Breeds 101

Swedish Lapphund


The 7000-year-old skeletal remains of a dog found near Varanger in Norway closely resemble today’s Lapphund; it is very similar to the Finnish and Russian laikas.

The Lappie is a spitz breed, one of the oldest type of dogs in existence. This is a very old breed, certainly as long established as the lean sight hounds of Asia, which are always portrayed as the most ancient of all dogs.

The Swedish Lapphund originated as a hunting partner and guard dog for the nomadic Sami people of Lappland which comprises northern Norway, Sweden, Finland, and north western Russia.

When the Sami people started to keep domestic reindeer in the mid-18th century, the Lappie developed herding skills. By the 1960’s, there was sufficient concern about guarding ability for the Swedish Kennel Club to undertake a breeding programme to enhance its working capacity.

The breed is rarely seen outside its home country; it can sometimes be found in Finland and Russia. The Swedish Lapphund is a well-rounded working dog, well suited both for work as a farm, hunting, and herding dog, and as a pet.


Medium; Females: 16 to 18 inches; 42 to 46 pounds; Males: 18 to 20 inches; 42 to 46 pounds.


Black, brown or bear brown, liver; there may be white on the paws, chest and tail.


Affectionate, alert, kind, lively, strong and brave; they are intelligent, trainable; they can be stubborn in training however; the breed is very willing to work; active, full of feelings; good with children; good with other pets if introduced correctly.

Energy level:

Medium to high.

Best owner:

A dedicated owner that can provide the exercise needed for it. It should be an active owner living in the country or suburban areas.


Needs excessive exercise in order, to keep in shape; they are very physical dogs and require a great amount of hard work every day; it should be walk 3 hours a day, if they are kept in the city where no herding or guarding jobs are available; grooming daily; ears, nails and teeth should be checked periodically.

Life expectancy:

12 to 13 years.