Lapponian Herder Dog Characteristics And Traits

The Lapponian Herder or Lapinporokoira (Lapland Reindeer Dog) is a Spitz type herding dog that originated in Lapland, a vast land that encompasses the northern parts of Scandinavia and Karelian district of Russia. There is no exact evidence on how exactly this dog breed is actually old, but judging by its DNA, it was estimated that it evolved from the prehistoric dogs that have lived in these lands several thousand years ago. Like the Swedish Lapphund and Finnish Lapphund, Lapsk Vallhund was developed by Sámi, a semi-nomadic people that have been inhabiting Lapland for many centuries. After they were domesticated, these three Scandinavian breeds, together with the Norwegian Elkhound and Swedish Elkhound, went through further development by the process of hybridization between male dogs and female wolves. Lapponian Herder is by the FCI included in the Nordic Watchdogs And Herding Dogs group in the class of primitive dogs.

About Lapponian Herder Dog Breed

The Lapponian Herder is literally a short haired, but a slightly larger version of a Finnish Lapphund. In fact, they are both slightly different variants of Lapland dogs used for reindeer herding. These two breeds were considered one for a long period of time, to be precise, until 1966, when Olli Korhonen had written the Lapinporokoira‘s present standard. Lapinporokoira is a true embodiment of a Nordic working dog with superb herding instincts and great resilience to harsh polar climates. This is an agile, friendly and loud dog with large working capacity. Apart from being an excellent herder, this dog is also known as a wonderful family companion, who is always obedient and willing to please. Main Lapponian Herder characteristics are intelligence, independence, resourcefulness, boldness, alertness, agility, speed, strength, calmness, loyalty, curiosity, endurance, and persistence.

The life expectancy of a Lapponian Herder is around 11-12 years. These are quite healthy dogs, which can rarely suffer from hip dysplasia, arthritis, skin allergies, and some other not so serious conditions. Lapinporokoira requires regular daily activity since this is a very athletic, energetic and lively dog. Contrary to many other breeds, this dog is usually nice and calm without any activity, but that certainly doesn’t mean he is happy that way. So, I suggest you exercise him once or twice a day – take him for a long walk or throw him a frisbee. When you go outside with your dog, it would be best to keep him on a leash in case he’s not already socialized and obedient. This is very important since Lapponian Herders can be dominant and aggressive with other dogs, males especially. Plus, they are known to possess a strong prey drive, which makes them very dangerous for cats and other small pets. These are also very curious dogs, who won’t hesitate to explore surroundings if they catch up some nice smell.

About Training And Working Capacity Of A Lapland Reindeer Dog

Lapsk Vallhund is an agile, strong and hardy dog

Strong and agile!

The Lapponian Herder demands a dominant and calm leader, who knows well how to successfully handle an independent and stubborn dog. Yeah, Lapsk Vallhund is an independent and confident thinker, who won’t lightly accept obedience training. So, you will have to work carefully with your dog using short and focused lessons in combination with positive reinforcement techniques. This might sound like a hard labour, but it definitely won’t be a problem with this dog. Lapinporokoira can be indeed a bit challenging to get invested into training, but once you succeed with this, your training sessions will become a pure joy. This dog is not only very smart, he also has a good memory. He will easily figure out and remember even the most demanding commands. And, what’s best, once he became obedient and trustful, he will be eager to learn more and more, always expanding his views on how to please its master.

As a typical herding dog, Lapponian Herder is usually prone to excessive barking. It is in his nature to be loud in order to control the herd. However, this habit of his can be sometimes really annoying. So, I suggest you correct your dog on this as soon as you can. On the other hand, his need to be loud as well as protective and watchful, makes Lapinporokoira an excellent watchdog. Although often calm, this dog is always alert and will notice you if there’s anything suspicious. This dog can also be of great use as the hunter’s companion. Hunting was actually the primary job of Lapsk Vallhund back in time, when the reindeer herding still wasn’t an actual job. That is not surprising at all since Lapponian Herder is a very powerful and hardy dog with superb senses of smell and sight, who can easily cross vast distances and can successfully cope with the harshest of terrains. Also, these dogs can be of great help in rescue missions.

