KC Breed Standard

The revised Kennel Club Breed Standard was published on 1st January 2010 and is reproduced below. It includes in italics the amendments passed at the 2006 AGM and ratified at the 2009 AGM of the Finnish Lapphund Club of Great Britain. In the KC system, the Finnish Lapphund is in the Pastoral Group of breeds.

Finnish Lapphund Breed Standard

A Breed Standard is the guideline which describes the ideal characteristics, temperament and appearance of a breed and ensures that the breed is fit for function. Absolute soundness is essential. Breeders and judges should at all times be careful to avoid obvious conditions or exaggerations which would be detrimental in any way to the health, welfare or soundness of this breed. From time to time certain conditions or exaggerations may be considered to have the potential to affect dogs in some breeds adversely, and judges and breeders are requested to refer to the Kennel Club website for details of any such current issues. If a feature or quality is desirable it should only be present in the right measure.

General Appearance

Strongly built dog, smaller than medium size. Body slightly longer than height at withers. Coat long and profuse.


Tendency to herd.


Intelligent, brave, calm, faithful. Suitable as companion and watch dog.

Head and Skull

Strong featured, comparatively broad, bitch's more refined, forehead slightly rounded; stop clearly defined. Muzzle shorter than skull, straight and slightly tapering when viewed both from above and side. Nose and eye rims as dark as compatible with coat colour.


Oval shaped, dark brown or harmonizing with coat colour. Expression soft and friendly.


Erect or semi-erect. Medium size, set well apart, broad at base and very mobile.


Jaws strong with perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaw. Lips tight.


Medium length, strong and profusely covered with hair.


Shoulder and upper arm of approximately equal length. Shoulder moderately laid back and forming a rather open angle with upper arm. Legs well boned, strong, straight and parallel. Elbow placed slightly lower than the lower edge of brisket. Pasterns of medium length, flexible and slightly sloping.


Firm. Back strong, straight and broad. Moderate spring of rib. Brisket deep and long almost reaching the level of the elbow. Depth of body slightly less than half the height at withers. Forechest clearly defined, of moderate width. Loin short and muscular. Slight tuck up. Croup medium length, well defined and slightly sloping. The body, measured from point of shoulder to point of buttock, slightly longer than height at withers.


Strong boned, powerful, straight and parallel when viewed from behind. Moderate angulation. Muscular thighs. Hocks relatively low set.


Well arched, oval, covered with thick hair.


Medium length, high set, covered with profuse, long hair. Carried curved over the back or side when the dog is moving. May hang when the dog is at rest. Tip of tail may have a "J" formed hook.


Effortless, brisk, agile and straight. Medium length of stride, changing easily from trot to gallop.


Profuse. Outer coat long, coarse and straight. Shorter on the head and front of legs. Undercoat soft and dense. Males should have a more abundant mane.


All acceptable colours allowed but main colour must dominate. Markings differing from the main colour are permitted on head, neck, chest, legs, tail and underside of body.


Ideal height at withers, dogs 49cm (19.25 ins); bitches 44cm (17.25 ins), with an allowance of 3cm (1.25 ins) either way. Type is more important than size.


Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog.


Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.

Colours updated September 8th 2010

Last updated January 2010, Copyright The Kennel Club. Reproduced with their kind permission.  The FCI Breed Standard is used internationally, including Finland. Download it here.
Finnish Lapphunds are classified by the FCI as Group 5: Spitz and Primitive types, Section 3: Nordic Watchdogs and Herders.

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