Everything You Need to Know About the Lapponian Shepherd Dog Breed

Do you know what the Lapponian Shepherd Dog Breed is all about? If you are curious about this breed and want to learn more, then you have come to the right place. In this article, we will provide you with everything you need to know about the Lapponian Shepherd Dog Breed. We will explore its history, physical characteristics and appearance, temperament and personality traits, health, and lifespan. So, let’s get started!

History and Origin of the Lapponian Shepherd Dog Breed

The Breed’s Roots in Lapland

The Lapponian Shepherd Dog Breed has a rich history that can be traced back to Lapland, a region located in Northern Europe. This breed was specifically developed to assist the native Sami people of Lapland with their reindeer herding needs. The Sami people have been herding reindeer for centuries, and they needed a dog that could withstand the harsh climate and terrain of the region. The Lapponian Shepherd was the perfect choice for this job.

The breed’s excellent working ability in cold and harsh environments made it a popular choice among the Sami people. Lapponian Shepherds were used not only as herding dogs but also as guards and hunting companions for the Sami people. These dogs were highly valued for their loyalty, intelligence, and ability to work in difficult conditions.

Development of the Lapponian Shepherd as a Distinct Breed

The Lapponian Shepherd was not always a distinct breed. In fact, it was developed by mixing the indigenous breed of northern Scandinavia with the Karelian Bear Dog and the East Siberian Laika, both of which were brought to Lapland by traders and hunters. The breed’s purpose was to create a dog that could handle the harsh terrain and cold climate of Lapland.

Over time, the Lapponian Shepherd became a distinct breed with its own unique characteristics. The breed is known for its thick fur, which keeps it warm in cold weather, and its strong and muscular body, which allows it to work for long periods without getting tired. The Lapponian Shepherd is also known for its intelligence, loyalty, and friendly nature.

Recognition by Kennel Clubs and Breed Associations

The Lapponian Shepherd is a relatively rare breed outside of Lapland, but it is gaining popularity among dog enthusiasts around the world. Today, the breed is recognized by many kennel clubs and breed associations, including the American Kennel Club (AKC), United Kennel Club (UKC), and the Finnish Kennel Club (FKC), among others.

The Lapponian Shepherd is a versatile breed that can be trained for a variety of tasks. It is an excellent herding dog, but it can also be trained for search and rescue, tracking, and other tasks. This breed is highly valued for its intelligence, loyalty, and working ability, and it is sure to continue to gain popularity among dog lovers around the world.

Physical Characteristics and Appearance

The Lapponian Shepherd is a breed of dog that originated in Lapland, a region in northern Europe. These dogs were originally bred to work as herding and guarding dogs for the indigenous Sami people, who relied on them to protect their reindeer from predators and help them move their herds across vast distances in the harsh Arctic climate.

Size and Weight

As a working breed, the Lapponian Shepherd has a sturdy and robust build that enables it to perform its duties with ease. Males of this breed typically stand between 20-24 inches at the shoulder and weigh between 53-69 pounds. Females are generally slightly smaller, standing between 18-22 inches and weighing between 40-59 pounds. These dogs have a solid and muscular build, which gives them the strength and endurance to perform their working duties in harsh conditions.

Despite their size and strength, Lapponian Shepherds are known for their agility and speed. They are able to move quickly and easily over rough terrain, making them well-suited for their work as herding dogs.

Coat and Colors

The Lapponian Shepherd has a thick and dense double coat, which consists of a soft and dense undercoat and a long and straight topcoat. This coat provides excellent protection against the cold weather and allows them to work comfortably in harsh environments. The breed comes in various colors, including black, brown, and tan with black markings.

One interesting thing about the Lapponian Shepherd’s coat is that it changes with the seasons. In the winter, the coat becomes thicker and longer, providing even more insulation against the cold. In the summer, the coat sheds and becomes shorter and lighter, allowing the dog to stay cool in warmer weather.

