5 Things to Know About Swedish Lapphunds

The intelligent Swedish Lapphund is lovable and easy to train, making this dog a great family pet.

Swedish Lapphund
Swedish Lapphunds originally herded reindeer. Photo: Darkangels
AKC GroupAKC Group
Foundation Stock Service
30-45 lbs.
16-20 in.
Life ExpectancyLife Span
12-14 years

1. Key Characteristics of Swedish Lapphunds

Swedish Lapphunds, a.k.a. Lappies, are medium-sized herding and guarding dogs that are also the national dog of Sweden.

Lappies have a dark nose and round, large brown eyes framed by small, wide-set, triangular ears. The high-set tail is carried over the back, and the oval toes have fur between the pads. The weather-resistant double coat is thick, as is the frizzy undercoat.

Coat colors include black, liver, or black and liver, and there may be white patches on the chest, feet and tail.

2. Where Swedish Lapphunds Come From

Lappies are the oldest of the dogs native to Sweden, descended from ancient spitz breeds. They were hunting, guarding and eventually herding companions for the Sami people of Lappland.

The Swedish Kennel Club recognized the breed in 1903, and the Federation Clinologique Internationale (FCI) followed suit in 1944. The American Kennel Club (AKC) recognized the breed in 2007, adding the breed to its Foundation Stock Service.

Swedish Lapphund
Swedish Lapphunds are Sweden’s national dog, but they’re still pretty scarce in the United States. Photo: Darkangels

3. How Friendly Are Swedish Lapphunds?

Lappies are happiest when they have a job to do. Trainable, lively and intelligent, they’re independent thinkers and sometimes stubborn. They respond best to positive reinforcement.

Lappies prefer to be with people inside the home, not outdoors. They love being with children and can get along well with cats when raised together. They are usually protective of the home and wary of strangers.

4. Is This the Right Dog for You?

Exercise Needs


MEDIUM: This active breed needs daily exercise and regular, consistent training. They don’t like heat , so keep your Swedish Lapphund in a cold climate or indoors during hot or humid weather.

Lappies can live in apartments if they can get daily walks and frequent play time.

Grooming Needs


MEDIUM: Brush the thick double coat often, even daily, if possible. Lappies shed seasonally and can blow their coats twice a year, when shedding will be heavier.

As you would do with any dog, trim your Swedish Lapphund’s nails, clean the ears and brush the teeth.

Health Problems


MEDIUM: There are few health concerns for the Swedish Lapphund, including:

More Stats About Swedish Lapphunds

Friendliness ★★★★★
Ease of Training ★★★★★
Barking/Howling ★★★☆☆
Shedding ★★★☆☆
Tolerate Being Alone ★★☆☆☆
Very Good With Kids ★★★★★

Check out this adventurous Lappie:

YouTube player

5. How to Adopt a Swedish Lapphund

Swedish Lapphunds are considered rare, so the breed will remain listed in the AKC’s Foundation Stock Service until more of these dogs are registered in the United States.

Most Popular Breeds

Labrador Retriever
German Shepherd Dog
Golden Retriever
French Bulldog

Explore 130+ amazing breeds!

Show More Breeds

(OR … Guess the dog breed)

Though these dogs are difficult to find, please check adoption resources and rescue groups first. Get started now with Petful’s online dog adoption search.

If you go through a breeder, meet the puppy’s parents and look for warning signs that the breeder is not taking proper care of the dogs.