Finnish Lapponian Dog

Posted in Herding Group

A Breed Standard is the guideline which describes the ideal characteristics, temperament and appearance of a breed and ensures that the breed is fit for function with soundness essential. Breeders and judges should at all times be mindful of features which could be detrimental in any way to the health, welfare or soundness of this breed.


Originally a herder and watch dog used in work of keeping reindeer. Today also popular as a companion dog.


For hundreds of years the Lapps have used dogs of the same type as Finnish Lapphund as reindeer herders and watchdogs in Fennoscandia and in the northern parts of Russia. Due to these dogs the first standard of the Lapponian Herder was established by the Finnish Kennel Club in 1945. The breed’s name was changed into Lapphund in 1967. In the 1970:s the type and picture of the breed became fixed and the standard has been specified several times. The breed name was again changed into Finnish Lapphund in 1993. The breed type has become stable in a short time and today the breed is very popular mainly as a house and hobby dog in the whole of Finland.


Smaller than medium sized, the conformation is strong for the size, slightly longer than the height at the withers. The coat is long and dense.


The depth of the body is approximately less than the half of the height at the withers. The muzzle is slightly shorter than the skull. The skull is slightly longer than broad, the depth is the same as the breadth.


Keen, courageous, calm and willing to learn. Friendly and faithful.


Strong in outline, rather broad.


Skull: Broad, slightly convex. The forehead is rather domed. The frontal furrow is clearly defined.

Stop: Clearly defined.


Nose: Black or brown, according to coat colour.

Muzzle: Strong, broad and straight; viewed from above and in profile evenly, but only slightly tapering.

Lips: Tight.

Jaws/Teeth: The jaws are strong. Scissor bite.

Cheeks: The zygomatic arches are clearly marked.

Eyes:.Oval shaped, dark brown, according to coat colour.  The expression is soft and friendly.

Ears: Medium sized, carried erect or semi-erect, set rather apart, rather broad at the base, triangular in shape and very mobile, also the inner side is covered with hair. It is equally acceptable that one ear is erect and the other semi-erect.


Medium in length, strong and covered with profuse hair.


Withers: Muscular and broad, only slightly pronounced.

Back: Strong and straight.

Loin: Short and muscular.

Croup: Of medium length, well developed, only slightly oblique.

Chest: Deep, rather long, reaching almost to the elbows, not very broad. The ribs are slightly arched; the forechest clearly visible, not very strong.

Underline: Slightly tucked up.


Set rather high, medium in length, covered with profuse and long hair. The tip of the tail may have a J-formed hook. In movement the tail is curved over the back or side, in rest it may hang.



General appearance: Powerful with strong bones. Viewed from the front straight and parallel.

Shoulders: Slightly oblique.

Upper arm: As long as the shoulder blade. The angle between shoulder and upper arm is rather open.

Elbows:  Approximately at the level of the lower edge of the ribcage, pointing straight backwards.

Forearm: Rather strong, vertical.

Carpus: Flexible.

Pastern: Of medium length, slightly oblique.

Fore feet: Well arched, oval rather than round, covered with dense hair. The pads are elastic with the sides covered with dense hair.


General appearance: Strong boned, powerful, viewed from behind straight and parallel. The angulation is clearly marked but not too strongly.

Upper thigh: Of medium length, rather broad with well developed muscles.

Stifle: Pointed forward, the angulation is rather clearly marked.

Second thigh: Relatively long and sinewy.

Hock joint: Moderately low set; the angulation is clearly marked but not too strongly.

Metatarsus: Rather short, strong and vertical.

Hindfeet: As front feet.


Effortless. Changes easily from trot to gallop, which is the most natural style of movement. The legs move parallel. When working agile and fast.


Tight overall without wrinkles.



Profuse, especially the males have an abundant mane. The outer coat is long, straight and harsh. On the head and on the front side of the legs the coat is shorter. There has to be an undercoat that is soft and dense.


All colours are permitted. The basic colour must be dominant. Colours other than the basic colour can occur on head, neck, chest, underside of the body, on legs and tail.


Height at withers: Ideal height for males 49 cm,  Ideal height for females 44 cm. With a tolerance of ± 3 cm.  The type is more important than the size.


Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog.

Males not masculine and females not feminine.

Light head.

Insufficient stop.


Tail carriage continuously lower than the topline.

Over angulated or too straight rear angulation.

Lack of under coat.

Flat coat.

Curly outer coat.

Basic colour indistinct.


  • Aggressive or overly shy dogs.
  • Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities shall be disqualified.
  • Overshot or undershot mouth.
  • Kinky tail
  • Full drop ears.


Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum. 

Only clinically and functionally healthy dogs with breed typical conformation should be used for breeding.