Dogs of Lapland - Cheerfully present

Page 1

Sanna Karppinen

DOGS OF LAPLAND cheerfully present

Dogs of Lapland – Cheerfully present © The Lapphund Club of Finland, Kirjakaari, Jyväskylä 2012 Text Sanna Karppinen Photographs The Lapphund Club of Finland Graphic design Kati Lähdemäki, Kirjakaari English translation Aki Myyrä, Molehill Communications Publisher Kirjakaari Print Kariston Kirjapaino Oy 2012 ISBN 978-952-5969-24-5


Contents Welcome to the World of Lappish dogs!.........................................................5 1 Introduction: Living Happily Together with Lappish Dogs...........................7

The Finnish Lapphund – a Good-Tempered Dog for the Whole Family................ 11 The Lapponian Herder – a Balanced and Energetic Working Dog........................ 17 A True Dog Story: Halli, or ‘Parkki’...................................................................................................25 A True Dog Story: Peski Luuhki, or ‘Luuhki’.....................................................................................26 A True Dog Story: Lumiturpa Mörökölli (Snow Muzzle Sulky Fellow), or ‘Juntti’ (Hillbilly)......28

2 Paw-Prints through History...........................................................................31

The Shared Journey of the Lappish Dog Breeds.................................................... 31 Lappish Dogs Were Once Hunting Dogs............................................................................... 32 The Sámi World Changes....................................................................................................... 34 Ancestors of Reindeer Herding Dogs..................................................................................... 36 Herding Dogs Are Necessary for Reindeer Husbandry........................................................... 39 Hunting Dogs Become Herding Dogs.................................................................................... 44 Many Kinds of Herding Dogs................................................................................................. 47 The First Names of the Lappish Dogs..................................................................................... 49 From the Prime to War-Time.................................................................................................. 51 Tracking the Lapphund.......................................................................................................... 52 Following the Lapponian Herder............................................................................................ 52 Reindeer Dogs and Lapphunds Go their Separate Ways......................................................... 54 A True Dog Story: Nuvvus Mattas.....................................................................................................56 A True Dog Story: Kiddanaste, or ‘Naste’..........................................................................................58

The Finnish Lapphund.......................................................................................... 60 A True Dog Story: Poromiehen (Reindeerman’s) Thahpe, or ‘Tahvo’.............................................66 A True Dog Story: The Legend of Kalikkakaula (Stick Neck)..........................................................68 A True Dog Story: Menes-Lappi, or “Nasse”......................................................................................69

The Lapponian Herder......................................................................................... 70 The Lapphund Club of Finland: Always for the Good of the Dogs........................ 79 Two Strong Kennel Associations............................................................................................. 79 The Lapphund Club of Finland............................................................................................... 80 Timeline................................................................................................................................ 82 A True Dog Story: Vihervaaran Taimi (Green Hill’s Seedling), or ‘Halla’........................................86 A True Dog Story: Peski Nasti, or ‘Tsuku’.........................................................................................88

3 Lappish Dogs Here and Now..........................................................................91

Limitless Hobbies................................................................................................. 91 Lappish Dogs Are Quick Learners.......................................................................................... 92


Pure Joy on the Agility Course!.............................................................................................. 96 All-Terrain Working Dogs...................................................................................................... 97 Born to Be Search and Rescue Dogs...................................................................................... 98 A Versatile Friend for Many Pastimes...................................................................................... 99 A True Dog Story: Hiidenparran Tielkka, or ‘Lilly Laplander’...........................................................100 A True Dog Story: Lecibsin Kultakuono (Lecibsin Golden Nose), or ‘Ressi’..................................102

Lappish Breeds as Working Dogs......................................................................... 104 The Lapponian Herder........................................................................................................... 108 The Finnish Lapphund........................................................................................................... 111

Lappish Dogs Abroad........................................................................................... 112 Finnish Lapphunds Around the World.................................................................................... 112 Lapponian Herders Around the World................................................................................... 115

4 The Future Looks Bright for Lappish Dogs....................................................117

Even a Small Population Can Be Renewed........................................................... 122 The Healthiest Dogs in the World........................................................................ 124 The Proper Coat and Structure............................................................................................... 126

The Lapponian Herder as a Breed........................................................................ 126 Balanced Temperament.......................................................................................................... 128 Intelligent Expression............................................................................................................. 128

The Finnish Lapphund as a Breed......................................................................... 130 The Famous Gentle Gaze....................................................................................................... 130 Correct Conformation and Proportions ................................................................................. 130 Harmonious Structure............................................................................................................ 133 A Warm and Thick Coat......................................................................................................... 133

The Finnish Lapphund Has Become a Popular Breed........................................... 134

Thanks.................................................................................................................138 Acknowledgements...........................................................................................139 Photographs.......................................................................................................140

The Lapphund Club of Finland The Lapphund Club of Finland, founded in 1970, is the breed organization for the Finnish Lapphund, the Lapponian Herder, and the Swedish Lapphund. At the end of 2011, the club had almost 5000 members. It became an official breed association in 1998, and it is a member organization of the Finnish Kennel Club. For more information, see 4

Welcome to the World of Lappish dogs!


ur native dog breeds from Finnish Lapland, the Finnish Lapphund and the Lapponian Herder, have steadily increased in popularity. Their strengths include their adaptability to different environments, their versatility, their subtle basic structure, and their good health. Not many of today’s Lappish dogs are used for their original purpose. Of course, that wouldn’t even be possible outside the reindeer herding area. The former reindeer herding dogs have proven to be prime family dogs and companions for all kinds of pastimes. The tenacity that springs from their herding dog background has also led Lappish dogs to success in many dog sports. This book is a sturdy package of information for all who are interested in the Finnish Lapphund and the Lapponian Herder. In addition to history and general breed information, there are stories about some of the significant representatives of the Lapp breeds. All Lappish dog owners certainly believe that theirs is the best dog in the world, and each of us would have great stories about these faithful, four-legged friends. Unfortunately, not all the stories would fit in one book.

The purpose of the Lapphund Club of Finland, according to the association’s rules, is to “promote the breeding of the Lappish reindeerherding Spitz breeds, to make them known, and to develop their conformation according to their breed standards.” This book has been long in the planning, and now it is helping to fulfil the above purposes. Reindeer herding dogs are part of the cultural tradition of Lapland, and that is why fostering them is so important. The uniqueness of the Lapp breeds has been noted even outside of Finland, and they have gradually taken root in other countries, even surprisingly far from their birthplace. Therefore, spreading information outside of Finland is not only justifiable, it is actually desirable. Have a pleasant read! Vantaa, Finland, 29 May 2012. Petri Hallberg Chairman, the Lapphund Club of Finland




1 Introduction


Living Happily Together with Lappish Dogs

ur native dog breeds are an important part of Finnish cultural history. We have native breeds of other animals as well, such as the Finnhorse and the Finnsheep. These animals have adapted to modern life and proven to be our multi-talented companions. Indigenous and little bred animal species are held in high value

around the world, because such species speak of a whole people’s past, traditions, and way of life. There are over 400 dog breeds around the world, and when cross-breeds are included, over 400 million. In Finland, we have over 300 different dog breeds, but only five native breeds:

Lapinkoira on iloinen joka sään koira.


the Finnish Lapphund, the Lapponian Herder, the Finnish Hound, the Karelian Bear Dog, and the Finnish Spitz. Breeders want to keep these dogs as healthy family and working dogs that are suitable for their original purposes. By genotype, the Finnish Lapphund and the Lapponian Herder are not as distant and unchanged as the world’s most primitive breeds, such as the Australian Dingo or the African Basenji. Nevertheless, the roots of the native Finnish breeds are far back in the tides of history. The Såmi people have kept dogs as family members and helpers in various tasks for centuries. Both of the Lappish breeds in this book have padded a long way alongside the people of the north.


The Lappish dog breeds, the Finnish Lapphund and the Lapponian Herder, have a shared history up until the 1960s. For a long time, the most significant difference between them was the length of their coat. Many different-looking, fluffy pups were born in the same litter. However, herding skills, a balanced temperament, good health, and a weatherproof coat were appreciated in both breeds. Working characteristics were more important than conformation. It wasn’t until the 1960s that both Lappish breeds were given more specific breed standards that were better suited for practical life. Their differences were no longer defined by mere coat length, but in terms of structure, tail

position, and gait type. This kind of distinction is quite natural, because even before the official standards, Lappish dogs were divided into two main types: the fairly square-proportioned, longcoated type of herding dog (Lapphund) and the shorter-coated, longer-backed, trotting type of herding dog (Lapponian Herder). Nowadays, the Finnish Lapphund is a versatile, charming, and lively family and

companion dog. It is slightly reminiscent of its eastern ancestor, the Nenets Herding Laika. The Lapponian Herder is calm, brave, and modest, an independent working dog that enjoys active life together with its family. Now we will present the general characteristics of these two breeds and also briefly introduce the Swedish Lapphund, the third Lappish breed in our country.




ogs similar to the Finnish Lapphund are believed to have lived in the area of presentday Finland already 10,000 years ago. They were used for centuries as reindeer herders and guard dogs. The Finnish Lapphund and the Lapponian Herder descended from common ancestors. In 1967, the breed was registered as the Lapphund, and in 1993, its name was changed to the Finnish Lapphund. For years, the Finnish Lapphund has been one of the ten most popular dog breeds in Finland. Around 1000 – 1300 cuddly Lapphund puppies are registered every year. Their popularity is


The Finnish Lapphund – a Good-Tempered Dog for the Whole Family based on their versatility and their balanced, friendly temperament. The Lapphund adapts to any weather and even to city conditions. Finnish Lapphunds are strong, considering their size, and slightly longer than high. When moving, their tail curls loosely onto their back or side. Their coat is thick and coarse, and enthusiasts like to call them ‘rössökarvainen’, or shaggy-haired (as near a translation as can be made of the colloquial word!) The most common colours are black and brown—with or without markings—wolf grey, sable, and wheaten.

Lapinkoiran pentu on kuin pehmoinen nallekarhu.


Some of the More Creative Names Given to Finnish Lapphunds (free translations from Finnish) Apris Hummeli Halli (Apris Hummelly Holly) Erätytön Unelias Upseeri (Girlscout’s Sleepy Officer)

Mopedimuorin Ehkä Hihitän (Moped Mama’s Maybe I’m Giggling)

Ikihipin Matami Mimmi (Forever-Hippie’s Mad Madam Mim)

Omituinen Källeröinen (Weird Lil’ Cally)

Ikimuiston Bile Hile (Unforgettable Party Animal)

Paukapää Rock (Bonehead Rock)

Ikimuiston Eversti Könönen (Unforgettable Colonel Kononen)

Peikkovuoren All Around (Troll Mountain’s All Around

Iki-Wanhan Lintukotolainen (Age-Old Safe Haven Dweller) Jehnajan Jetsulleen (Yehnaya’s Yep, Exactly) Jäkäläkummun Melekomelskaaja (Lichen Hill’s Quite a Racket Maker) Karvapallon Kummastus (Furball’s Oddball)

Orso-Farm Mörönsyötti (Orso-Farm Bogey-Bait)

Poavinävlin Tummavinkales (Pope’s Belly-Button’s Dark Wingally) Pompparinniityn Helemasynti (Hopping Field’s Besetting Sin) Puhtituulen Viiviviettelys (Strong-Wind’s Viv Temptation) Päivää Olen Mahoton Möhömaha (G’day, I’m One Big Pot Belly)

Kellokas Pihtijoen Pilikki (Bellwether Billy of River Pihti) Roihuava Romantiikka (Blazing Romance) Kirjohäntä Johannyttoki (Dappled-Tail But-of-Course) Kolme Veetä Biisi-Birkko (Three V Singer Girl)

Seitakeron Tahaton Teko (Seita Fell’s Unintentional Deed)

Lapinpeikon Ikiomairtokarva (Lapp Troll’s Very Own Loose Hair)

Staalon Överi Kaveri (Stale’s Overdoing Buddy)

Lumiturpa Mörökölli (Snow-Muzzle Grouchy)

Tassutuvan Ehta-Emäntä (Paw Cabin’s Genuine Madam)

Taikahallan Nelivetopeto (Magic Frost’s 4x4 Beast)

Lumiturpa Nallenaama (Snow-Muzzle Teddy Bear Face) Tuikkeentuvan Rempseeruusa (Twinkle House’s EasyGoing Rose)


Lapinkoira ottaa rennosti aina, kun siihen on tilaisuus. Kylmä ja lumi eivät haittaa. The facial expression of Finnish Lapphunds is unique and soft. It is an important feature that distinguishes it from other arctic spitzes. They also have clear secondary sex characteristics: males and females differ by both bodily and facial structure. Their ears are either pricked or tipped. The health situation of Finnish Lapphunds is good. Their hereditary diseases are eye diseases, hip dysplasia, and epilepsy, but all of them are very well under control compared with many other modern dog breeds. Their health situation is researched, tested, and monitored closely.

”Aina läsnä, mutta ei koskaan tiellä.”


Finnish Lapphunds are versatile and adaptable companions for the whole family. They are quick to adapt to different situations and to feel at home in many kinds of environments. This is why they are popular pets and working dogs, with success in obedience trials, agility, and working dog trials. Finnish Lapphunds make good friends for every family member. They have character, and they are intelligent and cheerfully wilful. At home, they are calm and relaxed buddies that often wrap their owners around their cute little paws. The charming dogs enjoy active families. They participate eagerly—wagging their tails happily—in their family’s pastimes. 14

”Lapinkoira on niin viisas, että osaa tekeytyä tyhmäksi.”




The Lapponian Herder – a Balanced and Energetic Working Dog


he Lapponian Herder and the Finnish Lapphund have shared roots as reindeer herding dogs. Dogs that lived in the northern parts of Scandinavia in the prehistoric era are considered the original ancestors of the Lapponian Herder, but the exact origin of the breed is subject to discussion. The official breed standard was confirmed in 1966. The Lapponian Herder has very few similarities with arctic spitz breeds, which are thick coated, square-proportioned and have curled tails. By conformation, the Lapponian Herder is a trotting-type herding dog, much like the Belgian Shepherd. It is longer than it is tall; it is strong and distinctly angulated. The Lapponian Herder’s thick and wiry double coat protects it effectively from the cold and moisture. It can manage well even in deep snow. Laplanders call their coat ‘närpiäkarvainen’, which means somewhat short, bristly, yet glossy and water-proof, to differ from Lapphunds ‘rössökarvainen’, shaggy-haired coat.

Since the mid 1990s, the Lapponian Herder has established its standing among Finnish dog breeds. Registration has increased continuously to more than 200 dogs each year. The Lapponian Herder’s register is open, so unregistered working dogs in the north can still be accepted. Lapponian Herders are intelligent, quickly learning, and independent. They herd reindeer and other domestic animals in a broader area than many other herding dogs. They are energetic at work, but relaxed and calm at 17

Porokoira jaksaa juosta paksussakin kinoksessa. Turkkiin ei tartu lumi.


The Register Is Still Open The registries of the Finnish Lapphund and the Lapponian Herder are open, which means that new dogs can be entered, even if their dam and sire are not registered. The Finnish Kennel Club can register such a dog, if the breed association first makes a proposal. A few Lapponian Herders are accepted in the breed register each year, but no Finnish Lapphunds have been added in the 2000s. The open registration process, sometimes called studbook selection, applies to yet unregistered working dogs in the reindeer herding area of Lapland. It is mainly for the firstgeneration litters of dogs used in reindeer herding. Breeding newly registered dogs is governed in Finland by the regulations of PEVISA (program against hereditary defects and diseases). The registering process is begun when the dog owner sends a register application to the breeding committee of Lappalaiskoirat Ry, the Lapphund Club of Finland. The application should be a free-form report of the dog’s background, for example, the known information of the dog’s ancestry and its breeder. In addition, a photograph of the dog is usually attached, and if the dog has been used in reindeer herding, a ‘reference’ from the reindeer herding association is required. The breeding committee will review the application, and if the dog’s background is in order, they will set a date with the owner for a conformation inspection. The committee has an assigned team of conformation judges that will inspect the dog, either together or separately. At least two judges must declare the dog to be sufficiently typical for the breed. The breed association will then send a recommendation to the Finnish Kennel Club for final approval. Dogs that are accepted into the register are implanted with an identification microchip at the expense of the Finnish Lapphund Club, if they do not already have one. Accepted dogs are registered in the Finnish Kennel Club’s special register (ER). Such dogs can participate in shows, trials, and competitions, but they cannot be given international champion or CACIB certificates. Litters of dogs in the special register (ER) are registered there until three generations are in the pedigree. Then they are transferred to the Kennel Club’s FIN Register. 19

home. They herd reindeer by barking, which distinguishes them from many other shepherd dogs, such as Border Collies, which herd sheep with their gaze. The self-confident and composed Lapponian Herders are rewarding partners. When they are trained consistently, they become loyal, warm, and cooperative family members. Good interaction skills with humans are typical to Lapponian Herders. The perceptive dogs like to make eye contact with their owners, and they identify people’s moods with surprising ease. Lapponian Herders are even friendlier with people than with other dogs. Lapponian Herders guard their home and territory. They are very loyal to their families and other close people, but they are sometimes cool


and distant toward strangers. They learn quickly and love to obey, but they require patient, unforced training. They remember people who have once treated them badly for the rest of their lives, and unfair or erratic people who are not sure of what they want are not suitable owners. The breed is quite healthy, and its hereditary eye diseases and hip dysplasia are monitored closely. Some instances of epilepsy have also been reported. Lapponian Herders are popular family dogs, but also versatile working dogs. They have a ground-covering, effortless gait. Their perseverance and liveliness are best seen while herding. They are still used as working dogs in Lapland, but they have also been successful in obedience trials, agility, and working trials.

”Lapinporokoira on tasapainoinen koira sekä ulkonäöltään että luonteeltaan.” 21

Some of the More Creative Names Given to Lapponian Herders (free translations from Finnish) Aistiharhan Riemukiemura (Hallucination’s Twist of Joy)

Mikälie Linssilude (Some Hotshot)

Hakkapelitta Arctic Agregaatti (Hakkapeliitta [Cavalryman] Arctic Aggregate)

Pihlajamäen Auer-Waara (Rowan Hill’s Swindler)

Hankamukan Halava Hiski (Hankamutka’s Bay Willow Hisky)

Poatsu Into-Pinkeä (Boy Stirred and Excited)

Jalakapojan Idän Viima (Footboy’s Eastern Storm) Kaukametsän Neiti Kesäheinä (Far-off Forest’s Miss Summer Hay) Kivimannun Kivikkoketopeto (Stonehill’s Beast of the Rocky Meadow) Loihakka Korpiorvokki (Loy Chopper’s Wild Violet) Mikälie Fiasko (Some Fiasco) Mikälie Iinpilkku (Some i’s Tittle)


Mökötuvan Valpas-Mosku (Sulky Hut’s Alert Mosku) Poatsu Ihku-Ihana (Boy Forever Heavenly) Poropeukalon Sata Savua (All Thumbs’ Hundred Smokes) Soidinahon Vauhti-Hiace (Lekking Field’s Speedy Hiace [van]) Suukkosuun Tulesta Temmattu (Kissing Lips’ Pulled Out of the Fire) Tietysti Pilkki Sisu (Of Course Gutsy Ice Fisher) Tinttaraisen Tervaleijona (Little Tit’s Tar Lion) Winkuwaaran Litutilli (Squeaky Hill’s Fixweed)

The Swedish Lapphund The Swedish Lapphund is an old Nordic breed from Swedish Lapland. It has a long shared history with the Lapponian Herder and the Finnish Lapphund. Their early ancestors have lived side by side with the Såmi people for around 10,000 years. Along the way, the development of the breed has been influenced by many herding dog breeds, such as Samoyeds, which were originally reindeer herding and hunting dogs, but nowadays are most often used as sled dogs or companion dogs. Of the three dog breeds from Lapland, the Swedish Lapphund was first to get its own breed standard in 1936. This was quite an accomplishment, because in the early 1900s, it looked like they would inevitably blend with other breeds in Sweden. Thanks to the dog enthusiasts of southern Sweden, the breed was standardized in time. By conformation, the Swedish Lapphund is a uniform breed nowadays. Its allowable colours are black, black with white markings, and liver. The Swedish Lapphund is a versatile companion and working dog both in Finland and its land of origin, Sweden. There are very few of these dogs in their original use as reindeer herders, and the breed is not suitable to be an outdoor dog because of its sociable shepherd dog’s character. Swedish Lapphunds are friendly, loyal, and child-loving, and they are ideal family dogs. In Sweden, they are also used as guard dogs because they are brave and alert. They have a strong guarding and herding instinct, and they stay in their own territory. Since 1993, Swedish Lapphunds have been included in the Lapphund Club of Finland.



