Q19. How do they get on with family, children, friends and strangers?
I would not have three lappies now if they were not just the most perfect dogs for families and especially with small children (if well trained.)
For the most part Lappies will adapt to you and your family and whatever you are doing.
My three are equally at home lounging in the sun in the conservatory while we get on with our busy lives or walking the Welsh Mountains all day on a holiday. All three just love to be with people and youngsters in particular. The children that Karen looks after love them and will often lay on them, push them and do all the other things small children can do and the Lappies just lie there or roll over for more. They are not the kind of dogs who demand attention but they love it when you have time to give it. I work from home some days in an office upstairs and the Lappies will be quite happy lounging around the house. However when I move my chair back at 5ish they’ll be straight upstairs waiting at the office door ready to go out. With strangers they are generally well behaved in the house (as I have said earlier) and are polite and non pushy when out and about. Jarkko particularly will bark when someone comes on the drive or walks around the side of the house ( we have woods on one side of our garden) but this is reassuring
Q20. How do they get on with other dogs in general?
My three have always been well socialised and are themselves very sociable. Jarkko is an entire dog so if out with his two ladies I do watch him with other males. He will posture aggressively if he feels challenged but does recognise me a alpha dog so if I call him to heel he is quite happy to let me take charge. Interestingly if my wife is walking him he will be more aggressive towards other dogs so he clearly feels protective towards her. Tuula is more boisterous as a personality then the other two and is obviously younger but all she wants to do is play. Sometimes this is off putting for nervous dogs but easily dealt with.
Q21. How do they get on with other Finnish Lapphunds?
Very well, with the exception of Jarrko and certain intact males. This is clearly a “boys” thing. Jarkko and his litter brothers have never got on as adults (He was one of 5 brothers). They see each other reasonably often and there is always much staining of leads and growling. With other Lappy males there seems to be a split. With some dogs he just isn’t bothered (Hapmi, Pascha, Tuuka, ) while some others he will growl at; however if he thinks I’m in charge there is not an issue.
Q22. What challenges do they present on a walk e.g. chasing deer, squirrel hunting, swimming, poor recall, scared to leave your side?!
We have a large number of woodland walks and yes mine will chase wild life. Interestingly there are very different behaviours. Kaiju has always chased deer and Tuula appears to have learned this from her. If I see the deer early enough or read the signs they will normally respond to a call off or “leave it”, however once in full flight they’re gone. They can’t catch the deer in woody terrain so it is usually a case of calling and eventually they come back puffing hard…typically 5-10 minutes later. The record is 25 minutes. Jarkko won’t lower himself to charging after deer so he contents himself by going mad at squirrels. He will bounce through the woods like Tigger after squirrels and then bound around the base of an 80 foot pine fully expecting that if he yips long enough and loud enough the squirrel leap down! Kaiju and Tuula just watch and wonder what the fuss is about. Kaiju will also “mouse” like a cat by stalking hedgerows and then pouncing. In 6 years none of my Lappies have actually caught anything larger than a mouse. Tuula and Kaiju will also chase birds. For Tuula this involves keeping birds out of the garden ( and very occasionally catching one). For Kaiju this is almost exclusively ducks! She is the world’s first duck tolling Lappy. Her passion for ducks is such that she can recognise ducks in flight from other birds and will either follow or chase them. She normally dislikes water but loves chasing ducks out into it. Jarkko dislikes water even more and rarely gets his feet wet. By way of variety, Tuula will happily paddle out up to her neck. However none of my Lappies are willing swimmers.
23. Describe your dog’s personality using five adjectives.
This is where the consistencies and varieties between all three really come through.
Kaiju – Loving, Intelligent, Quiet, Independent, Dependable
Jarkko – Loving, Loyal, Caring, Willing, Jealous
Tuula – Loving, Showy, Lively, Flighty, Intelligent
Q24. Have you owned or been very familiar with other dog breeds? If yes, which ones?
I have only owned Lappies. Karen’s family have had Yorkies and GSDs
Q25. How would you say the Finnish Lapphund compares to these breeds?
Incomparable! The Best