Dogs resembling the Finnish Lapponian Dog (suomenlapinkoira in Finnish) have existed for thousands of years. The roots of the Finnish Lapponian Dog-type dog are believed to go back as long as 7000 years. Dogs of this type have been used for herding and guarding duties for several centuries, and still today there are dogs performing their original work.
The present-day Finnish Lapponian Dog descend from the common ancestors of the Lapponian Herder and Finnish Lapponian Dog, as well as the early Finnish Lapponian Dog stock in Lapland. These dogs created the basis for the breed that since 1967 has been registered as the Lapphund (lapinkoira in Finnish). In 1993, the name of the breed was changed to Finnish Lapponian Dog (suomenlapinkoira in Finnish).
The Finnish Lapponian Dog has been on the top-ten list of the most popular dog breeds in Finland for years.
The popularity of the Finnish Lapponian Dog is based on its versatility as well as the even and friendly temperament. The breed adapts well to varying conditions. An owner of a Finnish Lapponian Dog aptly described the breed as “so clever that it can feign dumb”.
The Finnish Lapponian Dog is middle-sized and has a profuse coarse coat. All colours are allowed, the most common ones being black or brown (with or without tan markings), wolf grey, sable, and wheaten. The Finnish Lapponian Dog typically has a soft, melting expression. The breed is relatively healthy; the hereditary diseases include eye defects, hip dysplasia, and canine epilepsy.
The Finnish Lapponian Dog is a popular family pet, however, it is also a versatile companion for various canine activities. Finnish Lapponian Dog have gained success in obedience, agility and working trials. What is more, they are still today employed as reindeer herding dogs in Lapland.
Reference: The Lapphund Club of Finland
Cover photo © Taru Vallius