The Finnish Lapphund is a small to medium-sized, sturdily-built Spitz-type dog with a profuse fluffy coat, upright ears and an especially happy facial expression. This breed is intelligent, alert, agile, friendly and eager to please. Despite being quite strong for its moderate size, the Finnish Lapphund is submissive with people and has a certain softness about it, which accentuates its cheerful disposition. Mature males of this breed should be recognizably masculine. Females should look feminine in comparison. The Finnish Lapphund’s ears are set rather far apart and should be small to medium in size, triangular in shape, broad at the base and round at the tip. They may be erect or semi-erect (tipped), but they should never be dropped. The eyes of this breed should be oval and dark. Yellow or blue eyes are a serious fault. The Finnish Lapphund’s tail is high-set and well-fringed.
Size and Weight
The ideal adult male Finnish Lapphund stands 19 ½ inches at the shoulder, and the ideal female is 17 ½ inches in height. The acceptable range for males is 18 to 21 inches and for females is 16 to 19 inches. Most Finnish Lapphunds weigh between 33 and 53 pounds. Type and soundness are considered to be more important than size or weight in this breed.
Coat and Color
Finnish Lapphunds have dense, long, luxurious topcoats and short, soft, fluffy undercoats. Their outer coat is coarse, straight and water-repellant, which is important to their ability to live and work in the harsh Arctic climate. It may be slightly wavy, especially in young dogs, which is not preferred but is permitted under the breed standard, as long as it is still harsh. The under coat is soft and dense, which makes the outer coat stand erect. Males should have a profuse mane. This breed comes in all colors, from tan and blond to black and brown, but one color must predominate. The most common colors are cream, sable, black, brown and tan, with or without white markings. Less common colors are white, blue and brindle, with or without splashes of other colors. A color which consists of bands of different colors on a single hair shaft (sable, wolf-sable, or domino) is considered a single color. Patches of secondary colors are allowed on the head, neck, chest, belly, legs and tail.
Lappies are not difficult to groom. However, it is important to start a consistent grooming regimen when they are young. Early engagement in good grooming habits makes it easier for owners to keep their pets clean and tidy without a fuss or struggle. Finnish Lapphunds shed quite a bit, especially seasonally in warm spring and summer weather. Surprisingly, their coats need no trimming. Weekly combing and brushing will keep the Lapphund’s coat clean and free from flyaway fur. The dog's nails should be trimmed every few weeks, and the ears should be cleaned as necessary. The Lappy’s teeth should be brushed regularly to maintain fresh breath and overall good dental health. In the show ring, this breed is presented in a completely natural condition, except for trimming around the feet and hocks to tidy up its appearance. The undercoat of the Finnish Lapphund tends to shed quite a bit.