The Lapphund was originally used as a hunting dog as well as guardian and watchdog but when the Lapplanders settled down it also became useful as a herder of the reindeers.
Because of its heartiness and good-natured dispositions, the Lapphund is nowadays highly appreciated as pet and companion especially in families with children. Lapphund is stable, intelligent, willing, affectionate and extremely easy to train. They are very versatile dogs and are capable of performing an impressive array of tasks. They love to run and are good candidates for such dog sports as agility and flyball. They also excels in herding, trail, obedience, rescue searching and a lot more. They make wonderful companions for joggers and are excellent show dogs. Swedish Lapphund has also been used in harness and operates well as a sled dog. They also make excellent hunting companions because of their inborn hunting instincts.
The Swedish Lapphund is a basic dog. It is very courageous, extremely endurable and fast, ever watchful and devoted to its owner's family. It is very friendly and loyal, very intelligent and very easy to train. It makes an ideal family pet and companion and is very fond of children.
DOES LAPPHUND MAKE A GOOD WATCHDOG?
Because Swedish Lapphunds are usually very friendly to all people and trustful also with strangers, they are not very good watchdogs. On the other hand they are always alert and vigilant, they guard their territory, but probably they would never attack and bite anybody. They have amiable and loveable nature and are totally unagressive to people.
LAPPHUNDS ARE EASY TO TRAIN
Lapphund is a very intelligent dog and it likes to learn new things. It is a very adaptable and capable breed, very eager to please, and willing to try just about anything its humans ask it to do. A Lapphund quickly learns basic commands and also more difficult ones. It can learn a new trick also just by watching other dog doing it. But it always thinks first before going into action. Anyways, Lapphund needs a consistent and concequentional upbringing.
Lapphunds are appropriate for almost all dog hobbies. They are very successful in obedience trials, including competing on a national level in Sweden and Finland. Lapphunds are ideal for dog shows, for herding, agility, tracking, searching, hunting, for anything you may fancy.
LAPPHUNDS ARE VERY GOOD WITH CHILDREN
Because Lapphunds are lively and very playful dogs, they make ideal companions for children. They can play with them for hours and they bear all their roguery. They are very fond of children and are extremely loving and patient with them. Since Lapphunds are totally unagressive and very friendly to all people you can let your children play with other children without worries.
LAPPHUNDS ARE QUIET AND CALM INDOORS
Swedish Lapphund is calm and relaxed in the house. It finds a place to sleep and stays there until something calls his attention. Its favourite place during the nights is often under bed, under a table, behind a couch, near wardrobes or somewhere else that can work as a »den«.
Lapphund is really talkative and has all sorts of different voices I have never seen in other dogs. However, it seldom barks in the house and is in my opinion a fairly quiet dog.
LAPPHUNDS ARE VERY CURIOUS AND BRAVE DOGS
Swedish Lapphunds are fearless and very curious. If properly socialized, they are not afraid of new surroundings, new people and unknown things. So you can take your Lapphund with you almost everywhere. They are not afraid of big cities' traffic, big roads, crowded places. They will enjoy in a ride with the bus, car, train, metro, boat, plane. They are very curious dogs and enjoy seeing new things and meeting new people. They like to swim, go to mountains or accompany you just everywhere you might wish.
LAPPHUNDS ARE NOT CHOOSY ABOUT FOOD
Lapphunds are very modest dogs and will eat almost any kind of food you will offer to them. They eat all kinds of prepared dog food in cans and dry food and are not sensitive to any kind of dog food. Of course they like fish, meat, rice, almost all sorts of vegetables and almost all sorts of fruits. They can eat almost any kind or any quantity of dog food offered to them and never get sick.
LAPPHUNDS HAVE A COAT THAT IS EASY TO TAKE CARE FOR AND IS ODOURLESS
Lapphunds have a natural two-layer coat. The outer coat is very coarse and because of this does not tend to matt or knot like some of the softer coated breeds. The thick weatherproof undercoat helps keep out the rain, snow and dirt. So Lapphund's coat is very easy to wipe off after a walk. It's amazing how little dirt sticks to it. Lapphund does not have the »dog smell«. Its coat is odourless even when it is wet. The coat sheds heavily twice a year, but in between hardly a hair falls off.
ARE LAPPHUNDS GOOD WITH OTHER ANIMALS?
Lapphunds are usually very good with other animals, who live in their household. They are excellent mixturers with Belgian Shepherds, Border Collies, German Sheperds, Pomeranians, Japanese Spitz, Bichons, Cavaliers, Rottweilers, Bernese mountain dogs and Borzois to name a few. If they are well socialized they will also play with other dogs.
But like most dogs they like to chase cats, birds and other small animals (mouses, rabbits, hedgehogs, squirells, frogs, butterflies, beetles, flies and others).
Because of their inborn herding instinct they like to herd together flocks of sheep, goat, cattles and other animals when the opportunity arises. Based on my own experiences they are very successful at their herding work.
WHAT IS LAPPHUND'S RELATIONSHIP WITH STRANGERS?
Like all polar breeds Lapphunds are also very friendly with all people. They greet visitors and new people friendly and with wagging tails without barking. Everyone is very welcome guest in Lapphund's home.
