Lapponian Herder

55-65 lbs
17-19"
Finland
Lapland Reindeer Dog, Reindeer Herder, Lapinporokoira, Lapsk Vallhund

The Lapponian Herder is a typical spitz-type herding dog. He has an inquisitive expression, prick ears and the classic spitz tail that curls over his back. The Lapponian Herder is generally a docile and friendly companion but like all herding dogs, he can become energetic when he is working. It is relatively easy to housetrain him and to teach him basic manners. He does daily exercise to keep him healthy and happy. He also loves performing dog sports such as agility, herding trials, rally or dock diving. Not usually an overly barky dog, the Lapponian Herder can become a nuisance if left alone to keep himself entertained. 

Purpose
Herding
Date of Origin
1950s
Ancestry
Spitz-type

Lapponian Herder Health

Average Size
Male Lapponian Herder size stats
Height: 19-21 inches Weight: 60-70 lbs
Female Lapponian Herder size stats
Height: 17-19 inches Weight: 55-65 lbs
Major Concerns
  • Ear Infections
  • Skin Allergies
Minor Concerns
  • Gastric Torsion
  • Hip Dysplasia
Occasional Diagnoses
  • Von Willebrand's Disease
Occasional Tests
  • Blood Test
  • Hip X-Rays

Lapponian Herder Breed History

While the Lapponian Herder seems to be a relatively new breed, in truth, he dates back to the Sami people of the Arctic region known as Lapland. Lapland encompassed parts of Russia, Norway, Sweden and Finland. These dogs were used to herd reindeer and since they are an old breed, at the time there was no set type or look for them. By examining the DNA of some of the original bloodlines, researchers think that the Lapponian Herder evolved from prehistoric dogs. Most of the dogs of this original breed were lost during World War II. Swedish and Finnish breeders began the long process of re-creating several herding breeds that were virtually lost during World War II. The breed saw an increase in numbers during the 1950s and 1960s. During this time, devoted breeders began setting a certain look and standard for the Lapponian Herder. The Finnish Kennel Club recognized the Lapponian Herder as the Kukonharjulainen. The Kukonharjulainen was cross bred with the Karelian Bear Dog resulting in a short haired, dense coated, black and white dog. Eventually the Finnish Kennel Club placed all reindeer dogs under the same registry. It was not until the 1966 that the various reindeer breeds were separated again and the Lapponian Herder was his own independent breed. An official breed standard was adopted at this time.  The Federation Cynologique Internationale began recognizing the Lapponian Herder as did the United Kennel Club. It was not until 2017 that the American Kennel Club began recording Lapponian Herders in their Foundation Stock Service. 

Lapponian Herder Breed Appearance

The Lapponian Herder is a medium sized spitz-type herding breed. He is well-muscled but not heavily boned. His coat must be dense enough to help him weather the climate of the arctic. He usually has a black nose, eye rims and lips; however, his nose color may reflect a lighter coat color. His eyes are set apart and almond shaped, eye color should be brown but can correspond with his coat color. The males should have an alert and lively expression whereas the females should have a more devoted expression. The Lapponian Herder has a double coat that is very dense. The undercoat is thick and fine to the touch. The topcoat is medium long and harsh to the touch. His coat should be straight, no curl or wave should be seen. His tail has a thick plume. There are three acceptable colors: black, dark brown or dark grey. His undercoat is a usually a lighter shade of his topcoat. 

Eye Color Possibilities
hazel Lapponian Herder eyes
Hazel
brown Lapponian Herder eyes
Brown
Nose Color Possibilities
black Lapponian Herder nose
Black
brown Lapponian Herder nose
Brown
Coat Color Possibilities
black Lapponian Herder coat
Black
brown Lapponian Herder coat
Brown
gray Lapponian Herder coat
Gray
Coat Length
Short Medium Long
Coat Density
Sparse Normal Dense
Coat Texture
Lapponian Herder straight coat texture
Straight Wiry Wavy Curly Corded

Lapponian Herder Breed Maintenance

The Lapponian Herder is generally a low maintenance breed, needing to be brushed once a week or so. However, since he has such a dense undercoat, he is a heavy seasonal shedder. During this time, he will require much more grooming to ensure all the loose undercoat is stripped so new, healthy coat can grow in. Daily grooming is necessary to pull any hair that has loosened. Warm baths during shedding will help hasten the process and keep excessive amounts of hair from gathering around the home. When grooming him, a slicker brush, deshedder and metal comb should be used. The Lapponian Herder is not a hypoallergenic breed. He does not require many baths, except when he is shedding heavily unless he gets into something that is smelly. Cut his nails every two to three weeks or as needed. Trim the hair between his footpads to keep him from tracking in dirt and debris. 

Brushes for Lapponian Herder
Slicker Brush
Comb
Scissors
Nail Clipper
Brushing Frequency
Lapponian Herder requires weekly brushing
Daily Weekly Monthly

Lapponian Herder Temperament

The Lapponian Herder is a very friendly breed that loves children. Remember he is a herding breed and may try to herd children when playing, including nipping at their legs and barking. He is a patient dog and generally does well with other dogs and small pets. Strangers are not readily accepted and he prefers to watch new people rather than interact with them. Do not force him to approach strangers unless he is agreeable. He is not an overly active dog when he is home but he is very active when he is working. Never leave the Lapponian Herder alone with nothing to do; he will amuse himself by barking at the wind or tearing up anything left in the yard. Early socialization and training is necessary to ensure he is a well-adjusted member of the family. Daily exercise is needed to keep him mellow and happy. He also enjoys dog sports such as agility.

Activity Level
Low Medium High
Rec. Walk Mileage Per Week
10 miles
Minutes of Activity Per Day
60 minutes

Lapponian Herder Food Consumption

Cups Per Day
2.8 cups
Daily Cost
$1.20 - $1.40
Monthly Cost
$34.00 - $45.00

Lapponian Herder Height & Weight

6 Months
Male Lapponian Herder size stats at six months
Height: 17 inches Weight: 25 lbs
Female Lapponian Herder size stats at six months
Height: 15 inches Weight: 23 lbs
12 Months
Male Lapponian Herder size stats at 12 months
Height: 19 inches Weight: 47 lbs
Female Lapponian Herder size stats at 12 months
Height: 17 inches Weight: 40 lbs
18 Months
Male Lapponian Herder size stats at 18 months
Height: 20 inches Weight: 65 lbs
Female Lapponian Herder size stats at 18 months
Height: 18 inches Weight: 60 lbs

Lapponian Herder Owner Experiences

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