The Finnish Lapphund is a hardy, easy going, medium-size breed of Spitz type. Traditionally it has been used for herding reindeer. Although it is one of the most popular dog breeds in its native country, Finland, it is not very numerous outside of the Nordic countries.
The Finnish Lapphund is a medium-sized, strongly-built dog. It has a profuse coat with pricked, highly mobile ears, distinctive markings and an elegant nose.
The breed standard is 46 to 52 centimetres (18 to 20 in) at the withers for a male, and a slightly smaller 41 to 47 centimetres (16 to 19 in) for a female. However, some variation is allowed, since the breed standard states that the type is more important than the size. A typical male of 49 cm height normally weighs 17 to 19 kilograms (37 to 42 lb), but the breed has a weight range of 15 to 24 kilograms (33 to 53 lb), depending on the size of the dog.
Predominantly black Finnish Lapphund female with spectacle markings around the eyes
The Lapphund has a profuse double coat, with a short, fluffy undercoat and a longer topcoat. The coat makes the dog waterproof as well as resistant to extreme cold. In Finland, only two dog breeds are legally allowed to be kenneled outdoors in winter: the Finnish Lapphund and the Lapponian herder. The profuse hair around the head and neck gives the distinct impression of a mane in most males. Although the coat is profuse, it requires only a modest amount of maintenance. Weekly brushing is recommended throughout the year, except during shedding seasons, where a daily brush may be required.
The Finnish Lapphund is a very intelligent and active breed. Finnish Lapphunds take well to training due to their intelligence. Some owners and fanciers claim that “Lappies” even have the ability to think through actions first. Although small in number worldwide, a noticeable number of Finnish Lapphunds have excelled in activities such as obedience trials, agility, herding trials, and pet therapy.
The first American litter was born in 1988. In 1994, the breed was recognised by the United Kennel Club (UKC), the second largest kennel club in America, in the Northern Group.  The breed was accepted into the AKC Miscellaneous Group on July 1, 2009 with hopes of full breed recognition in 2011. The Finnish Lapphund Club of America (FLCA) is the parent organization in the United States.
The breed was first introduced to the United Kingdom in 1989 and is represented by the Finnish Lapphund Club of Great Britain. It was introduced to Australia and Canada in 1995 and is accepted by the New Zealand Kennel Club and Canadian Kennel Club. In Canada, its parent club is the Finnish Lapphund Club of Canada.