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Swedish Lapphund Breed Summary

Intelligent, Trainable, Energetic, Active and Devoted

These doggies have been around for 1,000 years and skeletal remains of similar doggies have been found that date back many centuries. They are also referred to, in their native country of Sweden, as 'Vastgotaspets', which translates to 'small spitz of the West Goths', a region located in the middle of Sweden. It's thought that they were developed to be versatile farm dogs, that could help in herding and bringing in cows, as well as herding them into market. Additionally, it's thought that they were used to herd and guard reindeer for the Nomadic people. They almost completely disappeared in the early 1940's and they only survived thanks to two very dedicated breed enthusiasts. Nowadays, they are fairly well-known across some parts of the world but remain a rare breed within the UK. Anyone wanting to share their home with one of these doggies would have to register their interest with a breeder.

Kennel Club Group Pastoral Group
Lifespan 9 – 15 years
Height (at the withers) Males 45CM – 51CM, Female 45CM – 48CM
Weight Males and Females 19KG – 21KG
Coat Dense, Long, Straight Coat
Colour Black or Brown
Eye colour Brown
Common health issues Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)
Other Names Lapphund, Lapland Spitz, Lapplandska Spets

Swedish Lapphunds are well-known for their high intelligence which makes them fairly easy to train. However, they are also extremely high-energy doggies which means they need to be in a family who already lead active lives that they can easily slot into. Additionally, they form very strong bonds with their 'human' families, meaning they can't be left alone for too long, as it can result in them developing separation anxiety, leading to depression and destructive behaviours. In order for them to mature into happy and well-rounded doggies, they will need plenty of socialisation as well as mental and physical stimulation as well. But for the right family they make lovely pets with the potential to provide you with years of joy!

There is evidence of Swedish Lapphunds being around for around 1000 years with skeletal remains having been found of very similar looking dogs that date back centuries. The breed is known as Vastgotaspets in their native Sweden which translated means “small spitz of the West Goths” which is a region located in the middle of the country. They were bred and developed as versatile farm dogs that helped to herd and bring in cows as well as herding them to market.

They were also bred to herd and guard herds of reindeer for the Sami nomadic people, a job they proved to be extremely good at. As such, Swedish Lapphunds have always been highly prized in many Scandinavian countries other than their native Sweden although lesser well known in other countries of the world.

Swedish Lapphunds almost vanished altogether during the early 1940’s, but thanks to two dedicated breed enthusiasts, they were saved although even today, they are still quite rare and not often seen outside of Scandinavia. With this said, the gene pool remains low. The breed was finally recognised by the Swedish Kennel Club in 1943 and were imported to Britain by a lady called Elizabeth Cartledge.

Today, Lapphunds are still used by the Swedish army as search and rescue dogs and many have been trained to sniff out valuable truffles which is an expensive type of mushroom. Some Lapphunds have even been trained as PAT dogs in the UK and regularly visit the elderly and children who are terminally ill.