The Furry Critter Network

Swedish Spitz Breed Description

Back to Canine Breed Menu


Breed Organization

American Kennel Club (AKC)

Native Country

Other Names
Swedish Lapphund, Svensk Lapphund, Lapplandska Spetz

Life Expectancy
Approximately 12-13 Years

Litter Size
Average 4-6 Puppies

Breed Group

General Description

The Swedish Lapphund is a spitz type dog with a rectangular shape. It has a weatherproof coat. The under coat is dense and consists of finer hairs. The outer coat is woolly and thick with erect hairs.

Breed Standard

Head: Strong lines. Domed skull. Pronounced stop. Straight muzzle. Tight lips.
Ears: Short, broad at the base, wide set, very mobile. Held erect.
Eyes: Dark color.
Body: Long. Moderately long neck. Ribs well sprung. Belly very slightly tucked up. Straight back.
Tail: Moderate length or short. Thick. Often carried over the loin.
Hair: Long, straight, dense. Shorter on the head and front of the legs. Collarette at the neck. Soft, thick undercoat.
Coat: Solid or pied black or liver.
Size: Dog: 45 to 50 cm (18-20 in).Bitch: 40 to 45 cm (16-18 in).
Weight: 15 to 20 kg (33-44 lb).


Originating in Finland, the Swedish Lapphund may be descended from the arctic wolf and the 7,000-year old Varanger Dog, which was discovered in northern Norway. If this is true, the Swedish Lapphund may be the common ancestor of all spitz dogs. The Lapphund has always been used to guard livestock and pull sleds. The breed has been popular in Switzerland for centuries but was not recognized by the FCI until 1944.


In Sweden dogs have their temperament tested by a system called mentalbeskrivning. Results for the Swedish lapphund show a curious, intrepid, and friendly breed which is playful and non-aggressive. They are easily trained, strong, and very devoted to their family. Early training is essential to prevent excessive barking.

The Swedish Lapphund needs a lot of exercise and room to run. Regular brushing and combing is required.


The breed also has a number of certificated search and rescue dogs and army dogs. The Swedish lapphund is also a very multifaceted hunting dog, mainly used for hunting elk and forest birds, but also deer, wild boar and bear. It is also a skilled tracking dog in searching for wounded or killed game. In addition to their versatility as working animals, the breed is also extremely popular as a competitive show dog.


Hard work in the barren landscape of northern Scandinavia has created a very resilient breed. No breed specific issues detected.

Back to Canine Breed Menu

Featured Rescues

"Don't Shop ... Please Adopt"

laptop pro


The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals® (ASPCA®) was the first humane society to be established in North America and is, today, one of the largest in the world.

Our organization was founded on the belief that animals are entitled to kind and respectful treatment at the hands of humans and must be protected under the law. Headquartered in New York City, the ASPCA maintains a strong local presence, and with programs that extend our anti-cruelty mission across the country, we are recognized as a national animal welfare organization. We are a privately funded 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, and are proud to boast more than 2 million supporters across the country.

The ASPCA’s mission, as stated by founder Henry Bergh in 1866, is “to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States.”

laptop pro


If you can’t find the pet you’re looking for on Petfinder, don’t give up. Some shelters maintain waiting lists for specific breeds, so don’t be afraid to ask! There are also breed-specific rescues for just about every breed, and most of them post their pets on Petfinder. (Petfinder can even e-mail you when a pet that fits your criteria is posted — just click “Save this Search” at the top of your search results page.)

laptop pro

Rescue Me

Jeff Gold, Founder, Rescue Me! Animal Rescue Network

Jeff Gold lives in Watkinsville, Georgia on the same property as Rescue Me's Animal Rehabilitation Center, with 18 rescue animals. Shown with him in the photo to the left are Maggie, Izzie and Cortez. In 2003, after learning there was nobody doing boxer rescue work in Georgia, Gold founded Boxertown, an organization which helped find homes for over 500 boxers during its first two years. Based upon this success, Gold came up with the vision for Rescue Me! ― a network which helps all breeds of dogs, cats and other animals find good homes, anywhere in the world. is also a free service of Rescue Me! and provides the world's largest and most up-to-date directory of animal rescue organizations for all breeds of dogs, cats and other animals, including a comprehensive directory of wildlife rehabilitators in over 150 countries.