Lapland reindeer dog

Lapland reindeer dog Breed description: Character & Co

Lapland reindeer dog

Life expectancy
11 - 13

Origin and history

The Lapland Reindeer Dog, also known as the Lapphund or Lapinkoira, has its roots deep in northern Europe, more specifically in the Lapland regions of Finland, Sweden and Norway.

  • Historical Purpose: This breed of dog was originally bred and used by the Sámi, the indigenous people of Lapland, to herd and herd reindeer.
  • Adaptation: Over time, as reindeer were increasingly herded using snowmobiles instead of dogs, the Lapland Reindeer Dog adapted and found its place as a family and companion dog.

Suitability and use

The Lapland Reindeer Dog is not only a master at herding, but also an outstanding companion:

  • Working Zeal: Because of its history as a working dog, it has a strong herding instinct and can still be used in reindeer herding if desired.
  • Family Friendliness: With his affectionate and loyal nature, he makes an excellent family dog. He is especially kind to children and patient.
  • Alertness: He is an alert and vigilant dog, yet protective of his family without excessive aggressiveness.


Originally bred to herd reindeer in the icy regions of Lapland, the Lapland Reindeer Dog has proven his abilities and adaptability by transforming into a popular family dog. His versatility, combined with his loving nature, makes him a valuable member of any family willing to accommodate his urge to move and herding instincts.

Banner: Depositphotos / S.Borisovich
Lapland shepherd dog on a morning walk in the city park. Lapland shepherd dog originated in Finland. Pets. A sunny day. Close up. Lapland shepherd dog on a morning walk in the city park. Lapland shepherd dog originated in Finland. Pets. A sunny day. Close up.
Alternate Name Finnish Lapland Shepherd Dog, Finnish Lapland Shepherd Dog, Lapinporokoira
Origin Finland
Life expectancy 11 - 13 years
Care requirements low-maintenance
Activity level high
FCI group Nordic Watchdogs and Herders
AKC group not recognised
KC group not recognised

Nature and temperament

The Lapland Reindeer Dog is known for its friendly and even temperament. In its history as a herding dog, it has learned to think and act independently, which is also reflected in its character:

  • Loyalty: a faithful and reliable companion that builds a strong bond with its family.
  • Intelligence: this dog is not only willing to work, but also exceptionally smart and capable of learning.
  • Alertness: Despite its friendly nature, it is often reserved and wary of strangers.

Interaction and Social Behavior

The Lapland Reindeer Dog's interaction with other animals and people is influenced by his working history:

  • Children: generally he is fond of children and shows patience, but interaction should always be under supervision.
  • Other Animals: Thanks to his herding instinct, he gets along well with other pets, provided he has been properly socialized.
  • Towards strangers: A cautious approach is typical of him. He often needs a little time to build trust.

Final thoughts

The Lapland Reindeer Dog impresses not only with his working ability and intelligence, but also with his lovable nature. He is a versatile dog that shines both as a family member and as a working dog. The combination of loyalty, intelligence and adaptability makes it a special four-legged friend that will become a loyal and irreplaceable companion in the right environment.


Care requirements

The Lapland Reindeer Dog has a weatherproof double coat that protects it from the harsh climatic conditions of Lapland. This coat requires regular grooming:

  • Coat Care: At least once a week, the coat should be brushed to prevent matting and accumulation of dirt. Daily grooming may be necessary during the shedding phase.
  • Bathing: Only when necessary. It is important to use special dog shampoos that do not disturb the coat's natural oil balance.

Health aspects

The Lapland Reindeer Dog is generally robust and healthy, but like all breeds, it has its specific health vulnerabilities:

  • Eye diseases: Some specimens may be prone to eye diseases such as progressive retinal atrophy.
  • Joint problems: In some cases, joint diseases such as hip dysplasia can occur.

Breeding and origin

The Reindeer Dog was originally bred in the Nordic regions as a working dog. Today there are breeding associations dedicated to the preservation and purity of the breed:

  • Breeding standards: there are clear breeding standards set by breed associations to ensure the quality and health of the breed.
  • BreedingSelection: Potential breeding animals are tested for health problems to minimize the risk of hereditary diseases.


The Lapland Reindeer Dog is a hardy animal that can live a long and healthy life with proper care and attention. If interested in a puppy of this breed, one should contact reputable breeders who follow breeding standards and prioritize the health of their animals.

Lapponian Herder Dog

The coat of the Lapland Reindeer Dog is dense and weather resistant, ideally adapted to the harsh conditions of Lapland:

  • Double coat: the reindeer dog has a dense undercoat and a longer, coarse outer coat. This protects him from cold and wet conditions.
  • Color Variations: While black is the dominant color, the coat can also be brown, gray or even red. White markings are common and often appear on the chest, paws, neck and face.

Visual characteristics

Characteristic of the Lapland Reindeer Dog are its pointed ears and alert gaze. The build is strong, yet agile:

  • Face: The expression on the face is lively and intelligent, with dark, almond-shaped eyes.
  • Build: A compact body with well developed muscles and a straight back line.

Height and weight

SexHeight (cm)Weight (kg)
Male dog48-57 cm20-30 kg
Female43-52 cm17-24 kg

Final words

The Lapland Reindeer Dog impresses with its robust appearance, which nevertheless does not lack a certain elegance. Its dense coat and strong stature are clear indicators of its adaptability to the harsh climate of its homeland. Whoever chooses this breed will not only get an attractive, but also an extremely resistant and faithful companion.

Fur length medium
Fur -
Ear shape Standing Ears
Tail lang
Anatomy rugged
Size ♀ 43 - 49 cm
Weight ♀ 15 - 25 kg
Size ♂ 46 - 51 cm
Weight ♂ 15 - 25 kg
Suitable For -
  • Hip dysplasia (HD)

    Hip dysplasia (HD) is a genetic condition in dogs where the hip joint is not shaped properly. This leads to pain, stiffness and restricted movement.

  • Overweight

    Often, unfortunately, the dogs very much under excess weight. But the dogs themselves are never to blame!

Other medium dogs

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