Distinctive Features

The Lapponian Shepherd has several distinctive features that set it apart from other dog breeds. One of the most distinctive features is its curled-up tail, which is carried over its back. This tail helps to keep the dog’s nose and ears warm while working in cold weather. The breed also has triangular-shaped ears that stand erect and a broad and powerful head with a slightly rounded skull.

In addition to these physical features, the Lapponian Shepherd is known for its intelligence, loyalty, and strong work ethic. These dogs are highly trainable and excel in a variety of tasks, from herding and guarding to search and rescue and even therapy work.

Overall, the Lapponian Shepherd is a unique and fascinating breed of dog that has played an important role in the history and culture of northern Europe. Whether as a working dog or a beloved companion, these dogs are sure to capture the hearts of anyone who meets them.

Temperament and Personality Traits

The Lapponian Shepherd is a highly intelligent and affectionate breed that makes a great companion for those who are looking for a loyal and devoted dog. They are known for their friendly and outgoing nature, making them an excellent choice for families with children.

These dogs have a strong instinct for herding and are known to be hardworking and dedicated to their tasks. They are also highly adaptable and can thrive in a variety of environments, including rural and urban areas.

Intelligence and Trainability

The Lapponian Shepherd is a highly intelligent breed that can learn quickly and easily. They have a natural instinct for herding and respond well to positive reinforcement training methods. This breed is known for their eagerness to please their owners, making them an excellent choice for novice dog owners.

If you are looking to train your Lapponian Shepherd, consider interactive activities such as agility training, herding trials, and obedience training. These activities not only provide mental stimulation for your dog but also help to strengthen your bond with them.

Energy Levels and Exercise Needs

The Lapponian Shepherd is an active breed with high exercise needs. They require daily exercise to keep them mentally and physically stimulated. Long walks, jogging, and hiking make great activities for this breed. They also enjoy playing games like fetch and frisbee with their owners.

It is important to note that the Lapponian Shepherd can become destructive if they do not receive enough exercise and mental stimulation. If you are unable to provide them with the exercise they need, this may not be the right breed for you.

Socialization and Interaction with Other Animals

The Lapponian Shepherd is a social breed that gets along well with other dogs and animals if socialized at an early age. They are protective of their family but not aggressive towards strangers. Early socialization can help prevent any aggression towards other animals or humans.

If you are planning to introduce your Lapponian Shepherd to other animals, it is important to do so slowly and carefully. This breed can be protective of their territory, so it is important to supervise their interactions with other animals.

Overall, the Lapponian Shepherd is a wonderful breed that is well-suited to a variety of lifestyles. With their intelligence, affectionate nature, and love for exercise, they make excellent companions for those who are willing to provide them with the care and attention they need.

Health and Lifespan

Common Health Issues

The Lapponian Shepherd is generally a healthy breed. However, like all breeds, they are prone to certain health issues, including hip dysplasia, eye problems, and allergies. Regular veterinarian checks, including yearly eye exams, can help detect these issues early and prevent them from becoming severe.

Preventative Care and Regular Checkups

The Lapponian Shepherd requires regular preventative care, including annual check-ups, vaccinations, and worming. Maintaining good dental health is also essential for this breed, as they are prone to tooth decay and gum disease. Regular brushing and dental cleanings can help prevent these issues.

Expected Lifespan

The Lapponian Shepherd has an average lifespan of 12-15 years. Maintaining a healthy diet, regular exercise, and preventative veterinary care can help extend their lifespan.


The Lapponian Shepherd Dog Breed is an excellent working dog that has been developed to handle the harsh terrain and cold climate of Lapland. Their loyalty, intelligence, and trainability make them an excellent family companion in addition to their working duties. If you are looking for a highly intelligent and active breed that can handle harsh weather conditions, the Lapponian Shepherd Dog Breed may be the right choice for you. Remember to always seek help from an experienced breeder or veterinarian if you are considering adding this breed to your family.

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