The Lapponian Herder Dog Breed

Lapponian Herder is a medium-sized breed of dog from Finland. It is one of the Finland’s national dog breeds. The Lapponian Herder has a medium length fur in a double coat and has many colors like, grey-brown, black often with lighter undercoats, and white or tan markings.

This breed is generally docile and friendly companion but like all herding dogs, can become energetic when he is working. They are intelligent, eager to please, and easy to train. They love to perform and solve any task given to them. Lapponian Herders love their owners very much. They can be aloof to strangers. This breed is generally healthy and can live up to 10 to 14 years.

The Lapponian Herder History

Breeders in Finland created the Lapponian Herder. Sami people in Northern Europe bred this and two other dogs. The Sami people developed these dogs for herding and guarding their livestock. Breed registers accepted the Lapponian Herder around the 1950s.

Where did the Lapponian Herder Come From?


A Long time ago, the Sami people of Northern Europe created these herding dogs. Dogs that were created at such time are not documented and did not have an exact appearance.

In 1930s, Swedish and Finnish began to collect information about dogs type especially those dogs that were lost during the World War II. Both Kennel Club in Sweden and Finland began to recreated the lost reindeer-herding dogs after the war.

At that time, the modern Finnish Lapphund and the Lapponian Herder were created and recognized as the same breed. On October 12, 1966 breeders seperated the Lapponian Herder into its own breed because two different reindeer-herding breeds existed.

In many regions in Finland, the Lapponian Herder still herds and guards the reindeer. In April 2017, this breed was finally accepted to the Foundation Stock Service program by the American Kennel Club.

What Were They Bred For?

Breeders created the Lapponian Herder to herd and guard reindeer in many regions Finland. This breed is also called the Reindeer Herder because of his original purpose.

Are They a Pure Breed?


Lapponian Herders at a Glance

Good For Families
Tolerates Other Pets
Prey Drive
Health Score
Energy Level
Space Needs
Good for New Owners

Physical Traits

The Lapponian Herder is a medium-sized dog. Males stand at 20 inches at the withers while females stand at 18 inches. They both weighs around 70 pounds. Both males and females should look distinctly different. This breed is muscular and strong. The colors are generally black, dark grey and brown and rarely red brown. The head and lower parts of the body have a lighter shade with white markings. Lapponian Herder breed look like more wolves than standard dogs such as golden retrievers or other sheepdogs, like German Shepherds and the Australian sheepdog.

Breed Standard

Lapponian Herder Size

  • Male: 19-21 inches
  • Female: 17-19 inches

Height measurements are always from the ground to the highest point of a dog’s shoulder blades. The highest point on a dogs shoulder-blades are known as the withers.


The male weighs around 65 pounds and females weight around 59 pounds.


These dogs have a double coat. They shed their undercoats during the spring and fall and need brushed more during these times. There coat is thick but does not tangle easily and are quite easy to maintain with brushing about once a month or as needed. They occasionally need a baths. Make sure to regularly check their teeth and ears for any issues.

Do They Drool?


Best Climate for the Reindeer Dog

The Lapponian Herder desires mild to cold weather conditions.


Lapponian Herder Running

This dog is calm, friendly, energetic breed and eager to serve. They were used for herding for centuries because their qualities. This breed is perfect for families and well with children. However, this breed is a herding dog, supervision is required.

They work devotedly and very protective to their owner and in any member of the family. They are friendly with other animals but they can also dominantly dog. Early socialization and well training can help their behavior.

How Easy are They to Train?

They are basically working dogs and pretty easy to train. This breed is docile and calm. This breed is always ready to serve his owner. Sometimes it could be challenging but if you are consistent with the training, they will obey you. Lapponian Herder independent yet eager to please.

Do They Tolerate Other Pets?

This dog is friendly with other dogs and can also get along with cats. Since they are herding dogs they are bred to be around other animals without harming them. Raising cats and dogs together from young ages works well.

Are They Good for Families?

The Lapponian Herder has a friendly and calm character. This breed is kid-friendly dog and perfect as family dog. Gentle and great playmate with children. However, this breed is a herding dog supervision is necessary.

Do They Have a Strong Prey Drive?

Lapponian herders have a strong prey drive and when in public should be on a leash. This helps control them when a rabbit or cat runs by.

Are They Social With Other People?

The Lapponian Herders love to socialized with people. They enjoy being around with other animals but early socialization is needed to guarantee he is a well-adjusted. This breed doesn’t like being left alone.

Is The Lapponian Herder Good for New Owners?

The Lapponian Herders is trainable dog but they are not recommended for people who have no experience in training a dog.


The Lapponian Herder is generally healthy. This breed has no health complications that are specific to the breed. To keep this breed healthy, keep them exercised and lean. You can work with your vet to keep them on a healthy diet.

The Lapponian Herder Lifespan

Lapponian Herder Judging

These dogs typically live from 10 to 14 years. Like any dog keeping them healthy and exercised and not letting them get overweight is a great way to make sure they live a long and happy life!

Health Issues

The Lapponian Herder is typically healthy but owners should be aware of ear infections, skin allergies, gastric torsion and common health issues to any breed the hip dysplasia.


It would be great for a Lapponian Herder to have a job to do. It’s either herding, exercise or training. You need to provide them a physical activity. Lapponian Herder should have a daily exercise, so they will not be destructive.

Lapponian Herder Rescues

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