Lapponian Herder Dog Breed Guide with Pictures

Lapponian Herder Dog Breed

The Lapponian Herder dog is a purebred herding dog that originated in Finland and is part of the American Kennel Club Foundation Stock Service. They are independent, intelligent dogs, loyal to their families and energetic but calm breeds.

The Lapponian Herder is a large, strong, muscular dog with a round head and a long, full mouth. The ears are triangular and shaped, and the tail is slightly bent. The Lapponian Dog has a double coat of medium length, dense, gray hair, and thick hair on the legs, chest and neck. It is usually black, gray, or liver-colored, with light brown and white markings on the underside, chest, calves, nose, and various places on the head (usually on the ‘eyebrows’).

History of Lapponian Herder: 

Lapponian Herder images

The history of the Lapponian Herder dog goes back to the original Sami people of Lapponian Herder who bred the Lapponian dog to help herd reindeer. This breed is particularly suited to cold working conditions in countries such as Finland, Sweden and Norway. 

Some experts say that the DNA of the Lapland Sheepdog goes back to ancient dogs. The Lapponian Herder Dog grew in popularity in the 1950s and 1960s  and a breed standard was created at the same time. Today, the American Kennel Club identifies the Lapponian Herder as part of its service category.

Some Quick Facts about Lapponian Herder:

  • ‘The Lapponian Herder is also referred to as a reindeer herder.’
  •  A Lapponian shepherd barks for communication as he herds.
  • The Lapponian Herder prefers to keep a wary eye on newcomers rather than interact with them.

Lapponian Herder Dog Breed Overview & Appearance:

Lapponian Herder

The Lapponian Herder has a fat-sized body covered in a double, weather-resistant coat of black, brown, or gray, often in addition with white markings. This breed has triangular-shaped ears and dark almond-shaped eyes.

They are fit and muscular standing between 16 and 21 inches tall sticking out a quality of strength and life. The tail is slightly curved when active, and straight or slightly curved when resting. Their overall appearance reflects work and adaptation to climate conditions and honors their past role as skilled shepherds of the northern regions.

Height17-21 inches
Weight55–70 pounds
Lifespan10 to 14 Years
TemperamentIntelligent, energetic, vocal, independent, friendly, and calm
Litter Size3 to 5 Puppies
ColorsBlack, Dark gray, and Dark Brown
CoatThick double coat
Puppy Price$1000 – $2000 USD
Lapponian Herder Dog Breed Overview

Temperament of Lapponian Herder:

The Lapponian Herder is a great partner and close family member. This breed of dog is a little private around strangers but once you get to know them they become very loving and friendly.  Owners should also remember that he has a very energetic and forceful personality. Left alone for hours with nothing to do they may try to engage themselves with bad and violent behaviors. When it comes to exercise and activity, it should fit well into a list of living conditions including homes.

Are Lapponian Herder Good Family Dogs?

Lapponian Herder Dog

If you have children at home, you don’t have to worry about your Lapponian Herder Sheepdog getting jealous, because they bond with people very quickly. Remember, these dogs need attention and don’t mind being ignored. This is why children are happy when they are cared for.

If you have family members with allergies, buying a Lapponian Herder may not be worth it. This breed of dog does not like to handle people with allergies because it can cause allergic reactions. The type of dog’s coat has nothing to do with this issue. Allergic reactions can occur from the skin, the dog’s skin, or the saliva that the dog carries. If you are looking for a hypoallergenic dog for your family, the Lapponian Herder is not the right choice.

Are Lapponian Herders Good with Other Pets?

Lapponians are mostly companion dogs. So if they get along well with you and your family, chances are they’ll get along well with other pets. When first introduced into a home with other pets, people do not realize that they are not aggressive at first.

Calmness and control are important aspects of their personality, so they mind their own business when around other animals. When young this breed can be aggressive towards other dogs due to its impressive nature, but this behavior can be reduced with proper interaction and training.

Food and Diet Requirements of Lapponian Herder:

Brown Lapponian Herder

Lapponian Herder benefits from high-quality dog ​​food. Commercial dog food works but dog food is the best. If you give this dog food, the food should be appropriate for the age of the dog whether it is a puppy, a senior dog  or a senior dog.

Be aware of how much food the Lapponian Herder is eating because like other dog breeds, they can easily gain weight. For example, if you give your dog treats as a reward for good behavior during training you should set a daily limit. You can cause obesity by giving your dog too many treats.

