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Swedish Lapphund Dog Breed Profile

Swedish Lapphund

Other Names
Lapphund, Lapland Spitz, Lapplandska Spets 
Dog Group Kennel Club
Breed Classification
The Swedish Lapphund was originally used for herding reindeer; today they are used mainly as companions or for sheepherding in their native country, as well as being seen in the show ring.  
Cost of Ownership
Average Food Cost
£4-7.50 per week
Feeding Requirements
These dogs are not big eaters, but the quantity of food will depend on whether you are working the dog on a herding basis or being used as a companion dog.  
Other Expenses
The purchase price of a puppy ranges from £400-£550. 
9 - 15 years
On average the Lapphund lives for around 12-13 years. 
Average Litter Size
The average litter size is 4 - 6 puppies, however some can have more or less than this.  
General Physical Description
A typical spitz in stature, the Lapphund is rectangular in shape and has a substantial and weatherproof coat. The top coat is thick and wooly, the hairs of which should be erect and the undercoat dense and curly and made up of finer hairs.

Height Min Max
Bitch 40cm (16") 46cm (18")
Dog 45cm (18") 51cm (20")
Weight Min Max
Bitch 19kg (42lbs) 21kg (46lbs)
Dog 19kg (42lbs) 21kg (46lbs)
Size Category
Weight Height Range
Bitches should measure between 40-46 cms (16-18 ins)at the withers and dogs 45-51 cms (18-20 ins), both weighing around 19 - 21kgs.  
There are so few of these dogs in the country that there are not many documented problems. PRA has surfaced in their native Sweden and hip dysplacia has been reported there too.  
Common Ailments
Susceptibility To Illness
Swedish Lapphunds are a very old breed. In fact a 7,000 year old skeleton found in Norway closely resemble todays Lapphunds. Originally bred to guard and herd the Sami people's reindeer herds, they are mostly used today as a companion dog although in some, the herding instinct is very strong. The breed is not common outside its home country of Sweden. However if you do get a Lapp, they can be a very independent but loyal companion and lover of the family.  
As all spitz type dogs, Lapphunds like to please but also like to do things their own way! Gentle training is needed and once the penny has dropped training is easy. As with all puppies it is important to socialise at the right point in their lives to have a well balanced and loving friend. This breed can be very noisy, as when originally trained as reindeer herders they were taught to bark all the time whilst working. This way the reindeer knew that a silent dog like creature was an enemy. Not much fun around town though so this needs to be curtailed through gentle training. < 
Show Characteristics
The head should be wedge-shaped with no hint of snipiness and with a well-defined stop. The eyes should be set well apart, round and dark brown with well pigmented rims. The ears should be set well apart, short, erect and pointed. The jaws should be strong with a perfect scissor bite. The lips and palate should be strongly pigmented. The neck should be powerful and of medium length. The body should be slightly longer than the height at the withers with a straight and muscular back. The forelegs should be straight with close fitting elbows and sloping shoulders. The hindlegs should be strong with a moderate turn of stifle and low set hocks. Dewclaws are highly undesirable. The feet should be strong and oval with black nails and pads. The tail should be high set and reach to the hock when extended, with bushy, long dense hair, and carried curled over the back when moving. 
Country Of Origin
Famous Examples
Records Held
Overall Exercise
> 2 hours per day.
The Lapphund likes a reasonable amount of exercise, but not necessarily through hours of walking. They enjoy mind games and will have just as much fun hunting for a favourite toy. This is not a dog recommended to be let off the lead unless you have trained your dog well and have total control. Their natural herding instinct is likely to leave your Lapp chasing after a rabbit, or worse still a car, and at this point they go totally deaf!  
Distress if Left Alone
Personal Protection
Guard Dog Suitability
Risk of Sheep Worrying
Tendency to Bark
Level of Aggression
Compatibility With Other Animals
Suitable For Children


General Character And Temperament
In general the Lapphund is a friendly, outgoing and devoted dog. They are protective of their homes; no intruder will ever go unheard. Lapphunds get on extremely well with children, make good family pets and like to be included in all family activities. However if they are left to there own devices they can be very vocal, and if their minds are not exercised (similar to border collie) then they can be destructive and are known to enjoy digging. Sympathetic training is a must. They are very tolerant of children, but as with all pets, children should NEVER be left alone, however trustworthy your friend may be. Please note that you should not intend to get one of these delightful dogs if there is not someone or another to be a constant companion. THESE DOGS DO NOT LIKE BEING KEPT AWAY FROM THE FAMILY and doing so risks the dog getting so desperate to be with you that it may get destructive.  
Coat Length
Grooming Requirement
Once a week 
Requires Professional Groomer
Grooming is very similar to a Samoyed as on appearance they look like a black miniature. A daily brush is essential to maintain a shiny coat and to maintain the bond between you and your friend. As with Samoyeds this breed has a double coat and the undercoat is shed twice a year. The coat appears semi waterproof and as such dirt will brush off when the coat is dry. The Lapphund has a lovely shiny coat and when groomed regularly is something to be proud of.  
The Swedish Lapphund is either black or bear brown, or a combination of the two. White markings on the chest, feet and tip of tail is acceptable in the show ring but more than this would be objectionable.  
Suffers From Allergies

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