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  • Temperament: Playful, Intelligent, Lively
  • Height: 16-20 inches
  • Weight: 30-45 pounds
  • Life Expectancy: 12-14 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.

FCI Standard
Swedish Lapphund standing in snow with snow-covered pine trees in the background

About the Swedish Lapphund

Swedish Lapphunds make wonderful family companions and thrive when included in all the activities of their human pack. This lively and intelligent medium-sized spitz is a versatile, playful and energetic pooch. Although generally considered a medium to high energy breed, it is capable of relaxing and chilling when appropriate, aka the Lappie “on/off” switch. Alert and friendly, they can also be independent-minded and stubborn. The breed retains its guarding and herding traits of alertness and attention-getting barking. The Swedish Lappie is eager to please, will work with you, and is suited for rally, agility, herding, scent work and other companion events.


Club Contact Details

Name: Patricia Arfsten


National 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.
Swedish Lapphund

Find a Puppy: Swedish Lapphund

AKC Marketplace | PuppyFinder

AKC Marketplace is the only site to exclusively list 100% AKC puppies from AKC-Registered litters and the breeders who have cared for and raised these puppies are required to follow rules and regulations established by the AKC.



The Swedish Lapphund 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 Lappie has a medium-length, double coat that should be kept in good condition with weekly brushing and an occasional bath. Swedish Lappies undergo a heavy shedding of their undercoat at least once or twice per year, referred to as “blowing coat.” A groomer can be helpful at this time to deal with the large amount of fur that is shed. Under no circumstances should a Swedish Lapphund ever be shaved. The coat should always be maintained at its natural length year round.

Grooming Frequency

Occasional Bath/Brush
Weekly Brushing




Swedish Lapphunds are a medium-high-energy breed and benefit from daily exercise. They do have an “on/off” switch; that is to say, they are very energetic, alert, and active, but capable of settling down and relaxing. This is an intelligent and active breed requiring regular mental and physical exercise to prevent boredom. It is not a breed to be left alone for long periods, and when outdoors a fenced yard is a must. As with most breeds, a bored Lappie will find his way into mischief.

Energy Level

Couch Potato
Needs Lots of Activity
Regular Exercise


Swedish Lapphunds have an eager and curious nature, resulting in a high level of trainability. With the challenge of an independent mind and occasional stubborn streak, training a Lappie requires a light hand, patience, and a sense of humor. He is well-suited for herding, agility, obedience, and other canine sports.


May be Stubborn
Eager to Please
May be Stubborn




Swedish Lapphunds are generally a healthy breed. Responsible breeders will test for hip dysplasia and PRA and will have health information readily available on their dogs. Working with a responsible breeder, prospective owners can gain the education they need to learn about specific health concerns within the breed.


Recommended Health Tests From Parent Club

  • PRA
  • Hips
Swedish Lapphund
Swedish Lapphund
Swedish Lapphund
Swedish Lapphund
Swedish Lapphund


The Swedish Lapphund is the oldest of the native Swedish breeds and is believed to be one of the most ancient breeds in existence today. It was an important partner of the Sami people of Lappland (northern Norway, Sweden, Finland and northwest Russia) initially as a hunting and guarding dog and later as a herding partner with the domestication of reindeer. A characteristic of the herding Lappie is the use of his vocal talents. It is believed the Sami favored the barking Lappies for two reasons: predators were deterred from coming too close and the reindeer knew the barking, four-legged creature was friend, not foe. The herding instinct is still alive and well in the modern day Lappie.

The breed was near extinction in the mid-20th century, but through the dedicated efforts of several breeders it was revived. Today, it still remains a very rare breed with an estimate of approximately 1000-1200 worldwide, the majority of which are in Sweden.

Did You Know?

The Swedish Lapphund is the national breed of Sweden and was the first dog registered by the Swedish Kennel Club.
The Swedish Lapphund was added to the Foundation Stock Service program in 2007.
The Swedish Lapphund has been approved to compete in AKC Companion events since January 1, 2010.
The Swedish Lapphund has been assigned the Herding Group designation.
The Swedish Lapphund is an ancient breed, in existence for thousands of years. It is a natural breed believed to be a descendent of the ancient artic wolf.

The Breed Standard

Colors & Markings


Description Standard Colors Registration Code
Black Check Mark For Standard Color 007
Liver Check Mark For Standard Color 123


Description Standard Markings Registration Code
White Markings Check Mark For Standard Mark 014
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