Swedish Lapphund

Swedish Lapphund picture


The Swedish Lapphund is a direct descendant from an ancient Spitz type herding dog developed and used in the Nordic countries by the native Lapland people, the Sami. Evidence from archaeological excavations suggests that this type of dog was living and working with the humans over 7000 years ago. For centuries the Sami people relied on the reindeer for food and clothing. The Lapphund was originally used to hunt the reindeer, but with the help of the Lapphund the Sami started to farm the reindeer and the dogs were later used for herding. The dogs were also used for hunting other animals including elk, foxes, and birds.

Despite itís ancient origins the breed has only been officially recognised as a breed in itís own right since 1944 when the FCI adopted the first breed standard.

Nowadays Lapphund is becoming more and more popular companion and family dog due to his excellent temperament. It is not surprising that it is most commonly found in Sweden and the other Nordic countries but there are small numbers to be found in most European countries and as far afield as Australia.


The Swedish Lapphund is a typical Spitz type dog. It is a medium size dog, rectangular in body, typically 43 to 48 cm at the withers depending on the sex; the males are slightly larger than the bitches. The ears should be set well apart; short, erect and very mobile, eyes round and dark brown full of expression. The tail is normally held curled over the back when moving but allowed to drop when standing or at rest. It has a dense double coat, which is usually solid black, although bear brown and a white mark on chest, feet and tip of tail are acceptable. Occasional brushing is all that is usually needed to keep the coat in good condition.

The Swedish Lapphund is a hardy dog, alert, faithful and friendly, intelligent and quick to learn. They make good companion dogs and are excellent with children. Like most spitz breeds it also has an independent temperament and can be stubborn and like most dogs can chase animals. They can also bark a lot! However, it is a very adaptable and easy to train breed and the undesirable traits can usually be controlled by appropriate training.

The breed is very adaptable with an excellent temperament and is suitable for both country and town living although they should not be left alone in a house alone all day long. It is an active breed that requires both mental and physical activity. They should be walked for at least one hour a day.


The Swedish Lapphund is a generally healthy breed. Responsible breeders will have their dogs tested for PRA and hip dysplasia prior to breeding.