Swedish Lapphund

Type: Herding Dog

Height: 16 - 20 inches.

Weight: 43 - 45 lbs.

Life Span: 12 - 13 years.

Litter Size: 4 - 6 puppies. The average littler size is 5.

Country of Origin: Sweden

Activity: Medium to High.

Watch-dog: High. They make excellent watch dogs.

Guard-dog: Medium. The Swedish Lapphund is suspicious of strangers.

Description: Swedish Lapphunds are a medium sized dog with profuse fur and a spitz-type tail. Their tails curl over the back like all the nordic-spitz tails do. They were developed thousands of years ago in the Scandinavian land of the Sami people. These people cultivated a breed that would herd and guard their precious reindeer. The Swedish Lapphund developed right along side the Finnish Lapphund, and both are from the same stock. They are muscular, rectangular-shaped dogs, appearing in the typical spitz fashion. Their natural prick ears are alert to sounds and their foxy muzzle was once often used for barking to let the reindeer know that they are a friend. Swedish Lapphunds have a double coat in which the outer coat is curly and dense while the under coat is long and straight. The coat is very long around the neck, at the backs of the legs and on the tail. The Swedish Lapphund comes in colors of black, brown or bear brown, with the occasional dash of white. Although cute and cuddly, the Swedish Lapphund has developed a barking habit due to its previous use. Lapphunds were supposed to bark all the time in order to differentiate themselves from silent, threatening animals that might've come around the reindeer. Therefore, they do bark a lot and potential owners should be warned. intelligent, trainable and friendly, the Swedish Lapphund is a rare find, literally!

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Other Names: Suomenlapinkoira, Lapinkoira, Lapland Spitz, Lapplandska Spets

Colors: Swedish Lapps come in colors of black, brown, or bear brown. There may be white on the paws, chest and tail tip. The predominant color should be black, brown or bear brown.

Coat: This breed has a double coat. The outer coat consists of an outer coat that is curly and dense while the under coat is long and straight. It is thick and profuse.

Temperament: The Swedish Lapphund has an appealing demeanor. They are intelligent, trainable and very friendly. Lapphunds can be stubborn in training, however. They are well known for barking, as was their previous employment. Training is required if they are to be taken into the public. The Swedish Lapphund very much enjoys a cool climate and the outdoors. They love to work and demand vigorous exercise mentally and physically. They do not like to be walked on a leash and will learn better if they are not trained on one. The are affectionate, well disciplined and faithful dogs. Kind, patient, lively and alert are characteristics of this breed.

With Children: Yes, they are very fond of children.

With Pets: Yes, they get along with other pets if introduced correctly.

Special Skills: Reindeer herder and family pet.

Care and Training: The Lapinkoira needs excessive exercise in order to keep in shape. They are very physical dogs and require a great amount of hard work every day. Typically the Swedish Lapphund should be walked for 3 hours a day if they are kept in the city where no herding or guarding jobs are available. Ears, nails and teeth should be checked periodically. Lappland Spitz are easily trained. Although they can be quite stubborn and think their own way is better, it is not difficult to change their mind if they are trained correctly. They should be trained from puppyhood, and they do best if leashes are not used.

Learning Rate: High. Obedience - Medium. They are trained well but can be stubborn. Problem Solving - High. The Swedish Lapphund needs constant mental stimulation as they enjoy mind games.

Special Needs: Exercise, grooming, socialization, and training.

Living Environment: This breed needs a dedicated owner that can provide the exercise needed for it. They also enjoy and prefer colder climates over hotter ones. Although there is some controversy over whether the Lapphund does as well in the city as it does the country, the Lapphund has proven to do fine in the city as long as it gets enough exercise and stimulation. The best owner for this breed would be an active owner living in the country or suburban areas.

Health Issues: Epilepsy and hip dysplasia. Like most rare breeds, they have been so isolated and under-bred that they carry almost no genetic defects.

History: Used and developed by the Sami people of Lappland, Swedish Lapphunds are closely related to the Finnish Lapphund. They were once used for hunting as well as to herd reindeer. The breed was trained to bark at all times when around the reindeer, so that when a strange dog came by that did not bark, the reindeer would know to avoid it. The Swedish Lapphund probably came to Scandinavia with the Sami people, as a 7,000 year old skeleton of a dog was found to be extremely similar to the Lapphunds of today. This skeleton was found near Varanger, Norway. The breed is therefore thought to be at least 7,000 years old, while some speculate 9,000 years old. When the methods of reindeer management changed in the 1920s, there was little effort to keep the breed going. But a few of the specimens were collected and saved. In the 1960s the Swedish Kennel Club took the breed into a breeding program to enhance their guarding abilities. The breed is still very rare outside of its native country.

First Registered by the AKC: FSS (Foundation Stock Service - not yet eligible for the AKC)

AKC Group: Herding Group

Class: Herding

Registries: SKC, FCI