The Swedish Elkhound (original name Jämthund) is a very old Swedish Spitz coming from the north area of Jämtland, where it is known since this region was populated.
This is a dog for hunting elk, but in ancient times it was used for hunting bears and lynx, and therefore is very strong and durable. It is believed that this is the most powerful northern hunting breed. The population of the region claim that they have lived in these places before people since the end of the last glacial period. They have been used (and are still used now) for pulling sleds.
The Swedish Elkhound is a big dog, with proportional lines of the body. It has a sturdy primitive physics and harmoniously developed muscles, while at the same time is agile and good looking. The dog's head is long and wide and ears are placed high, sharp and are standing up. The wide nose is black. The eyes are slightly oval, brown and have a lively look. The dog's tail is also set high, it carries it tucked in the back or side.
The coat has a top layer that is thick and smooth, and a bottom layer with a short and soft hair. The fur is longer on the neck, chest, thighs and rear limbs. The color ranges from light to dark gray. There are bright spots on either side of the muzzle, the cheeks, throat, stomach and arms. These spots are called "wolf scars." The limbs of the dog are slim, strong and muscular.
The size of the males ranges from 61 to 65 cm, and of the females - 56 to 60 cm. Average weight is between 25 and 30 kg. Swedish Elkhounds move vigorously with a broad reach. It is among the few dogs that swarm to approach their prey.
Character and behavior
The Elkhound is bold and energetic dog, but at home is quiet and nice. It is loyal, smart and playful, during hunting is tireless and not giving up until it catches the animal. The dog has a balanced character and is enforceable. Besides being a good hunter with a strong smell, it is an excellent watchdog, without attacking the unwanted guests, but keep them at a distance.
Except in Sweden, where it is very popular, this breed has become increasingly known outside their homeland and puppies for sale can be found in many European countries.
Training and education
The Swedish Elkhound can be stubborn, so its training must be firm. At the same time the dog must be treated with respect. You should socialize it from an early age to deal with its natural reticence to strangers. You should not sharpen this mistrust, but teach it to restrain and control. This dog is intelligent, learns quickly and loves to please its master. Swedish military use it to search and save people during the hard winter months.
Grooming and care
The Swedish Elkhound is clean and does not require any special maintenance other than regular brushing of the coat. It should not be bathed often.
It loves big spaces, so if you live in a town, then you have to walk for a long time and give it an opportunity to exercise. This breed does not like to travel in vehicles often.
The Swedish Elkhound is a healthy dog, which almost never gets sick. It does not suffer from any specific pathology, nor hereditary diseases. Some health problems may occur if the dog does not move enough.
Average lifespan is about 13 years.
Children and other pets
This wonderful Nordic dog is an excellent companion in life. It is a primitive hunting animal, but being with a family is quiet and friendly. It gets along well with other animals. It loves to play with children. Feel free to leave your children with the dog because it will protect them at any cost.
For a very long time the Swedish Elkhound and the Norwegian Elkhound gray were considered the same breed. Later, in the 40's of the last century, a distinction between the two types was clarified and the breed was recognized as independent by the FCI in 1946.