A True Dog Story: Halli, or ‘Parkki’

Tuomas Näkkäläjärvi’s Lapponian Herder Parkki was quite a celebrity in the 1970s. It is told that he once drove a 400-head reindeer herd alone from behind, while Tuomas was leading the bellwether. Parkki’s official name was Halli Y000375, Y-3/75, and he was born on 10 October 1969. He was registered in 1975, and he has 6 registered litters and 14 puppies. One of the most famous of them is Fin Ch Toiskan Hilla. Matti Kuivila bought Parkki from Näkkäläjärvi, and has told the following story: “Olli Korhonen was in President Kekkonen’s entourage on one of his spring-time trips to Lapland. Korhonen met Tuomas Näkkäläjärvi and asked to buy a dog, but Tuomas answered, “Well, Mr. General, Sir, it’s like sellin’ my own brother: I ain’t sellin’ you my dog.” Finally in summer 1975, when Parkki was almost 6 years old, Tuomas gave in. Matti Kuivila offered him 2500 Finnish marks and two Lapponian Herder puppies. The deal was made on the condition that Matti and the dog would be away before Tuomas’ wife came back from the village.

Tuomas Näkkäläjärvi with Parkki in Enontekiö in 1971. Parkki was also known by the name Halli. Photo: Esko Salkonen.

”Porokoirassa ei ole mitään liikaa tai liian vähän.” 25

A True Dog Story: Peski Luuhki, or ‘Luuhki’ “We sure did like him!” Maisa Ritala The Lapphund male Peski Luuhki was born on 16 March 1975 and had a major influence on the present-day population of Finnish Lapphunds. According to the breeding database of the Finnish Kennel Club, Luuhki was the sire of at least 22 litters, starting his breeding career as an 8-monthold puppy at Marri Vainio’s Peski Kennel. Luuhki’s sire was Fin Ch Nästi, and his dam was LapinLukki (Lapland’s Daddy Longlegs) von Sennehütte. The pedigree includes both reindeer dogs and Kukonharju-type Lapphunds. A New Home at 2 Years Old Maisa Ritala bought Luuhki together with Veikko Kytölä from the Peski Kennel in spring 1977. They picked it up from the Finnish Spitz Club’s winter event in Kalajoki when Luuhki was 2 years old. The previous owner had used Luuhki for breeding. The new owners took Luuhki to a few shows, and he became Finnish Champion. Luuhki settled in Veikko Kytölä’s home in Laukaa, and now the whole family was his new pack. Luuhki had an ordinary country-dog’s life in Central Finland, and its actual breeding career was over. However, Maisa used Luuhki at her own kennel for two more litters. After that, Veikko Kytölä took sole ownership of Luuhki in 1980. For a canine friend, Luuhki got his own daughter, Mettänpeikon Niisku, whose dam was Finnish Winner 1984 Lecibsin Hota. Niisku and Luuhki always got along fine with each other. Early Encounters Maisa had met Luuhki a couple of times before she and Veikko bought him. One of Luuhki’s breeding trips to Maisa’s kennel was rather eventful. Luuhki was sent by train, but only his freight documents arrived. The dog himself went to Kuopio! It was quite a hassle to get him to the correct address. When he finally arrived, Luuhki was so worn-out that he wouldn’t do his duties, seemingly oblivious to the presence of a bitch in prime season, Luuhki’s half-sister Fin Ch Peski Nasti (Tsuku), and Fin Ch Peski Calbmes (Piipero), which was just coming into season. Maisa packed all three dogs onto the backseat of her VW Beetle and drove back to Luuhki’s home of the time, the Peski Kennel in Evitskog, near Siuntio. Mating didn’t work out there, either, and the future puppies Fin Ch Mettänpeikon Kiiski, Mettänpeikon Kiva, Mettänpeikon Kasku, and Mettänpeikon Killi were finally conceived by artificial insemination. 26

The other time Maisa met Luuhki before buying him was when the above-mentioned Piipero was mated with Luuhki. It was pouring rain, and Luuhki was waiting outside on a run wire. Maisa meant to take the bride through the yard to the hay shed. She ran as fast as she could with Piipero, but when they passed Luuhki’s line, they were stopped short: Luuhki and Piipero had found each other! Umbrellas were brought for shelter because all Maisa could do was to wait—soaking wet—for the dogs to finish their business. Thus were Mettänpeikon Rinku, Riekku, Rätvänä, Rentukka, Ruina, and Renttana conceived. A Dog’s Life For a male, Luuhki was quite small, but beautiful. His body length was slightly more than his height, and his tail curled up nicely on his back when he moved and hung loosely when he was at rest. Luuhki looked clearly masculine, but he had a very pretty head and facial expression. His coat was black and tan. Luuhki had beautiful, only slightly tipped ears, and the ideal, harshhaired coat. The fur of his outer coat was straight and erect, quite long, and slightly coarse. His undercoat was thick. He also had handsome leg furnishings. At home, Luuhki was a good guard: he barked at all strangers and kept possible intruders far away. He was never aggressive. Luuhki was always in perfect health, and he ate leftovers and Serti (dog food) from Vaasa’s steam mill, scantily as is fitting for a Lappie. Whenever a bull calf was slaughtered on the home farm in the fall, Luuhki also got his share, and whenever his owner cut some coffee bread, he had to get one slice. By temperament, Luuhki was gentle and friendly. He got along well with children and liked to pull them on a sled in the winter, dressed in husky gear. He also took his master Veikko Kytölä on regular walks. The only thing Luuhki was afraid of was thunder, and once on the way home from the village, Maisa had to take him to a shelter in someone’s yard. Luuhki had the ‘established right’ to participate in countless forest and berry-picking outings along with the family’s other Lappish dogs. The family’s circle of friends consisted of sworn Lappish dog enthusiasts. Sometimes they travelled on skis, sometimes by car or tractor; they fried pancakes and sausages on an open fire, always having fun together. Sometimes when Maisa went to the forest with Luuhki and the other dogs of the family, she secretly let Luuhki loose. Luuhki just laughed, clearly, but didn’t go anywhere. He had a long life and died of old age ‘with his boots on’ at the age of 16.

Luuhki and Paula Kytölä in 1975. 27

A True Dog Story: Lumiturpa Mörökölli (Snow Muzzle Sulky Fellow), or ‘Juntti’ (Hillbilly) “He was the dog of my life.” Riitta Takalo Lumiturpa Mörökölli was born in Veitservasa of Kittilä, at the Lumiturpa Kennel owned by Riitta Takalo and Matti Takanen. If Riitta hadn’t fallen in love with Mörökölli, he would have been sold to a reindeer herdsman in Muonio. Riitta loved Mörökölli’s temperament: already as a puppy, he was an alpha male, the unquestionable king of the yard. He had a big ego and lots of intelligence; he was very self-confident and persistent. Mörökölli’s dam was Rietu, the dog of Ohto Huikuri from Tepsa of Kittilä. Matti Takanen also owned Rietu’s full sister Reska. All of Ohto Huikuri’s dogs originally came from Matti Kuivila’s Poromiehen Kennel in Sodankylä. Kuivila also owned the most significant individual in Mörökölli’s pedigree, Curke, a working dog born in 1969 in the home of Paulus Näkkäläjärvi in Lisma, Inari. Mörökölli’s sire was Lumiturpa Addja, whose dam was Reska and sire Fin Ch Fredi. Fredi was a brown male first owned by Pauli Jauhojärvi from Kallo, Kittilä, who then sold him to veterinarian Helena Kuntsi. A Dog Teaches People How to Behave Mörökölli trained his owner into a good servant for himself. If Riitta dared to command the blessed gentleman, his expression was genuinely startled. At home, Mörökölli’s nickname was Juntti (hillbilly, bumpkin), which was descriptive of his obstinacy. But despite everything, Mörökölli was a good boss for both his pack and his owner. Once in the beginning of their shared journey, Riitta and Mörökölli were practising walking on a leash on the roads in Kittilä. The trip out went perfectly well, but on the return trip, Mörökölli stepped on the brakes. He wouldn’t walk another metre and stared demandingly at his owner. Finally, Riitta had to carry the over 4-month-old, 10-kilogram Lapphund across the whole town. The passersby had quite revealing looks, and even some comments were made, among them, “Wow, don’t you have an unusually big lapdog!”


In the late 1980s, Mörökölli lived with Riitta in a house in the city centre of Tikkurila. One day when the family was at work, a burglar paid a visit and stole a camera, jewellery, and other small items. At the time, Mörökölli lived outside in a fenced kennel, but he could get inside the house through the patio. At first, the family couldn’t figure out why the robust dog hadn’t reacted to the situation in any way. Then they found some odd, bloody toilet paper on the floor, and after a few days, they found out what had happened. The Tikkurila police called and told them they could go get the stolen goods from the outpatient ward of the local health centre. Mörökölli had bitten the thief so badly that he had to go get stitches at the health centre, where he had left his loot. The Handsome Have Many Admirers Mörökölli started his show career faithful to his style, at one year of age in Äänekoski. In spite of a -30°C temperature, Mörökölli achieved a Best in Show. His show career was a success. For several years, Mörökölli was the top-winning Lapphund male, and he also reached the top ten in the all-breed Dog of the Year competition. Mörökölli’s face was proudly presented on the Finnish Kennel Club’s 100-year anniversary sticker. Mörökölli fathered 15 litters and had 69 descendants, most of which were born at Riitta Takalo’s and Matti Takanen’s Lumiturpa Kennel. He has a convincing progeny, including many International Champions, Finnish Champions, and a World Winner in 1998 (Finland). Many have also been successful in obedience and tracking trials. Mörökölli’s energetic temperament and herding instinct was also passed on. He had plenty of charisma all the way to the evening of his healthy and eventful life. Mörökölli migrated south with his owner, first from Kittilä to Jyväskylä, then to Tikkurila, and finally to Karjaa. He was hit by a car in 1997, and that was a grim day for the whole family. Now Mörökölli rests under a large fir tree in the home yard.



Paw-Prints through History

2 Paw-Prints through History


The Shared Journey of the Lappish Dog Breeds


he ancestors of the present-day Lappish dogs helped the northern people as they hunted, for example, wild reindeer, already 10,000 years ago, perhaps even earlier. In the north, dogs were used as herders of domestic animals, as tenacious draught animals, and as courageous guards to keep wild animals away from the homestead. The dogs, which were energetic, adaptable, and content with what little they had, were a lifeline in the demanding terrain and weather conditions.

Thanks to their heredity and methodical breeding, today’s Lappish dogs are tough, friendly, and cooperative. They have not been bred for mere outward appearance, nor have they been developed into soft-character toydogs. The character of the Lappish breeds has remained lively and their structure balanced, and breeders have been responsible concerning their conformation, which adds to their charming general appearance. Lappish dogs are harmonious and healthy dogs that bring joy to the whole family.



Lappish Dogs Were Once Hunting Dogs


he oldest evidence of Lappish dog breeds has been dated in the Mesolithic period around 10,000 years ago. In that era, dogs were used for hunting wild reindeer and other wild game. The Sรกmi people inhabited a much broader area back then, and Sรกmi cultures are known to have existed as far south as near Lake Ladoga in Karelia. Stepping 5000 years forward to the Bronze Age, there are signs of the development of agriculture in Finland. The Ice Age began to give way, and the Finnic people followed the withdrawing ice cap northward. They spread out to new areas, and new languages and sources of livelihood were born. The hunting culture was first displaced by agriculture in the west, near Oulu and Pello. People started farming and living in permanent abodes. They needed dogs to guard their domestic animals, homes, and grain stores. While the Finnish settlers spread north and began farming, the Sรกmi still lived on wild reindeer hunting. Dogs were a big help. The Sรกmi rarely settled in one place, so their dwellings were temporary and light. It is likely that already at that time they tamed some reindeer for home use as, for example, strong draught animals. Dogs were used to guard those reindeer and to help transport possessions and people.




The Sámi World Changes


round the year 500, the Sámi hunting culture was influenced more and more by farming and trading. People travelled around more extensive areas, traded, and found new forms of livelihood. They started hunting wild reindeer, not only for meat, but also for their fur. Dogs travelled freely along with humans and led a semi-wild life as village dogs. An era significant for Lappish dogs was around the year 700, during the late Iron Age. At

that time, Finns had already settled in Kainuu and Northern Ostrobothnia, and the Sámi who had previously inhabited those areas either withdrew or were assimilated with the newcomers. The Sámi who decided to leave travelled north and spread to their present-day living regions in Northern Scandinavia. Their dogs came into contact with those of the peoples around them. Many nationalities lived in the north in those days, and people didn’t care about national

The Vikings’ Sheepdogs The Vikings are known to have had many kinds of herding dogs, which descended, for example, from Icelandic, Scottish, and German Sheepdogs.


The earliest pictures of Lappish dogs can be found in Knud Leem’s book Beskrivelse over Finnmarks lapper (Writings about the Lapps of Finnmark, 1767).

borders the same way they do nowadays. The Sámi in different lands kept in contact with each other and with neighbouring peoples such as the Vikings. Domestic animals and dogs mixed freely between them. It is possible that presentday Lappish dogs have received influence from both eastern hunting and herding dogs, such as Laikas, and the Vikings’ sheepdogs.

An image of a Sámi shaman with a drum in Knud Leem’s book Beskrivelse over Finnmarks lapper (1767).

Lappish Dogs on Shaman Drums Shamanism is the ancient religion of the Sámi and many other aboriginal people. In Shamanism, everything has a soul: people, animals, even stones. The Shaman was a respected member of the community who served as a messenger between people and the supernatural spirit world. Shamans often acquired knowledge and advice or looked into the future in a state of trance, which they entered, for example, through dance or music. In Finland, Shamans are often called Lappish Witches. In their time, they were respected and feared people, because they could both heal and harm. The drum was one of their most important tools. Drumheads were made of reindeer skin, and images of dogs have been found on them. Dogs have been a part of the Sámi culture very long, and the Lappish dogs of today are a genuine piece of primitive northern mysticism.



Ancestors of Reindeer Herding Dogs


fter the Middle Ages, the church and state both developed a keen interest in the exotic, northern areas. Literary evidence of the Sámi culture can be found from the 16th century. The first references to reindeer herding and Lappish dogs can be found in Olaus Magnus’ book Pohjoisten kansojen historia (History of the Northern Peoples, 1555). The Sámi hunting culture did not end abruptly. It lived on side by side with reindeer herding, giving the Sámi people their livelihood. More and more wild reindeer were tamed and used for pulling sleighs, carrying burdens, and as decoys in hunting wild forest reindeer. At the same time, dogs were needed for increasingly diverse tasks. Reindeer husbandry probably developed first in Sweden and Norway before it spread to Finland. People had close interaction with people in neighbouring lands, and the likely spark for reindeer herding was probably in Norwegian sheepherding and the Finnish settlers’ cattle breeding.



Two Main Types of Arctic Herding Dogs In times past, dogs were not bred separately for herding, hunting, or guarding: often one dog had to perform many different tasks. However, different dogs had their own strengths, and people looked for dogs with specific structures best adapted for certain types of work and terrain. Today’s Lappish breeds have descended from arctic spitzes, which have always varied a lot in structure, conformation, and coat length. To some extent, both eastern and western characteristics can be found in the present-day breeds. Their appearance has been most strongly influenced by the climate and their duties. Scandinavian Spitzes can be roughly divided into two unofficial groups: Spitzes. Spitzes have square proportions, curled tails, and thick, long-haired coats. The influence of this breed type can still be seen, for example, in Samoyeds, Finnish Spitzes, and Finnish Lapphunds. The most primitive representatives of square-proportioned dogs are the Nenets Herding Laikas from Russia (nenetskaja olenogonnaja laika). They were the dogs of the Nenets people (formerly the Samoyeds), one of the world’s oldest reindeer herding cultures. Herding dogs. These dogs have longer bodies and often shorter hair than dogs in the spitz group. They have straight tails and look a lot like many of today’s shepherd dogs and Laikas. This type is called trotting dogs, and their structure is similar to the wolf. The influence of the herding dog type can nowadays be clearly seen, for example, in Border Collies and Lapponian Herders.

What Kind of Herding Dog Can Cope in the North? Not just any herding dog is suitable for herding reindeer and other domestic animals of the north. This has to be taken into consideration when breeding Lappish dogs and creating their breed standards. Reindeer herding dogs must cope with the severe northern winter. The same dogs must stay dry and warm even in wet snow and sleet. A thick, protective coat is also needed against the summer mosquitoes. 38


n the 1600s, the Sámi hunting culture and the Finnish cattle breeding culture had already merged in many ways. The Sámi led a halfnomadic life, living from hunting and fishing, but they also kept domestic animals, which were herded by dogs. More permanent habitats meant that Lappish dogs were also needed to guard homes and food stores. Court records from the 1600s state that the obligation to keep dogs on leashes did not apply to reindeer dogs. This clearly means that Lapponian Herders were the reindeer keepers’ fellow workers and enjoyed special status. They differed from the other village dogs by colour, too: they were black. The colour was significant in another way, too: a black dog was

easily distinguished from wild predators such as wolves, which were light grey. Reindeer husbandry grew in importance as a source of livelihood for many reasons, including the decrease in numbers of wild forest reindeer because of overhunting. There was a high demand for reindeer skin products, and in addition to the Sámi, the Finnish settlers also hunted wild reindeer. Reindeer were also an important source of meat. In the cold conditions of the northern areas, meat was an important source of nourishment, and its availability was secured by domesticating the wild reindeer. At the same time, people began to protect reindeer with fences and herding dogs. 39


Herding Dogs Are Necessary for Reindeer Husbandry


A wolf-sized dog is not good for herding reindeer. It must be smaller, short-legged, thick-coated, and relatively one-coloured.


Aslak Juuso 1969


Sámi Dog Names Barfi/Barfe = fluffy, fuzzy

Pilk´ke = spotted neck

Belljes = sharp-eared

Riđđu = storm

Cahhpe = Blackie

Roas´til = eager, bold

Calmo, Diggal = four-eyes

Rui´se, Run´ne = red coat

Fihtolas = intelligent

Ruv´ge = a dog that drives reindeer in a manner that forces the herd to run in a

Hurvi = tangled fur Jegolas = obedient Jor´be = tailless Kiehka = cuckoo Lur´fe = shaggy, furry Lutur = long-haired Muohtti = snowfall Mur´ju, Must´te = short-haired Blackie Nor´ri = Tessu (a typical Finnish pet name for dogs) Näs´te, Násti = star, spotted forehead Parri = thick, fat Pil´ke, Pil´ko = a dog with brown spots over its eyes

narrow line Sáhcu = stripe Siegkis = too many nails Skuöl´fi = white Spire = beast Tiehpi = tassel, whisk Tielkka = spotted forehead or chest Tshoppis = a dog with thick fur on its head or ears Unna = little Valli = quick Vasmi = snowfall


The Dogs of the Forest and Reindeer Sámi The Forest Sámi made their living from hunting and small-scale reindeer herding. They herded their few reindeer mainly during winter, but in the summer, the animals were free to roam the family’s extensive pasturelands. Their reindeer were a source of milk and meat, and they used them as draught animals and decoys for hunting wild reindeer. Dogs were used for many tasks: hunting, guarding domestic animals, and herding reindeer in the winter. The Reindeer Sámi lived mainly from reindeer herding. Dogs were used year-round for herding reindeer, but the same dogs probably also guarded the home and participated in hunting. Their herds of reindeer were large, and they only kept a few tame ones at home as draught animals. The dogs of the Reindeer Sámi were like family members: they lived closely with their owners, ate the same food, and slept inside their goahtis (tepee-like portable abodes).


Johan Tirén’s (1853-1911) painting Samepojke leker med sin hund (A Sámi Boy Playing with His Dog, year of painting unknown). Wikipedia.

Dogs of the Youth Reindeer Sámi adolescents were traditionally given their own dog when they were around 14 years old. At that age, children began to participate in herding with the adults.



