101 Things you wanted to know about living with a Lapphund

OK - it might not actually be as many as 101 but I hope you get the idea.

Are Finnish Lapphunds good with children?

Oh yes - though we don't have young children ourselves we have a large number of Lapphund owning friends with young families.  A number of Lapphund owners are childminders and nursery owners and their Lapphunds are an integral part of their businesses.

Can you let them off the lead?

Finnish Lapphunds are both easily trainable yet independently minded;  Kiva being the former and Mylo the latter.  Having had in excess of 40 Lapphunds stay with us over the past few years I can say that a Lapphund's reliability off lead is down to the training it has had - we made a mistake with our first Lapphund Mylo, Kiva benefitted from the lessons he taught us.

Do they bark a lot?

Some are more vocal than others, Mylo barks because he can, Kiva is almost mute - unless she sees a squirrel. Both dogs however bark when they hear people approaching our property and therefore make excellent watchdogs.

We have used a Spray Commander bark control collar on Mylo and within 2 weeks use there was a noticeable improvement.

Do they need a lot of grooming?

A question that we get asked regularly - my answer "about 1/2 an hour .... (pause for effect) .... a month". 

Despite their thick coats they really are low maintenance - Mylo has had 3 baths in 5 1/2 years, Kiva has had 2 in 4 1/2 years. 

After a walk in wet and muddy conditions the dogs spend 30-45 minutes in the kitchen before being allowed into the rest of the house; the floor where they lay will have a pile of dirt - the dogs will be clean and dry. 

They require no special presentation for the show ring.

Bitches tend to moult twice a year and the males, once.

Do they get on with other dogs?

In our experience this can be answered with an unreserved yes.

Since Mylo joined us back in 2006 we have had over 40 different Lapphunds come and stay with at various times - without exception they have all got on.  When out on walks Lapphunds would rather make friends than fall out with dogs they meet.

We regularly meet up with other Lapphund owners for walks - sometimes with as many as 30 Lapphunds, an amazing sight, especially to those not familiar with the breed.

So yes; Lapphunds do get on with other dogs.

Do they get on with cats?

Before being allowed to get a dog Louise insisted that whatever breed we would get would have to get on with our 2 cats.  The Lapphund breeders that we met, before getting Mylo, all also had cats in their households so we felt confident that a Lapphund in our household would work.

In the end it was more a case of our cats getting on with Lapphunds, why not check out the picture on the contacts page?

We have many friends with Lapphunds and cats and I can safely say that yes, Lapphunds do get on with cats. 

Do they suffer from any health problems?

The Finnish Lapphund is, in the main, a healthy and robust breed.

Sadly there is P.R.A (Progressive Retinal Atrophy) within the breed, an inherited eye defect where the retina degenerates over time. Reputable breeders test their animals regularly to reduce the chances of passing on the condition. It usually only becomes apparent in mature dogs of over 5.

An American research company called Optigen have identified the gene responsible as the prcd1-PRA (progressive rod cone degeneration) is already known in several other breeds. If you are interested in getting your dog tested for this condition, there are clinics available. Ask us for details on how you can participate.

For those who are considering or waiting for an FL puppy, you should talk to your breeder who will know the status of the parents and can make you aware of the risk in advance.

There have been cases of hereditary cataracts in the breed. Breeders and pet owners alike are urged to have their Lapphund’s eyes tested annually and dogs for breeding are always hip scored (breed average 14).

Do they dig?

Some do, ours don't.  To be honest Mylo as a puppy did start to dig however all of his holes, bar one, were filled with stones to prevent further digging and he was allowed one hole to bury his bones in - 4 years on we have just that one hole.  Kiva on the other hand doesn't dig at all.  We are hoping that Sassi grows out of her fondness of trying to dig to Australia - however it is just the one hole .... to date

Are they trainable?

In our experience Lapphunds do what you ask them to because they want to - making the training exciting and interesting seems to be the key to successful training.

Kiva and Sassi are very biddable, Mylo more independent;  Kiva loves strutting her stuff in the show ring whilst Mylo loves agility - it is probably too soon to tell what Sassi will excel at though we do intend to show her.

Please don't hesitate to get in touch with us at Lumikoira if you have any further questions.

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