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Finnish Lapphund
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The original Finnish Lapphunds were the helper dogs of a tribe of semi-nomadic people, the Sami, in Lapland (the northern region of Finland, Sweden and, in part, Russia). Over hundreds of years, the Sami culture evolved into a more sedentary existence, which revolved around the keeping of reindeer herds. At the same time, the dogs evolved from the hunter/protector dogs of a nomadic tribe, to the herding dogs needed to help maintain the reindeer. With the arrival of the snowmobile, the use of dogs became less and less necessary. Now dogs are rarely used on reindeer herds. The breed still retains a strong herding instinct, which has been demonstrated on sheep in this country.

Around 1940, in Finland, interest in saving the breed began to grow. Dogs belonging to the original Sami people were collected with the intent of establishing a breeding program. The first breed standard was accepted by the Finnish Kennel Club in 1945, with the breed being called the "Lapponian Shepherd Dog." This original standard included both a shorter coated dog and a longer coated dog. In 1967 the long coated dogs were given a separate standard, and called the Lapinkoira (which is translated as Finnish Lapphund), while the short-coated dogs were called the Lapinporokoira (which is translated as Lapponian Herder). The standard was revised in Finland in 1996 and an English translation was accepted by the Federation Cynologique Intemationale in 1999. The Finnish Lapphund has become very popular as a pet in Finland, and in 2000 was the eighth most popular breed in the country, with registrations of 704 puppies for the year.

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