Red Heeler vs Lapponian Herder - Breed Comparison

Red Heeler vs Lapponian HerderRed Heeler is originated from Australia but Lapponian Herder is originated from Finland. Both Red Heeler and Lapponian Herder are of same height. Red Heeler may weigh 19 kg / 41 pounds lesser than Lapponian Herder. Both Red Heeler and Lapponian Herder has almost same life span. Both Red Heeler and Lapponian Herder has same litter size. Red Heeler requires Low maintenance. But Lapponian Herder requires Moderate maintenance

Basic Information

Herding dogs
Herding dogs
Height Male:
43 - 51 cm
16 - 21 inches
43 - 51 cm
16 - 21 inches
Height Female:
43 - 51 cm
16 - 21 inches
43 - 51 cm
16 - 21 inches
Weight Male:
14 - 16 kg
30 - 36 pounds
30 - 35 kg
66 - 78 pounds
Weight Female:
14 - 16 kg
30 - 36 pounds
30 - 35 kg
66 - 78 pounds
Life Span:
13 - 15 Years
10 - 14 Years
Litter Size:
2 - 8
5 - 8
Medium dog
Medium dog
Other Names:
Australian Cattle Dog, ACD
Lapinporokoira, Lapp Reindeer dog, Reindeer Herder
Colors Available:
Reddish, Blue-grey
dark brown, Dark grey, cream, black
Shortish and dense
Medium length, straight, harsh
Moderate, Seasonal
Affectionate, Alert, Cheerful, Courageous, Curious, Energetic, Friendly, Independent, Intelligent, Lively, Loving, Loyal, Outgoing, Playful, Protective, Responsive, Social, Stubborn, Territorial
Affectionate, Alert, Cheerful, Courageous, Curious, Docile, Energetic, Friendly, Independent, Intelligent, Lively, Loving, Loyal, Outgoing, Playful, Protective, Responsive, Social, Territorial
Low maintenance
Moderate maintenance
Kids Friendly:
New Owners Friendly:


red heelerKnown also as the Australian Cattle Dog, the Red Heeler is also known as the Blue Heeler. This is a breed of herding dog originally developed in Australia.

These dogs are known for their stamina and resilience with driving cattle over long distances in hot weather and across rough terrain.

It was George Eliott who developed the Red Heeler – crossing native Dingoes with Collies and other herding dogs.

In America, the breed was fully recognised in September 1980.

lapponian herderThe 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.


red heeler puppyThe Red Heeler is a medium-sized dog standing at between 43 to 51 cm in height and weighing in the region of 14 – 16 kg.

He is muscular, with a sturdy build. The coat of this robust dog is shortish and thick and quite often you’ll find a white star marking on he forehead. The coat is a blue-grey color or reddish. The tail of this dog is long and the ears are erect.


The Red Heeler has always been a working dog so he is energetic and lively, being independent and strong-willed.

He is super intelligent too and can be easily trained and socialized. He is a dog that simply loves the outdoors and if you don’t live on a farm, he is going to need lots of exercise.

He gets on well with kids and other pets, but children should be taught to respect him and be kind towards him, otherwise he might not tolerate them. He is a loyal, protective dog, wanting to ensure the safety of his human family.

lapponian herder puppyThis 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.

Health Problems

red heeler dogYour Red Heeler can live to be 15 years of age with good care. Every dog however, can fall prey to some of the many common dog diseases there are, some of which can be -

Musculosceletal Problems:

There are quite a lot of congenital and inherited musculoskeletal disorders in dogs, with some of the more common ones being hip dysplasia and muscular dystrophy for instance.

There are some of these musculosceletal problems which can be fatal. Some of the typical symptoms you’ll see with these problems are difficulty climbing stairs or jumping, loss of muscle mass in the hind limbs, arthritis and lameness.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy:

The retina of the eye is that light-sensitive part and which is part of the central nervous system. With retinal degeneration, the cells decline, leading to impaired vision and sometimes even blindness.

Some symptoms to look out for include dilated pupils, night blindness and the inability to see clearly in bright light. The disease worsens over times with sudden blindness being quite common with older dogs. Your vet will want a thorough history of your dog’s health.

Other dog diseases to be very aware of are cancer, obesity, bloat, hip dysplasia and epilepsy.

lapponian herder dogThe 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


red heeler puppiesThe Red Heeler is an active dog, and apart from walks which will give him the chance to sniff around, he will need lots of other forms of exercise. Rope pulling games he’ll love and running after a ball will please him because it takes him back to days when he used to run around and herd livestock.

If you’re an outdoorsy type of person who loves hiking in the wilds and swimming in rivers, you can count this dog in.


You can look at the Red Heeler as a low maintenance dog. He does shed, but a good brush of the coat twice a week will be excellent for him. If he doesn’t wear his nails down naturally, you will need to trim them. Also, while you are brushing him, check his ears and eyes and inside his mouth to make sure he is clear of all infections.


Red Heelers rely on good food for their resilience and stamina, and for convenience it is good to have commercially manufactured dog food as a backup. The best is home-made food which is easy to prepare and totally uncomplicated.

Simply add into one big pot chicken, brown rice or pasta and spinach, sweet potatoes and carrots. This food can all be chopped up, refrigerated and added warmed up and in small portions to your pet's dry kibble once or twice a week. Simple and tasty, your Red Heeler will love it and thrive on it too.

Ensure there is always a bowl of fresh, cool water within his reach.


lapponian herder puppiesThe 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.


red heeler dogsWhen you bring a Red Heeler into your home, you must know that you’re never going to have a dull moment. They’re not content to lie around with nothing to do. These popular dogs literally coax you to come out and to be active.

Red Heelers need lots of activities and lots of room, so they aren’t particularly suited to life in the city. Large properties and plenty to do is what they ask for.

Your Red Heeler is going to make a splendid pet, loyal and devoted, the perfect example of man’s best friend.

lapponian herder dogsThe 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.

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