The Lapponian Herder: A Complete Guide

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Deciding between a purebred dog and one that is either a designer or hybrid can be a challenge.

Gone are the days when dog owners assumed that pure breeds were automatically superior.

Some studies argue that mixing two dog breeds will result in one with higher resistance to unfavorable genetic factors.

Of course, there is nothing wrong with pure breeds either, and the Lapponian Herder (which is the subject of today’s guide) is an excellent dog type for experienced owners.

If you relish the prospect of owning a wolf dog, then you won’t get much closer to one than the Lapponian Herder, which is one of the few domestic dogs with primitive wolf DNA.

We’ll take a closer look at the Lapponian Herder’s lineage and where exactly the wolf fits in later on.

You may be interested in exactly what I have to say about this breed so I will be describing everything from their behavior to their looks.

Hopefully, I can help you decide whether or not the Lapponian Herder will work for you.

Lapponian Herder Puppies – Before You Buy…

Lapponian Herder puppy on rug
The Lapponian Herder has high energy levels.

Before buying any dog breed, there are some questions that you will have to ask yourself, and many of those questions concern the dog’s puppy phase.

First impressions are everything, and it helps to know what to expect when you first bring a puppy into your home, no matter the breed.

What Price are Lapponian Herder Puppies?

Before you go any further, you must know how much you can expect to pay for a Lapponian Herder.

There are few things more disappointing than finding the perfect dog breed and discovering that it is much more expensive than you expected.

This breed’s price depends on a few things.

Primarily, the rarity of the breed in your area will determine how much money you can expect to spend on a Lapponian Herder puppy.

Most of these dogs will sell for between 600 and 800 dollars, though it is not unheard of for some examples to be priced at over 1000 dollars.

Where to Find Reputable Lapponian Herder Breeders?

The Lapponian Herder’s rapidly growing popularity is leading to an increase in their breeding.

As more dogs are bred, some heartless individuals see an opportunity to make money off of the suffering of helpless animals.

I am, of course, referring to puppy mills; this section will detail how you can avoid them.

As with finding out if a dog is right for you, the best way to see if you have a reliable breeder is by doing your research.

If your breeder has an online presence, see if you can find any customer reviews or feedback. You should also always try to visit the breeder’s home at least once.

3 Little-Known Facts About Lapponian Herder Puppies

  1. Lapponian Herder puppies are some of the closest genetic relatives to wolves in the dog world. This breed shares a specific type of DNA with prehistoric wolves, showing that there must have been some mixing between the species thousands of years ago.
  2. In Finland, where this breed hails from, the Lapponian Herder is used to herd a particular animal, and it may surprise you. These dogs were raised to herd reindeer, which are much larger than this breed, meaning that the Lapponian Herder needs to be a tough canine.
  3. The Lapponian Herder had to be rediscovered after World War II since so many of the dogs were lost during the Winter War between Finland and the USSR.

As a result of these efforts, the breed was brought back from oblivion as one of the few dogs to defy extinction.

Physical Traits of the Lapponian Herder

Lapponian Herder out in snow
The Lapponian Herder is a herding dog.

The Lapponian Herder’s wolf heritage is evident in its looks, as it resembles a black wolf crossed with a spitz.

Since these dogs are from Finland, they have a double coat that helps keep them insulated from the freezing weather.

Black and dark grey are the most common colors for this breed, though brown is still possible.

Pricked ears are necessary for this breed, and a dog is of impure genetics if it has drooping ears.

While this dog is of medium size, it features a solid build that gives it more physical power than its height and weight would suggest.

Being strong and agile is a necessary trait in any herding dog, especially one that works with reindeer.

The Lapponian Herder will often feature white markings on its face and chest, and they tend to be a stark contrast to the dark colors that you can expect to see on one of these dogs.

Some owners say that these markings give the dog a ghostly appearance when seen in the night.

How Big is a Full-Grown Lapponian Herder?

While this breed’s proportions would suggest a larger size, that would only be a hindrance for a breed that is a designated herding dog.

To efficiently herd, a dog needs to be substantial but not massive, as that would lower its speed and agility.

As with most other dog breeds, Lapponian Herder males will be larger than the females. Males are usually around 20 inches tall while the females will be one or two inches shorter than them.

Weight will typically range between 50 and 60 pounds for this breed, so they are not necessarily small.

What is the Lapponian Herder’s Life Expectancy?

Knowing a breed’s life expectancy is an excellent way to consider how long a dog will be with you and your family.

The average life expectancy for canines of all breeds is around 13 or 14 years, but you can add or remove two or three years from that lifespan depending on the breed.

While these dogs may be a little bigger than your average breed, they are right in the middle of the average age range for dogs, living for exactly 13 or 14 years.

Of course, life expectancy isn’t always exact, and dogs of this breed can live for a longer or shorter time depending on too many factors to count.

Intelligence, Temperament, and Personality Traits of the Lapponian Herder

Seeing as this is a breed of herding dogs, you can expect more energy out of them than a typical breed.

If you don’t take out these dogs often enough, they can often get destructive around furniture and everything and else in the home.

Separation anxiety is also a relatively common problem with Lapponian Herders.

When around people, Lapponian Herders are surprisingly calm, although some may perceive them as cold and aloof.

While the Lapponian Herder may not be as openly loving as some breeds, their care for their owner is rather deep-rooted, and it becomes evident when you choose to leave the house.

Finally, let’s get to the matter of intelligence. As with any herding dog, you can expect the Lapponian Herder to be much more brilliant than many other breeds.

This heightened level of intellect means that it is far easier for these dogs to be trained.

The Lapponian Herder’s Diet

Lapponian Herder in snow pulling sled
The Lapponian Herder has a double coat.

When deciding on the right diet for the Lapponian Herder, you will want to account for the fact that this breed is not as large as many of the dogs that would be considered similar to it.

Of course, a smaller dog won’t need to eat as much food, but the Lapponian Herder’s high energy levels help make up for it.

Nearly 3 cups of food per day should be enough for this breed, but you will want to avoid giving it all to your pet at once as that could lead to bloat and other complications.

Instead, split up your pet’s food allotment into three or four meals per day so that its consumption can be distributed evenly.

How Much Exercise Does the Lapponian Herder Need?

The Lapponian Herder is a herding dog, and these canines usually expend more energy than any other breed around.

If you don’t have the time to take your dog out often, then this is not the best breed that you can choose to bring into your home.

This breed needs an hour of exercise per day, and you can split it up between walks, jogs, and runs.

The Lapponian Herder views exercising with its owner as a bonding experience, so you may miss out on some time to get closer to your dog if you employ a dog walker.

Lapponian Herder Health and Conditions

The Lapponian Herder is an incredibly healthy dog breed that does not suffer from many issues that will require the attention of a vet.

Instead of suffering from a range of unique conditions, like some breeds, the Lapponian Herder instead has problems that are common to dogs of its type.

Serious Issues:

Minor Issues:

  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Allergies

My Final Thoughts on the Lapponian HerderLapponian Herder guide

This breed is a veritable wolfdog, and I’m not exaggerating when I say that.

Wolf DNA is present in the Lapponian Herder, but you would never guess from the dog’s temperament.

Thank you for taking the time to read this dog guide, and I wish you the best of luck in finding a Lapponian Herder.

Image sources: 1, 2, 3