The Lapphund Club of Finland

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The Lapponian Herder (lapinporokoira in Finnish) stems from the prehistoric dogs of Northern Scandinavia. It has to be pointed out though that the origins of the breed have been a topic of discussion as the Lapponian Herder is clearly different from other traditional spitz breeds. The first records of reindeer husbandry in Lapland date back to the 1500s and 1600s, whereas reindeer-herding dogs were first mentioned in a book titled Lapponia, which came out in 1674.

The first attempts at starting a breeding programme for the Lapponian Herder were made in the late 1930s, however, it was not until the 1950s that this became a reality. The breed standard was approved by the Finnish Kennel Club in 1966. From the mid-90s onwards, the breed has established a firm foothold in the dogdom with a steady increase in registration figures (currently over 200 specimens per year). The breed register is still open, so non Finnish Kennel Club registered working stock living in the North can be granted a special entry to the breed register.

The Lapponian Herder is best described as intelligent and quick to learn. While working, it is energetic and well-functioning, otherwise calm.

Conformationwise, the Lapponian Herder is clearly a trotting dog. It should be rectangular in shape, clearly longer than the height at the withers, moderately strong, and relatively well-angulated. The coat should be harsh and especially dense, providing protection against cold and rain.

The Lapponian Herder is a popular family pet, however, it is also a versatile companion for various canine activities. Lapponian Herders have gained success in obedience, agility and working trials. What is more, they are still today employed as reindeer herding dogs in Lapland.

Founded in 1970, the breed club of the Lapponian Herder, Finnish Lapphund, and Swedish Lapphund in Finland is Lappalaiskoirat ry. There are more than 4000 members in the club, which is headed by chairman Sari Laitinen.


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