Finnish Lapphund Breed Magazine - Showsight


Noses – Nose leather color, like eye color, should be as dark as possible but is affected by the coat color. A Butterfly or Snow nose has a paler stripe down the center of the nose leather, with less pigment. Butterfly noses are common and tolerated, but are not preferred. Cream dogs often have pale or flesh-colored noses. Other Patterns and Markings – Irish Spotting White mark- ings can occur on any color; usually on the chest, belly, legs, feet, and tail. White can extend up to the face, back of neck, or even a full collar. Full body white with patches of color is not desirable for the show ring and is uncommon. White shouldn’t be more than 25 percent of the coat. FAULTY COLORS Saddle – A tan dog with a large patch of black on its back, similar to the color often seen in German Shepherd Dogs. In this case, the secondary color, black, is present in an unacceptable area on the back. Piebald – A white dog with patches of a secondary color. Again, the secondary color is on the body, which is undesirable. Brindle – “Stripes” of tan alternating with black. Because of the long coat, this color often looks rather mottled. Individual hair shafts are one color or the other, so this is not considered to be a solid color. Merle – This color does not exist in the breed. PRESERVING THE PAST One of the ways today’s judges, breeders, and exhibitors can honor the traditions of the past is to recognize and preserve the rainbow of colors of the Finnish Lapphunds. As the Sami people value the unique individuality of the color, appearance, and behav- ior of these dogs, so should the dog world.

Sable Brown – The color intensity varies, but the brown tips and pigment give away the brown base color. These can be much harder to identify, but one parent must be a Sable in order to pro- duce any Sable. Dilute Blue – The recessive dilute gene on a Black dog produc- es Blue. While fairly obvious in a puppy, as adults it’s often difficult to distinguish between Black and Blue. This color is uncommon. Dilute Lilac – The recessive dilute gene on a Brown dog pro- duces Lilac. Due to the recessive nature of both Brown and Dilute, this color is also uncommon. Domino Black – Similar to Cream, Domino Black actually alters the appearance of the other colors by applying a base color (black, brown, dilute) pattern overlay. Distinctly different when they are born, this color can be difficult to distinguish from a Black and Tan at maturity, depending on how dark it is. The coat is predominately white, with black (or brown or blonde) tips on the longer body coat. The tips may be very long, more than two-thirds of the hair shaft, making the dog look like it has a black body coat until you part the hair to view the white “roots.” All Domino dogs have white on their face, legs, and tail. Domino Brown – In Domino Brown, you’re looking for the color of the tips; not to be confused with the cream/caramel tan point markings. PATTERNS AND MARKINGS Tan Point – The traditional signature look of the Lappies includes a tan point mask (similar to a wolf mask). Some are full and bright with clear edges, others are less distinct. Lappies can also develop spectacles (like wire rim glasses) around the eyes. These can be in addition to a mask or entirely separate. Lappies often have distinctive eyebrows or pips. Markings on the face vary tremendously, and every pattern or variation is equally accepted, with no one look preferred over another. Tan point markings are not required, and single-color dogs should never be faulted for their solid color. Eyes – Eye color should be as dark as possible. While dark brown eyes are considered the ideal, coat color affects the eye color, with Brown and Dilute-colored Lappies often having a lighter eye, usually complementing the coat color. Blue eyes are not desired in a Lappy and are very rare.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Nora Boisselle began her journey with Finnish Lapphunds and the dog world in 2009. She currently has three Lappies (you can’t just have one). Nora is a member of the Finnish Lapphund Club of America and the Truckee Meadows Dog Training Club.


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