Black - With or without Tan and White markings. Tan ranges from palest cream to deep caramel.
Brown is a recessive colour. Brown Lapphunds are found in various shades and with or without Tan and White markings.
Dilute - Blue. Blue is a dilute of black. Whilst fairly obvious in a puppy, as adults its often more difficult to distinguish between Black and Blue. Puppies and adolscents are pictured here to show the difference. This colour is uncommon. Photos © Liv Vesterheim
Dilute - Lilac. The dilute gene on a Brown dog produces Lilac. Due to the recessive nature of both Brown and Dilute, this colour is very uncommon.
Wolf Sable - Black. Dominant inheritance. Wolf Sable dogs range in colouring and can be seen with and without face masks. The first pictures are the same bitch as a puppy and adult to show the progression of colour. These are more obvious examples of Wolf Sable but the actual colour can be difficult to identify at birth and again as adults as the sable (black tip) guard hairs can cover the body, giving the appearance of a Black and Tan dog.
Wolf Sable - Brown. Wolf Sable is dominant but Brown is recessive which can make this colour combination less common. There are many registered 'Brown' Lappies who are suspected to actually be Brown Wolf Sable. The wolf sable can sometimes be hard to detect.
Wolf Sable - Dilute - The first 5 pics are of Savujoen Sinisiipi and show the progression of the colour as the dog matures. I haven't yet found a Lilac Wolf Sable. I suspect it may sometimes pass undetected or be labelled Brown as the colouring is not always as obvious. Dilute and Wolf Sable seems a reasonably uncommon combination and may be harder still to identify on an adult as the colour darkens with age.
Sable (Black) - Sable ranges in colour from the palest cream to deep red/orange. Black or Brown pigment and sable tips gives away the base colour. Unlike Creams, the pigment on Sable dogs is usually retained and doesn't fade over time.
Sable (Brown) - theoretically Sable can also come in both dilute Blue and Lilac and i'm sure they exist, but I haven't been able to confirm any. Yet.
Domino - Black - is a recessive pattern that affects the expression of the base colour. This pattern is apparent at birth with a telling, clear mask on the face. The colour and shading varies greatly
Domino (Brown) - less common than Black as you need a pair of recessive brown genes, but more common than Domino Dilute (Blue and Lilac)
Cream - suppresses all other colours with pigment on nose, eyerims and feet giving away the base colour of Black, Brown or even dilutes. Pigment often fades over time on Cream Lappies, and even more so over the winter. These creams have Black pigment.
Cream - with Brown pigment on nose, eyerims and feet. Pigment often fades on Cream Lappies.
Patterns and markings - Irish Spotting White markings which can occur on any other colour - usually on chest, legs and feet. Can extend to the face, back of neck or even a full collar. Full body white with patches of colour are not desirable for the show ring and are uncommon.
Patterns - Saddleback - Dominant inheritance. Uncommon and unlikely to be produced in Australia. All photos are of Vija Viktoria of Cherryland.
Patterns - Brindle - dominant inheritance. Unlikely to be produced in Australia
Masks and Spectacles - The traditional signature look of the Finnish Lapphund includes a tan mask. Some are fuller and bright with clear edges, others are less distinct. Lapphunds also can develop spectacles around the eyes. These can be in addition to a mask or entirely separate.
Ears - Tipped - Finnish Lapphunds occasionally have tipped (or slightly folded) ears. It is equally acceptable for both ears to be erect, or for one or both ears to have the tips slightly folded over.
Brown Eyes - Eye colour should be brown. Whilst dark brown eyes are considered the ideal, coat colour seems to affect the shade of colour with Brown, Wolf Sable and Dilute colour Lappies often having a lighter eye, though usually complementing the coat colour. Occasionally 1 or both eyes are blue. This occurence is linked to White spotting, but unlike Siberian Husky's blue eyes are highly undesirable and not sought after in a Finnish Lapphund.
Snow Nose - A paler stripe down the centre of the nose leather with less pigment. The intensity can vary. Most often seen on Domino but can occur on any dog. In some cases only noticeable in Winter (linked to less sun exposure) and is quite common in Spitz breeds.