Intelligence:The Finnish Lapphund is a herding dog, and has been developed over time as a dog to serve its masters, so it has a strong keenness to please its owners and is quick to learn. It is however important to note that the breed does have a strong streak of independence, and it will want to understand ?what is in it for him? when being trained, this independence can be interpreted as stubbornness.TRAINING:As a very intelligent breed training from a very early age is important. In Finland the breed competes regularly at top level in obedience and agility, they are used as Search & Rescue and tracking dogs. In England we have dogs trained as support dogs for Dogs for the disabled and Hearing dogs for the deaf, so the potential within the breed and any individual dog is immense, just limited by the owners scope and persistence with training.Some Lapphunds can be vocal, and this tendency needs to be stopped when young, another reason, to understand and train your dog from an early age.Energy: ( Medium, High )ENERGETIC:The Finnish Lapphund is a busy breed, not suited to the couch potato life, and certainly whilst young (up to about 2 years of age) requires a reason able amount of exercise, ideally about 1 hour a day, plus lots of fun play time. Being an intelligent breed, the mental stimulation is as important as the physical running about. The breed is very athletics, and once mature can be good company out jogging or along side a bicycle. It is also ideally suited to Agility events.
The Finnish Lapphund is a very old breed of dog originally used by Saame farmers in northern Lapland to herd the elk and reindeer, when moving vast herds to fresh grazing. It was originally a mixed breed along with the lapinporokoira (the smooth haired reindeer herder seen today), after the war the breed was nearly wiped out, as dogs were killed and farmers favoured the more modern technology of herding from 4 wheeled bikes. The breed was rejuvenated by dedicated breeders and in the mid 60s split from the smooth coated variety, and established under the Finnish Kennel Club as a breed.In Finland it has become a very popular family pet.
Shedding:Being a heavy coated breed, there can be a lot of hair on the carpets when a Lapphund moults, but in the main the breed moults about once a year, with the mature males even less.Grooming:Finnish Lapphunds do not need a lot of grooming, their coat is very harsh, and does not tend to matt, so about « hour per week will enable you to keep your dog looking good. With most attention being needed around the longer softer hair on the ears, and the tail and around the bottom. Obviously when the dogs are shedding their coat then more grooming is required, and extra effort at this time will help remove the dead, hair, save the carpets and speed up the regrowth.Coat & Colours:The Finnish Lapphund comes a in wide variety of colours, with all colours being of equal merit. The only rule for colour is that there must be a main body colour, so parti colours and brindles are not acceptable, nor is a saddle pattern. The main colour seen is black and tan, sometimes with white markings, but colour can vary from pale cream to solid black, and every shade between.ÿ
The breed does have a small incidence of PRA (Progressive retinal atrophy) and HC (hereditary Cataracts), and it is important to check the lines to see what incidence of these conditions are seen in the breeding stock. In both conditions, the appearance of the eye defect is called late onset, and sadly may not be apparent until the breeding stock has reached 4-5 years of age, so it is impossible to guarantee stock is free of the disease.Good breeders check all their stock for eye defects and routinely score for Hip dysphasia, whilst the latter does not seem to be a problem, the Finnish Club, operates under the health scheme called PEVISA, and this requires good hips scores, and clear eye results before puppies can be bred, thus trying to safeguard the health of the breed for the future.
Toni Jackson - Elbereth Finnish Lapphunds & Border Collies