Hunting Dogs Become Herding Dogs


arge-scale reindeer husbandry developed in the 1700s. At the same time, wild reindeer hunting declined. The turn of the 17th and the 18th centuries was a clear boundary marker between the hunting and the herding Lappish dogs. The hunting dog had to adapt to its new job as a reindeer herder. During the 18th century, small-scale reindeer herding (Forest Sámi) developed in many places into year-round nomadic reindeer husbandry (Reindeer Sámi). Herds grew, and the workload


increased. The number and value of dogs increased, because people could not cope with the work without their four-legged friends. Sámi families started considering dogs as their most important assets. Good reindeer dogs cost a fortune, and a family’s wealth and status was measured by their number of both reindeer and dogs. Nowadays, year-round reindeer husbandry is most typical to Western and NorthWestern Lapland.

How Did the Sámi and Dogs Become Partners? According to ancient folklore, the shared journey of the Sámi and their dogs began when a dog was watching reindeer herders work. The men tried to gather reindeer by yelling and ramping around. The herd stayed scattered, and the dog thought to itself, “I could do that a whole lot better.” It leaped up and ran after the reindeer, barking loudly. The reindeer immediately gave it their full attention and gathered together. The men were impressed. They understood the dog’s value and asked it to be their hired hand. The dog considered the proposal for a while, but didn’t make the final decision to join the humans until a wolf attacked its mate. It was afraid, and the protection offered by the humans felt safe. The dog set some conditions for his companionship. It meant to ask the humans for “meat and lard,” but all excited, it got its words mixed up and asked for “lung and stock.” In addition, the dog demanded that when it got old and was too tired for herding, it should be mercifully hanged. Hanging was considered a respectful means of putting a dog to sleep, which guaranteed ‘dog luck’ in the future, too.

Painting by Swedish Johan Tirén (1853-1911), Same med hund (Sámi with Dog, year of painting unknown). Wikipedia.


Hunting Instinct vs. Herding Instinct The hunting instinct and the herding instinct may seem to be two very different things. One makes a dog protect whatever it is herding, and the other to kill its prey. But on the instinct level, they are fairly close phenomena. A herding dog watches, controls, and guides the movement of the animals, but does not harm them. Herding dogs do their jobs in different ways, depending on what animals they are herding. Dogs that herd large bovine animals, such as Corgis, have been bred very low-legged, so they can avoid the kicks of the animals. The Australian Cattle Dog herds animals by nipping at their heels, whereas the Border Collie herds with its gaze, therefore approaching the animals from the front. Lappish dogs herd reindeer or other animals with their barking and their movements. The difference between a herding dog and a hunting dog is that a hunting dog behaves more aggressively. Depending on its training, it drives, fetches, stands, or even attacks the prey. Breeding hunting dogs into herding dogs has demanded shaping the hunting instinct. Herding is prowling, an essential part of effective hunting. Only the actual catching of the prey has to be trained off. The strength of the dog’s instincts defines how demanding it is to train a herding dog. The stronger the dog’s hunting instinct, the more demanding its training, because a dog totally controlled by its instincts tends to attack the animals it is herding. A wise and well trained herding dog does not chase the animals mindlessly. It knows the animals it is herding and makes use of their tendencies to run away, gather together, or to follow the leading reindeer, the bellwether.



lready in the 1800s, the reindeer herding area extended all the way across Northern Scandinavia to the Kola Peninsula. Cultures, peoples, and livelihoods varied, but reindeer herding was the predominant way to bring food to the table. All the dogs in the reindeer herding area were arctic spitzes, but their appearance and manner of herding could be quite different. The most important task of the Lappish dogs was to help guard and transport large reindeer herds to different pasturelands, according to the season. The herding and guarding tasks


Many Kinds of Herding Dogs were varied, and the dogs had to be brave, cooperative, and independent. They had to be able to work in the expansive fell landscape without their owner’s constant guidance. When large herds were moved from place to place, the dogs of different herding cultures mixed together. In some places, herding by barking was emphasized; other ways elsewhere. The dogs were free to breed together, and the working dog stock of Lapland was dynamic and diversified. But they were not yet distinct breeds. 47



The First Names of the Lappish Dogs


he closing of the borders between Norway, Sweden, and Finland in 1852 had an immense effect on the Sámi culture and the development of Lappish dogs. The Sámi’s ancient right of annual cross-border migration was cancelled, and they could no longer roam with their reindeer throughout the entire Sámi area. The cultures in different countries began to separate, and cooperation dwindled. When access to the Arctic Ocean was made difficult, many of the Sámi in Finland moved south, away from the border, for example, from Utsjoki to the lichen grounds of Inari, and from Enontekiö to Sompio in Sodankylä. A positive side of the wave of emigration was that the Sámi and reindeer herding cultures spread farther east and south. The Sámi’s area inside Finland was expanded, and partially for this reason, organized national kennel activities were begun in the late 1800s. At that time, ‘dog name lists’ were published. The first mentions of Lappish herding dogs are from 1891. The first Finnish dog show was organized the following year, and Lappish dogs participated under the names Lapland’s Herding Dogs, Laplander Dogs, and Reindeer Dogs. The same dogs were sometimes even called Finnish Barking Bird Dogs, even though over time a whole new breed was created from bird dogs, the Finnish Spitz. Although many groups in society were interested in the primitive dog breeds, no actual breeding was being done. The Lappish breeds were not differentiated, and the main focus was on developing the Finnish Spitz. General interest in the northern regions and wilderness brought hunters up north from Southern Finland, who brought with them their own hunting dogs, which cross-bred with the reindeer-herding dogs. 49

Fellow villagers of reindeer owner Niiles Valle during calf-marking in 1931 at Faallinen in the Kevo Natural Park in Utsjoki. According to Niiles Junior, on the left are his grandparents Oula and Rauna Valle and the dog Spirste. In the centre front are Niiles and Rauna Valle and Niiles’ dog Sierggis. The name of Rauna’s dog is unknown. Behind them is Yrjö Sarre with his dog, and on the right are Pierra Valle and his dog Parkki, which is a similar type to present-day Finnish Lapphunds, while the other dogs are Lapponian Herder types. Photo: Erkki Mikkola. National Board of Antiquities.

Sámi Terminology Jutaaminen = The migration of reindeer between summer and winter pastures. Rukattaminen = Unnecessary driving of reindeer, which young Lappish dogs may resort to before they learn to herd in a controlled, calm manner. Tsulku = In the olden times, a piece of wood attached to a young dog’s collar, which weighed just enough to restrain the dog’s fervour and developed its muscles. Beana = Reindeer dog. Boazubeana = A reindeer dog with markings. 50


y the end of the 19th century, wild reindeer and wild forest reindeer had virtually disappeared from Finland. The wild reindeer that survived all the hunting blended with the semi-domesticated reindeer, and the early 1900s are considered the golden age of reindeer husbandry. There were many kinds of dogs in Lapland, and their status was stable. Dogs eased people’s work load and made it possible to maintain larger herds. Dogs could control reindeer just as well in open terrain or snow as in dense birch forests or on a fell. In Southern Finland, there were dogs called Lapland’s Spitzes and Lapland’s Herding Dogs. Interest in our original, native herding dog breed increased, and Lappish dogs weren’t only used as reindeer herders: in the southern parts of the reindeer herding area, they drove stray reindeer out of farmers’ fields, gardens, and pastures for cattle. The reindeer herding dogs of the Fell Sámi in Enontekiö were considered the earliest dog type. Swedish breeders registered their own Lapphund in the mid 1930s. Finnish kennel associations had the same objective, but they wanted to avoid the mistakes that the Swedes made. The Swedish Lapphund had very little to do with the traditional herding dogs of Northern Sweden. The breed had been created in the south, and it no longer met the requirements of a working dog. The breeding objectives of Finnish kennels had not yet made a real influence before the


From the Prime to War-Time

Second World War broke out. The Lapland War, fought in the aftermath of WW2 (1944-1945), almost annihilated the Lappish dog population. Dogs weren’t allowed aboard the evacuation trains to Southern Finland, and people preferred shooting them to leaving them to be caught in the fighting. Original reindeer dogs survived only in remote villages far from the war.

The Swedish National Dog In 1936, Swedish breeders separated their own dog from others in the Sámi region and created its first breed standard. The present-day National Dog of Sweden was bred by combining dogs from Lapland with, for example, Samoyed dogs. At first, the Swedish Lapphund was registered as the Lapland Spitz. It was a low-structured, curly-tailed, and thickcoated spitz with unspecified colours. Only in the 1950s, was it developed into the modern solid black or brown version.



Tracking the Lapphund


appish dogs weren’t completely destroyed in the horrors of war. Immediately after the war, the Kennel Federation and Kennel Club of the time (before they merged to form the Finnish Kennel Club) began to chart the dogs of Finland, and people started recreating the Lappish breeds. The Kennel Club was originally Swedish-speaking, and it followed Sweden’s model as it gathered information about Lappish dogs. At that time, the objective was to create a uniform Lappish breed. In Finland, the Lappish Herder received its breed standard in 1945, and it was recognized by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI, World Canine Organisation) the following year. These types of dogs are also known as Kukonharju Dogs (see p. 61) The reindeer dogs of the fell region were the ideal in breeding, but the original foundation stock were not Lappish working dogs. They were from Pello and the Savukoski area, not the fell region. Samoyed dogs and Karelian Bear Dogs, among others, are mentioned as ancestors of the breed. The breed standard was quite extensive, and it did not differentiate between long- or short-haired dogs. Kukonharju dogs are no longer in the ancestry of modern Finnish Lapphunds. 52

Following the Lapponian Herder


hile the Kennel Club achieved the milestone of registering the Lappish Herder, the Kennel Federation continued developing a Finnish dog breed that was equipped to herd reindeer in Lapland. The Swedish Lapphund wasn’t suitable for working in the north because of its coat, and the Lappish Herder was also developing into something unlike the original Lappish herding dogs. The preliminary development of the Lapponian Herder began in the 1950s, when dogs were charted and counted in Lapland. Chairman of the Kennel Federation at the time, Lieutenant General Olli Korhonen, was indispensable as he, for example, travelled through Lapland interviewing reindeer herdsmen. He found out that the herding dogs still in use were long-tailed and short-haired spitzes of the Menesjärvi type (see p. 72). However, in the 1950s, there was only one registered native breed of Lappish dogs, which were extremely varying in their colour, structure, and coat.

The new kennel of breeder Matti Kuivila in Sodankylä in 1971. On the right, Kuivila; in the middle, tour leader, Lieutenant General Olli Korhonen; and on the left, secretary of the Finnish Spitz Club, teacher Juho Perttola with his camera. Photo: Esko Salkonen.

The Value of a Trained Dog In the 1930s — around 80 years ago — the value of a trained, adult Lappish dog was huge, up to 4000 Finnish Marks, or in modern money, around 1300 Euros (Nordea).



Reindeer Dogs and Lapphunds Go their Separate Ways


uch work was done in the 1960s to register and establish two different types of Lappish dog breeds. But a major setback struck in 1962, when the above-mentioned two significant kennel associations merged, and two different types of Lappish dogs were placed in the same register. The long-haired Kukonharju dogs from Southern Finland and the short-haired herding dogs found in Lapland during the charting endeavour in 1959-61, or the Menesjärvi dogs, could now officially breed together. However, the problems were noted quickly, and the registers were once again separated in


1966. The Menesjärvi dogs got their first breed standard in 1967 and were named Lapponian Herders. At the same time, the Lappish Herder’s name became the Lapphund. The Lapphund was a fairly square-proportioned dog type with a handsome, thick coat and a sociable, calm character. Because of its long coat, it wasn’t as good in snow as the Lapponian Herder, but as a

companion and sports dog it was very popular right from the start. Even though the breeds had been separated, distinct differences weren’t always seen in their appearance, even in the 1970s. Coat length was a difficult characteristic because both long and short-haired dogs were born to both breeds, even within the same litter. That is why people started focusing more and more on the dogs’ proportions, limb structure (hock angle), and tail set in the 1980s. At the same time, the Lapphund’s body was bred shorter, but in accordance with the breed standard, they maintained a structure longer than their height.

Snowmobiles Cannot Replace Dogs Snowmobiles arrived in Lapland in the 1960s. Reindeer husbandry was transformed all the way down to its roots. The need for Lappish dogs plummeted, and the number of dogs declined. However, they didn’t, of course, become entirely useless. Reindeer herdsmen loved snowmobiles, but they were poor for herding, because reindeer were afraid of the noisy vehicles. The need for Lappish dogs fell to such a low that all breeding threatened to move down to Southern Finland. At the same time, the focal points of the breed standards shifted from use characteristics to conformation issues such as colour. However, the trend was not permanent. Slowly, as the 1980s approached, reindeer herdsmen started to find a new interest in working with dogs, as the snowmobile boom lost its momentum. Today’s reindeer are accustomed to machines, but dogs are still very helpful. They can quickly get to difficult places inaccessible by vehicles. Barking gets herds moving better, and that is why good reindeer dogs must bark and stop barking on command. The dog’s smell is also significant, and it, too, has an effect on the reindeer. Today, reindeer herdsmen have noticed how excellent dogs can be when working together with a snowmobile, quad bike, or helicopter. They can easily ride the vehicle and, when necessary, they can move the reindeer to the desired spot. Dogs are also an economical and ecological alternative, for example, to expensive helicopters. 55

A True Dog Story: Nuvvus Mattas “Mattas was as good as gold and had a straightforward temperament. Only once did he protest against us.” Annikki Leskinen Originally, Nuvvus Mattas was intended to be Annikki Leskinen’s (formerly Savolainen) and another breeder’s jointly owned stud dog. Annikki’s partner who bred Pugs reserved a bitch from Annikki’s Lapphund litter, but didn’t start breeding them after all, keeping the bitch as a mere pet. The male that they were supposed to share, was left with Annikki. The dog was Nuvvus Mattas, bred by a breeder in Muhos. It was late in 1985 when Annikki got on a bus to Oulu and rode it to Ala-Temmes, where the breeder’s husband picked her up to see the puppies. At the kennel, 3 males and 2 females were waiting. The males were brown, like their dam Mettänpeikon Nalle (Forest Troll’s Teddy Bear), and the females were black. It was love at first sight. The sweet fur-ball Mattas was a calm individual who sat down directly in Annikki’s lap, trusting her instantly. The Ugly Duckling Annikki grew desperate as she watched Mattas grow. He didn’t seem to be good-looking, and there seemed to be no way he could become a champion. His body looked long and high at the rear, his ears were large and dropping, and even his skull seemed too narrow. As he grew, Mattas’ appearance went through most intense stages. All’s well that ends well. When his body finally reached its adult size, it was beautifully rounded. His head’s proportions had become wider, and his ears were harmoniously tipped. Now Mattas’ only problem was his coat. It was still a beautiful brown, but short. Annikki entered him in shows, but it happened more than once that when it was ring-time, he was shedding his fur. His show career was rocky, but with hard work, he eventually did become a champion at the age of 6. Good Dogs Grow with Little Discipline As a puppy, Mattas was free to roam around his home. At the 1986 Lapphund summer camp, Mattas strolled around, as was his custom, free as a bird. The little dog was already 4 months old, but hadn’t been accustomed to a leash yet. Seeing this, Maisa Ritala said to Annikki: “You’re bound to have trouble with that dog yet.” But Maisa’s worries were unfounded. Annikki’s daughter took Mattas with her on a drive, and at a resting place, she put on a leash. Without further ado, Mattas started walking, seeming to think that he had no option but to follow. Training flowed quite naturally after that. The event is descriptive of Mattas’ easy and uncomplicated temperament.


Mattas organized his only protest at the Kajaani International January Show when he was 2 years old. Annikki left him for a moment with her daughter and went to watch the Samoyed ring. Soon her daughter came with Mattas, holding back tears, and complained that the dog wasn’t obeying her at all. Annikki took Mattas to the Lapphund ring and spun him to the floor under a chair. She said with authority, “Now behave!” and Mattas obeyed at once. He had merely taken advantage of the situation with a less experienced person at the other end of the leash. He had thought he was already full grown and demonstrated the defiance of a large male. Exceptionally Beautiful Brown Mattas’ first descendants were born so early that the young sire was only one year and one month old. Nowadays that would not be possible. In the 1980s, eye and hip examinations weren’t required, and Mattas didn’t have his hips x-rayed until he was 6. His first eye examination took place in 1988 in the mass eye examination at the Hillosensalmi summer camp. Three of Mattas’ descendants stayed home to carry on the family line: the female Ruska, whose dam was Staalon Idjanasti; Piefla, whose dam was Orvokki from Leppävirta, and Bernoban Helleena, whose dam was Staalon Kirjjag, daughter of Kiddanaste. Piefla and Helleena proved to be excellent brood bitches, and Mattas left his beautiful brown colouring to Ruska and Piefla. Piefla’s daughter Tinttarella was black, but she carried over Piefla’s brown colour to her daughter Staalon Lieddi, whose daughter Staalon Pakkashelmi, in turn, is also brown. Mattas’ colour has continuously sprung up in its family line: sometimes directly, sometimes leaping over a generation. When Mattas was alive, people kept asking Annikki what breed he was. When she told them he was a Lapphund, many of them were surprised that there were Lapphunds of that colour. Brown was less common back then than today. In 2010, Mattas has descendants in six generations. Greeting from Behind the Grave Mattas was a healthy dog, and only in his final year did he start to become demented. Occasionally he forgot where he was going. Quite often, his owner had to turn him around and guide him in the right direction. His hearing also deteriorated. When he died, Mattas was one month short of 15 years old, and now he sleeps under a birch grove in the home yard, together with his dog friends that passed before or after him. He lives on in his descendants. Mattas has also performed after his death in a rather extraordinary context. At a show in Helsinki shortly after Mattas’ death, there was a sign on all the lavatory doors that read “DOGS NOT ALLOWED!” along with a photograph of Mattas. It was borrowed from the cover of the Lapphund magazine, issue 4, 1988.


