The Swedish Elkhound is a Spitz-type dog breed from Sweden and is popularly known as Jämthund in the country where it was named after the province of Jämtland.
These dogs are closely related to the Norwegian Elkhound and wolves. Originally used as hunting and sledding dogs, the Swedish Elkhound is said to be one of the ancient dog breeds. It is a powerful, fearless, and intelligent dog breed that can tolerate harsh weather conditions.
Nowadays, these dogs are used as guard dogs and home pets. Let’s explore more about this beautiful and attractive dog breed.
Swedish Elkhound Quick Profile
|Breed Name||Swedish Elkhound
|Dog Breed Type||Purebred
|Dog Breed Group||Spitz
|Height||20 - 26 inches
|Weight||55 - 77 lbs
|Life Expectancy||11 to 14 years
|Coat Type||Harsh outer coat, light under coat
|Colors||Light or dark grey with light markings
|Grooming Needs||Daily brushing
|Temperament||Calm but dominative nature
|Health concerns||Hip and elboy dysplasia, obesity, progressive retinal atroph, and skin allergies
|Activity||Up to 2 hours daily
|Litter Size||4 or 11 puppies
Read: Utonagan Dog
The Swedish Elkhound was bred and used to hunt elk, wolves, boars, and bears. They exist for a long time in the Scandinavian countries, most probably, since 5000 BC (it is a guess though). They can survive in severe weather conditions, which is why they were a favorite breed of the Sami people who used to live in the Arctic region of the Scandinavian countries and Russia.
Interestingly, this dog breed is also closely related to some other Scandinavian dog breeds such as Finnish Lapphund, Swedish Lapphund, and Norwegian Elkhound, etc.
Independent and dominant: The Swedish Elkhound or Jämthund is an independent and dominant breed so it is not suitable for an inexperienced or first-time owner.
High Energy dog: It is a very high energy breed and you should not get one if you do not have time to exercise or walk it for at least 2 hours a day.
Needs space: This breed needs a lot of space and a house with a yard is suitable for them. You won’t be able to keep them in a small house or an apartment.
Best for single dog family: They are not good with other pets and/or dogs as they are hunters by nature and may try to hunt if there is any other pet home.
Temperament and behavior
With early age training, they can be transformed into an ideal family dog that is always ready to please its family. They are highly intelligent, loving, and affectionate. It is better to not keep them with another canine or non-canine pet, or they may show dominant behavior. While on a walk, keep them supervised, especially if other household pets are around.
Exercise & training
As the Swedish Elkhound is a high-energy dog, they need lots of exercise and activities to burn their excessive energy. Along with that, mental stimulation activities are a must, or they may get bored and a bored dog is highly destructive.
It is recommended to start their training from an early age and reward-based training sessions would work like a charm. Forced training and harsh behavior during the training sessions may result in disaster.
Coat and grooming
They have a thick double coat having a long topcoat and a short and wooly undercoat. So, the best practice is to brush them every second day to avoid tangling and matting. They do not require to be bathed much often, so bathe them only if they do not look clean. In hot weather, regular grooming is highly recommended while they should be kept in a shaded room with enough cooling.
To avoid oral health issues, it is recommended to brush their teeth twice a week. Also, keep an eye on their ears to eliminate the possibility of a foreign object or any allergies. Similarly, keep an eye over their nails too and clip them if they are big enough to create problems for you and the dog.
Common health-related issues
Overall, it is a healthy breed with fewer health issues but like other dogs, it is prone to several common diseases such as elbow and hip dysplasia, obesity, liver diseases, Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA), and skin allergies, etc.
So, it is recommended to visit the vet at least once in six months and keep your dog up to date on vaccinations. Secondly, make sure you get a puppy from a reputable breeder and not a puppy mill or backyard breeder.
Litter size and cost
The average litter size of a Swedish Elkhound is 4 to 11 puppies. It is good to get a puppy from a reputable breeder to avoid health and behavior issues. If getting from a reputable breeder, a Swedish Elkhound puppy may cost you up to $1000 while the average yearly maintenance cost would be around $1500 which includes vet visits, grooming, supplies, food, and other important things.
The American Kennel Club does not recognize the Swedish Elkhound but the United Kennel Club (UKC) recognized this breed in 2006.
Suitable names for Swedish Elkhounds
10 Tenacious Terrier Breeds You Should Know About
German Shepherd Dog Breed Info
11 Weirdest Dog Laws around the World