Bred to work, the Lapphund is an energetic dog with a great deal of stamina and remarkable agility. He was bred as an assistant and companion to people, so he is keen to live with and please his owners. He can be humble and unassuming, but is a highly intelligent, inquisitive character who can show an independent streak and a sense of humour. His alert nature makes the Lapphund an excellent watchdog who rarely misses anything. However, his friendly character means he will never be a guard dog.
Their energy and intelligence make them very trainable dogs, and they can be found working in assistance roles such as Dogs for the Disabled, Hearing Dogs for the Deaf and in the Pets as Therapy programme. In addition, Lapphunds have competed at a high level in obedience and agility and have trained in working trials, tracking and search and rescue.
Infindigo Monta Tarkka, left, illustrates the breed's correct head with oval eye and an alert, yet soft, melting expression.
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It is said that Finnish Lapphunds have a special affinity with children. Certainly they are very gentle with them and seem to recognise little people and their special needs. As youngsters they see children as their peers and playmates; as adults they are the children's loyal sidecick. Dorothy (right) was born when Rauhan was a puppy and so they are growing up together. When they were both 2 years of age, he would do anything she commanded - a special and heartwarming bond.
Lapphunds are very social creatures and tend to love everyone and everything. However, they are hunters too and when out & about they will chase any small furries they see. Having said that, they can and do live happily with all sorts of other animals, including the very same small furries they chase outside! So while they may be perfectly respectful to their own cats, rabbits or even chickens in some cases, they will chase any others who don't live with them. And for some Lappies, this is a serious hunt rather than just a game. Our dogs live happily with cats but will chase unfamiliar moggies. Having cornered said moggies, though, they don't do anything more than wag and jump around barking trying to get the cat to continue with the game.
Photo (c) Joanne Ross
Rauhan & Sukka don't mind when
Dotty invades their crate
Ella having cuddles with Tarmo
Kallio loves Ollie the cat