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Breed History

Sami and LappiesThe Swedish Lapphund is the oldest of the native Swedish breeds with a history dating back thousands of years. Believed to be descended from the ancient Nordic spitz, it is one of the oldest known breeds in existence today. An early working companion of the Sami people of Lappland (northern Norway, Sweden, Finland and northwestern Russia), the Swedish Lapphund first served as a hunting partner and family guardian.

As the nomadic lifestyle of the Sami gradually evolved from hunting to the keeping of reindeer, so too did the role of the lappie as a valuable herding dog, helping the Sami manage and control their herds. A characteristic of the herding lappie is the use of his vocal talents. It is believed the Sami favored the barking lappies for two reasons - predators were deterred from coming too close and the reindeer knew the barking four legged creature was friend, not foe. The herding instinct is still alive and well in the modern day lappie.

A Swedish Lapphund named Halli was the first registered dog of the Swedish Kennel Club and in 1903 the Swedish Lapphund was officially acknowledged as a breed of its own by the Swedish Kennel Club. Today the Swedish Lapphund is known as one of the oldest of twelve national breeds of Sweden and was officially recognized by the Federation Clinologique Internationale (FCI) in 1944. By the 1960s there were several breeders in Sweden actively working towards the preservation of the breed - Kennels Odds, Sudergatue, Strahles, Torne and Timmerfallets to name a few.

There are approximately 1200 Swedish Lapphunds in the world - the majority in Sweden. Swedish Lappies are also found in Finland, Norway, England, Denmark, The Netherlands, France, Germany, Belgium, Austria, Switzerland, Slovenia, Russia, Australia and the United States.

The Swedish Lapphund is a devoted and lively companion that requires active and constant involvement with his human pack. It is a bright and eager breed well suited to herding, agility, obedience and other canine sports.

 

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