Lapponian Herder

55-65 lbs
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 Purpose
history Date of Origin
ancestry Ancestry

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
brown Lapponian Herder eyes
Nose Color Possibilities
black Lapponian Herder nose
brown Lapponian Herder nose
Coat Color Possibilities
black Lapponian Herder coat
brown Lapponian Herder coat
gray Lapponian Herder coat
Coat Length
Short Medium Long
Coat Density
coat density
Sparse Normal Dense
Coat Texture
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
Slicker Brush
Nail Clipper
Nail Clipper
Brushing Frequency
fur daily fur weekly fur monthly
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 activity medium activity high activity
Low Medium High
Rec. Walk Mileage Per Week
10 miles
walk mileage
Minutes of Activity Per Day
60 minutes
activity minutes

Lapponian Herder Food Consumption

Cups Per Day
2.8 cups
cup per day cost cup per day cost
Daily Cost
$1.20 - $1.40
food bowls daily cost
Monthly Cost
$34.00 - $45.00
food bag monthly cost

Lapponian Herder Height & Weight

6 Months
Male Lapponian Herder size stats at six months
Height: 17.0 inches Weight: 25.0 lbs
Female Lapponian Herder size stats at six months
Height: 15.0 inches Weight: 23.0 lbs
12 Months
Male Lapponian Herder size stats at 12 months
Height: 19.0 inches Weight: 47.5 lbs
Female Lapponian Herder size stats at 12 months
Height: 17.0 inches Weight: 40.0 lbs
18 Months
Male Lapponian Herder size stats at 18 months
Height: 20.0 inches Weight: 65.0 lbs
Female Lapponian Herder size stats at 18 months
Height: 18.0 inches Weight: 60.0 lbs

Lapponian Herder Owner Experiences

2 Years
4 People
House & Yard
2 years, 6 months ago
3 Days
9+ People
I only have 3 days with him but we have been out to walk and run around
5 years, 4 months ago
6 Months
3 People
We have only had her for about 2 weeks but Shes been doing great!
5 years, 2 months ago
Megan Jaws
17 Years
2 People
House & Yard
Great dog! Her vocabulary is incredible and was extremely easy to train. Strong bond with her master. 5 mile hikes were easy for her and she often lead the hike. Very agile with great stamina. Obviously a herding dog. Great temperament with other animals, was not concerned with people but was friendly to adults. She lived to be 17 years old. Very healthy until her old age. Went blind and started having hip trouble around age 15. Living in a warm area, grooming was a weekly must. She loved the cold and would get overly excited in snow. Didn't care for swimming or the water in general. She traveled very well. Many trips on a boat, in a car, and on a bicycle. Very quiet, only would bark to alert.
5 years, 2 months ago
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