Meet Spirit the Finnish Lapphund and his owner Caitlin

About the breed

Spirit is a Finnish Lapphund.  Originating from Finland, they were used to herd reindeer and are a very popular breed over in Finland.  They were first introduced into Australia in 1995 and the first litter was born here in 2001. Nicknamed “Lappies” the Finish Lapphund are now known to be wonderful family household dogs, although they still have the ability to herd the kids!

Why did you choose this particular breed?

I have had Australian Shepherds in the past and I love them. However, this time I wanted something will a little more fluff and more personality, so I came across the Finnish Lapphund. I actually saw my first Finish Lapphund when one won the people’s choice awards for PETstock’s cutest puppy, Django.

Is their personality/behaviour in line with what people may associate with the breed?

Most spitz breeds can usually be pretty snappy but Finnish Lapphunds are friendly, sociable dogs. They adore children, get along with other pets in the house and are great with other dogs, they can be a little excitable and must be socialised early just like any other dog breed. Spirit is very different to other Finnish Lapphunds as he is called a “cream.” The most common colour for Finnish Lapphunds are black and white, Black and Tan and wolf sable. Although they do come in many more different colours.

Any tips for someone considering getting this breed?

Finnish Lapphunds make great family pets as they are naturally good with children. They need regular grooming as they have a lot of hair to shed. As a double coated dog they cannot be shaved during summer, it’s best to keep them indoors with the aircon on as they do not cope with the heat very well. These are also dogs that shouldn’t be left alone outside, they want to participate in daily activities with you and just be by your side. Like most spitz breeds, they do bark, so they make great watchdogs. Spirit even likes to howl!  As long as these dogs are socialised early with people and other dogs they will make excellent companions.

How interested/good at training or obedience?

All Finnish Lapphunds are different. It depends on how much work their owner puts into training them. They excel at obedience and rally obedience if the time is put in. Spirit is a very well trained, well mannered Lapphund. He goes to obedience every week and we have training sessions at home every day!

Any tricks, skills or community work?

I try to teach Spirit new tricks whenever I can. He has just mastered “beg” and “rollover” He is now learning how to bring me his collar for walks and how to be “shy.” He constantly impresses me because of how focused and food motivated he is with training. Every week we also like to play “nose games” in he living room, by hiding treats around the room and telling him to find it!.  Then he is learning how to put all of his toys back in his tub to pack up.  Spirit also competes in the Neuter show ring on weekends for the socialisation.