Breed Standard

Finnish Lapponian Dog

Originally a herder and watch dog used in work of keeping reindeer. Today also popular as a companion dog.

Brief Historical Summary:
For  hundreds  of  years  the Sami  people  have  used  dogs  of  the  same  type  as  Finnish  Lapponian  Dog  as  reindeer  herders  and  watchdogs  in  the  northern  parts  of  Fennoscandia and Russia. The first standard of the Lapponian Herder was  established  by  the  Finnish  Kennel  Club  in  1945.  The  breed ´s name  was  changed  into  Lapponian  Dog  in 1967.  In  the  1970:s  the type  and  the  characteristics  of  the  breed  became  stabilized,  the standard  has  been  revised  several  times.  The  breed name  was  again changed  into  Finnish Lapponian  Dog  in  1993.  The  breed  type  has become  homogeneous  in  a  short  time  and  today  the  breed  is  very popular  mainly  as  a  companion  and  utility  dog  in  the  whole of Finland.

General Appearance:
Smaller than medium sized. Strongly built  for  his  size,  slightly  longer  than  the  height  at  the  withers.  The coat is long and dense.

Important Proportions:
The    depth    of    chest    is approximately half  of  the  height  at  the  withers.  The  muzzle  is slightly  shorter  than  the  skull.  The  skull  is  slightly  longer  than  its width, the depth is the same as the width.

Behaviour and temperament:
Intelligent,  courageous, calm and docile. Friendly and faithful.

Strong in outline, rather broad.

Cranial Region: 
Skull:  Broad,  the  skull  is  slightly  convex.  The  forehead  is  rather domed. The frontal furrow is clearly defined.
Stop: Clearly defined.

Facial Region:
Nose: Black or brown, according to coat colour.
Muzzle: Strong, broad and straight; viewed from above and in profile evenly, but only slightly tapering.
Lips: Tight.
Jaws / Teeth: The jaws are strong. Scissors bite.
Cheeks: The zygomatic arches are well pronounced.
Eyes: Oval  shaped,  dark  brown,  according  to  coat  colour. The expression is soft and friendly.
Ears:  Medium  sized,  carried  erect  or  semi-erect,  set  rather  apart, rather broad at the base, triangular in shape and very mobile, also the inner  side  is  covered  with  hair.  It  is  equally acceptable  that  one ear is erect and the other semi-erect.

Medium in length, strong and covered with profuse hair.

Withers: Muscular and broad, only slightly pronounced.
Back: Strong and straight.
Loin: Short and muscular.
Croup:   Of   medium   length,   well   developed,   only   very slightly sloping.
Chest:  Deep,  rather  long,  reaching  almost  to  the  elbows,  not  very broad. The ribs are slightly arched; the fore chest clearly visible, not very strong.
Underline and belly: Only slightly tucked up.

Set  rather  high,  medium  in  length,  covered  with  profuse  and long  hair.  The  tip  of  the  tail  may  have  a  J-formed hook.  When moving the tail is curved over the back or side, in rest it may hang.

General  appearance:  Powerful  with  strong  bones.  Viewed  from  the front straight and parallel.
Shoulders: Slightly oblique.
Upper  arms:  As  long  as  the  shoulder  blades.  The  angle  between shoulder and upper arm is rather open.
Elbows: Approximately  at  the  level  of  the  lower  edge  of  the ribcage, pointing straight backwards.
Forearms: Rather strong, vertical.
Carpus: Flexible.
Pasterns: Of medium length, slightly oblique.
Forefeet:  Well  arched,  oval  rather  than  round,  covered  with  dense hair. The pads are elastic. Dense hair between the pads.
General  appearance:  Strong  boned,  powerful,  viewed from  behind straight  and  parallel.  The  angulation  is  clearly  marked  with  no exaggeration.
Upper  thigh:  Of  medium  length,  rather  broad  with  well-developed muscles.
Stifle: Parallel, rather well angulated.
Second thigh: Relatively long and sinewy.
Hocks: Moderately low, rather well angulated but not excessively.
Metatarsus: Rather short, strong and vertical.
Hind feet: As front feet.

Effortless. Changes easily from trot to gallop. The legs move parallel. When working agile and fast.

Tight, without wrinkles.

Hair:  Profuse,  especially  the  males  have  an  abundant  mane.  The outer coat is long and harsh. On the head and on the front side of the legs the coat is shorter. There has to be an undercoat that is soft and dense.
Colour:   All   colours   are   permitted. The basic colour must be dominant. Colours other than the basic colour can occur  on  head, neck, chest, underside of the body, on legs and tail.
Height at the withers: Ideal height: males 49 cm and  females 44 cm with a tolerance of ±3 cm. The type is more important than the size.

Any  departure  from  the  foregoing  points  should  be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog and on its ability  to  perform its traditional work.
• Lack of sexual dimorphism.
• Light head.
• Insufficient stop.
• Over angulated or too straight rear angulation.
• Tail carriage continuously lower than the topline.
• Lack of under coat.
• Flat coat.
• Curly outer coat.
• Basic colour not dominant.

Disqualifying Faults:
• Aggressive or overly shy.
• Any    dog    clearly    showing    physical    or    behavioural abnormalities. 
• Overshot or undershot mouth.
• Kinky tail.
• Full drop ears. 
• Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.
• Only functionally and clinically healthy dogs, with breed typical conformation, should be used for breeding.

A link to
The Breeding committee of
the Finnish Lapphund club in Finland Criterias
(Only in english)

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