Nenets Herding Laika vs Lapponian Herder - Breed Comparison

Nenets Herding Laika vs Lapponian Herder - Breed ComparisonNenets Herding Laika is originated from Russia but Lapponian Herder is originated from Finland. Nenets Herding Laika may grow 7 cm / 3 inches higher than Lapponian Herder. Nenets Herding Laika may weigh 6 kg / 13 pounds lesser than Lapponian Herder. Both Nenets Herding Laika and Lapponian Herder has almost same life span. Both Nenets Herding Laika and Lapponian Herder has almost same litter size. Nenets Herding Laika requires High maintenance. But Lapponian Herder requires Moderate maintenance


nenets herding laika - historyThere is a large variety of Laika dogs as the word is almost a generic term for a type of Russian hunting dog. They are found in Northern Russia and Siberia and there are several recognized by the Federation Cynologique International including the East Siberian Laika, the Russian European Laika, and the West Siberian Laika. These Siberia Laika are crosses between the aboriginal dogs of Siberia and northern Russia. The word Laika means a barking dog and comes from the word meaning to bark. These laikas are working dogs, hunting pointers that were bred specifically for their barks.

All the dogs in this category are loyal and affectionate. They are hard workers and hunters/herders and sled dogs. Of the official Laika groups including the Nenets Herding Laika, there is the Karelo-Finnish Laika, the Northeasterly Siberian Laika, the West Siberian Laika, The Russian European Laika, Eastern Siberian Laika. The Laika are wary of strangers, noisy and rowdy.

Nenets Herding Laika

The Laika breed known as the Nenets Herding Laika is also called the Reindeer Herding Laika. The breed is pretty ancient, developed by the Nentry tribe at about the same time that the nomads were developing the Samoyed. Like the Samoyed breed, the Nenets Herding Laika herded Reindeer. The artic breed originates from Russia and can be used for transportation and hauling as well.

While their temperament and history are very much the same as the Samoyed, they are recognized as separate breeds. However there are many aficionados of both breeds believe that the Samoyed and the Nenets Herding Laika are the same breed. For many the Samoyed are simply a white version of the Nenets Herding Laika.

The Nenets Herding Laika is also know as the Samoyed Laika, so you can see how close if not the same, these two breeds are. The Nenets Herding Laika was bred by the Nenet peoples. The Samoyed is all white while the Nenets is any variation of black, gray, piebald, red, white, sable and brown.

The dogs herd and guard reindeer, keeping the herd together and moving them from one pasture to another. They will also stay with a stray reindeer until they are found. They will do this whether they have food or water. They will bark to try to bring the people’s attention to the lost reindeer. They are also an excellent hunting and retrieving, swimming dog.

The Nenets are also known as Yurak Samoyeds and they are the largest group of Samoyedic peoples today. They live on both sides of Russian Ural Mountains in northern Russia and the Yamal Peninsula. They move large herds of reindeer to the winter lands south of the Artic Circle from the north – about 600-900 miles. It is believed that the Herding Laika originated with this group of people but spread beyond them. They were shipped to far northeast Siberia to be bred and shared with reindeer herding tribes there.

There is a longhaired or rough coated variety and a shorthaired variety. The Nenets consider the work routine of both varieties the same, but they believed that the shorthaired version was a more ancient than the longhaired version.

lapponian herder - historyThe Lapponian Herder hails from Finland. He is a dog which was developed for the Sami people who needed a strong dog to herd and guard their reindeer. The Sami people knew that they could reply on these Spitz-type dogs to efficiently manage their reindeer herds.

As with many other dog breeds, their numbers dwindled during and after the Second World War, and breeders then stepped forward to restore the herding dog populations. The dog was developed from Spitz-type herding breeds which were crossed with black and white Karelian Bear Dogs as well as other dog varieties.

Both the Lapponian Herder and the Finnish Lapphund were recognized as the same breed, with the Lapponian being separated into its own breed in 1966.

The dog is one of Finland’s five national dog breeds and in 2017, the Lapponian Herder was accepted to the Foundation Stock Service program.


nenets herding laika puppy - descriptionThis is a medium sized dog , muscular and strong. Slightly smaller than the Samoyed, the Nenets Laika weighs about 40-55 pounds and is 18 inches tall. The ears are typical Spitz ears and the tail is carried up over the back. The Nenets Herding Laika can have gray, piebald, black or tan coats and some can be solid white and look just like a Samoyed. The coat is a thick, double coat with the undercoat very wooly.

lapponian herder puppy - descriptionThis is a medium sized dog and both male and female dogs stand between 43 and 51cm in height and weigh in the region of 30 to 35kg.

The average litter size for these dogs is 5 to 8 puppies.

They have a medium length double coat which is straight and fairly harsh to the touch. They are moderate shedders.

Looking much like a combination German Shepherd and Wolf, the Lapponian Herder’s coat can be dark grey, cream, dark brown and black. He has erect ears, brown eyes and a long bushy tail which can be held low but which he raises somewhat over the back when he is alert. The head is wedge-shaped with tapering muzzle and black nose.


Energetic and lively while also being calm, the Lapponian Herder makes an excellent family pet.

