Swedish Lapphund

Swedish Lapphund :: Swedish Lapphund

Swedish Lapphund

Swedish Lapphund :: Swedish Lapphund

Swedish Lapphund

Swedish Lapphund :: Swedish Lapphund

Swedish Lapphund Video

The Swedish Lapphund (Svensk Lapphund) is a breed of dog of the Spitz type from the North of Sweden, one of three Lapphund breeds developed from a type of dog used by the Sámi people for herding and guarding their reindeer. The expression "the black beauty of Norrland" is very often attributed to the Swedish Lapphund, which is most likely one of Sweden's oldest breeds. "Hund" means "Dog" in Swedish.


The Swedish Lapphund is a typical Spitz. It is rectangular built, slightly under medium size with a good carriage. It moves effortless with drive, light, springy and covering ground.

The coat colours are black or bear brown, sometimes with white marks on tail, chest and feet. It has a profuse double coat with hair standing straight out from the body; undercoat is dense and very finely curled.

The Swedish Lapphund should measure between 40 - 46 cm (16 - 18 in.) at the withers for females and 45 - 51 cm (18 - 20 in.) for males, both weighing around 19 - 21 kg (42 - 46 lbs).


The Swedish Lapphund has its origins among the ancient hunting tribes of northern Scandinavia, from the land that the Sámi people call Sapmi, which is also called "Lappland" in Swedish.

One assumes that the Lapphund followed the first Sámi, who migrated to Scandinavia in the neolithic era, about 9,000 BCE.

In Sámi mythology it is said that the Lapphund sought the post of worker amongst the Sámi people in exchange that it would always be well-treated.

The Lapphund has been used mainly for hunting and guarding, but studies have also shown that during the Stone Age, dogs were kept as pets. When the Sámi people started to keep domestic reindeer in the mid-18th century, the Lapphund's repertoire was expanded to include herding.

Historians and archaeologists have long agreed that the Swedish Lapphund has an ancient ancestry - a belief supported by the fossil record. Advancing gene technology has also shown that the breed is old and carries some genetic origins unique or very rare among currently existing breeds.


Hard work in the barren landscape of northern Scandinavia has created a very resilient breed. The shifting climate demands a weatherproof coat that is easy to maintain. The rough terrain and the varied work demand a dog with endurance, agility, intelligence and independence. The resulting Swedish Lapphund is a well-rounded working dog, well suited both for work as a farm, hunting, and herding dog, and as a pet.

Like all Spitz dogs in general, the Swedish Lapphund demands a stable upbringing and both regular mental as physical stimulation to perform at its best. As a working dog they show their versatility in a number of different fields. Many compete with success in such widely different disciplines as obedience, agility, working contest, freestyle/heelwork to music, rally obedience and blood tracking.

The breed also has a number of certificated search and rescue dogs and army dogs. The Swedish Lapphund is also a very multifaceted hunting dog, mainly used for hunting elk and forest birds, but also deer, wild boar and bear. It is also a skilled tracking dog in searching for wounded or killed game. In addition to their versatility as working animals, the breed is also extremely popular as a competitive show dog.


In Sweden dogs have their temperament tested by a system called Mental Description. Results for the Swedish Lapphund show a curious, intrepid, and friendly breed which is playful and non-aggressive. They are easy trained, strong, and very devoted to their family. Early training is essential to prevent excessive barking.


The Swedish Lapphund has a lovely shiny coat when groomed regularly and it is something to be proud of.


Despite that the Swedish Lapphund are gifted with a dense and long, shining coat, they are very easy to groom. A weekly brush and a daily when your dog is shedding is a minimum. However, a daily brush is essential to maintain a shiny coat and to maintain the bond between you and your friend. The Swedish Lapphund has a double coat and the undercoat is shed twice a year. The coat appears semi waterproof and as such dirt will brush off when the coat is dry.

Living Conditions

In general the Swedish Lapphund is a friendly, outgoing and devoted dog that does very well with family, children, and other pets when properly socialized. They are protective of their homes; no intruder will ever go unheard.


The Swedish Lapphund likes a reasonable amount of exercise, but not necessarily through hours of walking. They enjoy mind games and will have just as much fun hunting for a favourite toy. This is not a dog recommended to be let off the lead unless you have trained your dog well and have total control. Their natural herding instinct is likely to leave your Lapp chasing after a rabbit, or worse still a car, and at this point they go totally deaf!

Family / Living

The Swedish Lapphund get on extremely well with children, make good family pets and like to be included in all family activities. However if they are left to their own devices they can be very vocal, and if their minds are not exercised (similar to Border Collie) then they can be destructive and are known to enjoy digging. Sympathetic training is a must.

They are very tolerant of children, but as with all pets, children should never be left alone, however trustworthy your friend may be. Please note that you should not intend to get one of these delightful dogs if there is not someone or another to be a constant companion. The Swedish Lapphund do not like being kept away from the family and doing so risks the dog getting so desperate to be with you that it may get destructive.

Swedish Lapphund

  • Aliases: Svensk Lapphund, Lapplandska Spetz, Swedish Lappspitz.
  • Height (Male): (Approx.) 45-51 cm (18-20 in.).
  • Height (Female): (Approx.) 40-46 cm (16-18 in.).
  • Weight (Male): (Approx.) 19-21 kg (42-46 lbs.)
  • Weight (Female): (Approx.) 19-21 kg (42-46 lbs.)
  • Coat: Long, thick, and stiff, except on the head, muzzle, and legs; fringing on back of legs, belly, and tail; heavy underwool.
  • Colour: Black, dark chestnut, chestnut, or liver; with or without white marks.
  • Hair Length: Long.
  • Shedding: Little.
  • Temperament: Energetic, free-spirited, with good movement.
  • Feeding: Small feeding, more if the dog is working.
  • Grooming: Some brushings when the coat is shedding.
  • Training: Moderate to easy if start early.
  • Activeness: Moderately active.
  • Overall Exercise: Up to 2 hours per day.
  • Friendliness: Very friendly.
  • Children: Good with children.
  • Living Conditions: Good family dog.
  • Most Suitable As: Working / hunting dog and family pet.
  • Distress Caused if Left Alone: High.
  • Barking: High tendency to bark.
  • Aggression: Low level of aggression.
  • Personal Protection: Medium.
  • Watch Dog: Moderately good watch dog.
  • Ease of Transportation: Low.
  • Life Span: 9 - 15 years.
  • Litter Size: 4 - 6 puppies per litter.
  • FCI Number: 135.
  • Group: Northern Dogs, Working Group
  • Size: Medium Sized Dog Breeds
  • Type: Pure Dog Breeds, Rare Dog Breeds, Spitz Type
  • Kennel Clubs: Continental Kennel Club, FCI
  • Origin: Sweden