Also on walks Lapphunds will run to greet new people and they always run to greet people they know. They are happy if strange people talk to them and if they touch them and carress them. Sometimes a Lapphund will throw itself on its back and ask a person for a belly-rub.
Lapphund is very affectionate, lively, attached to all family members, very fond of children, does not tolerate injustice, is very talkative and needs company. Because of its extremly lovable nature it makes an ideal family pet and companion.
Lapphunds are very adaptable and can live happily in all kinds of climatic conditions. Their thick fur with soft and wooly undercoat protect Lapphunds from the summer heat and from the winter cold. On a hot summer day your Lapphund will enjoy a fresh bowl of water under the table and a fresh watermelon or ice cream. Lapphunds lick ice-cream like we do slowly and carefully - it looks as they are enjoying in it. They would never swallow a whole ice-cube like some other dogs do.
Lapphunds feel best if they live in a family as members of the family. Because they are very sociable animals they do not like to be left alone for long periods of time. They can be kept also in city apartment building under condition that they get enough exercises and walks every day.
They are not suitable to be kept in kennels, because they need constant and close contact with their owner, whom they are very devoted and loyal.
IS A SWEDISH LAPPHUND THE RIGHT BREED FOR YOU
Swedish Lapphund needs a loving, gentle but firm owner, which does not expect perfect obedience and blind devotion from a dog, but treats its dog as an equal partner and his friend. Lapphunds are very loving and devoted dogs and from their owners they expect love and respect in return. If you are looking for a dog which will instantly obey without question, will do parlour tricks, will be a cheap burglar alarm or a smart status symbol then forget it now. But if you are looking for a faithful, devoted, intelligent and handsome companion then you could be owned by Lapphund. Ideal owners are families with children and active, delightful, friendly and sociable adults, who like to spend their free time with the dog.
POTENTIAL BEHAVIOUR PROBLEMS
Lapphunds need a gentle but firm and consistent upbringing, corroborated with great deal of love and patience. They have independent and self-confident character and can sometimes become stubborn, get excited and start to chase small animals, which move fast, but they can be easily taught not to do that.
Lapphunds are vocal dogs, who are very talkative and their barking can be misunderstood. Unlike most spitz breeds Lapphunds don't bark for attention and they don't have the characteristic excitable spitz yap. They bark only when disturbed or when they see new things. Certainly being an intelligent breed the young pups can be quickly taught when they are expected to bark and when not.
Usually they draw their owner's attention and bark at their first contact with new things; they expect that their owner will explain them what this new thing is or what is going on and at their further meetings with the same things they will not bark anymore.
It is very important that owners upbring their Lapphunds with firm but gentle hand. If the upbringing is not consistent, very intelligent Lapphund quickly takes advantage of it and characteristics of its independent temperament can show up again.
Because Lapphunds are very attached to their owner and because of their inborn herding instinct, they always stay close to their owners, altough they sometimes enjoy in a short roam during the walk, but because of their excellent orientation skills they always know where their owner is and they always come back to him. They are not vagabonds, they always stay close to their owner.
POTENTIAL HEALTH PROBLEMS
Swedish Lapphund is among the healtiest dog breeds in the world. Allergies, eczema, eye or ear inflammations are uncommon in the breed. There is a small incidence of hereditary eye disease - PRA, hips scores are good as are patella checks. The stud services and subsequent whelpings are usually easy.
Because Lapphunds are fairly healthy breed they have a long life expectancy. Average life expectancy is 12 to 14 years, altough some Lapphunds lived up to 17 years or more.
WHAT DO LAPPIE OWNERS LIKE ABOUT THEM COMPARED TO OTHER DOG BREEDS?
In Sweden and other European countries, the Swedish Lapphund is prized for its beauty and its amiable nature. In Sweden the Lapphund is called "Black Beauty of Sweden" and it is certainly the most protected and honoured breed in Sweden. And it is an excellent show dog; the dark glistening coat of the Swedish Lapphund combined with his proud carriage and "look at me" expression really stands out in the show ring. They just like to be in the centre of the attention and they love to be adored, loved and talked to. They are aware of their beauty and they never hesitate to show it. They are also very personable and affectionate members of the family. Many people, who meet a Swedish Lapphund for the first time in their lives, fall in love with the breed because of their versatility and willing, friendly personality in addition to their beauty and loyality. The breed is also very healthy with very long life expectancy.
IN SUMMARY SWEDISH LAPPHUND IS
- A genuine domestic herding spitz dog
- A good dog for homes, herding and watching, and as a companion in hobbies
- Intelligent and self-reliant
- Appropriate for almost all dog hobbies
- An outdoor dog which also enjoys being indoors
Swedish Lapphunds are middle-sized, ideal companion dogs and family pets with strong character and are very adaptable. They are pride of Swedish cynology. They are very sturdy, affectionate and modest dogs. It is a pity that the breed is not more spread outside Scandinavia, because it has many positive characteristics and is because of its friendliness, trainability and non-aggressiveness very appropriate for modern life style in cities and on countryside. Lapphunds are appropriate also for beginners in cynology.