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Lapponian Herder
Updated on December 21, 2022
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Lapponian Herder

The Lapponian Herder dog breed is known for its fun-loving personality and independence.

It’s also known as:

  • Lapp reindeer dog
  • Lapland reindeer dog
  • Lapinporokoira
  • Lapsk Vallhund
Lapponian Herder 2

Aside from herding reindeer, Lapponian Herders are sporting dogs. They’re energetic, but they're also loyal and love to hang around people.

The breed's tendency to be assertive over smaller animals (including small kids) might worry you. But like other dogs that belong to a herding breed, it's no more than an instinct.

With enough direction, physical activity, and leadership, the Lap Herder can learn to behave. It can make an excellent pet for active families who enjoy the outdoors.

Lapponian Herder Trainability

Lapponian Herders are easy to train. They’re intelligent herding dogs who love to make their owners happy.

They will work hard to please you. But if you fail to train them correctly or provide them with enough physical activity, they can become anxious and difficult to handle.

Like most breeds, you should begin training your Lapponian Herder as early as possible. Early socialization when they're young makes for a friendlier dog.

The Lapponian Herder responds to positive reinforcements, such as treats and praise. They usually do well in organized obedience classes with a gentle and consistent training approach.

The Lap Herder’s Herding Instinct

Lapponian Herders will herd no matter how much training you do. It's an instinct, and the best you can do is manage it. 

You can discourage this behavior when they are young by keeping them leashed. 

If you have a fenced yard and prefer not to use the leash, you can interrupt herding behavior whenever they attempt to chase people or other animals.

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Lapponian Herder Temperament & Personality

The Lapponian Herder loves being around people. It has an independent nature but is friendly and tends to form close bonds with family members.

They will try to herd children or small pets by barking or nipping at their legs. But an experienced dog owner can curb this behavior with proper training.

This herding dog is loyal but also territorial. They will be wary of strangers but can learn to become friendly to people they already know.

Like most herding breeds, the Lap Herder is an active dog. It needs physical activity or mental stimulation to burn off energy and not get bored.

You need to keep them occupied, or they’ll become noisy, restless, and destructive.

One way to get them active is to have them join competitive dog sports. Some examples include agility, rally, dock diving, and herding trials.

You can also provide this high-energy herding breed with daily exercise and recreational activities like walking in the dog park.

Lapponian Herder Appearance

This is a medium-sized dog breed that tends to have a muscular body, small bones, and a tail that curls over its back. As a Spitz-type dog, it has a dense medium-length coat suitable for cold climates like the Arctic.

A Lapponian Herder's coat can be black, dark brown, or dark grey with a lighter-colored undercoat. Most have black noses and lips and black-rimmed brown eyes.

Lapponian Herder Grooming

As a short-coated dog, the Lapponian is a low-maintenance breed when it comes to grooming. But their medium-length fur does need a weekly brushing.

Brushing helps keep the coat in good condition and allows new hair growth. It also spreads the natural oils through the hair to keep it shiny and dirt-resistant.

Moreover, brushing prevents tangles and matting. So it should be part of your coat maintenance routine.

They are seasonal shedders and need daily grooming during these phases. Baths are usually only needed during shedding season or when they've gotten into something outside. 

Nails should be clipped based on how often you walk your dog on concrete.

Lapponian Herder Lifespan & Health

A Lapponian Herder’s life span averages 12 to 14 years. There are no distinguished health issues associated with this friendly breed. 

However, despite being cared for throughout the ages, there are some health conditions to look out for. These include: 

Lapponian Herder Diet

High-quality dog food is enough for Lapponian Herders. It will ensure a balanced diet. You may mix it with water, canned food, or broth. 

Lapponian Herders might like cooked eggs, vegetables, fruits, and cottage cheese. However, these foods should not be more than 10% of their daily food allowance. 

Avoid giving Lapponian Herders table scraps because it may cause vitamin and mineral imbalances and teeth and bone problems. 

Remember not to overfeed them because it can lead to obesity, worsening their predisposition for hip dysplasia.

History of Lapponian Herders

The breed originally came from the Arctic region of Lapland, which includes parts of Finland, Norway, Russia, and Sweden.

They were originally bred by the Sami people to herd reindeer. But they're believed to have evolved from prehistoric dogs.

Many reindeer dogs were lost to World War II. But breeders in Finland and Sweden recreated the breed and several other similar dogs.

Breed standards began to stabilize in the 1950s and 1960s.

After some co-mingling with other herders, the Finnish Kennel Club recognized the Lapponian Herder as an independent breed in 1966.

It wasn't until 2017 that the American Kennel Club recognized Lapponian Herders.

How Do I Know If I Have a Lapponian Herder?

One way to know whether your dog is a Lapponian Herder is to give it a dog DNA test. It can help you learn more about its ancestry and understand its behavior.

The best dog DNA tests can estimate a dog’s breed and ancestry. By knowing their breed, you can adjust your dog’s training to suit their personality and better care for their health.

Lapponian Herders are fantastic dogs for families that can provide them with exercise, mental stimulation, and consistent training. 

They are loyal and eager to please, and if incorporated into a family in the right way, become a friend for life.

For more information about your Lapponian Herder and its breed standards, here are some valuable resources:

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Updated on December 21, 2022
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2 sources cited
Updated on December 21, 2022
  1. “Lapponian Herder Dog Breed Information.” American Kennel Club,
  2. “Lapponian Herder | Veterinary Genetics Laboratory.”,
Kelly Jamrozy
Kelly Jamrozy
Content Contributor
Kelly has experience working with clients in a variety of industries, including legal, medical, marketing, and travel. Her goal is to share important information that people can use to make decisions about their health and the health of their loved ones. From choosing the best treatment programs to improving dental and vision health to finding the best method for helping anyone who is struggling with health issues, she hopes to share what she learns through informative content.
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