Of all of the world’s herding breeds, the Lapponian Herder is in the most northerly location. It is a direct descendant of the ancient Nordic spitzes, which accounts for looks that have hardly changed over the centuries. Originally bred by the indigenous people of Fenno-Scandinavia to herd reindeer and to hunt, this breed takes well to obedience training and is always eager to please.
The medium length, thick, coarse coat of a Lapponian Herder covers a muscular frame that’s length exceeds its height, which is generally 20 inches at the withers. Weight can range between 35 and 50 pounds, with females being lighter. The chest is deep and the back is muscular without being heavy-boned. The longish head has a muzzle that is slightly shorter than the skull, and dark , oval-shaped eyes that are bright and alert. To match the bright eyes there is a bushy, medium length tail that is attached low. The breed is built to withstand the Arctic climate.
The Lapponian Herder lives to please, and combined with its keen intelligence, it is a highly trainable dog. Although it can sometimes show a streak of independence, this breed is generally submissive and ready to be led. Once it has bonded with its owner, the Lapponian Herder will be completely devoted and and protective and thrive on their companionship. Despite its ability to survive extreme temperatures, this dog prefers to remain close to its owners and is happiest indoors. However, with its history as a herder it tends to bark at anything and everything, which could pose a problem with neighbours unless this is brought under control.
The Lapponian Herder has boundless energy and will be eager to learn new tricks. Taking it for a walk to a park should, therefore, be great fun for the dog, as well as for the owner if games are to be played there. It is also a wonderful method of reinforcing social behaviour; not that this dog needs much reminding. It loves people with reckless abandon and its trust, once obtained, is lasting. This is a hard working dog, dedicated to pleasing its master.
As the dog of choice of the Sámi hersdmen, the Lapponian Herder has been called on to herd semi-wild reindeer, which takes courage and determination. It has given the breed an innate calmness and sense of obedience, while still leaving it with the ability to think independently. Today it is considered to be one of the hardest working dogs in the world. Conditions have also ensured that the animal has developed the obedience required to follow the instruction to be quiet despite its inclination to bark. Ease of training is, therefore, part of what makes this breed so attractive as a companion.
Lapponian herder’s have done extremely well in obedience, agility and work situations in training. The centuries-old innate desire to please and to do their job well has resulted in owners merely having to establish their dominance in a kind and rewarding manner for this breed to take instruction without any resistance. Their long history of service has been ingrained in this breed, and it takes to family living without argument. Its needs are uncomplicated and easy to address, which is good news for new owners who require peace and companionship from the family pet. Give it enough exercise and love and the Lapponian Herder will guard its owner’s welfare and property with commitment and complete devotion. With its working experience, this dog will probably push the family car should a breakdown occur.