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 centimeters (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.
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.
About the Finnish Lapphund Club of America
The Finnish Lapphund Club of America was established in 2004 as the advocate for the Finnish Lapphund in the United States of America.
On June 30, 2011 the Finnish Lapphund Breed officially moved from the AKC Miscellaneous Group into the Herding Group becoming an AKC fully recognized breed now able to compete in all AKC sanctioned events, and compete for Championships and Titles.
As the AKC parent club of the Finnish Lapphund, the objectives of the club as described in FLCA’s Constitution and By-Laws, are:
- to encourage and promote quality in the breeding of purebred Finnish Lapphunds and to do all possible to bring their natural qualities to perfection;
- to urge members and breeders to accept the standard of the breed as approved by The American Kennel Club as the only standard of excellence by which Finnish Lapphunds shall be judged;
- to do all in its power to protect and advance the interests of the breed by encouraging sportsmanlike competition at dog shows and all AKC events for which the club is eligible under the rules and regulations of the American Kennel Club.
- to conduct sanctioned matches and dog shows and all AKC events for which the club is eligible under the rules and regulations of The American Kennel Club.
- to educate owners, breeders, and the general public as to every aspect of Finnish Lapphunds;
- to encourage the organization of independent local specialty clubs in those localities where there are sufficient fanciers of the breed to meet the requirements of The American Kennel Club.
Currently, the FLCA has approximately 100 members throughout the United States and Canada with 400 plus Lapphunds in this country.
The FLCA and its members are all committed to introducing the Finnish Lapphund and all its wonderful qualities to America.