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Finnish Lapphund - Temperament & Personality

Source: PetWave, Updated on July 16, 2015
Finnish Lapphund


The Finnish Lapphund is an intelligent, affectionate and versatile herding dog at heart. He likes to keep his people - and anything else he can herd, including kids and household pets - tightly together. These adaptable animals thrive in almost any environment. Their dense coats protect them from bad weather, but they also do well in warm climates. Finnish Lapphunds make terrific family companions, especially for active outdoorsy people. They can be a bit aloof around strangers, but they are not known to be shy. They are observant, focused and watchful. Lapphunds tend to be quite vocal and energetic, which is not surprising given their original role as reindeer-herders. This breed gets along well with other dogs and they are good with children.

Activity Requirements

Finnish Lapphunds are extremely active, alert and ready to be part of whatever action is going on. They were bred for outdoor work around reindeer, cattle and horses, and they appreciate the opportunity to run and explore outside. Because they hail from frigid arctic areas, these dogs do quite well living in cold climates. They enjoy going for long walks with their owners and engaging in all sorts of active canine sports. Like many other herding breeds, the Finnish Lapphund has tremendous strength and stamina. This dog is perfectly suited for people who enjoy hiking, mountain biking, backpacking and other outdoor activities. The Finnish Lapphund wants and needs lots of exercise and may become restless and destructive if its energy needs are not met.


In addition to physical activity, the Finnish Lapphund needs a healthy dose of mental stimulation. As a herding dog, this breed will analyze a situation before deciding how to handle it. Fortunately, the Finnish Lapphund enjoys training and working with people. This breed is relatively easy to train and enjoys using its finely-tuned observational skills to learn what is asked of it. These are fairly “soft” dogs. They respond best to positive reinforcement and reward-based training, using praise rather than punishment. Finnish Lapphunds have strong noses and excel at scent-related activities, such as tracking, scent discrimination work and search and rescue.

Behavioral Traits

When working, Finnish Lapphunds are agile, active, alert and noisy. When interacting with people, however, the breed usually is calm, friendly and submissive. Lapphunds are barkers. They have used their voice to help drive and control reindeer herds in their native Scandinavia for centuries. This trait can be problematic in urban environments, where noisy dogs are frowned upon. Barking is certainly controllable with consistent training. Still, this breed is not quiet by nature. It has a strong “startle reflex,” which comes from its reindeer-herding heritage. This breed makes a great watchdog but not a great guard dog. The Finnish Lapphund is usually gentle and quite good with children, despite the impression its size may give. The breed is also noted for its patience with the elderly and people with disabilities.

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