Dog Breeds 101: Finnish Lapphund

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Dog Breeds 101 - Finnish Lapphund
Photo – Wikipedia – lic. under CC 2.5

The Finnish Lapphund is a powerfully built, medium-sized dog that has the temperament of a typical herder. These dogs have very thick, water-proof coats which insulates them from the cold, in fact, the Finnish Lapphund is one of the two breeds allowed to be kept outside during winter in Finland, the breed’s country of origin. This breed can be found in a wide array of colors and many Finnish Lapphunds have distinct facial markings. One of the unusual markings is called “spectacles” where a ring of lighter colored fur can be found around the eyes making the dog appear as if it is wearing glasses. The breed’s average life span is 12 to 14 years and can be prone to eye problems especially cataracts which can even lead to blindness but despite that, their loving and faithful nature makes them excellent pets for every household. [1] [2]

Dogs that became the Finnish Lapphund were kept by the Sami, a tribe that inhabited the Arctic north called Lapland, hence the breed’s name. It was the dogs’ task to herd reindeer but when snowmobiles were invented, they were soon out of a job. But there were still people aiming to preserve the breed which led to the writing of a breed standard during the 1940s. The breed used to be known as the Lapponian Shepherd which has a long-haired and a short-haired variety. The two types were declared as separate breeds in 1967 and the long-haired variety was named the Finnish Lapphund. [3]

Their alert nature makes them excellent watchdogs. Finnish Lapphunds are extremely active thus they need to be given plenty of opportunities for exercise to keep them physically and mentally healthy. They need to live inside the house because they thrive on the presence of their humans. A Lapphund who is made to spend too much time alone in the backyard would be an unhappy and an unsatisfied pet. [2]

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