Wonderful Family Dog

The Lapponian Herder is a great dog for every family, who enjoys being in the company all the time. This is a loyal, friendly and good-natured dog, who will do anything to make his human family happy. Lapsk Vallhund is a nice companion for children too. Yeah, he is often calm and gentle, but can be also very playful and cheerful. Besides, he is very tolerant and will ignore even the kids that are not so nice with him. No matter what you do, he will gladly join you and other members of your family. He will intriguingly observe you all, while simultaneously figuring out what he needs to do to attract your attention. Lapponian Herder thrives when he has something to do, so make sure you regularly organize some daily activities to keep him busy. It is the reason this dog demands large open spaces and is not suitable for an urban environment or an apartment. Yeah, you can keep your Lappie indoors, but not for a longer period of time.

Lapsk Vallhund Physical Characteristics

The Lapponian Herder is a sturdy, medium-sized dog of a rectangular shape. At first sight, it is noticeable that this dog is quite longer than tall at the withers. His body is compact and very muscular, covered with a dense, weatherproof double coat. The undercoat is soft and fine like cotton wool, while the medium-length topcoat consists of harsh, straight and “sharp” guarding hair. The hair is more or less the same length, except on the hindquarters and tail. As usual, when it comes to Nordic dogs with double coats, weekly grooming is necessary in order to remove dead hair, while during the shedding seasons, you should brush your dog at least once a day. Since Lapinporokoira has a straight hair coat, the grooming won’t give you a headache, probably ;) Main Lapponian Herder colors are black, dark brown and dark grey with white and cream markings on the head, neck, chest, and on the legs. Main colors can slightly vary in shades.

The Lapponian Herder has the usual wedge-shaped head with the thick, short and slightly tapering muzzle with scissor-bite jaws. The nose is black and broad and the ears are triangular, pricked, pointed, and quite large in comparison with the head. This dog has the brown, oval-shaped eyes, which are rather set apart. The medium-length neck is very strong and a bit lean. The chest is relatively deep and long with well sprung ribs. The back is slightly lean and strong. The Lapsk Vallhund‘s tail with thick fur is of a moderate length. It is often set down, but when the dog is excited, it is carried high up in the shape of a saber. The front legs are well-muscled and firm, while the hind legs are well-boned, slightly angled, and very powerful. Both pairs of legs are relatively short in comparison with the rest of body. The oval-shaped feet with well-arched toes and hard pads are well-furred and protected from freezing.

Lapponian Herder Dog Size And Weight

– Height between 19 and 21,5 inches (48–54 cm)
– Weight between 61,5 and 66 pounds (28-30 kg)
– Height between 17 and 19,5 inches (43–49 cm)
– Weight between 59,5 and 64 pounds (27-29 kg)

Lapinporokoira is an excellent and tireless herding dog

Move fast reindeer! I’m in a hurry :)

Great Shephard’s Companion

The name of this dog says it all. Yeah, Lapponian Herder is a truly magnificent herding dog. He is probably the best of three Lapponian dogs for this job. While the Finnish Lapphund and Swedish Lapphund are both excellent herders, things that set Lapinporokoira apart are his incredible endurance, strength and will to work, which are undoubtedly bigger in this dog. Lapponian Herder can work hard during a whole day, he is literally tireless. He possesses all the qualities needed for this job – he is very bright, fast thinking and obedient, he is swift, loud, agile and resourceful, and beside that, he is persistent, focused and eager to please. The way Lapponian Herder controls reindeer is by utilizing a combination of fast, constant and “annoying” moves with persistent bark that also helps the reindeer distinguish a dog from wolves. He can also equally well herd sheep and other livestock.

Excellent Dog Sporting Competitor

It is quite understandable that smart and agile dogs are best suited for dog sporting competitions. Lapponian Herder is certainly one of these. Like I wrote above, he is highly intelligent, strong, agile, fast, and willing to please, all of which makes him highly versatile when it comes to dog sporting competitions. On top of that, this dog possesses great senses, he is relatively easy to train, and is very loyal and obedient to its primary master. With adequate training, Lapinporokoira can compete with great success in various dog sporting events, such as agility and obedience trials, carting, flyball, tracking, herding, showmanship, rally obedience or even mushing. So, as you can clearly see, Lapponian Herder is indeed a wonderful working dog, who can serve you well in many ways. Unfortunately, this is one of those rare breeds, well, like other Lapponian dogs, and is hard to get by it outside Scandinavia. But, if you are looking for a good working dog and lovely family companion, then it would be certainly worth it to try to find a puppy for yourself!

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