As a very active breed, he is going to need an active, outdoor-type of owner. He is an intelligent, independent dog who wants to be kept busy. Because of his smartness he is easy to train ad socialize, being a dog that wants to please.

Training and socialization will do wonders for him, particularly because he is a vocal dog, loving to bark and air his views. With the training you can call out to him ‘be quiet’ and he will, as he becomes an obedient dog who is a pleasure to have around in all kinds of situations.


Children friendliness

nenets herding laika dog - characteristicsyes

Special talents



Adaptability not good in apartments or smaller spaces. Needs a fenced in yard.

Learning ability

High but stubborn and independent

lapponian herder dog - characteristicsThe Lapponian Herder is a great family pet who is social and who loves being in the company of his human family, being able to get on well with children in the home too, as well as pets.

He plays a protective role too, not being quiet when it comes to barking and warning his family of intruders.

They’re very energetic dogs but can be docile indoors. He is smart too, being able to learn quickly. Bring one of these Lapponian Herders into your home, and you’re guaranteed a splendid family pet.

Health Problems

nenets herding laika puppies - health problemsFor the most part the Nenets Herding Laika is a healthy breed and very hardy. They do however have some propensities for some illnesses and conditions.

Diabetes Mellitus – can be treated with medication and is usual seen in middle age -after 7 years of age.

PRA – Progressive Retinal Atrophy – Slow loss of vision and this is a genetic disease – leads to blindness.

  • Hip Dysplasia – can lead to lameness or arthritis.
  • Skin diseases are possible – autoimmune disease the is idiopathic.

lapponian herder puppies - health problemsThe Lapponian Herder, with good care, should be able to live for 10 to 14 years.

He is generally believed to be a healthy dog breed, but as with most other dogs, there are a few health issues which can crop up. These can be eye- and infections as well as skin allergies. These can be highly irritating for your dog and painful too, and veterinary intervention may be required.

Other serious dog problems can be bloat and joint dysplasia.

Caring The Pet

Feeding the puppy

nenets herding laika dogs - caringBe careful that your pup doesn’t grow too fast. They are open to injuries if they grow too fast. Low calorie with protein and not a lot of fat. half a cup of high quality medium breed dog food 3X a day.

Feeding the adult

1 1/2 cups high quality medium breed dog food.

Points for Good Health

athletic and agile

Games and Exercises

At leaset a walk or two every day. Don’t get overheated as they are used to cold weather. Would be good at agility and herding exercise.


lapponian herder dogs - caringThe Lapponian Herder has a dense coat and he is considered to be an average shedder with some seasonal shedding.

To keep the coat sleek and shiny, get into the habit of brushing him twice a week. With the assistance of the right grooming tools you will be able to clip his nails if he doesn’t wear them down naturally. Just be careful though, because cutting to far down can mean cutting him where the nerves are and this can cause your pet great pain.

When you brush him, check his ears at the same time and use a damp cloth to wipe away the excess wax and dirt.

His teeth should also be cleaned with canine toothpaste and toothbrush. If you are apprehensive about keeping up with these grooming procedures, there are professional dog grooming experts who will attend to your dog’s grooming needs.


The Lapponian Herder is a medium sized dog full of energy.

If you feed him commercially manufactured kibble, you’ll read on the packaging about the type of food it is and what portion sizes to give him. Always go for the top quality brands that are made with good meaty ingredients and not filled with the likes of colorants and preservatives.

It is healthier to give him 2 smaller meals a day as opposed to one large meal. Try and give him some home-cooked food to bring in some variety. Excellent food for him would be some cooked chicken, brown rice, pasta and some cooked or raw vegetables added into his kibble. Every now and then it can be good for him to have a bit of raw meat added into his food.

Your Lapponian Herder must have constant access to cool, fresh water. Remember to wash the bowl out regularly, as the dog’s saliva enters the water when drinking.

Basic Information

Herding dogs
Herding dogs
Height Male:
48 - 58 cm
18 - 23 inches
43 - 51 cm
16 - 21 inches
Height Female:
45 - 55 cm
17 - 22 inches
43 - 51 cm
16 - 21 inches
Weight Male:
16 - 29 kg
35 - 64 pounds
30 - 35 kg
66 - 78 pounds
Weight Female:
13 - 22 kg
28 - 49 pounds
30 - 35 kg
66 - 78 pounds
Life Span:
12 - 13 Years
10 - 14 Years
Litter Size:
3 - 7
5 - 8
Medium dog
Medium dog
Other Names:
Nenets Laika or Reindeer Herding Laika, Samoyed Laika
Lapinporokoira, Lapp Reindeer dog, Reindeer Herder
Colors Available:
grey, black or white , tan
dark brown, Dark grey, cream, black
The harsh outer coat is straight, and the abundant woolly undercoat
Medium length, straight, harsh
Moderate, Seasonal
Affectionate, Courageous, Independent, Intelligent, Loving, Loyal, Protective, Stubborn
Affectionate, Alert, Cheerful, Courageous, Curious, Docile, Energetic, Friendly, Independent, Intelligent, Lively, Loving, Loyal, Outgoing, Playful, Protective, Responsive, Social, Territorial
High maintenance
Moderate maintenance
Kids Friendly:
New Owners Friendly:

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