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The Finnish Lapphund is a spitz-type pastoral dog breed that dates back to 7000 BC. It is a pure breed in its own right, accepted by the Kennel Club in 1945. It's a medium-size dog that stands 41–52 centimetres and weighs between 35–53 pounds. It is famous for its easy-going and friendly personality. Its boundless energy makes it a perfect companion for outdoorsy families.
Are you ready to own a Finnish Lapphund? Before you decide, here is a brief background of this ideal outdoor companion dog bred for work.
When tracing the history of a Finnish Lapphund, you'll be surprised to learn that this dog breed has been around since the 7000 BC. During this period, the breed was referred to as the Lapland dogs, derived from the northern region of Finland, Sweden, and in part, Russia. The Finnish Lapphund was originally bred to help the nomadic Sami in herding reindeer.
The breed almost did not survive extinction due to the arrival of snowmobiles. Luckily, some breed enthusiasts started a breeding programme in 1940. In the same period, the dog breed was officially accepted by the Finnish Kennel Club. Five years later (1945), the Kennel Club followed suit, accepting the Finnish Lapphund as a breed in its own right.
The Finnish Lapphund resembles the appearance of a spitz-type dog, but still, its distinctive look is not to be mistaken. It is a medium-size breed that stands 41–52 centimetres and weighs 35–53 pounds. The Finnish Lapphund is slightly longer (from chest to rump) than it is tall (from shoulder to floor). Its body is definitely thick, but not compact or stocky, most of which is obscured by its relatively dense coat, hiding a well-muscled form underneath.
The Finnish Lapphund's thick coat comprises a soft, dense, and abundant undercoat, whilst the topcoat is straight, long, and harsh to touch, not to mention it is water-repellent. Its coat can be wavy for young dogs, but must it always be adequately harsh to be acceptable. Colour combinations of the coat consist of a single colour and a secondary colour limited to the head, neck, chest, legs, underbelly, and tail. The accepted colours are black, tan, white, brown, cream, sable, grizzle, red, and even tricolour.
When it comes to its coat, the Finnish Lapphund leans toward the high-maintenance grooming department. As expected in taming a dense and heavy coat, one must do a daily brushing to remove loose and dead hair. Brushing is also necessary to avoid the formation of any mats or tangles. Never neglect other areas of grooming if you don't want your dog ending up with infections. Make sure to pay attention to its mouth, teeth, ears, and nails as well.
If you can manage an intelligent and active breed, then do consider a Finnish Lapphund. This dog breed is intelligent enough to excel in obedience, herding and agility trials, not to mention it can be trained to be an excellent therapy dog.
The Finnish Lapphund is indeed an excellent watchdog, albeit slightly excessive. This breed will likely bark at anything that is unfamiliar. Its affection is also often tempered, despite its friendly nature, often fawning over select family members and reserve to some. Regardless, the Finnish Lapphund undoubtedly loves its family to the point of suffering from separation anxiety, although not all.
When around children, the Finnish Lapphund is friendly and affectionate. It likes nothing more than to be a part of the family, playing and interacting. However, it is foolish to let Finnish Lapphunds and young kids mix without supervision. Doing so is a recipe for disaster, as anytime playtime can become too boisterous, which may cause unintentional hurt.
Keeping a Finnish Lapphund with other animals, especially small ones, is okay as long as the dog has been socialised when young and these animals were actually raised together. Owners must remember that the Finnish Lapphund's herding instinct may kick in and it will try to herd other animals.
A typical serving for an adult Finnish Lapphund is 1 1/2–2 1/2 cups of premium dry dog food per day. It is important for meals to be divided into two to avoid the risk of bloat. The Finnish Lapphund doesn't require a special diet, but to ensure that you're providing sufficient nutrition, it is best to consult with a veterinarian for advice.
Typical calorie needs of an adult Finnish Lapphund per day:
Owners need to take note that the Finnish Lapphund, being a northern breed, has a slower metabolism, which means it is prone to weight gain. It is important to make sure that food is measured and to definitely avoid free-feeding.
The Finnish Lapphund can have a long life of up to fourteen years. Others even lived up to seventeen years in Finland. However, this can only happen provided that the owners take good care of the dog, which includes making sure that it does not suffer from any preventable illnesses. Health issues to watch out closely include hip and elbow dysplasia, cataracts, glaucoma, progressive retinal atrophy, and glycogen storage disease.
Being an outdoor-loving breed, the Finnish Lapphund has high exercise needs. It will need to get at least thirty minutes to one hour of vigorous exercise and it will enjoy hikes, runs, and jogging. With the level of exercise required, this dog breed will need owners who are happy to commit themselves to being active and spending time outdoors.
Finding a Finnish Lapphund may take some time as you will need to go on a waiting list. This dog breed is rare in the UK and very few are registered with The Kennel Club annually. The cost for a well-bred pedigree puppy is at least £900. To make sure it stays healthy at every age, you will need to feed it high-quality dog food. The monthly expense for food is about £40. You also need to factor in the initial cost for dog accessories and equipment such as bowls, leads, collars, and beds, which will likely be about £200 depending on the brand.
As to healthcare you need to be prepared in case your dog suddenly falls ill or gets into an accident. You can offset some bills if you get a pet insurance, which can range from £25 for a time-limited cover up to £40 for a lifetime one. These prices vary depending on your dog’s health and age, the type of cover you choose, and whether it has pre-existing conditions.
Other outgoings to consider are veterinary expenses that may not be included in a pet insurance coverage such as vaccinations, routine checks, neutering or spaying, and annual boosters, which can have a combined cost of £800-£1000 annually. In a rough estimation, you may need to set aside £60–£90 a month for recurring expenses, depending on the type of insurance cover you choose for your dog.
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