A True Dog Story: Kiddanaste, or ‘Naste’ “Thinking back about Naste’s death always brings tears to my eyes.” Annikki Leskinen Annikki Leskinen (formerly Savolainen) found Kiddanaste through many twists and turns. She was just beginning to breed Lapphunds and was looking for a suitable male for her bitch Peski Tassunen. There were few options, until she found an interesting male, Tilku, in the Finnish Spitz Club yearbook. He was owned by a reindeer owner family in Alajoki, Ivalo: Inkeri and Jakke Aarnipuro. Annikki headed out toward Ivalo early one May morning in 1978. Tassu had a sensitive stomach, and she kept vomiting for the first 30 kilometres, forcing Annikki to stop to clean up the mess and let her rest for a while. When they continued the drive, Tassu felt better. She never got car-sick again. The trip up north was long, but when they arrived in Ivalo during the bright early hours, everyone seemed to be awake. People were cleaning their yards and burning branches. Children were still playing in the middle of the night. When Annikki and Tassu arrived, the Aarnipuros were still awake, and their dogs began to bark. Only once, Inkeri commanded them to be quiet, and they obeyed immediately. Tassu mated successfully, and Annikki also noted the Aarnipuros’ charming bitch Talvikukka (Winter Flower). The Birth of a Spring Star, Kevättähti In February 1979, Inkeri called from Lapland and said that Talvikukka had given birth to a litter, the father of which was Tilku, the father of Tassu’s first litter. Annikki could choose a suitable bitch from the litter and name her whatever she liked. After giving it some thought, Annikki named her Kiddanaste, ‘Spring Star’, to follow beautifully after Talvikukka, ‘Winter Flower’. In April 1979, little Naste was picked up from Ivalo. The puppy grew up to be a beautiful lady-dog. Her best friend and companion of youth was Annikki’s daughter’s Samoyed female Rita. Together, the dogs made several outings—or, rather, they ran away — to the forest. Every so often the Leskinen family had to call after and search for the two adventurers, but luckily they never went far. Naste was also an eager traveller. She was excited whenever she could ride in a big car or train. She detested staying at home and she always tagged along if one of the family members went out, for example, to the mobile library. Naste also got to travel with Annikki by train to the memorable first summer camp of the Lapphund Club of Finland in Kylmäkoski. Naste gave everyone a hearty laugh when the group 58

was on a walk in the forest, and she took off after a rabbit and chased it across a clear-cutting area right into a thicket. In due time, she came back like a good girl. Star of the Show Rings There is one painful memory from Naste’s puppy days. One of her primary canines hadn’t fallen out, and the sprouting permanent tooth developed a malposition. They had to cut the canine, and the operation was recorded in Naste’s registration certificate. Poor Naste’s show career seemed to be over. Still, Annikki took Naste to the dog club’s training and shows. In those days, many judges allowed handlers to demonstrate the dog’s bite themselves, and Annikki’s daughter learned to present Naste’s bite in a way that her hand conveniently covered the damaged canine. No one ever commented on it. Naste got her first CC and BOB in Iisalmi from Olli Korhonen in July 1980. At the time, Naste was the age of present-day Juniors, but showed in the Open Class. The following spring, she achieved the same results in Piippola from Esko Nummijärvi, and her third CC came the following summer in Tornio from Swedish Anders Cederström. She became Finnish Champion. Goodbye to a Much Loved Friend In 1982, Naste got her first litter, fathered by Mettänpeikon Huisku (Forest Troll’s Whisk). The sire of her second litter was Aslak, and the family line has been successfully continued by Idjanasti. Naste’s third litter was made with Poromiehen Thahpe (Reindeerman’s Thahpe). Kiehpakanda, a male puppy of the litter, became a champion. The death of Kiddanaste is one of Annikki’s great tragedies. In spring 1986, Naste ran onto thin ice in a place with strong currents. The family pushed out a boat and tried to rescue her, and finally Annikki got her lifted out of the freezing water. But it was too late. Annikki had a stiffening little body in her lap. It was all the more grievous because Naste was carrying a litter for Nuvvus Mattas. The little Lapphund girl Kiddanaste lives on in the family’s memories. She gave Annikki and the rest of the family lots of joy because she had a charming temperament and got along very well with other dogs. Naste’s life was short, but she has an exceptional place in her owner’s heart. 59


The Finnish Lapphund


s described above, the Finnish Lapphund was given its first breed standard in 1945 under the name ‘Lappish Herder’ (see infobox: Kukonharju Dogs). However, dogs of this standard are not directly behind the Lapphunds of today. Lappish Herders were larger, and they had longer tails and muzzles than modern Lapphunds, and the breed sprung from only a few dogs brought from Lapland. Long-haired Lappish dogs existed long before the first breed standard. They were especially popular in the fell region of Lapland, where the hard snow crust easily carried the 60

thick-coated and resilient herding dog. These types of dogs were often called ‘Lapinrössö’ (Lapland’s Shaggy), an old name that described their coat. The 1970s were a significant decade for the development of the present-day Lapphund. In 1971, a register was established for the long-haired Lappish dog, the modern Finnish Lapphund. Breeding consulting for Lapphunds was begun in 1973, and in 1975 the Lapphund received a new breed standard. An important point in the new standard was an arctic conformation. The standard size was

Kukonharju Dogs The most important early breeder of Finnish Lapphunds was the Kukonharju Kennel, which raised litters in the years 1954–1971. These were later called Kukonharju Dogs. They were large and black, they had long and soft coats, sometimes with wavy fur, and they had narrow and long heads. The Kennel Club confirmed the abovementioned features as characteristics of the Lappish Herder in 1945. Two dogs from Pello were behind this type of dog: a Samoyed Dog and a Karelian Bear Dog. The dogs of the Kukonharju Kennel were all from Southern Finland, and they had nothing to do with the reindeer dogs of Lapland. The Lapponian Herder received its own breed standard in the 1960s, and at the same time, different types of Lappish dogs were also introduced to the line of Lapphunds. For a while, Kukonharju dogs bred freely with other Lapphunds, but gradually the population decreased and finally disappeared almost entirely. Modern Lapphunds no longer have any Kukonharju genes in their ancestry.


now smaller than in the Kukonharju type, and the tail had to bend up onto the back when in motion. The Lapphund’s body was defined as slightly longer than its height, which gave them a strong general conformation. The head needed to have strong features and a short muzzle. Two of the first significant males of the new type were Kalikkakaula (‘Stick Neck’, see p. 68) and Lecibsin Torsti. The new standard demanded coat uniformity, although all colours were still permissible. The coat had to be thick and coarse to differentiate it from the shorter coat of the Lapponian Herder. The outer coat had to be long, coarse, and weather-proof. In addition, the Lappish dogs had different types of gaits. 62

The definition of the breed’s conformation has been established over the last 30 years, and breeding data has been gathered since the early 1980s. The Lapphund’s name became the Finnish Lapphund in 1993, and the present breed standard dates from 1996. It defines the Finnish Lapphund’s size as slightly smaller than the standard of 1975. In 1996, the Finnish Lapphund joined the PEVISA Program, which works to prevent hereditary defects and diseases, and nowadays, it is quite a healthy breed. The Finnish Lapphund is still a versatile breed with variation in appearance, and the differences between males and females are clear, both in conformation and character. They are often large personalities. They can still do their original

Finnish Lapphund Registrations 1977–2011 work as reindeer herders and brave guards of the home, but most often these merry canines are kept as home-, sport-, and companion dogs. They are adaptable, cheerful, and balanced, and they enjoy outdoor activities in any weather. It is no wonder, then, that the calm and relaxed Finnish Lapphund has been one of Finland’s most popular dog breeds since the turn of the Millennium. At present, there are around 10,000 Finnish Lapphunds in Finland. Since 1970, they have also been exported outside of Finland, and there, too, people love the dogs’ good health, versatility, and appealing appearance. Every year, 200-300 litters are born abroad, most of them in the Nordic countries, England, Holland, and the USA. For example, since the year 2000, an incredible 3000 Finnish Lapphunds have been registered in Sweden.

YEAR 1977 1978 1979 1980 1985 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011

PC 315 386 370 311 479 659 704 752 901 995 1143 1244 1150 1275 1374 1045 1119 1325


Kiedalas Currok


Lecibsin Hurraa

Kiedalas Cerrih

Naavapirtin Nuuska

Significant Ancestors: Finnish Lapphunds Males


Fredi (SF27143T/76)

Nuvvus Mattas (see story p. 56)

Kalikkakaula (see story p. 68)

Peski Koira

Kiedalas Cerrih

Peski Luuhki (see story p. 26)

Kiedalas Currok

Peski Muste

Lecibsin Hurraa

Poromiehen Boika

Lecibsin Kosma

Poromiehen Thahpe (see story p. 66)

Lecibsin Torsti

Poromiehen Tsahpi

Lumiturpa Mörökölli (see story p. 28)

Staalon Pahta

Löytö (SF13863/87, year of the birth 1976)

Tarukallion Noppe

Naavapirtin Nuuska

Tikki (SF199753/84)

Noppe (SF283772/74)

Äijänsuon Kätkärätkä (SF05375M/76)

Poromiehen Tsahpi



Lecibsin Torsti

Tarukallion Noppe


Äijänsuon Kätkärätkä

Bernoban Helleena Fohrmans Arla (SF115910/77) Kiddanaste (see story p. 58) Lecibsin Helga Lecibsin Hissi Lecibsin Hissukka

Lecibsin Hissukka

Minttu (SF16056T/83) Nat Fogel Tsähpe Peski Nasti (see story p. 88) Poromiehen Hillan Kukka Risukarhin Tuisku Vihervaaran Taimi (see story p. 86) Bernoban Helleena


A True Dog Story: Poromiehen (Reindeerman’s) Thahpe, or ‘Tahvo’ “Tahvo taught me everything.” Leena Saikkonen Toward the end of the 1970s, Leena Saikkonen from Laukaa acquired her first Lapphund, named Mettänpeikon Kiiski. Leena’s husband had previously been afraid of dogs, but Kiiski charmed him completely. And so they began searching for another Lappish dog. Liisa Salo, who bred Lapphunds in the 1980s, came from Lapland with some puppies at a convenient time. She visited the Saikkonen family with one of them: the four-month-old Poromiehen Thahpe. It was love at first sight. Tahvo made quite an impression on Leena: he stood still like a Dalecarlian horse with his coat plucked out: at his previous home with Matti Kuivila, he had fallen into the food bin, and the other dogs had eagerly eaten his meaty coat. A Charmer Travels by Car Tahvo bonded immediately with Leena — and with riding in a car! All his life, he was always ready to go for a ride, and if he ran away, the best way to catch him was to drive alongside him with the Volkswagen’s window open. Soon the familiar panting could be heard, and the dog got in the car. When Tahvo went AWOL, it was usually to visit the neighbour’s bitch, Sohvi, and that love affair caused some inconvenience for both families. Again and again, Sohvi’s family saw Tahvo waiting in hiding behind a snow drift. The story had a happy ending: Tahvo and Sohvi finally got each other and had a cute litter. A Natural Leader Tahvo’s temperament was consistent and peaceful. He was easy to handle. He didn’t bark or growl, but he put other dogs in their place simply with his body language. He guarded his own as well as the neighbours’ houses, announcing everyone moving around at night. When the family went to the scout cottage, Tahvo climbed up to the highest spot and watched the surroundings carefully. He was an independent dog with high self-esteem. On walks, he boldly lifted his leg high, rolled around in smells, and pawed the ground along the roadsides. He often drove the cows


into a circle with their backs toward each other and then rolled victoriously in their fresh manure. He also brought the neighbour’s chickens and laid them at Leena’s feet, as if he were saying, “That’s for you!” The Soft Side Tahvo did respect certain things. Once in winter time at Leena’s mother’s apartment, he unsuspectingly stuck his tongue on the steel railing of the balcony. He never again set foot on the balcony. He was also afraid of thunder, and he would always rush and take cover in Leena’s bed, under her armpit. Tahvo had a gentle side, too. The family caught him once in the act of playing with puppies, when he thought no one was looking. He also let children touch his coat and examine his mouth. After his trying experience of being plucked bare as a puppy, Tahvo’s coat grew back handsomely, and at dog shows, judges often criticized it for being too massive. On one occasion, General Olli Korhonen, a prominent figure in Lappish dog circles, tried Tahvo’s chest with a bear hug. Nevertheless, Tahvo was successful, and he achieved an International certificate (CACIB). However, it was revoked. Tahvo was a direct descendant of Kalikkakaula, and thus in the X-register, which was for dogs with unregistered dogs in their pedigree. Tahvo had 12 litters and 55 puppies altogether. He passed on his structure, coat, and temperament indelibly to the modern Lapphund population, and his owner will remember him forever. Inspired by Tahvo, Leena and her family have gotten acquainted with the Sámi culture and the use and status of dogs among the Sámi people. Leena has also tried to learn to speak Sámi.


A True Dog Story: The Legend of Kalikkakaula (Stick Neck) Throughout history, Lapland has produced many mystical stories about people and animals alike. One of them is the true story of Kalikkakaula. No other Finnish Lapphund is likely to have given rise to as many passionate emotions. Kalikkakaula has been praised and slandered, depending on the viewpoint, and it is hard to discern the line between truth and legend. According to one story, Kalikkakaula was born around 1973 in Pousujärvi, south of Kilpisjärvi. However, it has been discovered that he could actually have been bred by the Danish silversmiths, Frank and Regine Juhls, who lived at the time in Kautokeino, Norway. They produced pure-bred Swedish Lapphunds in their kennel, Silversmedernes, and thus it is possible that Kalikkakaula, too, was a pure-bred Swedish Lapphund. The breed named the Finnish Lapphund did not even exist at the time. The Juhlses sold dogs to reindeer herdsmen in Norway and Finland. Nothing is known about Kalikkakaula’s sire, other than that he was a Swedish Lapphund. His dam was also a pure-bred Swedish Lapphund, probably the Silvermedernes Kennel’s foundation bitch Vaida. Kalikkakaula’s next owner was radio journalist Juhani Lihtonen from Kilpisjärvi. Then he was moved to Matti Kuivila’s Poromiehen (Reindeerman’s) Kennel in Sodankylä in 1977. He was registered a year later. Kalikkakaula’s name springs from a piece of wood attached to a collar, called a ‘tsulku’. They were used in the olden times, and they weighed just enough to restrain the excess eagerness of young dogs and to enhance their muscle growth. Kalikkakaula was a handsome, shaggyhaired male that had a major impact on Lapphund breeding and conformation, beginning in the late 1970s. He lived a long life and fathered 34 litters. His descendants are sturdy, strong-headed, heavily coated, calm, wise, and good herding dogs with pricked and tipped ears, often used for reindeer herding. 68

A True Dog Story: Menes-Lappi, or “Nasse” Menes-Lappi is one of the most famous dogs behind the present-day Lapponian Herders and in part also behind Finnish Lapphunds. The small and wiry male was born in the home of Vihtori Kustula in Ivalo in June 1965. His dam was Musti, owned by Elli and Matti Jomppanen, and his sire was Rex from Enontekiö. By colouring, Menes-Lappi represented the Jomppanens’ traditional Menesjärvi type of reindeer dog (see p. 72), four-eyed black, but his coat was exceptionally long. At two years of age, Nasse was sold to Matti Kuivila’s Poromiehen (Reindeerman’s) Kennel in Sodankylä. There it was accepted into the breed in 1968 and registered in the Y Register of the Finnish Kennel Club with the number Y002568. Menes-Lappi achieved incredible success in dog shows, and it was Champion and Winner of 1970. Nasse had 30 litters and many significant descendants. He also has famous ‘relatives’, such as the ‘boys’ Purre and Turre. Menes-Lappi’s long-haired puppy, Velho (Wizzard) Huli, born in 1969, was registered as a Finnish Lapphund, and thus the great progenitor’s heredity can also be found behind some Finnish Lapphunds. Menes-Lappi was not the only dog that spread Matti and Elli Jomppanen’s Menesjärvi type of reindeer dog to Southern Finland. For example, Menes-Lappi’s pup, Turre, lived and bred in Marja Talvitie’s Toiskan Kennel, and Parkki, bought from Tuomas Näkkäläjärvi in 1975, influenced the breed in Matti Kuivila’s kennel. The dogs of Pekka Puutio and the Juoksa Kennel are also close relatives of Matti Jomppanen’s Menesjärvi reindeer dogs. One long-forgotten and little-known dog behind the present-day Lapponian Herders is Piera. His dam was Musti, who was also dam of Menes-Lappi. Menes-Lappi’s half-brother Piera came to Pekka Puutio as an adult and was taken into the breed in 1980 with the number SF08723U/80 Y-40/79. Piera was the exceptional colour of grey, and his dam Musti was said to have been black and grey. Piera had 64 descendants of which 53 had markings. For example, Piera’s daughter Pieta was black and grey, just like her great granddam Musti and Matti Jomppanen’s last dog, Cahpe (see picture, p. 72).



The Lapponian Herder


he development and purposeful breeding of the Lapponian Herder began in the 1950s. The objective was to maintain the reindeer dogs’ original working ability and to register the breed. Olli Korhonen, Eino Takkunen, and Pauli Sipilä studied dogs in Lapland for the Finnish Kennel Club and the Lapland Kennel Club. In the mid 1950s, they wrote about the challenges of breeding genuine Lapponian Herders. For example, long distances and the reindeer keepers’ contradictory opinions about what characteristics were demanded of reindeer dogs made it difficult to standardize the breed. 70

Many positive things were also learned on the trips to Lapland in the 1950s. Lapponian Herder litters had always been strictly screened, and there was very little influence on them from other breeds. They had stayed healthy, dynamic, and indigenous. Only the best of the Lapponian Herders had been allowed to procreate and herd reindeer. Therefore, the existing dog population was very suitable for its traditional use and environment. From the very beginning, it was understood that maintaining their working characteristics demanded that the reindeer herdsmen

themselves had to control breeding. In addition, the heredity of other breeds, such as the Karelian Bear Dog, had to be kept out of reindeer dog’s bloodlines. The Lapponian Herder received its first breed standard in 1966, and the FCI recognized it the following year. It was a significant achievement, especially considering that Lapland and reindeer husbandry were undergoing great changes at the time, including the arrival of the snowmobile. The new breed standard emphasized working characteristics, and although a fairly uniform conformation was desired, its colour and coat type were allowed to vary.

The Reindeer Keeper’s Ideal Dog in the 1950s Olli Korhonen’s survey to reindeer herders in the early 1950s revealed the characteristics of the best reindeer dogs: - They must have long legs. - Dogs in the fell region must be larger than in the forest areas. - Their height at the withers must be 50–55 centimetres. - They must be swift. - They must be black or dark-coloured. - Their undercoat must be thick, and their outer coat must be coarse. - They must have a good hock angle and a strong body. - Their tail must be straight or only slightly curled. - They must be obedient, and they must not have a hunting instinct.


Menesjärvi Reindeer Dogs Elli and Matti Jomppanen lived in Menesjärvi of Inari in the 1960s, and the first breed standard of the Lapponian Herder in 1966 was based on their dogs. The family had a long history of breeding, and thanks to their quick and far-sighted action, the Lapponian Herder survived the Lapland War. Matti Jomppanen urged a group of reindeer keepers to stay on a remote fell with their dogs and reindeer while everyone else was evacuated. In this way, they saved the lives of some dogs and maintained a foundation for the breed.

Matti Jomppanen of Menesjärvi with his last Lapponian Herder, Cahpe, in 1971. Photo: Esko Salkonen.

The Lapponian Herder’s first breed standard and its Menesjärvi tradition gave strict criteria for the dog’s appearance. It had to have a short, black coat with tan markings. This so-called four-eyed colouring meant that the dog had light-coloured spots above its eyes. One of the most significant Menesjärvi foundation males was Menes-Lappi (see p. 69).

In the YLE documentary Porokoira (Reindeer Dog) from 1969, Matti Jomppanen describes the ideal Lapponian Herder as quiet, meaning that it is not fierce to people or other animals. According to Jomppanen, proper Lapponian Herders are black or greyish with white markings, mainly on its front legs and chest. They are obedient and they know their job almost naturally, without being taught. Good reindeer dogs can herd their reindeer alone, even for over half a day, if their owner is elsewhere. They also wake up the sleeping owner when the reindeer rise from where they are resting and start walking. After a while, the strict Menesjärvi definition of colour and conformation caused some problems. In other areas of Lapland, the dogs often looked completely different, and thus they weren’t necessarily accepted into the breed or valued at dog shows. Even if they were excellent reindeer herding dogs by their structure and abilities, they might have been judged as poor representatives of the breed. Nowadays, the Lapponian Herder’s breed standard is more permissive, but many of the Menesjärvi characteristics are still clearly visible. For example, they are dark-coloured and fairly short-coated, and they have a narrow head and straight tail, and most often pricked ears. 72

The dog in the colour-photo taken in Peltovuoma looks a lot like Erkki Jomppanen’s Virkku (black and white photo), a model example of a proper Lapponian Herder in the 1960s. Colour photo: Esko Salkonen (1971). Black and white photo: Juho Perttola (1959). The original breed standard was revised in the 1970s. In one decade, the Menesjärvi type (see infobox) of the first breed standard had spread from Inari to Western Lapland. At the same time, focusing on appearance at the expense of working characteristics had become a problem. Many excellent reindeer dogs were left outside the official breed standard because of colour or conformation criteria. A research project was undertaken in 1974 to try to get the breeding of the Lapponian Herder back on the right track. The study revealed that the young generation included alarmingly few genuine herding dogs, and the number of cross-breeds was rising. Good females were the hardest to find. To solve the problem, kennels were established where both sexes would be bred equally. Private families also took on the

responsibility of raising females. They could easily be raised even outside the reindeer herding area. Still in the 1970s, several different types of reindeer dogs that were valued by old-school reindeer herdsmen could be found in Lapland. The Menesjärvi type was only one of many. The situation was particularly good in North-Western Lapland, where the herding culture had prevailed, even over the snowmobile. The reason was that dogs were better at keeping reindeer on the right side of the border. The natural perseverance of Lapponian Herders was put to the test in the 1980s, when their popularity was at a low point and their population was so small that only a few dogs procreated. It looked like Southern Finland would soon be the only place where actual breeding took place. 73

At the same time, the northern reindeer keepers had less and less say in what characteristics were demanded of proper Lapponian Herders. Only a very small proportion of the dogs could be used for breeding purposes, which created a genetic bottleneck for the breed. The modest-looking Lapponian Herder never became as popular as the Finnish Lapphund, which was often felt to be more attractive. The Lapponian Herder was not a city dog or a companion dog, because it needed lots of exercise and work to stay happy. In addition, there were many false conceptions about the breed, and people thought, erroneously, that it was supposed to be kept in an outdoor kennel. As herding dogs, Lapponian Herders require company, and they are at their best while working together with people. Since the late 1990s, interest toward the Lapponian Herder has increased. Until 1993, the Lapponian Herder belonged to the reindeer dog division of the Finnish Spitz association; since then to the Lapphund Club of Finland. The Lapponian Herder has remained a primitive, 74

healthy, and versatile breed. It has been in the PEVISA Program since 1995. In the late 1990s, the breed was granted working trial rights. Nowadays, the Lapponian Herder is the world’s rarest breed used in reindeer herding, an authentic, arctic working dog. Northern culture and persistence can clearly be seen in its character. The population has remained rather small because of the breed’s reputation as a working dog and its modest appearance, but with persistent breeding, the diversity of the dog’s heredity has been strengthened. The greatest challenges in using Lapponian Herders in reindeer herding are the shortage of trainers and the disappearing of traditional know-how. Because of their intelligence, vitality, and perseverance, Lapponian Herders are still extremely suitable for herding not only reindeer but other domestic animals as well, such as sheep and horses. The Reindeer-herding Dog Club (Porokoirakerho ry) helps maintain cooperation between the breeders of Southern Finland and the reindeer keepers of Lapland.

