The Swedish Lapphund Dog Breed

During ancient times the Swedish Lapphund roamed the frigid arctic circle helping their families herd reindeer. It’s a super hardy breed that forms strong bonds with their owners! They were treated as a part of the family. They provided a great service as herding and protection dogs.

The Swedish Lapphund History

Swedish Lapphund Puppy

The swedish Lapphund is thought to be one of the most ancient dog breeds in existence today meaning they are true to the early versions of this breed. Genetic studies determined this type of breed was developed to a dog-wolf hybrid where it originated.

Over time this dog was developed to perform many different complicated tasks by the native Sami people of the region. One of the neatest characteristics of this dog is how vocal it is. The Sami people liked this dog because it would alert the herd to predators and the herd animal Reindeer grew accustomed to the bark. This dog is not very well known outside of it’s home region.

This breed was near extinction in the mid 1900s. Breeders efforts kept the dog alive and today there are over 1000 in existence! Even with these numbers however they are a rare breed.

Where did the Swedish Lapphund Come From?


Hunters and farmers created the Swedish Lapphund in Scandinavia, Sweden. This is the national dog of Sweden! Most of these dogs still exist in and around the area of Sweden.

What Were They Bred For?

Herders created The Swedish Lapphund to herd and guard the flock. The Sami people used this dog for their Reindeer herds. Reindeer grew accustomed to this dog and knew it was a friend and not a foe. This dog is highly intelligent and capable of many different tasks. In modern day times they good at socializing with people and a good companion of children.

Are They a Pure Breed?


Swedish Lapphunds at a Glance

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

Physical Traits

Swedish Lapphund Snow

The Swedish Lapphund ha a dark nose and round, large brown eyes framed by small, wide-set, triangular ears. they vary in Coat colors include black, liver, or black and liver, and their may be white patches on the chest, feet and tail.

The Swedish Lapphunds are medium sized dogs. These dogs have large intelligent looking brown eyes. They have to triangular ears that point up an forward. The Swedish Lapphunds tail curls over it’s back.

These dogs have a thick double coat to protect them from the harsh elements of the arctic! Their boat makes them appear larger than they really are. Their color can vary with black, tan, liver and any mixture of these. They sometimes have white patches on the chest, feet and tail.

Breed Standard

Swedish Lapphund Size

  • Male: 18–20 inches (45–51 cm)
  • Female: 16–18 inches (40–46 cm)

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.


  • Male weight 42-46 lbs or 19-21 kg.
  • Female weight 39-44 lbs or 18-20 kg.


Swedish Lapphund Dogs have 2 coats. The top coat is medium and thick and the undercoat it fine and dense. These coats can be kept in check by weekly brushing. During shedding season they may need more brushing. There are several brushes available specifically for brushing dogs with undercoats. Giving them the occassional bath will keep them clean.

Check their nails to make sure they are not split or cracked and trim as needed.

Check their ears to make sure they are not full of debris or wax and clean as needed.

Do They Drool?


Best Climate for the Swedish Lapphund

This breed has such a thick and heavy coat they do best in cooler to cold climates. They are from the arctic circle after all!


Swedish Lapphund With Chains

The Swedish Lapphund is used to being around other dogs. This dog forms strong bonds with families and owners. They are very energetic and love to stay active. If this dog does not get enough exercise they tend to get bored and cause trouble.

Even though they are a very active breed, they are still capable of relaxing.

These dogs were bred to bark at the sign of trouble and are vocal when people approach the door or they perceive a threat.

How Easy are They to Train?

This type of dog can learn quickly and responds well to praise and positive reinforcement.

The Swedish Lapphund is a quick learner because it was bred to work together with humans for herding and guarding. They are accustomed to taking direction from humans. At the same time they are independent and require patience to train. They respond well to positive reinforcement and praise!

Teaching a “silent” command is a really useful technique to curtail any nuisance barking. It requires patience and rigorous consistency in training.

Do They Tolerate Other Pets?

This breed has a high tolerance to other pets. They are generally tolerant and sociable with other dogs. They can be acceptable of cats if raised with them.

Are They Good for Families?

The Swedish Lapphund can be a good dog for families and children. They are friendly and protective. They are very social by nature and with some training can be great around people. The Swedish Lapphund does well in cooler climate areas with a little space.

Do They Have a Strong Prey Drive?

Swedish Lapphund Dark

This dog has a low prey drive. They are herders and guarders and don’t tend to give chase to small animals.

Are They Social With Other People?

The Swedish Lapphund is a very social dog and with a little training can be excellent around humans.

Is The Swedish Lapphund Good for New Owners?

This breed is a family friendly, dog friendly and sociable dog. They do take some patience when training. We don’t recommend this dog for novice owners unless you are dedicated to spending a fair amount of time dedicated to taking care of your dog.


The Swedish Lapphund is a healthy dog in general. There are some breed specific health conditions this dog can suffer from. As far as lifespan goes they live as long as most other breeds it’s size.

The Swedish Lapphund Lifespan

  • 10-13 years

Health Issues

Their are some health issues specific to this breed. Diabetes mellitus, Glycogenosis and spinal muscular atrophy are health issues this dog suffers from.


Swedish Lapphund on Grass

Breeders need this dog to be a high energy breed. This dog helped her reindeer and fight off predators. It enjoys being active and can require up to 2 hours a day of exercise. This can be a great bonding experience with your dog!

Swedish Lapphund Rescues

These dogs are hard to find in general. People usually buy these dogs from breeders and have them for their lifetimes. Not many of these dogs are available from rescues as a result.

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