Finnish Lapphund: 21 Facts You Won't Believe!

Finnish Lapphund facts like they come in a variety of colors are interesting

The Finnish Lapphund is a medium-sized dog breed, with a tricolor double coat in shades of black, brown, red, and white. They were originally bred by the Sami people of Finland Sweden. In fact, their DNA seems to indicate that this dog breed was developed by mating a female wolf with male dogs. This mating resulted in strong-willed dogs with an equally strong startle reflex, two attributes that came in handy for herding reindeer in the Nordic regions.

Finnish Lapphund dogs are mighty eager to please, making them a friendly and useful companion for humans. They also have a stubborn penchant for chasing, be it a squirrel in your front yard, or a car that zooms outside your house! Yes, this breed loves and needs exercise to stay healthy and happy.

The Finnish Lapphund dog has been adapted as a breed standard by several international clubs, including the American kennel club (AKC), the most popular kennel club in the English-speaking world.

Finnish Lapphunds continue to remain a favored dog breed in their native homes of Finland Sweden, where they are honored by their playful nickname, 'Lappies'.

At Kidadl, you can explore plenty of fascinating dog breeds, including the toy poodle, and the Norwich Terrier.

Finnish Lapphund

Fact File

What do they prey on?

Dog food

What do they eat?


Average litter size?


How much do they weigh?

33-53 lb (15-24 kg)

How long are they?


How tall are they?

18.1-20.5 in (46-52 cm)

What do they look like?

Black, brown, white

Skin Type


What are their main threats?

Wild predators, humans

What is their conservation status?

Least Concern

Where you'll find them

Grasslands and farms in Nordic countries


Finland, Norway, Sweden





Scientific Name

Canis lupus familiaris





Finnish Lapphund Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Finnish Lapphund?

A Finnish Lapphund is a type of dog. This dog breed was originally bred by the Sami people in Nordic countries.

What class of animal does a Finnish Lapphund belong to?

A Finnish Lapphund belongs to the Mammalia class. The female gives birth to a litter of two to nine pups at the end of her pregnancy.

How many Finnish Lapphunds are there in the world?

The exact count of Finnish Lapphunds is unknown. There is no perceived threat to this dog breed species. In fact, the original Finnish Lapphund dog breeds were from Nordic countries. They are now bred in several parts of the world, including North America, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand.

Where does a Finnish Lapphund live?

A Finnish Lapphund is happiest running along wide-open spaces, whether it is on a farm, or outside a house. They were originally bred to herd reindeer in cold weather conditions in Nordic countries. Their double coat also helps them to acclimatize outside their native home range. They now live comfortably in several other parts of the world, including Australia, Europe, New Zealand, North America, and United Kingdom. It is best to avoid shearing the hair of Lappies. Their dense undercoat and short outer coat work together, to keep Lappies warm in winter and cool in summer.

What is a Finnish Lapphund's habitat?

Finnish Lapphunds were originally bred as herding dogs, living on wide-open spaces and farms in Nordic countries. They have since been domesticated so they can thrive both indoors and outdoors. This dog breed has a characteristic tricolor double coat, with a thick undercoat and a thinner overcoat. It is important to keep this without shaving, as it helps acclimatize Lappies to changing weather conditions. (Warm in winter and cool in summer).

A Finnish Lapphund is also an agile dog breed that thrives in the company of others and with physical activity. A Lappie wants and needs to exercise for at least an hour a day to stay happy and healthy. In fact, this dog can get cantankerous and destructive, if it is left alone or cooped up for long periods of time! This is an important consideration before you adopt a Lappie. Finally, a Finnish Lappie is a natural omnivore, feeding on protein-rich dog food.

Who do Finnish Lapphunds live with?

Finnish Lapphunds are not solitary creatures. Since they were originally bred as herding dogs, they can harmoniously live with people, and with other animals. Their flexible double coat also helps them stay comfortable both indoors and outdoors.

How long does a Finnish Lapphund live?

The average Finnish Lapphund has a life span between 12-14 years. It is a surprisingly strong dog breed given its (medium) size. Some Finnish Lapphund full-grown dogs may be vulnerable to Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA), a genetic disorder that can lead to permanent blindness. But this is an otherwise healthy breed and can live up to 17 years in their native country (Finland).

