Everything about your Swedish Elkhound

  Also known as the Jämthund and Moosehound, the Swedish Elkhound has a wolf-like appearance with a long tapered snout and a dark gray-and-white body. In fact, this breed of dog was developed to hunt moose so they may share more than just their looks with wild wolves. The Swedish Elkhound is an active and intelligent breed that requires a lot of exercise and attention but, if you are able to dedicate the time, they are a unique and wonderful breed.



  The Swedish Elkhound is a large, rectangular spitz breed, clean cut, strong, substantial and agile. It must not give the impression of having a long body or of being overly heavy in body, as it is a breed known for great endurance. Courageous and energetic, but also stoically calm.
  As with most breeds developed for hunting, the Swedish Elkhound requires a lot of regular exercise to stay fit, both physically and mentally. It quickly becomes bored if kept indoors for too long and can become destructive.

Breed standards
UKC group: Northern Breed
Average lifespan: 12-13 years
Average size: 55-77 lbs
Coat appearance: Close lying (not flat); smooth on head and front of legs
Coloration: Grey (light or dark); light markings on sides of the muzzle, cheeks, throat, chest, belly, legs and under the tail
Hypoallergenic: Unknown
Best Suited For: active singles, house with a yard, single dog family, experienced dog owners
Temperament: active, independent, affectionate, dominant
Comparable Breeds: Swedish Vallhund, Norwegian Elkhound

  The Jämthund received official recognition as a breed in 1946, due to intensive work by Aksel Lindström and others. Before that, the Jämthund and the Norwegian Elkhound were seen as the same breed. They are used for moose hunting and sled pulling. In the local dialect, it used to be referred to as bear dog. It is one of very few dogs that will not back off from a bear.



  The Swedish Elkhound is an intelligent and brave breed of hunting dog. They are hardy and courageous enough to face down a bear but gentle enough to make a wonderful family pet. Although calm and affectionate with its family, the Swedish Elkhound can be slightly dominant with other dogs and has a strong prey drive. 
  A truly all-around canine, it can go from a hunting trip and back to the family hearth with great aplomb. It takes things in stride and doesn’t get ruffled easily, making it a steady partner in the field or at home.
  The Swedish Elkhound is a happy learner who loves to please its owner. It should be socialized early to prevent dominance issues later.

  As an ancient breed, the Swedish Elkhound is fairly health and hardy. Still, all dogs are prone to developing certain health conditions. Some of the conditions known to affect the Swedish Elkhound include hip dysplasia, skin allergies, elbow dysplasia, liver disease, and hearing problems. This breed is also prone to obesity which can increase the risk for other health problems like diabetes and heart disease.

  The coat of this breed would need extensive grooming. The longish coat would need to be thoroughly brushed everyday to remove mats and tangles. These are hunting dogs and as such they need to be carefully cleaned and checked for burrs, thorns and foreign bodies on the ears and eyes after the dog has been hunting. The dog should be bathed only when necessary so as not to remove the weather proofing of the coat.

Living Conditions
swedish-elkhound1-6867158  Best known for its curious and adventurous behaviour, the Swedish Elkhound is full of character. These dogs thrive on strong and dependable relationships with humans, and they often look to their owner for guidance and support. They are very bright, yet stubborn and overly confident, creating difficulty in training.
  As a pet, the Swedish Elkhound is loyal, loving, and affectionate, adores its family, loves and tolerates the children. These are probably the reasons why this breed makes wonderful family dogs.
  Swedish Elkhound’s are active dogs; they would need large spaces to burn their excess energies. For this reason, an apartment or a home in the city would not be a suitable living arrangement for this breed. With the dense weather resistant coat, the dog is well equipped to withstand extreme weather conditions. These dogs would appreciate to be allowed to roam vast open spaces in the rural area.

  The training of the Swedish Elkhound is a relatively challenging task. Because of its propensity to independent thinking and sharp mind it’s highly advisable to avoid dull or repetitive assignments during training sessions. Nonetheless this dog is always glad to please its master if he demonstrates qualities of a true leader.
  Consistency and adequately firm treatment are obligatory requirements of the breeds’ successful training. Reward your pet’s obedience with delicious treats and your Swedish Elkhound will readily follow your command. Housebreaking may be difficult for this breed and its puppy should be provided with lots of chances to roam around outdoor.



  The Swedish Elkhound was developed as an all-around working dog and it still retains much of its industriousness. It won’t make the best four-legged companion for an apartment dweller, which will be off his feet trying to satisfy the dog’s need for exercises.
  Daily playtime in a safely enclosed area is essential for good mental and physical health of this breed. It also loves having some important job to perform and stands out for unbelievable endurance. Remember that your Swedish Elkhound will inevitably pick up habits to destructiveness and unreasonable barking if you don’t devote enough attention to walking and playing with your pet.

  The coat of this breed would need extensive grooming. The longish coat would need to be thoroughly brushed everyday to remove mats and tangles. These are hunting dogs and as such they need to be carefully cleaned and checked for burrs, thorns and foreign bodies on the ears and eyes after the dog has been hunting. The dog should be bathed only when necessary so as not to remove the weather proofing of the coat.

Benefits and Disadvantages
  There are many benefits to owning a Swedish Elkhound. This active breed is always on the go, and often quite amusing and entertaining to watch while at play. When properly socialized from a young age, the Swedish Elkhound gets along well with small children and other pets, often making friends quickly due to its need to belong to a pack. 


  These dogs are alert and aware of their surroundings, making effective watch dogs by announcing the arrival of guests and unwanted visitors, and serving as a deterrent to would-be intruders. The Swedish Elkhound is loyal, loving, and affectionate, making an excellent hunting dog, family pet, and companion alike.
  There are also disadvantages to owning a Swedish Elkhound. These active and adventurous dogs require large amounts of daily exercise and room to run and play outdoors. Anyone wishing to purchase this breed lacking the adequate amount of time and space to dedicate to the dog is strongly advised against doing so. A Swedish Elkhound not receiving the proper amount of exercise and space will often act out by destroying property, chewing, barking, whining, and ignoring basic training such as housebreaking.
  The Swedish Elkhound has a strong instinct to hunt and will occasionally indulge in a good chase. When on the run, these dogs are surprisingly quick, and may pose a threat to other animals, neighbourhood pets, and small woodland creatures. The Swedish Elkhound must be leashed or properly secured at all times when outdoors.
  As previously mentioned the Swedish Elkhound remains rather rare outside of its native Sweden and can prove difficult to obtain. Individuals seeking to purchase this breed often encounter such challenges as inability to locate a breeder, high prices, and being placed on long waiting lists.

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