Siberian Husky vs Finnish Lapphund: Complete Comparison

When it comes to choosing between a Siberian Husky vs Finnish Lapphund, understanding their differences is essential for prospective dog owners.

This guide will delve into these differences and the shared traits between these two breeds to see which one is more suited for you.

Let’s get straight into it.

An infographic detailing the similarities and differences between the husky vs Finnish Lapphund

Difference In Appearance

Let’s address the most obvious differences between these two dogs before we get into the less noticeable differences.

Huskies and Finnish Lapphunds look pretty different despite both being Spitz-type dogs.

A Siberian husky sticking its tongue out

Huskies have a more wolf-like appearance, with taller, slender bodies and a longer muzzle.

A Finnish Lapphund laid on some grass with a toy

Finnish Lapphunds take on a more Pomeranian-style look, slightly smaller in height and having a more compact frame.

They also have shorter muzzles, but like the husky, they have pointed ears and a curly tail.

Other Differences Between The Siberian Husky vs Finnish Lapphund

Now that the most apparent difference is out of the way let’s look at the other key differences between these two dogs.

Working Background

Both dogs have a working background, but the roles they fulfill differ drastically.

Siberian Huskies were domesticated by the Chukchi people of Siberia and used primarily for pulling light sled loads over long distances. This contributes directly to the husky’s independence and high-energy drive to this day, and it’s also the reason why they have a strong pack mentality.

Finnish Lapphunds were originally reindeer herders for the Sami people, so they have a powerful herding instinct and are very good at accelerating quickly.


Huskies are taller and heavier than Finnish Lapphunds on average:

  • Huskies weigh 35 to 60 lbs and reach 20 to 23.5 inches in height with a long and slender physique.
  • Finnish Lapphunds weigh 33 to 53 lbs and reach 16 to 21 inches in height.

There are variations to these values as these are the averages given by the breed standard, but Finnish Lapphunds tend to be smaller and lighter than most huskies.

Exercise Requirements

Both breeds require a lot of exercise, but huskies win out in this category, needing at least 2 hours of exercise per day.

Huskies have one of the highest exercise requirements of any dog, which is no surprise given that working huskies are capable of pulling sleds for hundreds of miles through rugged terrain.

Finnish Lapphunds need 1 to 2 hours daily, which is still a lot for most people.

Herding Instinct

As herding dogs, it’s no surprise that Finnish Lapphunds have a strong herding instinct.

This can cause issues with other animals or small children, as they will attempt to herd them when possible. It’s important to address this behavior early on so that it doesn’t become acceptable for them to do.

Huskies have no herding instinct, so this isn’t something to worry about with this breed.

Guarding Instinct

As herders of reindeer, Finnish Lapphunds have a guarding instinct to keep their flock safe. They can be more suspicious of strangers and protective of their families, although not to the extent of a guard dog breed like a German Shepherd, for example.

Huskies have no guarding instinct at all, and they are more likely to befriend a stranger than be suspicious of them.


Now that the differences are out of the way let’s explore what huskies and Finnish Lapphunds have in common.

Spitz-Type Dogs

Both dogs are Spitz-type breeds, which means they share a few key personality traits that are common across these types of dogs:

  • Stubborn – Spitz dogs are known for being stubborn, and huskies and Finnish Lapphunds are no exception to this rule.
  • Independent – They also tend to be very independent and enjoy time to themselves every now and then.
  • Hard To Train – Both breeds are very difficult to train, thanks to their stubborn personalities and lack of drive to please their owners.

Spitz-type dogs like the husky and Finnish Lapphund benefit greatly from early socialization because of their personalities, and they can quickly take over the house if they don’t view you as the alpha.

Coat Type

Huskies and Finnish Lapphunds have thick double coats, which means their coat is split into two distinct layers.

The first is a short wooly undercoat, which provides insulation in cold climates, allowing them to withstand low temperatures and work comfortably.

The second layer is a long guard layer that protects the coat and skin below from debris and water.

Double-coated breeds also blow their coats twice per year, which is a process where they transition from their winter coats into their summer coats and shed a lot of fur in the process.

Coat Color Variation

Huskies and Finnish Lapphunds come in a wide variety of colors.

Huskies are often thought of as black and white, but they can be a range of other colors, like all white, red and white, agouti, and much more.

Finnish Lapphunds are very similar. Their most common coat coloring is either black or brown, but they can be tan, cream, brindle, blue, and more, with just as many variations in markings as well.

You’ll struggle to find examples of two dogs that look the same.

Shedding & Grooming Requirements

Thanks to their thick double coats, huskies and Finnish Lapphunds shed a LOT.

This also means you’ll need to give them a quick brush every day and more intense grooming sessions a few times weekly to target each coat layer individually.

You may also find that when they are blowing coat, you will need to groom their coat multiple times each day.


Another key similarity between these two dogs is that they are very, very vocal.

Huskies are more vocal in a howling sense and will make several other strange noises like crying or even talking, whenever they feel like it.

Finnish Lapphunds are more barkers and originally used their loud barks to help them herd reindeer.

While their vocal natures don’t benefit them as much in a domestic setting, you’ll need to be prepared for potentially excessive handling or barking with both breeds and how to deal with these issues as well.

Social & Friendly

Huskies and Finnish Lapphunds are two of the friendliest dog breeds you can find.

They love to spend time with you and benefit greatly from socializing with you and other people. They also make great companions with other dogs if they are properly introduced.

Early Socialization Is Key With Both Breeds

Early socialization is an absolute must for both of these dogs.

Starting as young as possible, introduce them to various situations and noises to help them get used to the world. This helps to improve their confidence and improve their readiness for adult life.

All dog breeds benefit from early socialization, of course, but Spitz-type breeds benefit significantly because of how stubborn and independent they can be.

They’re also some of the most sociable breeds out there, so getting them socialized as early as possible makes sense.


Both of these breeds are considered quite healthy and enjoy long lifespans of 12 to 15 years on average, which is very important to consider.

Cold Tolerance

One of the main benefits of the double coats of the husky and Finnish Lapphund is that they can withstand very cold temperatures and are more suited to colder climates.

Which Breed Is Best For You?

When it comes to deciding between these two breeds, it comes down to personal preference, as they are very similar in terms of their personalities.

Huskies have a higher energy drive and need more exercise; they’re also prone to some weird behaviors that you only understand once you have experience with the breed.

Finnish Lapphunds need a bit less exercise, but still a lot, and have very similar personalities in terms of stubbornness and independence. They tend to be more cautious of strangers and can be difficult to keep with smaller children due to their strong herding instinct.

Don’t forget that both need to be groomed regularly, and you need to be prepared for the amount of shedding that they will do.

Want to read more husky breed comparisons? Check out some of our other recent husky comparisons below:

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About The Author

Caitlin is the owner and lead writer for The Malamute Mom. She has over 10 years of experience with Alaskan Malamutes and Huskies. She is currently working on getting her PhD in materials science but continues to write for The Malamute Mom in her spare time.

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