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The Finnish Lapphund Breed Standard 

A breed standard is the guideline which describes the ideal characteristics, temperament, and appearance of a breed and ensures that the breed is fit for function with soundness essential.


Group 5 (Working Dogs)

General Appearance

Smaller than medium sized, its conformation is strong for its size, slightly longer than the height at the withers. Long and thick coated with pricked ears.

Important Proportions , The depth of the body is slightly less than half of the height at the withers. The muzzle is slightly shorter than the skull. The skull is slightly longer than broad, the depth is the same as the breadth.


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

F.C.I. Classification , Group 5 Spitz and primitive type, Section 3 Nordic Watchdogs and Herders.


Keen, courageous, calm and willing to learn. Friendly and Faithful.

Head And Skull

Strong in outline, rather broad.

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

Facial Region:
Nose , Preferably black, yet harmonising with the coat colour.
Muzzle , Strong, broad and straight; viewed from above and in profile, evenly tapering, but only slightly.
Lips , Tight.
Cheeks , The zygomatic arches are clearly marked [defined].



Dark brown in colour, yet harmonising with the coat colour. Oval shaped. The expression is soft and friendly.


Medium sized. Carried erect or semi-erect, set rather far apart. Triangular in shape, rather broad at the base. Very mobile.


The jaws are strong. Scissor bite.


Medium in length, strong and covered with profuse hair.


General Appearance- Powerful with strong bones. Viewed from the front straight and parallel.
Shoulders , Slightly oblique.
Upper Arm , As long as the shoulder blade. The angle between shoulder and upper arm is rather open.
Elbows , Placed slightly lower than the lower edge of the ribcage, pointing straight backwards.
Forearm , Rather strong, vertical.
Carpus [Wrist] , Flexible.
Pastern , Of medium length, slightly sloping.


Withers , Muscular and broad, only slightly marked [not prominent].
Back , Strong and straight.
Loins , Short and muscular.
Croup , Of medium length, well developed, sloping only slightly.
Chest , Deep, rather long, reaching almost to the elbows, not very broad. The ribs are slightly arched; the forechest clearly visible but not too pronounced.
Underline , Slightly tucked up.


General Appearance , Strong boned, powerful. Viewed from behind, straight and parallel. The angulation is clearly marked but not too strongly.
Upper Thigh , Of medium length, rather broad with well developed muscles.
Stifles , Pointed forward, the angulation is clearly marked [well angulated].
Second Thigh , Relatively long and sinewy.
Hock Joint , Moderately low set; the angulation is clearly marked but not too strongly. [Moderate angulation]
Metatarsus [Rear Pastern] , Rather short, strong and vertical.


Well arched, oval rather than round, covered with dense hair. The pads are elastic with the sides covered with dense hair. Rear dewclaws are not desirable.


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


Effortless. Changes easily from trot to gallop, which is the most natural style of movement. The legs move parallel. Agile and fast when working.


Skin - Tight overall without wrinkles.
Hair , Profuse, the males especially have an abundant mane. The outer coat is long, straight and harsh. On the head and on the front of the legs, the coat is shorter. There must be a soft and dense undercoat.


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 withers , Ideal height for males - 49 cm [19.5 ins]
Ideal height for females - 44 cm [17 ins]
With a tolerance of +/- 3 cm [just over 1 in]
Type is more important than 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.


Males not masculine and females not feminine


Light head, insufficient stop.
Dropped ears.
Tail carriage continuously lower than the topline.
Over angulated or too straight rear angulation.
Lack of under coat. Flat coat. Curly outer coat.
Basic colour indistinct.

Disqualifications ,
Over or undershot mouth.
Kinky tail


Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.




The extended breed standard provides detailed information regarding interpreting the breed standard. Due to copyright, the ANKC does not permit the extended breed standard to be published on sites other then their own.


Click to access the extended breed standard directly from the ANKC website


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