A good Lapponian Herder does not wag its tail to everyone. Pehr-Thomas Bål 1969

People have recently awoken to the fact that Lapponian Herders are extremely versatile sport dogs that can easily assume many roles. They cope well in different weather conditions, but they also enjoy leisure time indoors with their families. That is why they are excellent guards of the home, although they are not suitable to be mere outdoor dogs because of their sociable character. Training a cooperative and balanced dog is rewarding, especially since Lapponian Herders are loyal beyond compare. Because they are working dogs, their most important characteristics are mental. In addition, the right kind of structure and coat are necessary for these harmonious dogs to continue to survive in the wilderness of Lapland and to be able to perform traditional herding tasks. In the 2000s, Lapponian Herder registrations have increased, and more than 200 are registered every year. It is great that more and more genuine reindeer herding families are raising them. The situation is particularly good in areas with the strongest traditions of reindeer herding, such as North-Western Lapland, Muonio, Näkkälä, Ivalo, Inari, and Kolari. Interest in this primitive dog breed has also increased abroad, and several litters are registered in Sweden each year. Their popularity as companion and sport dogs is due to their versatility, cooperativeness, and quickly learning character.

Lapponian Herder Registrations 1976–2011 YEAR 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011

PC 88 84 56 113 59 84 104 120 74 129 128 98 128 166 136 197 248 238 233 250 236 234 249 286 75

Significant Ancestors: Lapponian Herders Bennu

Nalle (SF16014/88)

Gaissa Pilkku

Niku (SF03178A/83)

Gaissa Ziergu

Nilla (SF16015/88)

Halli (see story p. 25)


Juoksa Beltirumpu

Toiskan Hildur

Juoksa Desibeli

Toiskan Hurtta

Kivimannun Kivikkoketopeto

Turre (SF14036T/77)

Menes-Lappi (see story p. 69)


Myllykosken Arita Nalle


Kivimannun Kivikkoketopeto

Juoksa Desibeli





he history of the Finnish native dog breeds is closely connected to that of our national dog associations. Who else would further the cause of dogs with equal zeal to that of dog owners, breeders, and dog enthusiasts. In the 1940s, dog associations had a problem that may be hard to understand today. The Second World War ravaged Europe and Finland. However, the worst blow for the Lappish dogs was the Lapland War in the aftermath of the World War. It was disastrous to the reindeer herding area’s people, their livelihood, and Lappish dogs.


The Lapphund Club of Finland: Always for the Good of the Dogs In spite of the immense obstacles standing in the way of registering the Lappish dog breeds, the persistent dog people never gave up. Kennels got right back to their breeding work as soon as possible after the war. The dog associations had an excellent example: the Lappish dogs themselves. They were famous for their endurance, courage, and vitality.

Two Strong Kennel Associations


rom today’s perspective, it was extremely fortunate that two strong, national associations were behind the Lappish breeds: the Kennel Club and the Kennel Federation. The Kennel Club achieved results already in 1945 as it created the breed standard for the Lappish Herder. It was not yet the Finnish Lapphund, but an earlier type of dog. The Kennel Federation did its share by charting the dogs used for reindeer herding in Lapland. In 1962, the two major associations merged, which also marked the combining of their interests. The arrangement was meant to stabilize the status of the Finnish breeds and standardize

the characteristics of Lappish dogs. The Lappish Herder and the short-haired reindeer dog were placed in the same register. However, the concept of one Lappish breed caused confusion among enthusiasts, breeders, and reindeer herders because of the clear differences between the dogs. Combining the two types was felt to be a mistake, and the situation was revoked. The dog people wanted to divide the dogs into two different breeds, and four years later, in 1966, they succeeded. The Lapponian Herder got its first breed standard, and the name of the Lappish Herder was changed to Lapphund. 79


The Lapphund Club of Finland


he Finnish Lapphund Association was established in 1970. It was the first organization to exclusively promote the Lapphund. The Finnish Spitz Association’s Lapponian Herder division took care of the reindeer dogs. In 1991, the Finnish Lapphund Association changed its name to the Lapphund Club of Finland, and it became an official breed association in 1997. At the same time, the club’s operations expanded, and it also became the official representative of Lapponian Herders and Swedish Lapphunds in Finland. In the 21st century, the club has continued to grow, and it organizes annual camps, shows, training events, and functions for its subdivisions. Around 100 new dog owners join the club each year. The club’s breeding committee supports and consults both kennels and ordinary families that

own puppies. The breeding committee publishes information about the special characteristics of the Lappish breeds and the extremely popular Lapphund ABC-Book (Lapinkoira-aapinen). Foreign owners of Lappish dogs are also offered support abroad. Every year, the club’s magazine committee publishes four numbers of the Lapinkoira (Lapphund) magazine, which offers club members a hefty and visually appealing reading package of current topics, hobbies, the club’s activities and, of course, dogs. The club also publishes a yearbook, which includes all show and competition results. The Lapphund Club of Finland is a member association of the Finnish Kennel Club.

Over 20,000 Lapphund ABC-Books The Lapphund ABC-Book is one of the Lapphund Club of Finland’s most long-term and popular publications. It offers information about feeding puppies and training dogs, and actually about everything in a dog’s life. The club’s wish is that breeders would give the ABC-Book to every new dog owner. The first Lapphund ABC-Book was published in the mid 1980s, and several editions have been made since. By estimate, over 20,000 copies have been printed so far. Since 2000 alone, almost 10,000 copies have been printed. 80



Timeline Finnish Lapphund Association The Finnish Lapphund Association, presently named the Lapphund Club of Finland, is an over 40-year-old breed association based in Turku. It was established on 21 November 1970 at the international dog show in Helsinki.

1970 1971

The Association Logo The logo was chosen through an idea competition. It was won by Jouko Elonen from Hyvinkää.


The Herder Genus Lapphund Society The Herder Genus Lapphund Society was established in Helsinki in 1981. Herder Genus Lapphunds are registered in the Finnish Kennel Club’s Finnish Lapphund register, and they are a breeding line with foundation dogs that were actual reindeer herding dogs.





The Lapphund Magazine The Lapphund magazine was first published in 1971, almost immediately after the association was started. Starting out as a thin member newsletter, it has developed into an almost 100-page, full-colour magazine with a printing of 4,500 four times a year. Joining the Finnish Spitz Club During the years 1975–1980, the Finnish Lapphund Association was subordinate to the Finnish Companion Dog Association. In 1980, the Lapphund people returned to the Finnish Spitz Club. The Lapponian Herder belonged to the Finnish Spitz Club all the time. First summer camp The association’s first summer camp was organized in Kylmäkoski in 1982. The enthusiastic dog owners slept in tents and brought their own food. Nowadays, the summer camps are popular, several-day events with lectures and lots of dog sports.

First Dog Shows The Finnish Lapphund Association held its first own dog show in Vammala in January 1983. The show committee was established a year later.


First Winter Event The idea of the Winter Event is to have a meeting on Saturday and a dog show on Sunday. The association’s first yearbook was published in the same year, 1986. Data from earlier years can be found in the Finnish Spitz Club’s yearbooks.


The Lapphund Club of Finland In 1991, the annual general meeting decided to change the association’s name to the Lapphund Club of Finland. A year later, the club’s new rules were published, which now included owners of Lapponian Herders and Swedish Lapphunds as well.


Lapphunds Become Finnish Lapphunds In 1993, the official name of the Lapphund became the Finnish Lapphund.


Website and Working Trial Rights The Lapphund Club of Finland got its own website in 1997. In the same year, Lappish dogs were given working trial rights. To be granted these rights, the association must have applied for competition rights, and the breed must have completed at least 5 Begleitungshund (BH) trials. It is a prerequisite for all other trials.




First Obedience Trial The first obedience trial was arranged in connection with the dog show in 1990. In the early 1990s, dog sports were rising in popularity, and the association began to organize obedience, agility, and youth camps in addition to the traditional summer camp. The active association launched several subdivisions, totalling 15 around Finland to date.

The Reindeer-herding Dog Club The Reindeer-herding Dog Club is an association launched by enthusiasts and breeders. It establishes contacts between reindeer-herding dog owners, breeders, and reindeer herdsmen who use the dogs in their work. The club works to preserve working characteristics of the reindeer-herding dogs by organizing reindeer herding trials.

1995 1997

Lapponian Herders into the PEVISA Program PEVISA is the Finnish Kennel Club’s program that aims to prevent hereditary defects and diseases. Lapponian Herders have been in PEVISA since 1995; Finnish Lapphunds since 1996 (for more information, see p. 123)


Lapponian Herder Statue A statue of a Lapponian Herder was revealed at the Sámi Museum Siida in Inari in 2004. Other statues of Finnish native dog breeds are a Finnish Spitz in Espoo, a Karelian Bear Dog in Ilomantsi, a Finnish Hound in Janakkala, and a Finnish Lapphund in Hetta of Enontekiö.

Breed Association Rights In 1997, the Lapphund Club of Finland was granted full breed association rights by the Finnish Kennel Club, and it separated from the Finnish Spitz Club. PRA Gene Test Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) is an eye disease common to many dog breeds. At the association’s summer camp in 1987, the first mass eye examination was organized. The PRA gene test is an important tool for finding eye diseases and monitoring the breed’s health situation. Mass eye examinations are held annually.

First Lapphund ABC-Book The first edition of the Lapphund ABC-Book was published in 1985, and ever since, it has offered advice and tips to new owners of Lapphunds.

2006 2007

Finnish Lapphund Statue A statue of a Finnish Lapphund was revealed in Hetta, Enontekiö in June 2007.


The Lapphund Club of Finland’s 40th Anniversary Dinner & Show in Turku.


Lapponian Herder Statue A statue of a Lapponian Herder stands in the yard of the Sámi Museum Siida in Inari. It was revealed in September 2004, financed by the Finnish Kennel Club and the Lapphund Club of Finland, and sculpted by the former director of the Kennel Club, Pekka Ketonen. The statue project’s patron was Hannele Pokka, governor of the province of Lapland. Governor’s greeting Greetings from Rovaniemi! No one knows when the Sámi people and dogs found each other. The only sure thing is that it was a very long time ago. The dogs were reliable, fearless, and, when necessary, able to work independently—excellent herding dogs. Reindeer dogs have always had an important role as the working dogs of the north. The Lapponian Herder is a combination of the Sámi culture and northern nature. Together with the other Lappish dogs, it is unique and worth nurturing. That is why I am so happy that the Lapponian Herder is now getting its own statue in a worthy place at the Sámi Museum Siida. The Lapponian Herder is one of our national treasures. It would be wonderful if valuable cultural history and folklore about the development of Lappish dogs could also be gathered in Siida. Although this tradition is centuries old, very little of it has been recorded or scientifically studied. On this day of celebration, I wish to congratulate all who are present and the Lapponian Herder, the reindeer herdsman’s faithful working partner.

Hannele Pokka


The Finnish Lapphund Statue A statue of a Finnish Lapphund stands in the yard of the Fell Lapland Nature Centre in Hetta, Enontekiö. It was revealed in June 2007, and it was donated by the Lapphund Club of Finland and the Finnish Kennel Club. It was sculpted by Pekka Ketonen, and the governor of the province of Lapland, Hannele Pokka, was patron of the venture. Governor’s greeting My grandparents had a Finnish Lapphund named Bingo. When he was younger, Bingo could run several kilometres after me as I skied. When he grew older, he merely followed me to the end of our driveway and strolled back to the steps to wait for me to come home. Bingo was a good-natured dog that cheerfully barked its greeting to all visitors. Another unforgettable Lapphund was Pörrö (Fluffy), whose owner was author Oiva Arvola. Pörrö guarded the yard of Kampsuherran Valtakunta (Kingdom of the Shaman Master) by the Ounas River in the village of Nivankylä. Pörrö was the kingdom’s foreign minister, barking at all visitors. Thanks to the Finnish Kennel Club and the Lapphund Club of Finland, we are having this special celebration in Hetta, Enontekiö. The associations have cooperated in promoting the Finnish Lapphund and the Lapponian Herder. Now the Finnish Lapphund is receiving its own welldeserved statue here in the heartland of the Sámi culture. In this fell region, Lapphunds have been irreplaceable helpers to the reindeer keepers in their hard work managing their lot. They have always been reliable and fearless, and they have been capable of independent work whenever necessary. Still today, a good dog is an important aide in reindeer husbandry. Heavy work in harsh conditions has shaped Lapphunds, making them healthy, modest, and satisfied with little. They are ready to do their utmost for their masters. The same characteristics have made them popular family dogs. The statue revealed today is a fine tribute to the tenacious and faithful dog that has given so much to developing Lapland. Unfortunately, my work has prevented me from coming to the occasion in person, but I send my warm regards and my congratulations for completing the statue. Hannele Pokka


A True Dog Story: Vihervaaran Taimi (Green Hill’s Seedling), or ‘Halla’ “Halla, like all lapphunds, was just like the Sámi say: like a human’s thought.” Eija Lehtimäki Originally, Eija Lehtimäki’s dearest, her ‘own breed’, was the German Shepherd. Her father was a hunter, so there were also Finnish Hounds in the home. In the 1970s, Eija saw her first Lapphund at a dog show. It was a pale grey, shaggy-haired dog that charmed Eija completely with its primitive appearance. She decided that one day she would buy a similar dog of the same greyish colour, ‘hallava’ in Finnish, and name it Halla. A few years later, Eija got her first pup, a pale grey female, exactly like she had dreamed. It was Vihervaaran Taimi, and she gave her the nickname Halla. Eija also lived in a place called Hallanperä (Frost End). Eija wasn’t able to go choose the puppy herself, so the breeder sent the little furball to her new home by plane. Later Eija met one of Halla’s siblings, Vihervaaran Tellu, and the sire of the litter, Vihervaaran Julli. But she has been able to admire Halla’s dam, Peski Ralli, only in photographs. Lapphunds Are Not Working Dogs For starters, Eija was quite baffled as she tried to train Halla. She was used to the style of training working dogs, and her Lapphund turned out to be quite challenging. Halla forced Eija to practise softer training methods, because she wouldn’t tolerate harsh commands and would simply walk away, offended; if she couldn’t get away for some reason, she would throw herself down on her back and lie still, as a protest. Over time, Eija noticed clear differences between German Shepherds and Lapphunds. Where German Shepherds keep asking their owner, “What do I do next?” Lappies watch calmly and judge for themselves what they should do. Lapphunds learn things on their own, without teaching or commands, much easier than German Shepherds. They have loads of independent intelligence, and even without any special training, they become well-behaved companions who are able to moderate their behaviour according to the situation — if only they are given a chance. A Passionate, Virile Damsel Halla had no difficulties mating, and she was a good, natural-born mother-dog. It was her owner’s task to determine the appropriate time for mating, although Halla seemed to feel that the time was always right. Even three or four weeks after mating, Halla might offer herself to males 86

Halla and Eija Lehtimäki. and wonder why they seemed so lukewarm. In her primitive manner, Halla always wanted to give birth alone in hiding. She had the ability to time the birth to a moment when no one was home. She always succeeded in giving birth in secret, in a hiding place, whether it was the 1.5-metre cave she dug under the kennel fence or under the garden shed floor. The nest was always so skimpy that Eija could barely crawl in to fetch the pups. Even the best mother needs occasional rest from caring for her children. On one occasion, Halla’s 5-week-old puppies began to whimper in the bedroom just when she and the family’s German Shepherd Viivi were stretched out in a sun patch on the living room floor. Both dogs woke up to the noise, lifted their heads, and glanced at each other. Then Viivi got up and went to take a look at the puppies, and Halla laid her head back on the floor. Eija could clearly see how she sighed of relief, “Thank goodness I don’t have to do everything myself!” From Champion to Foundation Bitch Halla toured lots of dog shows. In those days, there were differences of opinion about the proper type of Lapphund, so Halla received ribbons of all kinds of colours. Nobody ever offered her a disqualification, but three times she had to settle for a third prize (nowadays ‘Fair’). The reason was ‘the wrong type’. Halla also got three CC’s and became Champion. She was a quite large and strong-boned bitch with a strong head and pretty expression, a healthy structure, and good movement. Halla has six registered litters, and she also succeeded in making one accidental litter with the neighbour’s spitz. Halla efficiently passed on her own type and bone structure, and her offspring have each been — like their dam — good-natured, intelligent, and true Laplander individuals. Halla became the foundation bitch of Eija Lehtimäki’s kennel, Orso-Farm. In spring 2011, a 9th generation descendant of Halla was born named Isomushippu. In June 1993, Halla suddenly contracted an aggressive case of mastitis. It turned out to be a malignant tumour, and it took Halla to the angels’ reindeer lands in two weeks. There, Eija hopes she will have enough animals to herd, and some wonderful wool socks to chew. She developed a taste for them already during her dog’s life. 87

A True Dog Story: Peski Nasti, or ‘Tsuku’ “Tsuku, my first: I have much to thank her for!” Maisa Ritala Tsuku was Maisa Ritala’s first Lapphund, born on 18 February 1974. In the final stages of her studies, Maisa knew she needed her own dog and decided on a Lapphund. At the same time, breeders started taking Laphunds in a new direction, and the so-called Kukonharju-type began to be left behind. On the Way Home Originally Maisa had planned on buying a one-year-old male puppy of Tsuku’s, but she ended up with the dam. The original choice went to a fellow student. Maisa brought both dogs home to Joensuu by train, moving them straight from kennel conditions to a student dormitory. They sure did marvel at everything they saw and heard! The next weekend, the puppy travelled to its new home in Rantasalmi, and Tsuku stayed with Maisa. When they had practised their mutual life for three days, Maisa let Tsuku, who had grown in a kennel, loose in a forest. Tsuku ran around Maisa in circles out of pure joy, with her gums pulled up and laughing, so that all her teeth were visible. In this way, their cooperation started to build upon a strong foundation. Since then, Tsuku always responded in every possible way to the trust Maisa showed her. A Natural Pack Leader Among dogs, Tsuku was respected as the self-evident leader. She fought only once, with a young and stubborn Lapp bitch in her territory, and toward people, Tsuku was submissive. Maisa could trust that if they ever met with any kind of threat, Tsuku would work like a flash and even give her life for her. Tsuku spent her days outdoors with Maisa’s other female, Fin Ch Peski Calbmes, or Piipero, and in the evenings, they took long walks. They spent their nights indoors, because they lived in a residential area. Tsuku was easy to care for, unobtrusive, and trustworthy. With children, she was gentle, patient, and calm. Outdoors, Tsuku moved confidently. Once while picking blueberries, Maisa and Tsuku were taken by surprise by such a torrential rainfall that they couldn’t see farther than a few steps ahead. “Back!” Maisa commanded, and Tsuku led her owner step by step along their footsteps back to the car. Although the rain let down a while later, and visibility was better, Tsuku would not let her owner take even one step aside from the trail. Tsuku had a totally unique bark for moose. Sometimes Maisa had a long wait for Tsuku to come back from barking at a moose. Hunters often asked if they could borrow her, but Maisa was farsighted and never consented. If Tsuku had received praise in addition to the joy of running after moose, her moments at loose would soon be nothing but moose tracking.


