Swedish Lapphund

The Swedish Lapphund is a breed of dog of the Spitz type from Sweden, one of three Lapphund breeds developed from a type of dog used by the Sami people for herding and guarding their reindeer. The expression "the black beauty of Norrland" is very often attributed to the Swedish lapphund, which is most likely one of Sweden's oldest breeds. The Swedish name of the breed is Svensk lapphund.

History

The Swedish lapphund has its origins among the ancient hunting tribes of northern Scandinavia, from the land that the Sámi people call Sapmi.One assumes that the lapphund followed the first Sámi, who migrated to Scandinavia in the neolithic era, about 9,000 BCE.In Sámi mythology it is said that the lapphund sought the post of worker amongst the Sámi people in exchange that it would always be well treated.The lapphund has been used mainly for hunting and guarding, but studies have also shown that during the Stone Age, dogs were kept as pets. When the Sámi people started to keep domestic reindeer in the mid-18th century, the lapphund's repertoire was expanded to include herding.Historians and archaeologists have long agreed that the Swedish lapphund has an ancient ancestry—a belief supported by the fossil record. Advancing gene technology has also shown that the breed is old and carries some genetic origins unique or very rare among currently existing breeds.Hard work in the barren landscape of northern Scandinavia has created a very resilient breed. The shifting climate demands a weatherproof coat that is easy to maintain. The rough terrain and the varied work demand a dog with endurance, agility, intelligence and independence. The resulting Swedish lapphund is a well-rounded working dog, well suited both for work as a farm, hunting, and herding dog, and as a pet.

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