THE FINNISH LAPPHUND A BREEDER’S PERSPECTIVE
By Cathy Pollack
he Finnish Lapphund originated with the nomadic Saami people in Lapland, primar- ily north of the Arctic Circle. Lapland covers
the northern portions of Finland, Sweden and Russia. Th e Saami people relied upon reindeer as a source of food and clothing. Th ey kept their own herds, and followed them from grazing area to grazing area, with the Finnish Lapphund serving as a medium-sized herder as well as all-around working dog around their camps. Th e Samoyed also originated in the same area with the same people. Reindeer are domesticated in Lap- land, where they do not fear the dog and a Lappy that approaches too closely may be kicked or scooped with the antlers. With those challenges, the Finnish Lapphund breed was bred to bark and then bounce up and down to get the herd moving. Lap- pies competing in the Reindeer Trials in Finland are disqualified if they don’t bark. Unlike most domestic dogs of today that descended from the Asian wolf, recent research in Scandinavia has proven that over 80% of the Finnish Lapphund’s mito- chondrial DNA actually comes from the Arctic Wolf. Th e most recent crosses with the Arctic Wolf could have been as recent as 400-1000 years ago In the US, some of the first documented Finnish Lapphunds were imported in 1987 with the first litter born around 1988.
AKC Ch Yutori’s Winter in the Heart, “Talvi”—a black & tan male at 17 months old.
“...over 80% of the Finnish Lapphund’s mitochondrial DNA ACTUALLY COMES FROM THE ARCTIC WOLF.”
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