Dam of Great Descendants Tsuku started obedience training when she was 3 years old, and she participated in a few competitions, too. She also took part in a few shows, as a fine representative of her breed, making Lapphunds known to a wider public. She had her first puppies at Marri Vainio’s Peski Kennel with Poromiehen (Reindeerman’s) Ponku. Maisa later mated Tsuku with Fin Ch Peski Luuhki, and that couple gave birth to Fin Ch Mettänpeikon Kiva, Kiiski, and Kasku, which were all used for breeding. Later still, Tsuku mated with Fin Ch Poromiehen Thahpe, and this litter was significant, including Nordic Champion Mettänpeikon Pilikku, Mettänpeikon Hoppu, Mettänpeikon Huisku, and the female Mettänpeikon Hinni. The males in particular established the new type of Lapphund. Maisa presented the dogs of her first breeder’s team at the Finnish Spitz Club’s winter event in Jyväskylä in 1980. They had distinctly shorter body-length than the earlier dogs of the breed, which pleased the Finnish Spitz Club, the breed association of the time, which was trying to make the Lapphund into more of a Finnish Spitz-type breed. Nowadays, their body length is no longer so short, and Lapphunds are clearly longer than they are high. Noise Phobia The only problem with Tsuku was her fear of loud noises, which lasted all her life. It sprang from her heredity from the reindeer dogs of Eastern Lapland. Her sire was Fin Ch Nästi, which came from reindeer dog families in Inari, and her dam was Fin Ch Peski Ceepunhaipa, whose sire was of the reindeer dogs from Raattama. The dogs of this pedigree from Inari suffered from dog noise phobia. On her first New Year’s Eve, when Maisa hadn’t known to prepare for the coming ordeal, she had to search for Tsuku from the stairwells of the close-by apartment buildings, her heart pounding with worry. Luckily, the frightened runaway was finally found. Tsuku’s noise phobia finally sealed her destiny. One day when Maisa was at work, some boys with an air rifle started shooting at the doghouse where Tsuku was sleeping. She woke up and went hysterical with panic, and ended up going into shock. Maisa was called home in the middle of her work day. She let Tsuku inside immediately, but the poor dog never fully recovered. Whenever it was time to go outside, she frightfully peeked out from under the dresser, as if asking, “Do I have to go?” Outside, even a millimetre was too far away to step from her owner’s side, and if she heard banging sounds, like that of hammering, Tsuku panicked and tried desperately to get back inside. As if that wasn’t enough, the family lived close to a military garrison, so distant gunshots could be heard almost all the time, more or less. Tsuku’s anxiety grew so bad that Maisa could no longer bear watching her suffer, so she sent her to more peaceful pastures at the age of 7½. When she died, Tsuku was otherwise in perfect health. Except for her fear of noises, her temperament was precisely like Lapphunds at their best. 89 Tsuku posing with her owner, Maisa.


Lappish Dogs Here and Now

3 Lappish dogs Here and Now


Limitless Hobbies


appish dogs were made to move, solve problems, and to use their superb intelligence. Enthusiasts are also a diversified and colourful bunch, and it is typical for Lappish dogs to excel in several different sports, while only a few focus on merely one hobby. Few Lappish dogs have achieved top results on the competition level, but their strength is in diversity. Most owners of Lappish dogs practise dog sports for their own and their dog’s pleasure, and the dogs are at their best when they have lots of varying activities. They are healthy and live long, so their owners have plenty of time and fun moments with their dogs in all kinds of active pastimes. The original use as reindeer herding dogs has survived among Lappish dogs. As an unofficial sport, herding is most suitable for working dogs on reindeer

farms, because it cannot be practised just anywhere. To practise, one must have reindeer, space, and a skilled trainer. However, many Lappie enthusiasts are as mobile as their dogs, prepared to drive long distances for their reindeer herding trials. Reindeer herding has increased interest in herding other animals, too. Many Lappish dogs have proven to be skilled dogs alongside their owners herding sheep or horses.



Lappish Dogs Are Quick Learners


ost of the Lappish dogs that participate in obedience trials are in the Open and Novice Classes, but many continue the hobby into the more demanding Advanced and Championship Classes. Almost every year, a Champion or two are Lappish dogs. Obedience trial criteria have been tightened during the last decade, and one of the most important present requirements is silent and quick working. This is challenging for Lappish


dogs because their temperament is more modest than other working dog breeds. Lappish breeds are also often more ‘talkative’. Lappish dogs learn quickly, and since they are very cooperative, they are often easy to train. It is most challenging to motivate these intelligent and sometimes stubborn dogs to keep repeating familiar things. However, with diverse training and motivation methods and games, Lappish dogs will learn anything.

Lappish Dogs: the First Accomplishments in Dog Sports Lapponian Herder male Jahkkas Cibelius, owner Tini Mäkelä

2002 FIN OB CH (Obedience Trial Champion)

2003 FIN WT CH (Working Trial Champion of Finland, working dog tracking trial, breed’s first WT CH)

Lapponian Herder male Pihlajamäen Auer-Waara, owner Leena Berg

2008 FIN TR CH (Tracking Champion of Finland, hunting track)

2009 FIN WT CH-T (Working Trial Champion of Finland, moose tracking)

Lapponian Herder Female Mikälie Illuusia, owner Johanna Lankila

2008 FC 1 (search-and-rescue, Finnish Champion)

2012 FIN WT CH (International search-and-rescue, IPOR area search level B)

(Results achieved 2008, 2009, 2010, confirmed by the Finnish Kennel Club 2012)

Finnish Lapphund male Lecibsin Kultakuono, owner Taina Miettinen (see story p. 102–103)

2004 DC 3 (Central Finland Regional Kennel Club Championship 3rd place, working dog tracking trial)

2006 FIN WT CH (Working Trial Champion of Finland, working dog tracking trial, breed’s first WT CH)

Finnish Lapphund male Kotikulman onnenoikku, owner Mari Höök

2007 DC 2 (Helsinki Regional Kennel Club Championship 2nd place, working dog tracking trial)


Agility Champions Finnish Lapphund female Taivaannastan Diidas’atni, or ‘Riddu’, was Finland’s first Lappish Agility Champion (2011 FIN AG CH). Riddu was the female puppy of Lumiturpa Taikanuttu and Jegolas Aslas Ahne. She demonstrated potential to be an excellent agility dog already as a puppy, playing a lot with her toys and with balls, and she had a flawless appetite. Finnish Lapphund male Taikahallan Hankien Hurma, owner Maria Martin

2011 FIN AG CH

Finnish Lapphund female Nutukas Ursula, owner Susanna Kangasvuo

2011 FIN AG CH

Finnish Lapphund male Kettuharjun Fransu, owner Marianne Mäntylehto

2012 FIN AG CH

Obedience Champions Lapponian Herder female Juoksa Geeni, owner Salme Mujunen

1997 FIN OB CH (breed’s first OB CH)

Lapponian Herder female Iresa Pälven Piika, owner Kirsi Päykkönen

2001 FIN OB CH

Lapponian Herder male Jahkkas Cibelius, owner Tini Mäkelä

2002 FIN OB CH

Finnish Lapphund female Huhtun Malla, owner Helvi Tiisala

FIN OB CH (first OB CH of breed)

Finnish Lapphund female Hiidenparran Tielkka, owner Rauno Nisula (see story p. 100-101)


1988 FIN OB CH

1988 FC 2, 1989 FC 1, 1990 FC 1, 1992 FC 3

Finnish Lapphund female Noora, owner Anu Räty

1990 FIN OB CH

Finnish Lapphund female Naigu, owner Eeva-Riitta Posti

1990 FIN OB CH

Finnish Lapphund female Kettuharjun Elle, owner Rauno Nisula

1995 FIN OB CH, 1997 DK OB CH, 1998 NO OB CH

1998 FC 1, 2001 FC 1

Finnish Lapphund male Rönnaksen Pyry, owner Taina Miettinen

1995 FIN OB CH

Finnish Lapphund male Kelokolon Hanipeädna, owner Katja Jantunen

1996 FIN OB CH

Finnish Lapphund female Lecibsin Hikka, owner Vuokko Liimatta

1996 FIN OB CH

Finnish Lapphund female Letukan Kiusa, owner Nina Mäkinen

1996 FIN OB CH

Finnish Lapphund male Fohrmans Gamo, owner Aila Pölönen

1997 FIN OB CH

Finnish Lapphund female Rönnaksen Mirella, owner Tuire Marjamäki

1997 FIN OB CH

Finnish Lapphund female Kettuharjun Baksu-Bertha, owner Leena Välimäki 1999 FIN OB CH, 2000 FC 3, 2001 Team DC 2, 2002 Team WC 2 (Team Nordic Champion 2 and Team World Champion 2)



Pure Joy on the Agility Course!


n dog agility, Lappish dogs compete in the Midi and Maxi classes, based on height at the withers, and in levels 1–3. In 2011, the first Finnish Lapphund achieved a championship in agility, and many have followed. Dog agility is rising in popularity, and it is a perfect sport for the energetic and brave Lappish dogs.


Lappish dogs may have trouble beating other, faster breeds, but their enthusiasm and effort are beyond compare. A skilful handler can help the dog snip away seconds, getting closer and closer to the standard course time. Lappish dogs are agile and enthusiastic: they give it all they’ve got, not caring one bit if they are first or fifteenth.


All-Terrain Working Dogs


appish dogs have been allowed to participate in working trials since 1997. There are fairly many handler teams that practise for their own enjoyment, but few Lappish dogs participate in official trials annually. The tasks in open terrain are their favourites, because the independent and motivated dogs are at their best in genuine environments. In open terrain, they perform with confidence, and their most popular tasks are searching and tracking. The biggest stumbling blocks are in the obedience section of the working trial. It is not too challenging for Lappish dogs technically, but it tests their motivation. An intelligent dog needs plenty of variation and an inventive owner, especially for training. Another challenge is the dog’s physique, because even after the open terrain sections, it needs to have the energy to do many physically demanding tasks such as retrieve over high jump.



Born to Be Search and Rescue Dogs


appish dogs are at their best as search and rescue dogs (SAR). Search and rescue activities are quite popular amidst Lappish dogs, and there are particularly many of them in organizations under the Finnish Association of Search and Rescue Dogs. A number of Lappish dogs also train under the Finnish Association of Working Dogs, and some have made it onto emergency teams.

Lapinporokoira raunioharjoituksissa.


Search and rescue activities are extremely suitable for Lappish dogs that are in good shape. Search missions are long and demanding, and the hard-working Lapponian Herder, in particular, enjoys such trials of strength. Both Lappish breeds were originally bred for the kinds of tasks that require stamina, perseverance, and independent problem-solving skills. That is why they manage well in many kinds of environments and are not discouraged by bad weather.


appish dogs can be found practising almost all imaginable hobbies. Most often you can see them in obedience trials, search and rescue, and working dog activities, or on agility courses. They also take part in special activities such as heelwork to music or canine musical freestyle, canicross, and rally obedience, a rising dog sport. Quick and varying activities where dogs can also use their own heads are ideal for Lappish dogs. Lappish breeds are best suited to be working dogs and family dogs for people who enjoy outdoor activities. An ideal owner is someone whose highest objective in a dog sport is to enjoy the activity itself together with the dog, not simply to gain success in elite competitions. Lappish


A Versatile Friend for Many Pastimes dogs love to join their owners when they walk, jog, pick berries or mushrooms, or go on a long trek—and they are always cheerful and sprightly company. Lappish dogs—Lapponian Herders in particular—are not satisfied as mere couch pets, but when they get enough exercise, they are relaxed and calm at home. Some individuals are used for hunting fowl and moose. Lappie enthusiasts have also participated in demanding, two-day forest tracking trials and other trials meant for hunting dogs. A few Lappish dogs are Tracking Champions, and they have also done well tracking wounded moose.


A True Dog Story: Hiidenparran Tielkka, or ‘Lilly Laplander’ “Competing with Tielkka was the richest time of my life.” Rauno Nisula Rauno Nisula will never forget Hiidenparran Tielkka, even though the years they shared are long past. The Nisula family lived in a suburban area of Lohja, and the lively puppy didn’t seem to fit in to the peaceful neighbourhood. The mischievous whirlwind kept running off to the neighbours’ yards and onto the road, amidst the traffic. The puppy turned upside down the previously dogless household. Rauno knew he had to do something quickly. Tielkka Becomes Obedience Champion The first step was dog school. Rauno believed that, in time, Tielkka would learn the basics of life, just like children do. Tielkka turned out to be more than a good student: obedience training and trials replaced dog school when Tielkka was one year old. In the 1980s, there weren’t many dog sports to choose from, so obedience was both the natural and only choice. That suited Tielkka fine: she was happy to do anything. The most appealing aspect of obedience training to Rauno Nisula was its influence on the dog’s well-being. Tielkka was Rauno’s first obedience dog, and through mistakes and practice, he learned to speak ‘Doggish’ more and more fluently. Mutual understanding and trust grew in leaps and bounds. Rauno and Tielkka won the Finnish obedience championship twice in a row in 1989 and 1990 — as the first Lappish dog handler team in history. However, Tielkka’s obedience career was characterized by the dog being in charge and the ‘you lead, I’ll follow — if I feel like it’ attitude. Tielkka could do anything. She soon started developing her own exercises and, for example, stormed over to the lunch bag on her own after the competition. Tielkka recognized her name as Lilli or Tielkka, and if the ring steward happened to say the name out loud, Tielkka appeared in the ring with sand flying around her. She was also eager to get acquainted with judges — especially those who had coffee and sandwiches waiting under the table. Lively and Balanced At home, the difference that obedience training made for Tielkka was quickly evident. Once a troublemaker, she now laid limp on her rug, exhausted, and she was so meticulously obedient — which was, of course, a joy to her owner — that even the vet was amazed. Tielkka climbed 100

Kuvassa Rauno Nisula toisen Tokossa menestyneen koiransa, Kettuharjun Ellen, kanssa. up onto the examination table on her own, without a leash, and stayed put through the procedures. Vaccinations and tartar removal became like a walk in the park. As she grew, Tielkka acquired an interest in new people and dogs, and she became an enthusiastic traveller. Rauno feels that Tielkka paid back every single morsel of information he taught her — abundantly. She learned obedience, but still never lost her energetic and fluttering character. Tielkka introduced Rauno to a life that he could never have imagined without a dog, and made him a steadfast Finnish Lapphund fan. Rauno has known dogs of many breeds, but not one of them has beaten Finnish Lapphunds. They are above all others, endlessly imaginative and able to think for themselves. Obedience Trials Then and Now Rauno has now retired and left obedience trials behind, but he still follows the dog world closely. Obedience as a dog sport and training methods are becoming more dog-friendly. Old-fashioned, authoritarian bossing has clearly decreased, and at the same time, the competition has become tougher. There are more contestants, so judges have plenty of targets of comparison. Seen from the sidelines, Rauno thinks that present-day obedience dogs are more skilful than Tielkka was in her day. However, nowadays people end their dogs’ obedience career very early. Rauno feels that dogs should be given time to mature. That gives owners, too, an opportunity to grow and develop alongside their dogs. A good obedience trainer has to be calm and patient. Owners must speak Doggish so fluently that their dogs understand what is expected of them. Handlers must also be prepared to challenge themselves and their skills and ability to read the dog, how it is dealing with pressure and demands. Rauno feels that the most important criterion for a champion-level dog is a healthy mind. That is why obedience championships are rarely dependent on the dog alone. In general, Finnish Lapphunds qualify for obedience trials, although no one is born a master. Rauno thinks that with proper handling, they have every possibility to make it to the top in obedience trials, and they are extremely well fit for the sport — apart from very timid individuals. 101

A True Dog Story: Lecibsin Kultakuono (Lecibsin Golden Nose), or ‘Ressi’ “Competing at this level requires the perfect dog!” Taina Miettinen At the turn of the millennium, Taina Miettinen was looking for a Finnish Lapphund puppy, hoping it would become talented in working trials as a tracking dog. She chose Lecibsin Kultakuono, or Ressi, and the puppy test showed that the little Golden Nose had everything that was expected of him. Ressi had enough hunting instinct, and he was greedy, curious, and energetic. Taina meant to use both food and toys in his training. The Name as an Omen The name Kultakuono was a carefully planned wish presented to the breeder. Taina hoped that ‘Golden Nose’ would live up to his name and become a tracking dog worth his weight in gold, with a nose that works like a dream. The name proved to be an omen, and Ressi became a phenomenal tracking dog. He even beat the traditional working dog breeds on forest tracks— easily. Ressi almost always got the best possible points on the open terrain sections. The nickname Ressi comes from Kultakuono’s tracking career. It was born from a saying that fits the training: “We won’t take any ‘ressi’ (Finnish colloquialism for stress).” Ressi never did cause any stress, because he was always eager to perform all kinds of tracking tasks. He knew his place and commanded the respect of other dogs. Ressi was a gutsy worker and easy and quick to train. He was extremely greedy and guarded his food fiercely: his owner used this characteristic in training. Other dogs had no business going near his food or bones, but toward people he was pure kindness. Being easy to train and fairly tough, Ressi scored +153 in his temperament test. The World’s First Lapphund to Become Working Trial Champion In 2001, Ressi and Taina participated in their first official tracking trial. The Novice and Open Classes were easy, but when the dog handler team climbed into the Advanced Class, it demanded much more time tracking in open terrain and on an object searching field. Often after work, Taina made a trail for Ressi to settle in the forest and practised obedience and searching on the object searching track while she was waiting for the trail to settle. All 102

three subareas must be performed in working dog tracking trials during the same day, sometimes with only short breaks. The obedience section formed a challenge for the dog handler team. Ressi was slightly smaller than average size, so the high hurdles demanded a lot of practice. High jumps were the toughest part of the trials for Ressi, although the small and feisty dog always gave his all, always performing the demanded jumps, thus earning working trial degrees. At last his hard work was rewarded, and Ressi became the first Lapphund to be Finnish Working Trial Champion on a human forest trail (a Finnish national type of working trial) in 2006. Ressi was the only Finnish Lapphund in the world to have achieved that title by 2012. According to Taina, Finnish Lapphunds are extremely intelligent and independent in their decisions both in open terrain and in obedience, so trainers must always keep thinking of new things to teach them. Exceeding Everyone’s Expectations Some of Taina’s most unforgettable moments were working trials where she was standing with Ressi in the same row with German and Belgian Shepherds. Many of the judges stared at the dog handler team quite incredulously, and some of them even checked Ressi’s breed and working dog permit. Once at a trial in Kokkola, just before the teams were sent out on the track in open terrain, a judge gave Ressi and Taina his own compass. He was worried that they might get lost. Taina took the compass with a little smile, but fully trusting in Ressi’s abilities. Ressi tracked the trail successfully and brought back all the objects before a single other team had brought back anything. The judge was quite astonished! Ressi’s most significant achievements were Finnish Working Trial Champion, BH Test, Tracking Trial Degree (JK3) Advanced Class, District Champion in Tracking Trial 2004, and Finnish Show Champion. Sire of Many Sport Dogs Ressi went to the more blissful tracking grounds when he was 12 years old. His great personality lives on in Taina’s memories, and she will never forget all the trips they made together, tracking along trails and paths around the forests of Finland. Ressi’s descendants have followed finely in their father’s pawsteps and, for example, Peikkovuoren Ikiliikkuja (Troll Mountain’s Perpetual Motion Machine) has achieved an FH1 Degree and competed in working dog sled teams. Tie´rmes Boris is a famous tracking dog. 103


Lappish Breeds as Working Dogs


he biggest change in using Lappish breeds as working dogs took place in the 1960s, when snowmobiles arrived in Lapland. The need for dogs plummeted, as did their numbers, and at the same time, important expertise in training reindeer herding dogs was lost. The old master breeders and trainers passed away, and the following generations lacked the skills to train Lappish dogs to be excellent reindeer herders. The need for dogs varies a lot in the different areas of Lapland, and their tasks vary according to the number of reindeer, the environment, and the reindeer keeper’s working habits. Dogs are used for different tasks according to the area and reindeer herding cooperative. In some places,


dogs herd reindeer year-round, and elsewhere they merely bark at reindeer from a snowmobile. Some Lappish dogs have a natural need and ability to herd. That is why they are relatively easy to train to herd reindeer and other domestic animals. Lappish dogs are also used as field reindeer dogs with the task of driving stray reindeer away from the crops and gardens. Nowadays, the working area of Lappish dogs is not limited to Lapland: they can be seen working as far as Southern Finland. There is an entire generation of reindeer herdsmen who haven’t used dogs as herders. EnontekiÜ, close to the Norwegian border, has the most year-round working dogs. They guard

The quality and colour of the coat of Lappish dogs used for reindeer herding are extremely significant. The coat must be sufficiently thick, warm, and moisture-resistant. Snow cannot cake together on the coat or paw pads. A dog working with reindeer should be dark rather than lightcoloured. A dark dog is easier for reindeer to see against the white snow. Because darker dogs resemble, for example, the wolverine, they get the reindeer’s attention quite effectively. Lappish dogs herd by barking. They move back and forth at a suitable distance from the animals and try to circle around behind the herd. They can also run alongside the herd, if the owner wants to keep it in a certain direction or away from a certain area. One dog can perform many kinds of tasks. According to the need, it can keep the herd standing, change its direction, or drive it straight ahead. A skilled dog will keep a reindeer herd under control gently but firmly, commanding the border effectively, making sure that the such respect that there is no need for force. It will reindeer don’t cross over to the wrong side. In not get trampled, nor is it afraid of the animals it regions like EnontekiÜ, using and training dogs is herding. Whenever necessary, a dog can apply continued through the changes brought, among pressure on its charges and get them back in line quickly. Sometimes experienced reindeer test other factors, by the snowmobile. 105

the dog by defying its orders with its hoofs and horns. A good dog dodges the reindeer’s attack and returns order without losing its authority. A herding dog must also have the courage to defend the animals from predators. Already as puppies, Lappish dogs are accustomed to the animals they will be herding. They are taken along while others work with reindeer or other animals, so they learn to ‘read’

them and to operate in the desired way. Basic training at an early age helps dogs control their eagerness and tendency to chase the animals. Calves and young animals are especially sensitive. Basic training is begun already as little puppies, but the actual training with reindeer starts at around one year of age. The dog will become a professional herder at around 4 years old.

