Swedish Lapphund Breed Characteristics & Traits

The Swedish Lapphund (also called Lappenspitz or Swensk Lapphund) is an archetype Spitz and is listed under FCI Standard No. 135. The Nordic guard and herding dog are similar to the Finnish Lapphund. In all probability, it is the oldest Nordic dog breed.


  • FCI group: 5 (spitz and archetypal dogs)
  • Section 3 Nordic Guard and Sheep Dogs.
  • Without work test.

Origin & History

The origin of the Lapphund is roughly 9,000 years old. Like other Nordic breeds, such as the Elkhound and Icelandic Dog, the Swedish Lapphund is descended from the Torfspitz. Wolf’s blood was also specifically crossed in to make the dog more robust against the adversities of nature.

Their purpose for many centuries was in reindeer herding. The reindeer of the Lapps were expensive tools and were therefore well guarded by the dogs. He was also considered a good hunting dog among the Nordic Laplanders.

The dog breed had almost disappeared from the face of the earth at the beginning of the 20th century. It is thanks to a few breeders, such as Mary Stephens, that the breed was successfully rebuilt. Ambitious breeders traveled across the country to buy up original dogs from the reindeer herding areas.

Since the herds of reindeer and elk are more driven by modern technology today, the Lapphund was largely unemployed. But he has earned a place in the families of Sweden as a house and family dog. Outside of Sweden, you can find him in his second home, Norway. There are also a few Lapphund breeders in other countries who take care of faithful working animals.

Character & Essence

Even today, the Swedish Lapphund is a very good guardian. Its robustness makes it a good workhorse. He can subordinate himself to his people, although he is not submissive. His stubbornness is innate, as is said of many archetypal spikes. He is also lively, friendly, and intelligent. The combination of his characteristics and his physical condition make him a dog that masters dog sports from agility to tracking to obedience. He is considered easy to train.

He needs a connection to the family, so he is not suitable for kennel maintenance.

Look & Appearance

Its weatherproof coat is black. Only white markings on the chest and paws are allowed in the breed standard. He has a rectangular body shape and shows a proud head pose. Males weigh about 20 kilograms and reach a height of about 48 cm at the withers. Bitches are slightly lighter and smaller.


Nordic dog breeds require consistent training. The Swedish Lapphund is no exception. The Lappe loves to exercise and is the ideal sports companion. Whether it’s agility or draft dog sports, such as dog scooting, the Lappenspitz is happy to take part in everything.


Intensive grooming is required twice a year during the change of coat. Otherwise, its robust, weatherproof coat does not require any special attention.

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