How do they reproduce?

A Finnish Lapphund achieves sexual maturity before it is one year old. But it is common to wait until the second year before Lappies are allowed to mate. Females come into heat (breeding period) every six months. But certified breeders will restrict mating to once a year to get a better quality breed. This can also guarantee a higher Finnish Lapphund price.

A female Lapphund gives birth to a litter of two to nine pups, after a two-month gestation period. A Lapphund puppy is allowed to nurse with the mother for four to six weeks. During this time, the puppy may be checked for genetic disorders that ail this dog breed, including progressive retinal atrophy and early cataracts.

This is a relatively expensive dog breed, with Finnish Lapphund cost upwards of $1,000. So certified breeders take necessary precautions to maintain the quality and health of their Finnish Lapphund puppy.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of Finnish Lapphund can be considered as 'Least Concern', as this is not an endangered species. It is also unlisted in IUCN’s Red Lists.

Finnish Lapphund Fun Facts

What do Finnish Lapphunds look like?

Finnish Lapphunds have a contrasting colored patch of hair around their eyes, making them appear as if they are wearing spectacles.

The Lapphund is a medium-sized, spitz-like dog breed, with Finnish Lapphund size ranging between 33-53 lbs (15-24 kg). They come in a variety of colors in shades of black, brown, tan, red, sable, white, and cream. They have a patch of contrasting hair color around their eyes, giving them a spectacle-like appearance.

They also have a characteristic double coat, with a dense undercoat and a thin overcoat. This helps them acclimatize to both cold and warmer temperatures. Males have a more profuse coat, especially around their heads, giving them a mane-like appearance. It helps to know that you can train the Lapphund by giving praise and positive support.

How cute are they?

Lappies are incredibly cute, with their bright eyes, fluffy coat, and eager to please disposition. They have a surprisingly gentle nature, making them ideal as a pet for the entire family. They have high intelligence and respond well to training. In fact, it is this trait that makes them a popular breed with the American Kennel Club.

While Lappies are safe watchdogs for children and for property, they are not aggressive enough to be efficient guard dogs. Perhaps the cutest characteristic of this mid-sized species is their continuous agility. This makes them a great playmate for children, as they are always up for a rousing game of chase!

How do they communicate?

The Finnish Lapphund breed uses a variety of verbal and non-verbal cues to communicate. The famous 'Lappie bark' is loud and instinctive, warning us of strangers or potential threats.

Their fluffy coat hair stands up when they perceive any form of danger, or even when they are angry or unsettled. But when they are happy, they are sure to let you know by enthusiastically wagging their tail.

In summary, this is a vocal and social breed that loves to interact with its company. So your dog will find unique ways to let you know how it feels!

How big is a Finnish Lapphund?

Being a mid-sized dog, the Finnish Lapphund size ranges between 33-53 lbs (15-24 kg). So a Finnish Lapphund full-grown dog is approximately five times the size of the average house cat.

How fast can a Finnish Lapphund run?

Herding dog breeds are known for being fast. They can run at a speed of 20 mph (32.2 kph) for smaller dogs and 30 mph (48.3 kph) for larger dogs like Border Collies. The Finnish Lapphund breed falls within this high-speed range.

How much does a Finnish Lapphund weigh?

Finnish Lapphund weight can range between 33-53 lbs (15-24 kg) for adult dogs. Males tend to be a couple of inches taller and a few kilos heavier than their female counterparts.

What are the male and female names of the species?

As with all breeds, a female dog is called a 'bitch'. A male is simply called a dog, or a 'stud' if it is used for breeding. Female dogs tend to weigh less than males. Male dogs also tend to have a more profuse coat around their head, which gives them a mane-like appearance.

What would you call a baby Finnish Lapphund?

A baby dog of this breed is called a puppy. A Finnish Lapphund puppy can grow until they are one year old.

What do they eat?

