Swedish Lapland Dog - Origin, Characteristics and Behavior

Swedish Lapland Dog or Swedish Lapphund: find out what this animal is like, its physical characteristics, character, behavior, etc. The Swedish Lapland dog, also...

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The Swedish Lapland Hound, also known as the Swedish Lapphund or Lapphund, is a medium-sized dog of the Nordic spitz type. His dense coat and mischievous look give him a sweet and eccentric appearance to this exceptional, intelligent, noble and very active dog, perfect for adventurous guardians who like to spend time outdoors with their best friend.

If you have a Swedish Lapland dog or if you want to know if it is the most suitable breed for you, in this article from PlanèteAnimal we tell you everything you need to know about this exceptional dog !

Happy reading!


  • Europe
  • Sweden

FCI Nomenclature

  • Group V

Physical Characteristics

  • Rustic
  • Proportional
  • Long ears


  • Average


  • 45-55

Adult Weight

  • 10-25

Life expectancy

  • 12-14

Recommended physical activity

  • High


  • Society
  • Smart
  • Active

Ideal for

  • House
  • Walking
  • Shepherd
  • The guard


  • Harness

Recommended climate

  • Cold

Hair type

  • Long
  • Smooth

Origin of the Swedish Lapland dog

The Swedish Lapland dog is one of the oldest known European breeds. As its name suggests, it originated in Lapland, a vast geographical region spanning northern Norway, Finland, Sweden and part of Russia, where this dog was considered a valuable companion for the nomadic tribes of the Sami, the people who inhabited the area hundreds of years ago.

The Sami initially used these dogs as hunters, but over time their primary function changed and the Swedish dogs of Lapland were mainly dedicated to guarding and driving reindeer herds. Today, they are still found as herding dogs, accompanying Swedish and Finnish shepherds and controlling their sheep. However, most are now companion dogs.

Characteristics of the Swedish Lapland Dog

The Swedish Lapland Hound is a compact, medium-sized spitz. Males and females weigh around 20 kilos when fully grown and measure between 40 and 50 centimeters at the withers. The Lapphund has short, muscular limbs, a fully haired tail that curls over the back, large, expressive dark brown eyes set on a thin, elongated muzzle, and small, straight, triangular ears, characteristic of the spitz.

One of its most significant physical characteristics is undoubtedly its dense coat, which can be black, brown or both, although fully black specimens are the most common in the breed. Its coat is double coated and the coat is characteristically lush, shiny, smooth and particularly long on the tail, back of the legs and neck.

Character of Swedish Lapland Dog

As a good working dog, the Swedish Lapland dog loves physical activity, is easy to train and very intelligent, so it usually has no difficulty learning new skills through through positive reinforcement. Its lively and attentive temperament makes it the ideal companion for guardians who love dog sports, as it not only excels at herding, but is also an excellent breed for Agility, tracking and running. other forms of training.

However, the Swedish Lapland Dog is also a versatile dog that adapts to a more relaxed family life, provided its needs are properly met, given a good education and provided with enjoys sufficient physical and mental stimulation.

To his guardians, this breed is friendly, tolerant and affectionate, but does not constantly seek human contact, as is the case with other Nordic breeds: the Swedish Lapland dog tends to be somewhat independent. On the other hand, it is a very vigilant and rather barking dog who will not hesitate to alert you to the presence of any strange person or element approaching your home.

Caring for a Swedish Lapland dog

Like all dogs, the Lapland Dog has specific care needs. Here they are:

    Food: it is very important to offer the Swedish Lapland dog a very good quality food adapted to his age and state of he alth.
  1. Exercise: although the Lapphund is an excellent companion, we must not forget that to live with this breed, we must have enough time to devote to it, because this dog needs a lot of stimulation and training. 'exercise.
  2. Grooming: One of the most important things to watch out for with the Lapphund is the care of their coat. Its coat is very dense and tends to tangle easily, which is not only a cosmetic problem, but also a he alth problem, as the knots in the coat can stick to the skin, causing problems with circulation and circulation. preventing you from sweating. To avoid this, it is important to brush your pet daily, removing all dead hair and knots, especially after walks in the countryside or on the beach. During the summer months, coat care should be intensified to prevent heat stroke.

Education and training of the Swedish Lapland dog

The Lapphund has an enormous capacity for learning, he is very intelligent and attentive and loves physical activity and learning new skills. This breed tends to be quite friendly and sociable with other dogs and people, but in order for it not to develop behavioral problems, it is essential to have patience and to devote time to its socialization, especially during his childhood.

Although he learns very quickly, the Lapland Swede gets bored easily if training sessions are too long or monotonous, causing him to become completely uninterested and behave in a stubborn or frustrated manner . The best way to teach this dog is to play and always use positive reinforcement. Using punishment or other aversive techniques can lead to serious behavioral problems.

Swedish Lapland Dog He alth

In general, this breed is very hardy and very he althy, but there are several things to consider to ensure a long and he althy life for this dog.

Here are some of the main diseases that can affect the Swedish Lapland Dog:

  • Progressive retinal atrophy: an inherited eye disease that affects the dog's retina and causes progressive loss of vision.
  • Hip dysplasia: osteoarticular problem, also hereditary, caused by a malformation of the coxo-femoral joint which causes pain, lameness and difficulty walking. If diagnosed in time, it can be treated and even corrected with surgery.
  • Periodontal disease: the accumulation of tartar and dental plaque causes infections in the gums of the animal, deteriorating the teeth and making it necessary, in many cases, to extract damaged teeth. Also, if left untreated, the infection can spread to other organs in the body, putting the dog's life at risk.To avoid this, it's important to brush your Lapland Swede's teeth at least once a week and, if the vet recommends, have their mouth cleaned occasionally.
  • Diabetes: Like humans, diabetes in dogs results from the body's inability to produce or use insulin. The main symptoms of canine diabetes include listlessness, increased food and water intake, increased urine output and weight loss, among others. If detected in time, diabetes can be treated and allows the dog to lead an almost normal life.

Of course, it is essential to respect the vaccination and deworming schedule established by the veterinarian to prevent the animal from becoming ill and to carry out a complete annual check-up from the age of seven or eight.

Where to adopt a Swedish Lapland dog?

Currently, there are very few Swedish Lapland dogs and most of them are found in the Nordic countries, especially in Sweden.It is therefore quite difficult to find puppies to adopt, because it is also a little known breed in France. However, if you think this is the dog for you, you can always contact the SPAs near you to see if there are any dogs of this breed up for adoption.

Also, if you don't mind going a little further, you can find out about shelters in other European countries where the Swedish Sami dog is more common and go and adopt it. Other breeds similar in appearance and temperament to the Swedish Lapland dog that are more common in French shelters are the Pomeranian or the German Spitz.

Pictures of Swedish Lapland Dog or Swedish Lapphund

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