The Finnish Lapphunds – or Lappies, as they are known for short – would be the ideal breed for Santa in the North Pole, as they were originally bred for herding reindeer.
History and Origin of the Finnish Lapphund
As their name would suggest, Lappies originated in Finland, having been bred by nomads (the Sami). They remain a highly popular pet in the Scandinavian countries even today, and they are finally beginning to increase in popularity in North America.
Appearance and Size of the Finnish Lapphund
Many people state that the Lappies are “teddy bear-like” in their appearance. They are of medium size (33-53 pounds), and have thick double coats to help withstand extremely cold climates. Their coats come in a variety of colors. Resembling the northern dog breeds, Lappies have pricked ears and plumed, upward curving tails.
Personality of the Finnish Lapphund
Finnish Lapphunds are intelligent, calm, and friendly pets. They maintain a strong herding instinct, and they enjoy being active. Daily vigorous exercise, including walks or hikes, runs, or games of fetch are recommended. Many Lappies enjoy dog sports like agility or flyball as well.
Home and Family Relations with the Finnish Lapphund
Lappies make excellent family companions and get along well with children. Socialized early, they also get along well with smaller family pets such as cats. They make good watchdogs and may bark quite a bit, so take this into consideration when living in a condo or apartment.
Training of the Finnish Lapphund
Since they tend to be more submissive, Lappies are generally easy to train. They may need extra training to learn when it’s appropriate to bark (and when it’s not!). Lappies benefit greatly from positive reinforcement methods, and are motivated most by food, praise, and play rewards.
Grooming of the Finnish Lapphund
The Finnish Lapphund’s double coat can make maintenance a bit more time-consuming. During shedding seasons, brushing a few times per week will help keep excess hair under control. Outside of those times, weekly brushing is recommended to help cut down on hairy “tumbleweeds” which may otherwise float around the house. Routine ear cleaning, nail trimming, and dental care are also suggested.
Special Care of the Finnish Lapphund
Lappies were born and bred for colder, more northern climates. Those living in warmer, more temperate climates may need to stay indoors during summer months during the warmest times of day.
Common Diseases and Disorders of the Finnish Lapphund
Although the Finnish Lapphund is a generally healthy breed, the following disorders or conditions have been observed:
Life Span of the Finnish Lapphund
The average life span of the Finnish Lapphund is approximately 12-14 years