Swedish Lapphund (Svensk Lapphund)
The Swedish Lapphund is an all-around working dog and excellent family pet native to Swedish Lapland. It’s notable for an easy-going, bold and devoted personality and makes a superb pal for children. However dog fanciers from other countries are mostly unacquainted with this breed and even in its homeland its population is fairly scarce.
The Swedish Lapphund is a Spitz-type dog that faithfully served the nomadic Sami people since times immemorial. It’s known that it was initially developed on the territory of Lappland, which includes Sweden, Norway, Finland, and north-western Russia. At first the dog was considered to be an indispensable helper of hunters as well as a reliable guardian of human properties. Once the Sami tribe switched over to a settled way of life and began rearing reindeer, it was quickly re-trained to a reindeer herder.
By the end of XIX century the original version of the Swedish Lapphund was virtually driven to the edge of extinction. In fact the dog’s number was so low that it would have completely disappeared if a noble lady down in the County of Småland hadn’t displayed interest to its fate. She collected the best-quality specimens of the Swedish Lapphund at her estate Thorne and selectively bred them during 40s of the XX century and later on.
The Swedish Kennel Club officially accepted the dog in 1903. It attained recognition of the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) in 1944 and the United Kennel Club (UKC) followed its lead only in 2006. The dog is also admitted to the American Kennel Club’s Foundation Stock Service, which is the first step towards full recognition of the AKC.
The Swedish Lapphund is still utilised as a reindeer herder but such modern invention as snow-scooters have undermined its significance in this role. Today it’s primarily acquired for companionship. The Swedish Kennel Club records only approximately 100 Swedish Lapphunds annually.
Although the Swedish Lapphund thrives on a hard work it will also be happy to live as a strictly companion animal. Its appropriately socialised specimen usually behaves itself mannerly both in a spacious mansion and in a small apartment and demonstrates unshakeable loyalty to its human pack. Children love the incredible stamina of this breed and its invariable willingness to play and the dog reciprocates their feelings. Naturally the parents should explain their kids that their four-legged friend deserves respectful and careful treatment.
As a rule the Swedish Lapphund becomes wary and somewhat aloof when it meets unknown people. This dog is very serious about guarding its territory from any unwelcomed guests and will fight them ferociously if needed. Apart from being a first-rate guardian it’s also very noisy and responds to any outward stimulus with its booming barking. This makes this breed an effective watcher but it’s highly advisable to teach your pet when such behaviour is absolutely unacceptable.
The Swedish Lapphund has few issues with other canines and likes spending time in dog parks. Remember though that it also wants to dominate in the group of its counterparts and may even challenge a much larger and stronger rival. So it’s essential to closely supervise the pets’ communication with strange dogs. The breed is also relatively good with other types of pets and will make friends even with a household cat if the animals got to know each other at an early age.
The most common problems for the breed include:
· hip dysplasia;
· eye problems;
· diabetes mellitus.
The Swedish Lapphund has average grooming requirements. The master should brush dense double coat of his pet once or twice a week in order to remove superficial dirt and get rid of loose hair. This breed is an extremely heavy shedder, which completely changes its undercoat every spring and fall. During these periods it’s highly recommended to apply to daily brushing so your house won’t be buried under the heaps of the dog’s hair.
Weekly teeth’s brushing is a necessary condition for good overall health and nice breath. Clip the nails of your pet every other month and occasionally examine its ears for grime, ear wax and signs of infections (red spots, nasty odour, etc.). It’s a good idea to start training your Swedish Lapphund to grooming routines while it’s a pliable and docile puppy.
The Swedish Lapphund is a smart dog with independent character so its training usually becomes a task of moderate difficulty. It’s crucial to use patient yet firm approach to its specimen and forgive its occasional unwillingness to obey your orders. Thanks to its sharp mind and athletic body this breed commonly scores great successes in such canine competitions as flyball, agility, herding, rally and obedience.
The best motivation for the Swedish Lapphund is kind words from its master and one or two pieces of its favourite food. Negative reinforcement never brings desirable results and only endangers your trust-based relationship with the dog.
As an indefatigable worker the Swedish Lapphund definitely prefers active lifestyle and needs lots of physical outlets to be fully happy. Even several brisk walks aren’t enough to satisfy this breed. That’s why it’s fair to say that it befits for a suburban house with a large and properly fenced yard.
This dog is also always eager to play and can frisk with familiar kids all day long. But if it’s deprived any chances to stretch its legs the Swedish Lapphund will get on nerves of your neighbours by unceasing barking and will ill-behave inside.