Different Lappish Dogs Are Suitable for Different Terrain The terrain of Lapland varies a lot, and it defines which kind of dog is best equipped for herding. The snow in forests is soft, so dogs must be able to pass through deep snow. Long legs, wide paws, and a short coat are assets. However, up on the fells, the snow will carry a dog, but the weather conditions are otherwise harsher, and the air is colder, so short, thick-haired legs and a thick coat offer the best protection there.


Herding Trials The Reindeer-herding Dog Club offers information on the original working characteristics of the dogs. It also organizes unofficial herding trials and competitions. After the first trial in 1995, they have been held annually around the reindeer herding area. Finnish Lapphunds, Lapponian Herders, and Swedish Lapphunds all participate in herding trials, which are so popular that they must actually compete to get in. There is room for much fewer dogs than would like to participate. Herding trials test the dog’s ability to herd reindeer. For the trial conditions to be as genuine as possible, the judges are all reindeer keepers, both men and women. Dogs that pass the reindeer herding trial can participate in herding competitions: they can be Lapponian Herders, Finnish Lapphunds, Swedish Lapphunds, and unregistered working dogs. In the trials and competitions, dogs must gather the herd together and keep them together by barking. Although the competitions take place in fenced areas, they are as close as possible to natural working situations.



The Lapponian Herder


he character and bodily structure of Lapponian Herders seem to be created for reindeer herding. By estimate, dozens of dogs are still working in their original duties in the reindeer herding area. Lapponian Herders are also used to herd and guard cattle and other domesticated animals. The Lapponian Herder’s work has changed a lot during the past 50 years. Earlier, reindeer were herded on foot year-round. Nowadays, reindeer roam freely most of the year, and they are only gathered for round-ups and calf marking. On the other hand, keeping reindeer in fenced areas has increased, and close to the Norwegian border, reindeer are still herded year-round. 108

Some Lapponian Herders have a natural born herding instinct, and they enjoy herding other animals as well as reindeer. They endure long work days in summer heat, winter cold, and deep, soft snow. The main principle in breeding the Lapponian Herder is to keep it a primitive and able herding dog. Lapponian Herders are trotting dogs that herd by barking. The demanding terrain and weather conditions of Lapland, along with the special characteristics of reindeer, have made them unique herding dogs. The best dogs retrieve reindeer even from long distances independently without separate commands. They run back and forth at a suitable distance from the herd, circle

back behind it, or run alongside it. They can also bring animals directly toward their owner or divide the herd into smaller units. Gathering, keeping together, and driving reindeer herds are all their common duties. Lapponian Herders are not hunting dogs, but herding dogs. That is why a strong game instinct is not a desirable characteristic: they are not allowed to demonstrate any hunting tendencies toward reindeer or any other animals around them. A reindeer dog that runs for hours after game is unfit for its job. It must keep herding without interruption, even when its owner is not present, watching, commanding, and guiding.

Lapponian Herders love to make contact both at work and during leisure time. They are extremely loyal and intelligent companions for their owners. It is typical for the temperament of working dogs that they concentrate their full attention and energy on their work, but at home, they relax. Sometimes Lapponian Herders are slightly reserved, but that is not a desirable characteristic for their present-day tasks. They must have good nerves and they cannot be aggressive or reserved toward people or other dogs.




here are only a few dozen Finnish Lapphunds and cross-bred Lappish dogs doing traditional work with reindeer in Lapland. The rest of them are working and family dogs, some of which have an inborn herding instinct. They are very social and they love to participate in family life. They guard their home and keep an alert eye on their family members.

Lapphunds used for herding reindeer or other animals must have a durable structure, good health, and a resilient and independent character, as well as the correct kind of coat. The long fur has to withstand many kinds of weather, even rain. Lapphunds aren’t as good in thick snow as Lapponian Herders, because the snow sticks somewhat to their fur, but they cope extremely well with cold. Their coat resists water, and they


The Finnish Lapphund

can often get completely dry by shaking. On the other hand, the thick coat can be a problem for bathing, because it tends not to get properly wet right down to the skin. The undercoat is often very thick. Barking is the Lapphund’s most important characteristic in reindeer herding, but it is not allowed to bark recklessly, and not at just anything. It must stop barking on command, and an individual that barks continuously is unfit to be a working dog. At work, the dog’s voice must last all day, and its bark must carry far. Sharp, loud, and hollow barking reminds the reindeer that their alert herder is present. The original use of the Finnish Lapphund was as a herding dog. That is why a powerful hunting instinct is not desirable. It must not have a tendency to chase reindeer or other animals. A working dog’s character is immensely important: obedience, cooperation skills, and perseverance are especially good characteristics. Obedience is most important, but Finnish Lapphunds should not be too temperate and submissive, even toward their charges. They must be balanced and able to work and make decisions independently. Reindeer herding dogs must follow and see the herd’s situation and know how to do whatever is necessary, even without separate commands from their owners. Quick reacting is good, and an excellent Finnish Lapphund keeps in close contact and communication with its owner when it is working or running free. 111


Lappish Dogs Abroad Finnish Lapphunds Around the World


he popularity of the Finnish Lapphund abroad has increased continuously after the first individuals were taken across our borders already in the 1970s. Nowadays, 200–300 litters are born outside of Finland each year. The breed is most popular in the Nordic countries, England, France, the USA, and Holland. In addition, there are small, steadily growing populations in other countries as well. The first Finnish Lapphunds were exported to France in the late 1980s. Today, there are around 700 dogs in France. The first Lappie was taken to Holland in 1985, and the first litter was born there almost a decade later, in 1994. At the end of 2009, the number of Finnish Lapphunds in Holland was around 350. They were also taken to Australia in the mid 1990s, and the first litter was born in 2001. The population in Australia is closing on 300. The first Finnish Lapphund was exported to England in 1989, and nowadays there are around 500 on the British Isles. During the years 1999– 2009, almost 400 dogs were registered in England, and since 2011, they have been awarded CC’s and, at their best, they have achieved the title of British Champion. Two active Finnish Lapphund clubs operate in England. Toni Jackson has written and published a book in England called Finnish Lapphund: Special Rare-Breed Edition: A Comprehensive Owner’s Guide (2003). 112

Registrations Abroad Sweden 1998–2008 3297 2009 550 Denmark 1998–2008 757 2009 110 Norway 1998–2008 399 2009 147

The Finnish Lapphund in Different Languages Cão finlandês da Lapônia (Portuguese) Chien finnois de Laponie (French) Finnische Lapphund (German) Finn lapphund (Hungarian) Finse lappenhond (Dutch) Fiński lapphund (Polish) Finsk lapphund (Swedish, Norwegian, Danish) Perro finlandés de Laponia (Spanish) Suomenlapinkoira (Finnish)


Dog Terminology in Different Languages dog


peni (Finnish, Estonian) = beana (Sámi) = bikkje (Norwegian)

big dog = hurtta (Finnish) = hor´ti (Sámi) = hound (English) = hurt (Estonian) = hundur (Icelandic) = hund (Swedish, Norwegian, Danish) = Hund (German) black dog


dog friend =

musti (Finnish) = muste (Sámi) = muttši (Karelian) sesse/tessu (Finnish) = sav´ge (Sámi) = chap (English) = jycke (Swedish)

puppy = vielppis (Sámi) = valp (Swedish, Norwegian) = Welpe (German) = hvalp (Danish) female/bitch =

ciihku/ciiku (Sámi) = tik (Swedish) = tispe (Norwegian) = Dirne (German) = tæve (Danish)

male/dog = hanne (Swedish) = han (Danish) = hann (Norwegian) = vârres-peäna (Sámi) to herd



šuošša (Sámi) = samla (Swedish)


Lapponian Herders Around the World


utside Finland’s borders, people are interested in the Lapponian Herder’s excellent health, versatility, and working skills. The largest population of around 500 is in Sweden, where they already have systematic breeding. After Sweden, there are around 50 dogs in Norway, Denmark, and Holland. Almost all Lapponian Herders around the world are descended from Finnish dogs.

Lapponian Herder in Different Languages Berger finnois de Laponie or Chien De Renne De Laponie (French) Cane da renna della Lapponia (Italian) Finnish Reindeer Herder or Reindeer Dog or Lapponian Herder (English) Finsk hyrdehund (Danish) Lapinporokoira (Finnish) Lappen-herdershond (Dutch) Lappländische Rentierhund or Finnischer Lapplandhirtenhund (German) Lapoński pies pilnujący reniferów (Polish) Lapsk vallhund (Swedish, Norwegian) Pastor-finlandês-da-lapônia (Portuguese) Pastor lapón (Spanish) Renhunden or renvallare or samisk vallhund (Swedish) 115



he Finnish Lapphund and the Lapponian Herder are part of Finland’s cultural history, so it is no wonder that these courageous and good-natured dogs have won the hearts of both active dog enthusiasts and ordinary dog owners. The population of both Lappish breeds are stable, and they are also gaining a good reputation abroad. Their future looks bright. An energetic group of enthusiasts, dog owners, and organizations are working for the good of the breeds. More and more often, these dogs find their way into ordinary, active families. Because of the Lappish breeds’ versatility and their balanced and cheerful nature, very different kinds of people are finding their best friends from among them. For someone who has once had a Lappish dog, their next one is very likely to be one also.

4 The Future Looks Bright for Lappish dogs


The Future Looks Bright for Lappish Dogs

Every owner of a Lappish dog can do their part in making sure that good health, character, and tenacity remain characteristics of these dogs that glow with the magic of Lapland. It is most important to choose a dog that is suitable for your family and lifestyle, so you are sure to be able to offer it the kind of social life it needs. Responsible buying and breeding puppies is essential to fostering and respecting the Lappish breeds.



Colours of Lappish Dogs Bear brown Black and tan Blue and other diluted colours (disqualifying fault for Lapponian Herders and fault for Finnish Lapphunds in dog shows starting 2013) Brindle (striped) (Not permissible for Lapponian Herders) Brown and tan Brown wolf sable Cream Dark mask Domino Mantle or saddle Piebald or particolour, white markings Sable (Not permissible for Lapponian Herders) Seal Solid black Solid brown Spectacles Summer black or fading black Wolf sable Yellow (Not permissible for Lapponian Herders)


Musta merkkiv채rinen

Parkki merkkiv채rinen










Even a Small Population Can Be Renewed


here are around 10,000 Finnish Lapphunds and 1500 Lapponian Herders in Finland at present, and both are long-living breeds. Since the late 1990s, the number of registered Lappish dogs has increased steadily. Their average age is around 10 years, but many dogs live up to around 15 years of age. The health situation of both breeds is good, and few hereditary diseases have been noted. Breeding native dogs can be challenging because new genes cannot be added from abroad. However, the situation for Lappish dogs has improved year after year. The number of Finnish Lapphunds used for breeding has


increased, and by the end of 2008, the inbreeding rate has fallen to close to half of the rate in 1997. The inbreeding rate of the Lapponian Herder has also stayed at the same level during 2004– 2008, which is very positive for such a small dog population. The excellent numbers are due to active, cautious, and closely monitored breeding. Lappish dog breeders avoid over-breeding and ‘matador breeding’ of males. The recommended maximum number of puppies for a male Finnish Lapphund is 80 during its lifetime. For Lapponian Herders, the number is around 30, which means about four litters.

What is Matador Breeding? Matador breeding means excessive use of one male for breeding. The term was derived from perhaps the most famous Finnish horse, a dressage horse named Matador II, which has 266 descendants around the world, 90 of which are here in Finland. 123


The Healthiest Dogs in the World


asy and natural reproduction is a sign of the good health of Lappish dogs. The mating, conception, and whelping of both Lappish breeds can almost always be taken care of by natural means. Bitches have no problems reproducing, and mating goes smoothly, leaving no need to resort to artificial insemination. A health survey was delivered to Finnish Lapphund owners in the Lapphund Magazine in 2003. A total of 450 answers were given. They


reflected the owners’ satisfaction in their dogs’ character, which was described as responsive and friendly. If anything negative was to be found, some females were timid and some males were aggressive toward other males. But in general, Lapphunds were friendly toward people and other animals. A similar survey was taken from Lapponian Herder owners in 2004. 75% of the respondents said that their dogs had excellent health. Only 2

of 400 respondents claimed that their dog was in poor health. If they had ailments, they had to do with skin problems and females’ irregular seasons. Lapponian Herders were accessible, functionally capable, and fearless. Only a few hereditary illnesses are ascribed to the Lapponian Herder and the Finnish Lapphund in the PEVISA Program. The eyes and hips of all

Finnish Lapphunds are examined before mating, and the eye certificates are not allowed to be older than two years. The PEVISA Program for Lapponian Herders is more permissive, and an eye test is not required until registering their third litter. In practice, all Lapponian Herders used for breeding have had their eyes checked.



The Lapponian Herder as a Breed

The Proper Coat and Structure


good Lapponian Herder must be submissive and hardy, and it must have a short, bristly coat. Its trot is effortless and ground-covering. Lapponian Herders are often quite boisterous, and sometimes owners have to limit the amount of exercise a young dog gets. A less than two-year-old Lapponian Herder should not be running dozens of kilometres a day, but an adult can easily endure long working days, even in difficult terrain and thick snow. Nowadays, most registered and unregistered Lapponian Herders have a robust structure and are suitable for reindeer herding. Although their movement must be light, they must also be strong enough to cope with the conditions in Lapland. They must have good muscle conditioning, strong bones, and firm joints. Lapponian Herders must have a dense undercoat and a weather-proof, coarse outer

Kuvan porokoiran 1. ja 2. hännänkantotapa on sallittu, kun taas selän päälle kiertyvä kippurahäntä (3.) on virhe.


coat. If the fur is too thin and soft, it gathers snow when moving through deep drifts. However, fur length varies a little, and some Lapponian Herders can have either medium length or long outer coats. The tail is low set and in repose it hangs. When they are moving, they may raise their tails in level with their back, and a so-called J- or shepherd’s hook is acceptable, but curled tails are not desirable. Their ears are erect. The traditional Menesjärvi colouring is still common: black and tan. Solid black, brown, and wolf sable are also popular. Yellow (wheaten), sable, blue, and brindle are not acceptable colours, and sometimes poor fur and skin problems come along with the blue fur colour. White markings are allowed on the head, chest, neck, and legs.



Balanced Temperament


arking readily while working is an important breed characteristic of the Lapponian Herder. However, if one barks excessively and nervously, the owner should pay close attention and address the issue already as a puppy. A good reindeer dog generally barks only for good reason and on command. It is not restless or anxious, and it does not bark at everything, but rather, barking is part of its efficient work. Barking must be controlled. The Lapponian Herder’s temperament should be submissive and obedient. A trained herder obeys commands and alertly observes its owner’s gesture language and mood. Although Lapponian Herders are sometimes reserved toward strangers, they must assent without a murmur to being touched by a veterinarian or show judges. Toward other dogs, Lapponian Herders should be indifferent and friendly, and by no means aggressive.


Intelligent Expression


he Lapponian Herder’s head must be elongated. Its facial expressions speak of its intelligent and balanced temperament and its gender. Females’ expressions are often described as more submissive than those of males. The Lapponian Herder’s eyes are dark or light brown and oval-shaped, but blue eyes are a fault. Its ears are pricked, and even their inside should be covered with profuse hair. This is important for the dog’s working ability and health in cold and windy conditions. The colour of the dog’s nose must be in harmony with its coat colour: for dark dogs, black, and for brown dogs, brown.



The Finnish Lapphund as a Breed Correct Conformation and Proportions


he breed standard of the Finnish Lapphund has deliberately been kept broad. That is why the breed has remained diversified with many different colours, which appeals to many kinds of dog owners. No two Finnish Lapphunds look exactly the same. The Finnish Lapphund is more than a mere long-haired spitz. Of course it does have a thick coat, good carriage, and a healthy structure, but it also demonstrates lightness and joy of life, which distinguish it from other arctic spitzes. A breed-typical conformation and a correct facial

expression make a real Finnish Lapphund. Secondary sex characteristics are also distinct: females look clearly like ‘girl-dogs’, and males are definite ‘boy-dogs’. In proportion, Finnish Lapphunds are slightly longer than their height, and they have a low posture compared with other spitz breeds. The features of the Lapphund are charmingly soft, and the rich coat and gently hanging tail of the females in particular give them a long and low impression.

The Famous Gentle Gaze


he head is an essential part of the Finnish Lapphund’s appearance. It has strong features, but a soft expression. The teddy-bearlike, friendly, and always smiling expression comes from a wide skull and pronounced stop. The muzzle should also be strong and wellcushioned, making possible a wide grin. The lips are firm, and a vertical furrow is clearly visible in the forehead.


The ears of Finnish Lapphunds are small and rather far apart. It is important that there is profuse hair inside them as well. In addition to pricked ears, tipped ears are also permissible. The eyes are oval and dark brown, but still in harmony with the coat colour. Nose colour follows coat colour: light-coloured dogs have a brown nose and dark dogs have a black nose.




Harmonious Structure


he Finnish Lapphund’s body is sturdy but not heavy. The happily round-shaped body looks thick, but only because of the hefty coat, not extra fat or excess muscles. A too light, leggy, or fluffy dog is not the best possible Finnish Lapphund. They should appear strong but not overly muscular. The right kind of hind quarters make sure the dog can move airily and quickly. Their limbs are strong and straight, with strong bones. Their angulation cannot be exaggerated or too straight: they have to stand stoutly on their forepaws. Their front movement is not perfectly straight, but rather ‘wolverinelike’. When they move, they turn their front feet slightly inward and tend to single-track, which is sensible in snow.

Edestä katsoen lapinkoiran liikkeet ovat ahmamaiset. Takajalat kulkevat usein yhtä jälkeä pitkin etujalkojen kanssa.