This breed of dog is not naturally carnivorous. In fact, this was essential for them to coexist in harmony with reindeer and other animals, as herding dogs. They are natural omnivores and need to be fed a protein-rich diet of dog food, including fish, grains, legumes, and vegetables. This herding breed does not have too many known predators. But when they watched over reindeer, they were naturally wary of wolves, foxes, coyotes, bears, and birds of prey.

Are they slobbery?

No, Lapphunds are far less slobbery than other dog breeds.

Would they make a good pet?

Yes, Finnish Lapphund dogs make wonderful pets for several reasons. First, they come in a variety of colors, including shades of black, brown, tan, sable, red, cream, and white. This is quite a choice in appearance, sure to meet the taste of almost every dog lover! Here, the Finnish Lapphund wolf sable, the white Finnish Lapphund, and the red Finnish Lapphund are arguably the most popular of Finnish Lapphund colors.

Despite their thick coat, Finnish Lapphund shedding is surprisingly manageable. They need minimal grooming with a weekly brushing routine for a significant part of the year. But when seasons change, they tend to shed more, and may hence need daily grooming.

Finally, these dogs are famous for their temperament, they are friendly and eager to please. Both Finnish Lapphund puppies and their adult counterparts respond favorably to training. They are also energetic dogs that love to play. So they make great companions for children in particular.

It is important to let both their coats grow (dense undercoat with thin outer coat), without shaving, even in summer. In fact, the two layers of coat work together to keep these dogs effortlessly cool in summer, and comfortably warm in winter.

Did you know...

A Finnish Lapphund is also known as 'Lapinkoira,' and is an expensive breed. Finnish Lapphund prices can range between $1,000-$2,000, for a six to eight week old puppy. But this breed continues to remain popular with the American Kennel Club due to its various endearing qualities.

What were Finnish Lapphunds originally bred for?

Finnish Lapphund dogs were originally bred by Sami (an indigenous tribe of people who lived in Nordic countries), for herding reindeer. They have since been adapted as a popular domestic breed standard all over the world.

Are Finnish Lapphunds vocal dogs?

Oh yes! A Finnish Lapphund is essentially a herding dog, originally bred to guide and protect reindeer in Nordic regions. For this, they had two ideal attributes. The first was their instinctive startle reflex, which protected them from unexpected triggers. The second was their responsive bark, which was used to alert their handlers and warn off potential predators.

Yes, Lappies always bark loudly, but with conscious purpose. In fact, this loud behavior seems to be the only aberration in the otherwise friendly Finnish Lapphund temperament.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other mammals from our Fila Brasileiro facts and Welsh terrier facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable finnish lapphund coloring pages.



At Kidadl we pride ourselves on offering families original ideas to make the most of time spent together at home or out and about, wherever you are in the world. We strive to recommend the very best things that are suggested by our community and are things we would do ourselves - our aim is to be the trusted friend to parents.

We try our very best, but cannot guarantee perfection. We will always aim to give you accurate information at the date of publication - however, information does change, so it’s important you do your own research, double-check and make the decision that is right for your family.

Kidadl provides inspiration to entertain and educate your children. We recognise that not all activities and ideas are appropriate and suitable for all children and families or in all circumstances. Our recommended activities are based on age but these are a guide. We recommend that these ideas are used as inspiration, that ideas are undertaken with appropriate adult supervision, and that each adult uses their own discretion and knowledge of their children to consider the safety and suitability.

Kidadl cannot accept liability for the execution of these ideas, and parental supervision is advised at all times, as safety is paramount. Anyone using the information provided by Kidadl does so at their own risk and we can not accept liability if things go wrong.

Sponsorship & Advertising Policy

Kidadl is independent and to make our service free to you the reader we are supported by advertising.

We hope you love our recommendations for products and services! What we suggest is selected independently by the Kidadl team. If you purchase using the buy now button we may earn a small commission. This does not influence our choices. Please note: prices are correct and items are available at the time the article was published.

Kidadl has a number of affiliate partners that we work with including Amazon. Please note that Kidadl is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.

We also link to other websites, but are not responsible for their content.

Read our Sponsorship & Advertising Policy
Get The Kidadl Newsletter

1,000 of inspirational ideas direct to your inbox for things to do with your kids.

Thank you! Your newsletter will be with you soon.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
No items found.
No items found.