Official CKC Finnish Lapphund Standard


Origin & Purpose 

The Finnish Lapphund traces its origin back to the dogs kept by the Lapp people used as reindeer herders and watchdogs in Finnish Scandinavia and in the northern parts of Russia. Over the years, as reindeer herding subsided, the dogs were effectively used on Sheep and Cattle. The breed name was changed from Lapponian Herder to Lapphund in 1967 and again changed in 1993 to Finnish Lapphund. Today the breed is very popular in the whole of Finland, mainly as a house and hobby dog. 


General Appearance 

Smaller than medium sized, its conformation is strong for its size, slightly longer than the height at the withers. Long and thick coated with pricked ears.  

Important Proportions – The depth of the body is slightly less than half of the height at the withers. The muzzle is slightly shorter than the skull. The skull is slightly longer than broad, the depth is the same as the breadth. 


Keen, calm and willing to learn. Friendly and Faithful. 


Ideal height for males at the withers - 49 cm (19 inches) 

Ideal height for females at the withers - 44 cm (17 inches) 

With a tolerance of +/- 3 cm (just over 1 inch) 

Type is more important than size 

Coat & Colour 


Skin - Tight overall without wrinkles.

Hair – Profuse, the males especially have an abundant mane. The outer coat is long, straight and harsh. On the head and on the front of the legs, the coat is shorter. There must be a soft and dense undercoat 


All colours are permitted. The basic colour must be dominant. Colours other than the basic colour can occur on head, neck, chest, underside of the body, on legs and tail 



Head and Skull:strong in outline, rather broad. Skull: Broad, slightly convex. The forehead is rather domed. The frontal furrow is clearly defined. Stop: Clearly defined. Nose: Preferably black, yet harmonising with the coat colour. Muzzle: Strong, broad and straight; viewed from above and in profile, evenly tapering, but only slightly. Lips: Tight. Cheeks: The zygomatic arches are clearly marked (defined). Eyes: Dark brown in colour, yet harmonising with the coat colour. Oval shaped. The expression is soft and friendly. Ears: Medium sized. Carried erect or semi-erect, set rather far apart.


Medium in length, strong and covered with profuse hair.


Powerful with strong bones. Viewed from the front straight and parallel. Shoulders: Slightly oblique. Upper Arm: As long as the shoulder blade. The angle between shoulder and upper arm is rather open. Elbows: Placed slightly lower than the lower edge of the ribcage, pointing straight backwards. Forearm: Rather strong, vertical. Carpus (Wrist): Flexible. Pastern: Of medium length, slightly sloping. 


Withers: Muscular and broad, only slightly marked (not prominent). Back: Strong and straight. Loins: Short and muscular. Croup: Of medium length, well developed, sloping only slightly. Chest: Deep, rather long, reaching almost to the elbows, not very broad. The ribs are slightly arched; the forechest clearly visible but not too pronounced. Underline: Slightly tucked up 


Strong boned, powerful. Viewed from behind, straight and parallel. The angulation is clearly marked but not too strongly. Upper Thigh: Of medium length, rather broad with well developed muscles. Stifles: Pointed forward, the angulation is clearly marked (well angulated). Hock Joint: Moderately low set; the angulation is clearly marked but not too strongly. (Moderate angulation). Metatarsus (Rear Pastern): Rather short, strong and vertical. Feet: Well arched, oval rather than round, covered with dense hair. The pads are elastic with the sides covered with dense hair. Rear dewclaws are not desirable 


Set rather high, medium in length, covered with profuse and long hair. In movement the tail in curved over the back or side; at rest it may hang down. 


Effortless. Changes easily from trot to gallop, which is the most natural style of movement. The legs move parallel. Agile and fast when working. 



Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree

  • Males not masculine and females not feminine 
  • Light head, insufficient stop 
  • Dropped ears 
  • Tail carriage continuously lower than the topline 
  • Over angulated or too straight rear angulation 
  • Lack of under coat. Flat coat. Curly outer coat 
  • Basic colour indistinct 



  • Over or undershot mouth
  • Kinky tail 

Note: Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum