Are you looking for a smart, loyal, and good-natured dog to add to your family? Then maybe the Lapponian Herder is the answer for you!
This article will talk more about all there is to know about the Lapponian Herder. Here, we will talk about its appearance, temperament, and health. We will also discuss the specific care instructions for this dog. Lastly, we will also find out if this dog is family-friendly.
What is a Lapponian Herder?
As their name suggests, the Lapponian Herder is a popular dog breed used for herding. Herding dogs refer to dogs that breeders developed to gather and protect livestock.
This dog breed is well-known for its intelligent and independent nature. These dogs are also popular for their high energy levels. They are even known to compete in dog events.
Lapponian Herder Origin and History
The Lapponian Herder is also known as the Lapinporokoira. This name is of Finnish origin, much like the dog itself. It is a descendant of the Finnish Lapphund and the German Shepherd.
This particular dog breed is very interesting because it was bred by an ethnic group called the Sami people. The Sami are an indigenous ethnic group that resides in regions such as Norway, Sweden, and Finland.
The Lapponian Herder is one of three Lapphund breeds that the Sami people developed. These dogs are used for herding and guarding the reindeer that the Sami people own. Because of this, they are also called Reindeer Dogs.
According to historical records, the Lapponian Herder is an ancient Scandinavian dog. It has been mentioned as far back as the 1600s. They used to be quite numerous. The advent of German occupation in Finland during World War II drove the population to plummet. Today, their numbers remain low.
Lapponian Herder Breed
The Lapponian Herder is a member of the Spitz family. Members of this family usually have long and thick fur. They also have pointed ears and muzzles.
The Lapponian Herder is a herding dog. Herding dogs are working dogs. This means that they are no strangers to nitty-gritty activities. They have strong herding instincts and have been known to herd their owners.
What Do Lapponian Herders Look Like?
The Lapponian Herder is a medium-sized dog. Some people would even venture to say that it is a large dog. One thing is sure though, the Reindeer Dog is one muscular creature. As a working dog, it needs to bulk up to perform its herding duties.
They are a bit longer than they are tall, and they have deep and long chests. Their muzzles are straight and tapered. Their eyes are oval-shaped and dark-colored, and their ears are pointed.
These dogs usually reach anywhere between 17 to 21 inches tall when fully grown. For this breed, males are usually larger. Male Lapponian Herders are usually 20 inches in height. Females only measure 18 inches on average. As for their weight, they can come in at 60 to 66 pounds.
They have a fine, dense undercoat and medium to long fur on their outercoat. Their hair is usually harsh and straight. They also have more fur around their necks, chests, and the backside of their thighs.
As for the coat color, they generally come in shades of black to dark brown. It is not uncommon for them to have white markings in areas like their chest. Their undercoat is usually black, grey, or brown.
Their tails are medium-length. They are low-set and very furry. When they are excited, these dogs tend to wag their tails in a circular motion.
Lapponian Herder Temperament
Since this dog is a herding dog, the Lapponian Herder is very good-natured. It is a gentle and friendly dog breed. Because it is a working dog, it is also very eager to please its owners. The Reindeer Dog is also well known for being a very intelligent dog breed.
Aside from these traits, Lapponian Herders are also incredibly active. They just love to have fun! They will not back down from either a physical or mental challenge — they might even crave it.
As a drawback to their high energy levels, these dogs tend to be destructive when they get too bored. It’s important to keep them well-stimulated to ensure that they remain healthy.
They also have dominant tendencies, especially around other dogs. This trait is because of their herding nature, which can be fixed with proper socialization.
They are also good with children. They usually don’t react badly to rough handling, but it’s still best to exercise caution. They can be a bit aloof and shy around strangers, but this, again, could be resolved through proper socialization.
Lapponian Herder Health and Lifespan
Lapponian Herders can live anywhere between 12 to 14 long and fun years. They are also considered a primitive breed. Considering this, these dogs do not have much consistent or prominent health complications.
Even if they don’t have a record of health problems, it is still best to treat your Reindeer Dog with utmost care. You should watch out for common illnesses in dogs such as:
- Canine Distemper – Canine distemper is a highly contagious, airborne viral disease. Currently, there is no known cure for this sickness. That is why it is vital to vaccinate your beloved dog against it. Some symptoms you should watch out for are high fever, lethargy, loss of appetite, and heavy breathing.
- Parvovirus – Parvovirus is also a highly infectious viral disease that can be contracted from infected feces, food, and other objects. Make sure to have your dog vaccinated against this. Some common symptoms are lethargy, bloody vomiting, and diarrhea.
- Rabies – Your dog can get rabies from another infected animal. Typically, it is transferred from a bite wound or exposure to contaminated saliva. Your dog may become paralytic or aggressive when infected.
How do you care for a Lapponian Herder?
Aside from being a beautiful dog with a fun personality, this dog is also a great dog for any dog owner. You don’t need much experience to care for Lapponian Herders. However, you should consider their dietary, grooming, activity, and training needs.
Since Lapponian Herders are active, they do not tend to become overweight. Still, you should monitor their calorie intake. Make sure you aren’t overfeeding them.
You should also give them high-quality dog food. The amount you give them honestly depends on them. What stage of life are they in? The amount of dog food you give to your dog should be appropriate to their age. You wouldn’t give a senior dog the same amount of food you’d give to a puppy, would you?
As for treats, it is okay to give them some, but make sure you aren’t overfeeding them with it. They are meant to be eaten in small quantities only. As a general rule of thumb, their treats intake should not be more than 10 percent of their daily caloric intake.
If you are unsure what food to give your dog, it is best to seek the help of a professional veterinarian.
As mentioned before, Lapponian Herders have double coats. That means they have both an overcoat and an undercoat. They shed their undercoats twice a year: once in the spring and once more in the fall.
To help keep their coats clean, smooth, and parasite-free, you should brush their fur regularly. Brushing weekly works well to prevent a bad coat. However, during shedding season, it is best to brush every day.
As for their nails, it is best to trim them regularly to avoid overgrown nails. This can cause pain and discomfort over time. You can use a clipper or a grinder for this.
Make it a habit to regularly check your dog’s ears. Wax and debris buildup should be avoided because they can cause infections.
Brushing your dog’s teeth should also be incorporated into your routine. Instead of brushing, you might also want to try dental hygiene treats.
If you need help with your dog’s grooming needs, you can visit a veterinarian or a dog groomer for more advice.
Since Lapponian Herders are working dogs, they need a lot of play time. They are a very active breed and they love keeping themselves occupied. As an owner, you should give them enough opportunities to play and release all their energy.
Luckily, these dogs excel in sports such as obedience, agility, and rally. They are also good at dock diving, nose work, and barn hunting. Search and rescue, and confirmation are also some of their strong suits.
What’s more is that they also make excellent companions. You can take them on jogs, hiking trips, and even cycling trips.
It is vital to keep these dogs entertained. If not, they tend to destroy your belongings.
Lapponian Herder Training
Generally, the Lapponian Herder is not difficult to train. This trainability may be due in part to its herding origins. It is also a clever and obedient dog, which adds to its trainability.
Rewards-based training is usually a safe bet when training any dog. Let your dog know that they are showing or performing well by giving them praise. You might also want to try rewarding them with treats. Whatever the reward, they will respond better to this than to punishment.
Make sure to not over-reward as your dog may grow up spoiled. Another thing to consider is to start your dogs young. Training is most effective when done immediately. Staying on top of the problem will help quash any undesirable traits.
Besides showing your dog correct behavior, you should also teach them how to interact with others appropriately. Ensure that they get enough exposure to other dogs and people. This way, they don’t grow up to be shy, or wary. This technique will also help manage aggression to strangers.
Lapponian Herder Price
The price of a Lapponian Herder depends on how you acquire it. Dogs bought from breeders cost more than dogs from shelters. Since the population of Lapponian Herders is low, it is not likely that you will find one in an animal shelter. The safest and surest bet is to rely on a reputable and ethical breeder.
Choosing the right breeder is very important. You should make sure that it is not a puppy mill, mostly because these places are abusive and toxic for moms and pups. Always do your research on how the breeder does their job. If possible, schedule a kennel visit to see how they operate.
Once you find a breeder that meets these requirements, you can expect that they will ask for a high price. Typically, a Lapponian Herder puppy costs $1000 to $2000.
Aside from the cost of acquiring your dog, you should also consider other fees. Take into account their food and grooming requirements. Also, consider their routine veterinarian trips and other factors.
In total, the yearly cost for caring for a Lapponian Herder can amount to anywhere between $1000 to $10000.
Is the Lapponian Herder a good family dog?
Absolutely! The Lapponian Herder is, above all else, a herding dog. It is no stranger to working with animals. It loves to work, and it also loves to please its owners.
Another thing is that they are great with small kids. They make the perfect addition to any family. Just make sure that you can fulfill all their needs to keep them happy and healthy.
The Lapponian Herder dog is a gentle, intelligent, and fun dog to have. They make a great addition to any home, and getting one will surely be a decision you won’t regret.
They are attractive and well-built and are very healthy too. Aside from the shedding season, they are also easy to groom. Not only that, but they are also easy to train! Exercising can be a bit of a chore, so don’t commit to it unless you can come through.