Lapponian Herder

Other names: Lapland Reindeer Dog, Reindeer Herder, Lapinporokoira, Lapsk vallhund

Lapponian Herder

The Lapponian herder is a rare breed of dog unique to Finland. It is one of three Scandinavian Lapphund types that are descended from a dog used by the Sami people for herding and guarding reindeer. This particular breed is thought to have come about as a result of a union between a female wolf and male dog after domestication. 

Key facts about the Lapponian Herder

Life expectancy :

6

18

11

13

Temperament :

Affectionate Playful Intelligent

Size :

Origins and history

The ancient Sami tribes of Scandinavia have bred Spitz-type dogs for herding and flock protection for centuries. Most reindeer dogs were lost to the villainy of the Nazi occupation. Following the war local breeders attempted to recreate the original Sami reindeer dog. The breed enjoyed a resurgence of numbers in the 1950s and 60s and its popularity continues to this day.

FCI breed nomenclature

FCI Group

Group 5 - Spitz and primitive types

Section

Section 3 : Nordic Watchdogs and Herders

Physical characteristics of the Lapponian Herder

Adult size

Female : Between 17 and 19 in

Male : Between 19 and 21 in

Weight

Female : Between 55 and 60 lb

Male : Between 55 and 60 lb

Coat colour

Black

Type of coat

Long
Hard

Eye colour

Brown

Description

This dog is longer in body than it is high at the withers. It is a strong and muscular dog perfectly adapted to Arctic weather. The ears are abundantly feathered and stand small and pricked. The dog’s gait is effortless and lilting. 

Good to know

It is not wise to try to force the Lapponian to interact with new visitors. The dog will be painfully shy to begin with and will ‘meet and greet’ when it is ready. Patience on behalf of the owner will ensure a meeting between the dog and new people takes place without a hitch.

Temperament

  • 100%

    Affectionate

    An affectionate and even-tempered dog is the well-socialised Lapponian. 

  • 100%

    Playful

    This is a playful and energetic dog that does not shy from boisterous play. Play may be interspersed with periods of docile inaction. 

  • 66%

    Calm

    A calm dog, yet alert and fully aware of its surroundings; the Lapponian is not quick to fright. 

  • 100%

    Intelligent

    An intelligent dog, the Lapponian enjoys exercise and obeys commands; it has a great desire to please its owner. 

  • 66%

    Hunter

    The Lapponian is a herding dog rather than a hunter. It is not likely to exhibit predatory behaviour but it is known to be aggressive towards other dogs and animals.

  • 33%

    Fearful / wary of strangers

    Lapponians tend to be very wary of new people and take some time to warm to a visitor in their home. 

  • 66%

    Independent

    The Lapponian can be wilful and dominant, but its love of praise and family love dampens any desire it may have to take command of the household. 

    Behaviour of the Lapponian Herder

    • 33%

      Tolerates solitude

      The Lapponian does not tolerate solitude particularly well.

    • 100%

      Easy to train / obedience

      Firmness, patience and confidence are needed of a trainer for this dog. The Lapponian will respond well to training that is consistent and forthright. Draconian measures will cause this dog to become withdrawn and aggressive.

    • 100%

      Barking

      This dog tends to bark regularly, especially when it feels threatened. 

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      Tendency to run away

      The Lapponian can easily be taught the recall command and will on most occasions respond to it. However, training and reinforcement of the command are necessary to ensure this dog does not run away. 

    • 66%