marks on the head, lower body and limbs.
  • Its head: rather long. The muzzle is a bit shorter than the skull, which is only slightly convex.
  • Its ears: of medium length, broad at their base, set apart, erect and with the inside well covered with hair.
  • Its eyes: wide apart, oval in shape, dark in color (in accordance with that of the dress), displaying an expression that is at once lively, alert and humble, especially in females.
  • Its body: much longer than high. The withers are well extended, the back strong and muscular, the kidney short, the croup long and slightly oblique and the chest well let down without being broad.
  • Its tail: moderately long, generously furnished with hair, set low, hanging down at rest, curved when the dog is active.

Behavior With Others

The Finnish Lapland Shepherd is an energetic and lively dog, especially at work where It’s a natural barker. At the same time, It’s calm, friendly and docile towards its masters. Its specialty is to keep herds of reindeer.
Within the family, It gets along rather well with the children and acts as an excellent guard dog.

The education of the Finnish Lapland Shepherd is not particularly complicated. It’s an obedient dog who is eager to please Its master, which makes It willing to learn. A small dose of firmness combined with gentleness and patience therefore makes it possible to make a balanced and happy companion.

Living Conditions.

The Finnish Lapland Shepherd is a dog made for activity and large expanses. It cannot be confined to a small space in an apartment, for example. If It has to live in the city, Its owner must be able to offer It long daily walks. A house with a large fenced garden would suit It perfectly.

Health & Maintenance

The Finnish Lapland Shepherd is a robust dog, enjoying an iron health. Its double and dense coat gives it good resistance to cold and bad weather. As long as Its dress is well taken care of, there is nothing to worry about when it comes to health. The breed does not exhibit any predisposition to any disease either.

The Finnish Lapland Shepherd is subject to 2 moults per year . In males, it occurs during the changing seasons, while in females, it occurs systematically one month before the heat. The maintenance of the dog remains simple, but it must be regular to ensure the cleanliness of the coat, its appearance (to avoid knots), and the protection of the skin.

The Finnish Lapland Shepherd needs a lot of exercise and activity to get energized. Used to moving freely on large plots of land, it must be able to benefit from long daily outings .

It is recommended to brush the dog once a week, starting with disentangling in the direction of the hair, then working against the hair with a wire brush. The ears, the fringes of the front members, and the panties are to be combed through the metal. We will eventually have to cut the hairs growing between the pads. The Finnish Lapland Shepherd can be washed once or twice a year with a suitable shampoo.

nier coat.

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About Amanda

Passionate about animals, Amanda draws her expertise from her training as an educator, pet behaviorist as well as her extensive experience with animal owners. A specialist in dog and cat behavior, Amanda continues to learn about our four-legged companions by studying veterinary reference books but also university research sites (UCD, Utrecht, Cambridge, Cornell, etc..)

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