The average daily ration of Lapponian Herder is 2.5 to 3 cups of high-quality dry food per day, divided into two separate meals. Some human foods are safe for dogs, such as pork, beef, fish and meat. Many other foods are not safe for dogs and should be avoided. Also, your dog should always have clean fresh water.

Exercise Needs of Lapponian Herder:

The Lappian Herder is required to do the work. This type of strength is good for running. They excel in sports such as competitive listening search and rescue fitness agility rally racing and dock diving. Any job that uses a hard work ethic patience and productive work suits this type. 

Lapponian Herder is also great for walking, jogging, herding and other outdoor activities.  Any job with a hard work ethic, patience, and productivity suits this type. Any job that uses a hard work ethic, patience and productive work suits this type. They love to have fun in the park or dog park. Without proper exercise  these dogs become bored and aggressive.  

It is also important to be mentally stimulated. Giving them puzzles and playing hide and seek will strengthen your Lapponian Herder physically and mentally.

How to Train Lapponian Herder?

Black Lapponian Herder

Laponian shepherds are smart, obedient  and eager to learn new things. Focus on a positive reward-based approach that recognizes good behavior through praise treats and the perfect toys. Start training your Laponian Shepherd to turn his desire to please into positive behavior when he is a puppy.  Starting early will help your dog be fully trained into adulthood. 

Lapponian Herder loves to work. Therefore it is necessary to do intensive training to have extra effort in the game. Regular interaction can also help your dog become more comfortable around strangers.

Grooming needs of Lapponian Herder:

The coat of the Lapponian Herder is a combination of black, brown and gray. Sometimes you see Lapponian Herder with white markings.

The coat is double-coated and is often given detail as having a close straight texture. Grooming your dog once a week is enough. However during the growing season the repetition of grooming should be increased.

The Lapponian Herder is a dog that adapts to cold conditions. During the warm summer months make sure your Lapponian Shepherd has plenty of fresh water to stay cool and hydrated.

Common Health Problems of Lapponian Herder:

Lapponian Herder couples

These dogs live around 10 and 14 years. Although these dogs come from geographically  isolated areas they do not suffer from the common health problems connected with the breed. However, some issues were identified. 

  • Hip Dysplasia: Like all medium-sized dogs, Lapponian herding dogs can also develop disease in later life especially as a result of hip dysplasia. Affected dogs have hip dysplasia such as a shallow acetabulum or flat femur which results in increased mobility of the joint. This may cause cancer early in life. Those affected should not be like this.
  • Eye Diseases: Many purebred dogs, such as the Lappish shepherd, suffer from eye diseases such as Lapponian Herder may develop cataracts later in life, which is considered a hereditary disease. The problem carries on because the  Individual is born before the disease appears.


Is a Lapponian Herder rare?

The Lapland Sheepdog is one of the world’s rarest breeds and is difficult to obtain in America. This is more in their countries, Finland and Sweden.

Are Lapponian Herders good dogs?

This breed is very friendly and can be quite aggressive, but can be quite reserved when around strangers. Sometimes his herd instincts kick in and he may try to feed.

Do Lapponian Herders bark a lot?

Yes, this species has many sounds to express itself or to remind its owner. This can be a problem if you are sensitive to noisy dogs.

How was the Lapponian Herder created?

Although this species has been around for a long time, there are no records to show it. Based on genetic analysis, this species appears to be closely related to other northern Scandinavian breeds.

Thousands of years ago, it also came from the interbreeding of wolves. Since then, the Sami people have developed this breed for hunting and breeding reindeer. Before being compared by modern breeders, the dog looked less than it did.


The Lapponian Herder breed is a fine herding dog, calm, loyal and affectionate, which makes them perfect for active families. Finding a dog like this in North America can be a challenge, but having a dog shipped to you from overseas is a real risk. You can search for Lapponian Herder breeders online and if you follow the instructions mentioned earlier, you can talk to the breeder about buying one of his dogs.

You can observe one of these dogs at the rescue group, but due to the rarity of these dogs, you may have to wait a long time. Go to dog shows, talk to local and national dog clubs, and share your interest in Lapponian shepherds on social media. A constant search for these dogs will result in an energetic working dog that will be a great companion for the right family.

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