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.
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.
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The Lapponian Herder should do well on a high-quality dog food, whether commercially manufactured or home-prepared with your veterinarian’s supervision and approval. Any diet should be appropriate to the dog’s age (puppy, adult, or senior). Some dogs are prone to getting overweight, so watch your dog’s calorie consumption and weight level. Treats can be an important aid in training, but giving too many can cause obesity. Learn about which human foods are safe for dogs, and which are not. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.
The Lapponian Herder has a thick double coat. He sheds his undercoat once or twice a year, usually in the spring and fall. Although his coat is smooth and does not tangle, occasional brushing and baths can help it stay healthy, shiny, and free of parasites. The nails should be trimmed when needed with a nail clipper or grinder to avoid overgrowth, splitting, and cracking. Ears should be checked regularly to avoid a buildup of wax and debris, which can result in infection. Teeth should be brushed regularly.
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,Lapponian Herders 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.
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.
Unlike many other breeds, the Lapponian Herder is still considered primitive. 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.
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.