Cracar Finnish Lapphunds
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Finnish Lapphund
"A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself"
Breed Rescue
~~Josh Billings~~
About the Breed
The Finnish Lapphund
The Finnish Lapphund, or "Lappy" as they are lovingly referred ​to, is still a very new
breed here in the United States with fewer than 3000 currently registered with the American Kennel Club and fewer than 20 breeders.  Of course in the eyes of some this makes them "rare" and that is all the motivation needed to want one but common sense must be used when making a decision to add a dog to your family regardless of the breed and remember this, they won't be "rare" forever and if they don't fit your lifestyle  
​. . . . .then what?

​The Lappy is not quite as big as a "medium" breed such as the Australian Shepherd, Dalmation, Siberian Husky or Samoyed although they appear larger due to their coat.  The breed originated in a country and environment where cold and snow prevailed and their coat reflects the need for them to stay warm and dry with a long outer or "guard' coat to repel water and snow and a shorter, dense undercoat for warmth.  This is an ideal breed for "real" winters with very cold temperatures and snow.

​So, can they live in hot, arid climates with mild to non-existent winters?

 

"The only creatures that are evolved enough to convey
 pure love are dogs and infants"

~~Johnny Depp~~
​​Yes they can! But it is important to remember that this breed, like any other of the Arctic breeds, will need special consideration during the summer months depending on where you live, especially if that is in an area that combines heat and humidity.  That same coat that keeps them warm in cold weather also acts as a hot weather insulator to help them keep cool and must never be shaved or cut but that alone will not keep them cool enough.  If your summers are hot and/or humid your Lappy should be allowed the same comfort that you enjoy in your air conditioned house with fresh water available all the time.  During the hot seasons, outside actvities should be in the mornings before the heat increase and evenings when the heat of the day has subsided.​  Just remind yourself that if you are uncomfortable, so are they. 
  
Along with that wonderful arctic look they have with their coat comes the grooming.  The Lappy does require grooming on a regular basis and as winter leads into spring and summer they will "blow" their coats meaning that they will shed their undercoats which will require additional grooming to get the undercoat out and avoid matting.  As a puppy they usually have a soft texture to their coats which requires a bit more grooming but this is also the best time to establish good grooming habits which will make it easier on you when they become an adult.  Once their adult coat comes in and the texture changes, grooming doesn't take as long.   But remember, as a double-coated breed, they do require regular grooming.


Few breeds, if any, make a good pet/companion if left alone and Lappies are no exception.  They need to be a part of your family, they do not do well as a "backyard" dog where, if left to their own devices, they may become destructive as they look for something to occupy their time or become bothersome barkers.  While I have not found them to be real diggers in the sense that one has caverns in their yard, remember that all puppies will dig and honestly, sometimes they do not outgrow this enjoyable pastime of theirs.  As a breed that tends to be naturally submissive with people, they are gentle dogs and are great dogs for families with children as long as they are made a part of your family and taught the rules of proper behavior.  Remember, a dog left alone for many hours on end will be excitable and rambunctious in their happiness to finally see you so keep you Lappy as a housedog and you'll be rewarded with a calm, gentle companion.

Coming from the "herding" family, which includes Collies, Shetland Sheepdogs, Border Colles and German Shephards, the Lappy is intelligent and quick to learn yet at the same time can be independent and strong-willed.  They do quite well in "performance" activities like obedience, agility and rally and quite a few are successful in tracking with some even being used for search and rescue.  The Lappy is often referred to as a "thinking" breed so care must be taken when training not to be to strong with corrections before allowing them to think it through and perform the task you are requesting which really doesn't take them long.  Think "bees to honey" when training and you'll be richly rewarded
.

The Lappy is an active breed by nature but you don't need acres to own a Lappy or two (potato chip syndrome), some daily outside playtime and a walk or two is really all that is needed.  If you watch your dogs you'll find that if left on their own they really don't play all day; they play for awhile, spend several hours sleeping, play again and sleep again then they may play again after dinner and then settle in with you for the night which is spent . . . . . .sleeping!  While the Lappy is loyal to their family, one needs to remember that the breed still retains their strong hunting urge so it is best to not allow them off-lead unless the surrounding area is enclosed and of course a fenced yard at home is a must.  The squirrels and neighborhood possums would easily set them off on a chase so better to be safe by using a leash.  The breed will bark but normally do so only if there is a reason such as watching a stray dog running in the street or seeing that squirrel run up the tree.

Being naturally submissive to people doesn't mean that they aren't a good watchdog!  On the contrary, being a herding breed they are a natural when it comes to "alerting" to a stranger coming up the walk to your front door or someone lurking around your property after dark yet one doesn't have the concerns of owning an aggressive dog.  Now, if your Lappy is a problem barker it will probably be because he is frustrated and/or bored and is looking for your attention.  It is important to remember that the Finnish Lapphund used their bark to perform their job of herding reindeer so barking during the excitement of play is to be expected.

Most Lappies get along well with other dogs but as with any breed, care must be taken when meeting a "stranger" for the first time to ensure that "signals" between the dogs aren't misunderstood.  A calm introduction is usually all that is needed for a Lappy to make a new friend to enjoy some romping and playing with.  Lappies can enjoy a household with cats.

The general good health of the breed leads to an average lifespan of around 12-15 years with some living longer and most living closer to the 15 year age.  With a wide variety of colors and markings you'll seldom see two Lappies that look identical.  Pair that with their wonderful, happy, friendly personalities and the Finnish Lapphund attracts comments wherever you may be and will make a wonderful companion for you and your family if chosen correctly.