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Lapponian Herder
Characteristics, History, and Health

Lapponian Herder

The Lapponian Herder, also known as the Lapland Reindeer Dog or Lapphund, is an ancient dog breed originating from the northern regions of Sweden, Finland, and Russia. Historically, the breed has been used by the indigenous Sámi people to herd and manage reindeer herds, thus playing a crucial role in their traditional livelihood. The breed's history can be traced back several centuries, and they have been selectively bred to excel in herding tasks in harsh Arctic conditions. The Lapponian Herder has a double coat, which consists of a dense, soft undercoat and a longer, straight, and harsh topcoat. This combination provides excellent protection against the cold and harsh weather conditions in their native regions. The breed's coat is medium to long in length, with a pronounced mane around the neck and chest.

Main Info
Alternate Names
Lapinporokoira (Finnish), Lapphund, Lappland Reindeer Dog, Lapsk Vallhund
Life Expectancy
10-14 years
Average Male Height
20-21 inch
Average Female Height
18-20 inch
Average Male Weight
55-70 lbs
Average Female Weight
55-65 lbs
Coat Length
Coat Type
Coat Colors
Black, Gray and Liver
Coat Pattern
White Markings, Face Mask

Genetic Predispositions and Health

Lapponian Herders can suffer from choroidal hypoplasia (Collie eye anomaly), glycogen storage disease II, multifocal retinopathy (CMR3), and progressive retinal atrophy. As a larger dog breed, they are also at risk of developing orthopedic problems such as hip and elbow dysplasia. Genetic testing is recommended, including for the following additional conditions: hyperuricosoria, degenerative myelopathy, and progressive rod-cone degeneration.

Personality and Behavior

Lapponian Herders are known for their intelligence, strong work ethic, and loyalty to their families. As herding dogs, they have an inherent desire to be busy and are excellent at managing and moving livestock. They tend to be friendly, affectionate, and gentle with their human family members, but they may exhibit reserved behavior towards strangers. Early socialization and consistent training are crucial for developing a well-rounded and well-behaved Lapponian Herder.

Fun Facts

The Lapponian Herder is one of the national breeds of Finland, where it is highly esteemed for its herding abilities.

Due to their strong herding instincts and history of working closely with humans, Lapponian Herders excel in dog sports such as obedience, agility, and herding trials.

The breed's dense and weather-resistant coat allows them to comfortably withstand extreme cold temperatures.