Finnish Reindeer Herder

Grooming Needs
Exercise Needs
Good With Dogs
Watchdog Ability


The Finnish Reindeer Herder (lapinporokoira in Finnish) originates from the prehistoric dogs of Scandinavia. The origins of the breed are a topic of discussion because the Lapponian Herder is really different from all other Spitz dogs. The first documents of the Reindeer in Lapland dated back to the XV and XVI century.

The first attempts of a breeding program started in 1930, but it became reality in 1950. The standard of the breed was approved in 1966 by the Kennel Club of Finland.

The Lapponian Herder is an intelligent dog and a quick learner. It is calm when at home and energetic in a working environment.

Physical characteristics

The Lapponian Herder (as it is widely known) has a proportional body, with relatively short fur and a harsh coat. The ears are high (dogs with dropped ears are disqualified from exhibitions.) Coloration is black, brown or dark gray, with some lighter shades on the legs and the head. This dog looks a little bit longer than the other Nordic breeds.

Representatives of the breed are 46 to 51 cm tall, but there should be a visible difference between females and males. The average weight is between 25 and 28 kg. Male dogs are usually slightly heavier than the females.

Character and behavior

These dogs are friendly, calm, docile and very energetic. They are kind, obedient and adore their families.

You should give your dog regular tasks and exercises. The Finish Reindeer Herder can successfully participate in a lot of sports like carting, agility, obedience, mushing, Rally obedience, flyball, tracking, herding events and showmanship.

Training and education

The Lapponian Herder is an obedient dog and likes to learn, so training will be easy. This breed has the qualities to achieve serious results in every sport you try. Still, you need to be confident in the training and use the right approach that will unlock the potential of this animal.

Moreover, some representatives of the breed can be quite stubborn and capricious. Then you need to strengthen the methods of training. Definitely you should not use hard and threatening approaches, as they surely will have no effect.

Health problems

This is generally a very healthy breed with few genetic problems. These disorders usually occur at low frequencies. Some of these issues are: HC, RD, PRA, cryptorchidism,and Hip dysphasia. All breed clubs in Finland have unique health programs with the only goal – to increase the health of all dogs.

The average life span of the breed is between 13 and 16 years. Other appreciated qualities are hardiness, patience to hardship, original behavior, high power of resistance to diseases, easy births, ability to take initiatives and to find food by themselves.

Grooming and care

The coat of the Finnish Reindeer Herder needs moderate care. You should comb it every two-three days. In the summer, it is better to trim the fur to make your dog feel more comfortable in the hot days. Bathe only when needed.

This breed is not suitable for growing in warm climate due to his Scandinavian nature.

Children and other pets

This dog is unbelievably friendly towards kids, and the soft character makes him a perfect companion who can easily adapt to live in big villages, despite his wild nature. You should not leave your pet alone for a long period of time, it will lead to behavior problems.

Interesting facts

The first information about the breed is from the book “Lapponia”, published in 1674.

The club of the Finnish Lapphund. Finnish Reindeer Herder and Swedish Lapphund was founded in 1970. Today, there are more than 4000 members, lead by the chairman Marjo Berg.

The breed is not very popular in Europe and puppies for sale can be found mostly in Finland, Sweden and Norway.