Best Bully Sticks Breed Spotlight finishes off our new AKC breeds this week with the Finnish Lapphund. This dog has a very interesting ancestry and unique features, which makes it clear why it is one of the newest breeds recognized by the AKC. Read to find out more!

History & Background: The Finnish Lapphund is historically known as the helper dog of the Sami tribe, a semi-nomadic tribe in what used to be Lapland (now the northern region of Finland, Sweden and part of Russia).  After the Sami people settled down, they kept reindeer herds which the Lapphund helped herd and maintain. With the invention of the snowmobile, the popularity of this dog lessened. However, in Finland and Scandinavia, they are still extremely popular pets.

Height: 18-21 inches (male), 16-19  inches (female)

Weight: 33-53 pounds (depending on size)

Coat: The Finnish Lapphund has a very thick double coat.  The outer layer is straight, long and water-repellent. The Lapphund’s under coat is soft, dense and fluffy. Males have a very thick mane of fur around the neck. This very thick and abundant coat makes this dog resistant to extreme cold.  Because of this, the Lapphund is only one of two dogs legally allowed to be kenneled outdoors during winter in Finland.

Color: This breed has many different color variations, but there is usually one predominant color. Black, white, brown red, sable and wolf-sable are often seen.  One of the most common combinations is black and tan (mostly black with tan legs and face.) Facial markings are often seen on Lapphunds, one of the most unusual being “spectacles.”  These are a light rings that appear around this dog’s eyes and gives the impression of wearing spectacles.

Appearance: The Finnish Lapphund has the look of a northern-type dog paired with the temperament of a herding dog.  These spitz-type dogs are intelligent, alert, agile, amiable and eager to learn. Lapphund’s sport the curved fluffy tail of their spitz cousins.  Because of their history as Arctic hunters, and working and living outside, the Lapphund is solidly built and thickly coated. Despite it’s strength, this dog has a soft appearance, especially in the face. The males of this breed are recognizably masculine and the females feminine.

Temperament: Lapphund’s train very well because of their intelligence and are used in obedience, agility and herding trials as well as pet therapy. “Lappies,” owners and fanciers of this breed, claim that Lapphund’s have the ability to think through actions. This dog is known for being a great watch dog and is an ideal outdoor companion. This dog is also great with small children and the elderly alike as they adapt well to family situations. Lapphunds are very curious, so they need to be supervised.

Health: This dog is naturally healthy and lives anywhere from 12 to 14 years, although in Finland these dogs can live from 16 to 17 years. Finnish Lapphunds can suffer from eye ailments including cataracts and a progressive eye disease called GPRA.  Lapphunds can sometimes be affected by hip dysplasia as well.

Product Suggestions: The Finnish Lapphund is a dog of nature and the north, so BBS would suggest any of our great Antlerz products! These products are all-natural deer antlers and are great for aggressive chewers. We think that these would remind the Lupphund of it’s ancestral reindeer herding days!  Because this breed loves the outside and has a great capacity to be an agility dog, BBS suggest a Planet Dog Orbee-Tuff Zoom Flyer! This frisbee is a soft but far-reaching frisbee that would be perfect for the Lapphund to learn a few tricks!

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Would your dog like to be in the spotlight?

If you would like your dog spotlighted or want to recommend a dog breed you love for our next Best Bully Sticks Spotlight on a Breed entry please send us an email with the subject “Spotlight My Dog”. If you are submitting your very own dog don’t forget to send over a photogenic pic and a short 2-3 sentence bio about your canine buddy.