A Warm and Thick Coat


he Finnish Lapphund’s undercoat is very thick, and the outer coat is coarse. The fur should resist snow and water and protect the dog from getting wet. Too long fur is not practical for a dog that moves a lot, and that is why the outer coat must be reasonable. It is also important that the dog’s limbs and paws have enough hair to protect the pads. Almost all colours are allowed for Finnish Lapphunds, but one colour must be dominant. The most common colours are black and brown—

with or without markings—wolf grey, sable, and wheaten. Most have white markings, but particoloured, white, brindle, or saddle pattern are not recommended. As it moves, the Finnish Lapphund’s tail curls onto its back or upper thighs, but in repose it often hangs loose. If the tail is too tightly coiled, it cannot express the dog’s quickly changing moods as vividly as it should. A movable tail also balances the dog’s movement. A J-, or shepherd’s hook, is permissible. 133

The Finnish Lapphund Has Become a Popular Breed Finnish Lapphunds belong to the Finnish street scene, and more and more people know the breed by name. In 2011, the Finnish Lapphund was the 6th most popular dog breed in Finland with 1325 new entries to the registry. Ten years ago, only 750 puppies were registered. Spitz breeds are popular in Finland, and in the group of spitzes and primitive types (FCI 5), the Finnish Lapphund is among the top breeds. Increased Number of Dogs: Challenges and Opportunities The abundant number of registered Lapphunds provides material for breeding, but large supply and demand also imply problems. The increasing number of dogs is a broad foundation for breeding, as long as breeding choices are made sensibly and the gene pool isn’t reduced short-sightedly. “Although the Finnish Lapphund is common in Finland, the breed isn’t widely known world-wide,” says chairman of the Lapphund Club of Finland, Petri Hallberg. “The size of the effective population, or the number of breeding individuals, should be kept large enough to maintain the genetic diversity of the breed.” According to Hallberg, the popularity of a breed becomes a problem when pups are bred carelessly to meet the demand. Greed can lead to puppy milling and animal protection problems. “Luckily, the Finnish Lapphund isn’t the most attractive alternative for puppy mills,” Hallberg says. “The prices of many other breeds are higher, offering mills better income. Puppy mills often produce small-sized cross breeds with large demand and a high price.” Anna-Maija Kuisma, chairwoman of the club’s breeding committee, feels that the large number of registrations carries the risk that the Finnish Lapphund’s working characteristics might be lost, taking the breed in the wrong direction. “There are more and more breeders and owners with insufficient knowledge of the breed,” Kuisma says. “If litters are bred for mere money, people might end up choosing parents with questionable health and temperament.” According to Petri Hallberg, money isn’t the only reason for irresponsible puppy milling. Sometimes it is pure ignorance or indifference. “Breeding pedigree dogs requires plenty of knowledge about the breed and the registration regulations,” Hallberg says. “Today’s dog owners are a lot more aware than they were 20 years ago, but nevertheless there are many owners with insufficient know-how. Pups can be bred in poor conditions, and they still sell, with or without appropriate paperwork. Puppy milling will take place as long as there are buyers.” According to Petri Hallberg, problems can also arise when the supply of puppies exceeds the demand. “In such times, people are tempted to market their puppies untruthfully, or to compromise the criteria for a good home.” Anna-Maija Kuisma worries that not all dog owners can manage their dogs: “The lack of skill in handling dogs is increasing all the time among new dog owners, and not enough attention is being given to basic obedience.”


Why is the Finnish Lapphund so Popular? Petri Hallberg feels that the breed’s popularity is due to its good health, its versatility, and its charming appearance. The Finnish Lapphund’s expressive and soft-toy-like appearance is one of the important reasons for its popularity. Many people thinking of buying a dog are completely sold when they see Lapphund puppies. “In spite of their appearance, Lapphunds are not teddy bears,” Hallberg says. “The breed has a working dog background, which defines its temperament. Although the Finnish Lapphund isn’t among the hardest dogs to train, consistent training is still necessary. Anyone might happen to buy an individual with a strong temperament who easily dominates an inexperienced owner.” Anna-Maija Kuisma believes the Finnish Lapphund’s popularity is mainly due to its friendly and loyal temperament, beautiful appearance, weather-proof coat, suitable size, and native origin. Finnish Lapphunds adapt easily to life in the countryside, the city, and families with children. “For a pedigree dog, the Finnish Lapphund is also relatively affordable,” Kuisma adds. Finnish Lapphunds are ideal companions for many hobbies, and they usually don’t require as much activation as more high-spirited breeds. Hallberg emphasizes the significance of realistic information. People seeking a dog to buy should be given as true and realistic a picture as possible about the characteristics of the breed and the individual. How Does the Future Look? Anna-Maija Kuisma does not think that every Finnish Lapphund should have puppies. It is unnecessary for the size of the whole Lapphund population. “Of course, it would be better if every dog had one litter than if one dog has twenty,” Kuisma says. “It might not be sensible to use every dog from a litter in breeding, because that merely generates a large group of related dogs. To some extent, the club can exercise control with breeding and puppy supplying criteria, counselling, and recommendations. People should consult the breeding committee about stud dogs to evaluate their illness risks. We can provide information about the PEVISA and offspring number restrictions.” The club does not offer breeders consulting for choosing buyers. Anna-Maija Kuisma is worried about the rising trend of overvaluing outward appearance, causing breeders to merely try to create successful show dogs. “Eye diseases have increased, and hips and elbows are deteriorating.” Kuisma also sees emerging leadership problems, and the cause is most often at the upper end of the leash. This may cause increased problems of unsocial behaviour among dogs. Taru Haikonen (This is an abridged version of the article published in the Lapinkoira (Lapphund) Magazine 2/2012.)


Dog Show Critique of Finnish Lapphunds A bit hair-deprived

Moves with its hind legs under the body

A bit too big angulation

Nice angulation

Big ears create a beanie-like impression

Nice stop

Bitch with 7 upper incisors

Open tail

Bright eyes

Performs like an old pro

Could stand more sturdily

Rather forward-leaning ears

Dynamic movement, also by the dog

Round pelvis

Feminine entity

Slightly high ears

Fine body profile, onto which the tail sits perfectly

Slightly high-handed behaviour

Good enough limbs

Strongish forehead bulge

Hanging outer coat

Thin limb bones

Intermediate type

Topsy-turvy teeth

Lifts its front legs in movement

Unexaggerated head

Lightly fat bitch

Way too massive head

Limbs well placed

Wearing only half a coat today

Limp movement

Wears a naked coat


Strong eyes


Thanks I wish to express my heartfelt thanks to the energetic people of the Lapphund Club of Finland, the organization behind the present situation and bright future of these charming breeds. This book would never have seen daylight without these active people, each of whom I wish to thank individually and collectively as well. My special thanks goes to the book committee of the Lapphund Club of Finland, which has done an incredible job gathering information and pictures, and interviewing dog owners. The true stories immortalize the early ancestors of the breeds, and recording the history of our native dog breeds is definitely a cultural achievement. I offer my thanks to the coordinator and spokesperson of the book project, Tiina Riuttanen, as well as Petri Hallberg, Markku Jokinen, Eija Kimmo, and Riitta Takalo for their unselfish help, for checking the texts, and for trusting me as the author. I thank everyone who has sent their wonderful photographs for this book. Their information can be found in the photo source list. I give my special thanks to Arto Pesu, who arranged old photos taken by Esko Salkonen, Juho Perttola, and Erkki Mikkola to be used in this book. Worthy of many thanks are also the artists behind the drawings, Sanna Parviainen and Eija Lehtimäki. Kaarina Riuttanen, Eija Lehtimäki, and Jonna Löytynoja have been a great help in the preliminary review. The English version of the book has been reviewed by Petra Palukka. I was offered information about dog sports activities by Hertta Mikkonen and Mari Höök. Thanks to Minna Mäntyranta-Mustonen and Ahti Mustonen for checking the texts about using dogs in herding. The true dog stories were told by Eija Lehtimäki, Annikki Leskinen, Taina Miettinen, Rauno Nisula, Marja-Liisa ‘Maisa’ Ritala, Leena Saikkonen, and Riitta Takalo. Sadly, we would have wanted more stories about Lapponian Herders, but the owners of the old, renowned foundation dogs have already passed away. In addition to the club, I wish to thank my publisher, Kirjakaari, and in particular, Paula Tuisku and Kati Lähdemäki with their incredible woman-power. Personally I want to thank my mother, who helped me get started with my first dog and still welcomes us, loose hair, muddy paws, and all. Thank you to my dog-crazy sisters, to whom I don’t have to explain my daffiness concerning our four-legged friends, and my spouse, who has fully accepted Kira, my dog, which came with the package, as a family member. Sanna Karppinen 138

Acknowledgements Aarnio, Antti (ed.) 2008. Suomen Pystykorvajärjestö 70 vuotta (The Finnish Spitz Club 70 Years). The Finnish Spitz Club.

Itkonen, T. I. 1948. Suomen lappalaiset (Finland’s Lapps). WSOY.

Lapinporokoiran jalostuksen tavoiteohjelma (JTO) (The Target Programme for Breeding the Lapponian Herder).

“Lappalaiskoirat ry:n 40-vuotishistoriikki” (The 40-Year History of the Lapphund Club of Finland) in the Lapinkoira (Lapphund) Magazine 2/2010.

Raitila, Manne. Article “25-vuotishistoriikki” (25-Year History) in the Lapinkoira (Lapphund) Magazine 3/1995.

Riuttanen, Tiina. Article “30-vuotishistoriikki” (30-Year History) in the Lapinkoira (Lapphund) Magazine 2/2000. Southern Finnish Lapphund Society Yearbook 2009. Southern Finnish Lapphund Society Yearbook 2010.

Suomen Pystykorvajärjestö 20 vuotta (The Finnish Spitz Club 20 Years). The Finnish Spitz Club 1958. Suomen Pystykorvajärjestö 30 vuotta (The Finnish Spitz Club 30 Years). The Finnish Spitz Club 1968. Suomen Pystykorvajärjestö 50 vuotta (The Finnish Spitz Club 50 Years). The Finnish Spitz Club 1987.

Suomenlapinkoiran jalostuksen tavoiteohjelma (JTO) (The Target Programme for Breeding the Finnish Lapphund).

Talvitie, Marja 1983. Article “Arvosteltavana porokoira” (Assessing the Reindeer Dog) in the Pystykorva (Finnish Spitz) Magazine 4/1983.

Tuominen, Lasse 1993. Poromiehen koira (The Reindeerman’s Dog). The Finnish Spitz Club. Important Links

The Lapphund Club of Finland > The Finnish Kennel Club >

Fédération Cynologique Internationale (The World Canine Organisation) >

Porokoirakerho ry (The Reindeer Dog Club, site only in Finnish) > The Finnish Spitz Club >

The KoiraNet breeding data system (at date of printing, not yet in English) > The Finnish Lapphund Club of America > The Finnish Lapphund Club of Canada >

The Finnish Lapphund Club of Great Britain > The Finnish Lapphund Club of Victoria (Australia) >

Svenska Lapphundklubben (The Swedish Lapphund Club – site only in Swedish) >

Norsk Lapphundklubb (The Lapphund Club of Norway – site only in Norwegian) > Films

Mård, Veikko 1969. “Porokoira” (Reindeer Dog). Texts: Reijo Perälä. People interviewed: Aslak Juuso, Matti Jomppanen, and Pehr-Thomas Bål. YLE.


Photographs (page number, dog’s name, photographer)

SP = Sanna Parviainen JL = Jonna Löytynoja PH = Petri Hallberg HM = Hanna Mäkinen PM = Paula Martiskainen PÖ = Petra Österberg KH = Kaisa Hurme ES = Esko Salkonen TH = Taru Haikonen EK = Eija Kimmo PP = Petra Palukka SK = Susanna Kinnunen MK = Mitra Korpela ST = Saila Tapio TU = Terhi Uski EiniK = Eini Kipinoinen PK = Päivi Kokko KAH = Karoliina Heikkinen ALV = Anna-Leena Väätänen

MY = Miia Yliaho AV = Anna Virkama KK = Kaisa Kuisma JT = Jonna Takkinen EM = Emilia Laakkonen EP = Emilia Puurunen MS = Minna Suihkonen ERM = Erkki Mikkola TR = Tiina Riuttanen EL = Eija Lehtimäki HR = Hans Rossow MR = Maisa Ritala AS = Anne Sundsröm AR = Anu Räty HR = Hanna Rikkonen AL = Annikki Leskinen LS =Leena Saikkonen EiL = Eila Lehtimäki

Pawprint drawing, SP p. 1 Kielapihkan Aina Vaan, JL p. 4 and 80 logo, Lapphund Club of Finland p. 5 Mikälie Stormista, Dievaslas Boragas, Sagaberran Kurjentanssi, Rahkkasan Casimir, JL p. 6 Peikkovuoren Äkäslompolo, HM p. 6-7 (background image) Dagolas Qultsi and Miskajasmin Kuunsäde, SP p. 7 Dagolas Qultsi and Miskajasmin Kuunsäde, SP p. 8 Kielapihkan Vaskivitja, JL p. 8-9 (background image) Kielapihkan Vaskivitja, JL p. 10 Dagolas Naavaparta, PM p. 11 Dagolas Qultsi, SP p. 12 Fihtolas Jiehtanas, PÖ p. 13 Fihtolas Bling Bling and Åfelia, PÖ p. 14 Famolas Cassiina, PH p. 14 Finnish Lapphund, Judges’ Guide to the Finnish Lapphund Breed Standard, p. 14, Lapphund Club of Finland, EL p. 15 Kotikulman Onnenoikku, PH p. 16 Venla, KH p. 17 Tuhkavuorten Aamuhalla, PH p. 18 (above) Tuhkavuorten Virvatuli and Tuhkavuorten Lumihuntu, JL


p. 18 (below) Tuhkavuorten G-Niinkun-Gamgi and Tuhkavuorten Lumihuntu, JL p. 19 Hurtanminttu, JL p. 20 Tuhkavuorten Virvatuli, Kielapihkan Vaskivitja, Mikälie Stormista, Tuhkavuorten Lumihuntu, jämtlanninpystykorva Pasabnes Björk and Hurtanminttu, JL p. 21 Kielapihkan Vaskivitja, Kielapihkan Malviina, and Tuhkavuorten Lumihuntu, JL p. 22 Mikälie Gimma, JL p. 23 Korpikartanon Abba, PH p. 24 Kielapihkan Malviina, JL p. 25 Halli, or “Parkki”, ES p. 27 Peski Luuhki, MR family album p. 30 Fihtolas Bling Bling, PÖ p. 31 Kielapihkan Aina Valpas, JL p. 33 Miskajasmin Kuunsäde, SP p. 34 and 35 Knud Leem book, Beskrivelse over Finnmarks lapper (1767) p. 36 Tuhkavuorten Lumihuntu, JL p. 37 Mikälie Ilmiliekki, JL p. 39 Taikarummun Boheeminoita, PM p. 40 Kuunkajon Aallonvälke, JL p. 40-41 (background image) Kuunkajon Aallonvälke, JL p. 41 Jegolas Antte, Vehkaliinan Sudenmarja, Staalon Hillitön, TH p. 42 Johan Tirén Samepojke leker med sin hun, Wikipedia p. 43 Teelikamentten Illusia, EK p. 44 Cantavia Neidonkenkä, PP p. 45 Johan Tirén Same med hund, Wikipedia p. 46 Taimi, KH p. 46-47 (background image) Fihtolas Zappa, PH p. 47 Fihtolas Zappa, PH p. 48-49 Tuhkavuorten Aamuhalla, JL p. 50 Reindeerman Niiles Valle’s village folks, ERM, National Board of Antiquities p. 52 Poropeukalon Nietosneito, SK p. 53 In Sodankylä at breeder Matti Kuivila’s new kennel in 1971, ES p. 54 Taikarummun Boheemimadda and Hallanevan Lapinkirvinen, MK p. 55 Turnukan Oona, EK p. 57 Nuvvus Mattas, AL family album p. 59 Kiddanaste, AL family album p. 60 Janmanin Barbarella and Lukumon Ceres, HM p. 61 Teelikamentten Natte, ST p. 62 Cimulin Teelikamentten and Staalon Hurlumhei, ST p. 63 Lukumon Carvajal, PH p. 64 (upper left) Kiedalas Currok, TR p. 64 (upper right) Kiedalas Cerrih, TU p. 64 (bottom left) Löytö, HR p. 64 (bottom centre) Lecibsin Hurraa, Unknown p. 64 (bottom right) Naavapirtin Nuuska, TU


p. 65 (upper left) Poromiehen Tsahpi, TR p. 65 (upper centre) Lecibsin Torsti, Unknown p. 65 (upper right) Noppe, MR p. 65 (middle left) Tikki, EL p. 65 (middle centre) Tarukallion Noppe, TU p. 65 (middle right) Äijänsuon Kätkärätkä, Unknown p. 65 (second lowest) Lecibsin Hissukka, TU p. 65 (bottom) Bernoban Helleena, PP p. 67 Poromiehen Thappe, LS family album p. 68 Kalikkakaula, MR p. 70 Kielapihkan Elviira, JL p. 71 Tuhkavuorten Lumihuntu, JL p. 72 Cahpe, ES p. 73 (top) Virkku, JH p. 73 (bottom) Unknown, ES p. 74 Tuhkavuorten Lumihuntu, JL p. 75 (background image) Aikamerkin Tilli, EK p. 76 Lapinporokoira Nalle, AR p. 76-77 (background image) Lapinporokoira Nalle, AR p. 77 Juoksa Desibeli, TR p. 77 Kivimannun Kivikkoketopeto, AS p. 77 Velho, TR p. 77 Turre, MR p. 78 Tuhkavuorten Kalliokielo, JL p. 80 (background image) Kuunkajon Korvenhenki, JL p. 80 Lapphund ABC-Book (Lapinkoira-aapinen) 1, no. 5/94 p. 80 Lapphund ABC-Book 2, 2011 p. 80 Lapphund ABC-Book 3, 2002 p. 81 Paukapää Jaava, SP p. 82 Haltinmaan Sade, PH p. 82 Lapphund Club of Finland, EL p. 83 (background image) Paukapää Jaava, SP p. 84 Lapponian Herder statue, TR p. 85 Finnish Lapphund statue, EiniK p. 87 Vihervaaran Taimi, EiL family album p. 89 Peski Nasti, MR family album p. 90 Pihlajamäen Auer-Waara, EK p. 91 Sagaberran Kurjentanssi, SP p. 92 Miskajasmin Olkihattu, SP p. 96 Tuulenkuun G-niinkuin-Gamgi, SP p. 96-97 (background image) Tuulenkuun G-niinkuin-Gamgi, SP p. 97 Kotikulman Onnenoikku, PH p. 98 Mikälie Fiini, JL p. 99 Viksalan Testameanta, SP p. 101 Kettuharjun Elle, AR


p. 103 Lecibsin Kultakuono, HR p. 104 Liehkun Cahku, PK p. 105 Lecibsin Terni, KAH p. 106 Taivaannastan Diidakoansta, ALV p. 107 Cantavia Neidonkenkä, PP p. 108 Kielapihkan Vaskivitja, Hurtanminttu, and Tuhkavuorten Lumihuntu, JL p. 109 Taikarummun Boheemimadda, MK p. 110 Lumiturpa Luca, MY p. 111 Anana’s Galiameloni, SP p. 113 Eidalun Onnenkantama, AV p. 114 Tuhkavuorten Virvatuli, JL p. 115 Jalakapojan Malla, KK p. 116 Lukumon Ceres, TR p. 117 Famolas Fair Lady Hilla, PH p. 118-119 (background image) Iki-Wanhan Sinä-Minun-Onni and Minä-Sinun-Ilo, JT p. 118 (top) Orso-Farm Äkäspenni, PÖ p. 118 (middle) Hiittanan Vilttitossu, EK p. 118 (bottom) Orso-Farm Hiidenhelmi and Teelikamentten Natte, ST p. 119 (upper left) Turnukan Veli Ponteva, EK p. 119 (middle) Fihtolas Justiina, EK p. 119 (bottom) Seitakeron Fani, EK p. 120-121 (background image) Fihtolas Charlotta, PÖ p. 120 (top) Fihtolas Charlotta, PÖ p. 120 (middle) Tuhkavuorten Tulimyrsky, EK p. 120 (bottom) Orso-Farm Tättähäärä, ST p. 121 (top) Unknown, EK p. 121 (bottom) Orso-Farm Ärvästurkki, ST p. 122 Kielapihka’s Lapponian Herder puppies, JL p. 123 Teelikamentten Naska and a puppy, ST p. 124 Miskajasmin Kuunsäde, SP p. 125 Kielapihkan Manasse and Kielapihkan Malviina, JL p. 126 Lapponian Herders’ proper tail carrying, Judges’ Guide to the Lapponian Herder Breed Standard, p. 11, Lapphund Club of Finland, EL p. 127 Mikälie Gimma and Tuulenkuun Cuunsirppi, JL p. 128 Venla, the puppies Tuhkavuorten Hiekkamyrsky (on the left) and Tuhkavuorten Hankilaulu, KH p. 129 Hukkaperä Hepsankeikka, KH p. 131 Tilkkuturkin Athos, EK p. 132 Ciasman Quperkeikka, EM p. 133 Limb movement of the Finnish Lapphund, Judges’ Guide to the Finnish Lapphund Breed Standard, p. 12, Lapphund Club of Finland, EL p. 134-135 (background image) Anana’s Hooligan, EP p. 137 Jehnajan Jetsulleen, MS


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