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  • Temperament: Friendly, Energetic, Intelligent
  • Height: 18-20 inches
  • Weight: 70 pounds
  • Life Expectancy: 10-14 years
  • Group: Foundation Stock Service

    The AKC has grouped all of the breeds that it registers into seven categories, or groups, roughly based on function and heritage. Breeds are grouped together because they share traits of form and function or a common heritage.

Breed Standard
Lapponian Herder standing sideways facing left

About the Lapponian Herder

The Lapponian Herder is an independent, fun breed. They are very intelligent and generally eager to please. As a high-energy herding breed, they excel in many other dog sports besides herding, such as companion events. Its love of hard work makes it a wonderful breed in any event that is competitive and fun. Early socialization is important because of their herding mentality and they thrive when they have a job to do. Though eager to please, the Lapponian Herder is very vocal and often barks while working.


Breed Contact

Name: Heidi Coles
Address: 2601 Rossiter Lane, Vancouver, WA 98661
Phone: 360-609-2942

Breed Clubs and Rescue

Want to connect with other people who love the same breed as much as you do? We have plenty of opportunities to get involved in your local community, thanks to AKC Breed Clubs located in every state, and more than 450 AKC Rescue Network groups across the country.
Lapponian Herder

Find a Puppy: Lapponian Herder

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A basic, high-quality, nutritionally-balanced diet is recommended for this healthy, active breed to support its metabolism. Consult your veterinarian for specific needs. Working with your veterinarian and/or breeder will be the best way to determine frequency of meals as a puppy and the best adult diet to increase his longevity. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.


The Lapponian Herder has a thick double coat. He sheds his undercoat one to two times per year, usually occurring in the spring and fall seasons. Although his coat is smooth and does not tangle, occasional brushing and baths can help it stay healthy, shiny, and free of parasites. Their nails should be trimmed when needed with a nail clipper or grinder to avoid overgrowth, splitting and cracking. Their ears should be checked regularly to avoid a buildup of wax and debris which can result in an infection. Teeth should be brushed regularly.

Grooming Frequency

Occasional Bath/Brush
Weekly Brushing




The Lapponian Herder does best when he has a job to do, whether that be herding (his inbred trait) or another kind of exercise, enrichment, or training. He excels in many sports such as obedience, agility, rally, dock diving, nose work, barn hunt, search and rescue, and conformation. Like many other breeds, they can become destructive if they do not get enough physical and mental stimulation. When he has regular enrichment, he is a calm and wonderful companion dog.

Energy Level

Couch Potato
Needs Lots of Activity
Regular Exercise


The Lapponian Herder is docile, calm, friendly, energetic and willing to serve, and barks readily when working. Although he is independent, he is eager to please and loves having jobs to do. They can be reserved with strangers, especially females, however they are friendly and are a lovable pet when they get to know you.


May be Stubborn
Eager to Please
Eager to Please


Reserved with Strangers


Unlike many other breeds, the Lapponian Herder is still considered primeval. As such, this breed has few to no consistent or prominent health complications. It has been kept healthy and cared for properly through the ages. Working with a responsible breeder, prospective owners can gain the education they need to learn about specific health concerns within the breed.

Lapponian Herder
Lapponian Herder
Lapponian Herder
Lapponian Herder


For hundreds of years, the Lapps (Sami people) have used dogs of the same type as the Lapponian Herder to herd reindeer. The breed has been nicknamed “the reindeer herder” because of this original purpose. Acceptance to the breed register was started in the 1950s. At that time, the modern Finnish Lapphund and the Lapponian Herder were still recognized as the same breed. The Lapponian Herder was separated into its own breed October 12, 1966, as it had been noted that two different reindeer-herding breeds existed. In many regions, including its native land of Finland, the breed still herds and guards reindeer. The Lapponian Herder was accepted to the Foundation Stock Service program in April 2017.

Did You Know?

The Lapponian Herder has been assigned the Herding Group designation.
The Lapponian Herder has been recorded in the Foundation Stock Service since April 2017.
In its native country of Finland, the Lapponian Herder is called the Lapinporokoira.

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