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Swedish Lapphund
Characteristics, History, and Health

Swedish Lapphund

The Swedish Lapphund is an ancient breed, historically used by the Sami people of Scandinavia for herding reindeer. These dogs are versatile and resilient, having adapted to the harsh arctic climate and rugged terrain. The Swedish Lapphund, also known as Svensk Lapphund or Lapponian Herder, is believed to have originated nearly 7000 years ago, with roots tracing back to the indigenous Sami people of Scandinavia. These nomadic tribes relied heavily on their dogs for herding and protecting their reindeer, a task that the Lapphund was perfectly suited to with its adaptability, resilience, and intelligence. Although originally used for hunting, the Lapphund eventually transitioned to a herding role. After the Second World War, the breed was nearly extinct but was saved through the dedicated efforts of breed enthusiasts. Today, it remains a somewhat rare breed, especially outside its native Sweden.

Main Info
Alternate Names
Svensk Lapphund, Lapponian Herder
Life Expectancy
10-14 years
Average Male Height
16-20 inches
Average Female Height
16-20 inches
Average Male Weight
30-45 pounds
Average Female Weight
30-45 pounds
Coat Length
Coat Type
Coat Colors
Black, Liver
Coat Pattern
White Markings

Genetic Predispositions and Health

Swedish Lapphunds can be affected by cerebellar cortical degeneration, degenerative myelopathy,
diabetes mellitus, glycogen storage disease II, and spinal muscular atrophy. They may also suffer from eye conditions, such as progressive retinal atrophy and multifocal retinopathy (CMR3). Genetic testing is recommended, including for the following additional conditions: hyperuricosoria, degenerative myelopathy, and progressive rod-cone degeneration.

Personality and Behavior

Known for their intelligence and trainability, Swedish Lapphunds are excellent working dogs. They are energetic, friendly, and loyal, making them good family pets. They are typically good with children and other animals if properly socialized. These dogs are also known for their alertness and can make good watchdogs. However, they require plenty of mental and physical stimulation to avoid becoming bored and potentially destructive.

Fun Facts

The Swedish Lapphund has a distinct vocalization called "Lapphund song" or "Lappie song", which it historically used for herding. This "song" is a series of vocalizations that are unique to each dog and are used as a form of communication.

The breed is considered sacred by the Sami people and is often featured in their folklore and mythology.

The Swedish Lapphund is known for its "bear cub" appearance, with a thick, fluffy black coat, round ears, and expressive eyes.