Finnish Lapphund

  • Overview

    The Finnish Lapphund was bred to herd reindeer in Nordic countries. These dogs are still popular family pets in Scandinavia, where their heavy coat helps protect them from the cold climate. Finnish Lapphunds are a unique breed with sensitive emotions who prefer to live in cold climates. They do not mind submitting to their owners and make calm, rational family pets who enjoy outdoor exercise and love to perform tasks.

  • Personality

    Finish Lapphunds are calm, gentle dogs who are particularly submissive to people. They are sensitive around their owners, but they do not make effective guard dogs because they tend to avoid commotion and conflict. Their submissive instinct contrasts with their working personalities, when they are alert, noisy and forceful. These 18-35 pound dogs are used to backing off from trouble, however. When herding reindeer, they often have to dart out of the way quickly to avoid being trampled by the larger, more temperamental animals.. This instinct persists in the Lapphund today, and as a result, he will not challenge your authority. Because they are used to constantly being alert, they have a strong startling reflex. They will not make good guard dogs, nor will they appreciate loud noises.

    Their easy-going manner makes them eager to please. They appreciate the opportunity for mental stimulation, and the love keeping busy. The ease with which they learn new skills and their desire to obey makes them not only easy, but fun to train. Lapphunds also love to follow people around, so it will be difficult to leave them alone.

  • Coat Care

    The Finnish Lapphund looks like other Northern Spitz dogs even though he acts like an active herding dog. His expressive face makes him constantly appear alert and inviting. The hair is profuse around the entire body, but especially around the face, where it resembles a mane. The Lapphund's fluffy coat is weather-repellent. The under coat should be dense and thick enough to push the outer coat away from the skin and give the Lapphund a puffy appearance. Their furry tails are held up and carried over their backs, but the hair on the tail should never be kinky. Lapphunds are black, blonde, brown or tan, with one major primary color throughout their body.

Brushing

These dogs shed seasonally. Without continual management, the shedding can become unmanageable. Owners can help control the shedding with regular brushing to remove dead hair and develop a healthy growing pattern. The Lapphund's thick, dense hair will require a large pin brush or a metal rake.

Bathing

With preparation, perseverance and a positive attitude, bathing can become a fun and fulfilling part of the regular grooming cycle, while helping your dog avoid many diseases and infections.

Heavy coated dogs should be bathed about once every three months. Their coats are naturally oily and repellent, so they don't tend to develop an odor, but if they track their coat through the mud, they may need to be bathed more frequently. The coat should end up fresh smelling, with no loose or shedding hair. First give the dog a good brushing to remove dead hair and mats. Place a rubber mat in the tub to provide secure footing and fill the tub with three to four inches of lukewarm water. Use a spray hose, pitcher or unbreakable cup to wet the dog, taking caution to avoid getting water in the eyes, ears and nose. Massage in pet shampoo, saving the head for last. Immediately rinse thoroughly, starting with the head to prevent soap from dripping into the eyes. Towel dry. Their heavy coat should be fresh smelling, with no loose or shedding hair.

Hair Clipping

Clipping or trimming your dog’s coat is far easier than you would ever imagine. With the right clipper, trimmer and scissors, giving your dog a haircut is easy on your wallet and your schedule.

Dogs with heavy coats generally require routine trimming around the face, ears, feet and behind to help them stay comfortable. You do not need to clip or trim the body hair because it acts as insulation for your dog in cold weather and helps cool him off in warm weather.  It’s a good idea to take your dog for a short walk to calm him down before you groom him. Thoroughly brush the coat to remove any tangles and mats. Use trimmers to trim excess fur off the dog's body, choosing the appropriate clip attachment to achieve desired length. Trim around the tail, paws, sanitary areas and chest, if needed. Groom the head and face last, being watchful for sudden movement. Trim with the flow of the fur, away from the eyes and nose.

Nails

Many dog owners are apprehensive about trimming their dog’s nails because they are nervous about cutting into the quick. But with the right conditioning and careful cutting, nail clipping can be a simple, stress-free activity for you and your dog.

Provide your dog with plenty of positive reinforcement and even treats to help associate nail clipping with a positive experience.  As you start to clip, gently press on your dog’s paws to help him become accustomed to the feeling of having his nails clipped. Then, work gradually, shaving down just a thin portion of the nail at first to make sure you don’t reach the quick. Clip one nail, reward your dog with a treat, and stop to give him some positive reinforcement before moving on. Gradually increase the number of nails you clip in one sitting to help your dog get used to the process. Never trim extremely long nails down to a short nail in one sitting, because this is an excellent way to accidently quick the dog’s nail. Instead, work gradually, shaving small portions of your dog’s nails off each time.

You can tell if you’re getting close to the quick by the texture of your dog’s nail. The nail is hard closer to the surface and becomes softer as you get closer to the quick. If your dog’s nail starts to feel softer, that’s a good indication that you’re getting close to the quick.

Eyes / Ears

Not all breeds and coat styles require routine trimming in and around the eyes and ears but all should undergo regular inspection and cleaning around these sensitive areas. Doing so will help prevent the development of infections that could seriously damage these amazing organs.

It is always important to routinely clean your dog's eyes and ears, and examine for potential infections. Small dogs, like Pomeranians, and dogs with extremely profuse coats, like Newfoundlands, American Eskimo Dogs and Keeshonds, have ears that need to be checked weekly for infection and cleaned with a cotton ball. Gently wipe a cotton ball moistened with mineral oil, olive oil or witch hazel in your dog's ear, being careful to avoid the ear canal. Never use a Q-Tip, which could cause damage to the inner ear if your dog suddenly shakes or jerks his head. Bushy hair growth within the ear can be thinned with tweezers or blunt scissors. Use a small trimmer to trim excess hair around the eyes, ears and face. Small dogs like Pomeranians and Pekingese, and dogs with white coats like American Eskimo Dogs and Samoyeds, are prone to developing tear stains around their eyes, so clean around their eyes with a cotton ball or soft cloth and use a small trimmer to trim excess hair around their eyes.

Teeth

Many owners do not realize how important it is to brush your pet’s teeth on a regular basis. Some dogs are prone to dental problems and sensitive teeth, especially small dogs with tiny teeth and dogs with special diets. These problems can be easily combatted with frequent brushing.

Cavities are rare with dogs but gum disease caused by tartar buildup is not, which is why they require regular brushing with toothpaste and a toothbrush formulated specifically for dogs. While daily brushing is ideal, doing so on a weekly basis will be a big help in avoiding the need to bring your dog to a veterinarian for a cleaning, which usually has to be done under sedation.