Swedish Elkhound

Breed Rating

family friendly:
Dog friendly:
Watch/guard dog:
Affection / Dependance:
Exercise needed:
Space needed:
Tendency to bark:
Grooming Requirements:
Tendency to bark:
Grooming Requirements:

Breed Attributes


Breed group: None    Type: Pure Breed    Talent: , , ,


Size: Medium     Weight: 66-77 pounds     Fur length: Long    Ears: Pointy    Fur type: Straight    Fur Color: Black & White


Life Expectancy: 12-13 years    Rarity: Common    Availability: Easily available    Climate: Not good for warm climate.

Breed Details


The Swedish Elkhound is also known as Jamthund. It is a Spitz type dog that has been around since 1000s but it has been recognised as a separate breed only recently, in 1946 to be precise. Originated in Sweden by the people of Jamtland, a province of Sweden, this breed was previously seen as one and same as Norwegian Elkhound.

This dos is mainly used for hunting Elk but is also capable of hunting bears and lynx. This large and and strong dog has a rectangular body that gives the impression of having a long body or of being overly heavy, substance and agility. The dog stands between 22.5 to 25.5 inches and weighs around 66-77 lbs. It has a rather long head with broad and slightly arched skull. Slightly tapered muzzle has strong, straight and broad nasal bridge with a wide nose. Slightly oval shaped brown eyes have keen yet calm expression. Erect and triangular shaped ears are mobile and set on high. Long powerful neck is clean and strong.

Powerful and slightly longer than tall body has straight topline with a slight sloping from withers to crouch. Chest is deep and ribs well sprung. The loin is broad and well developed. The tail is a distinct physical feature of this breed. Medium in length with an even thickness, the densely coated tail is tightly curled scimitar fashion. The legs are long and thick boned. These dogs have hare like feet with tightly knit toes. The dog has a double coat; longish and hard topcoat that comes with wooly soft undercoat. It comes in light to dark grey colour.

This breed is NOT recognized by AKC however it is recognized by UKC and FCI.


This dog typically comes in light to dark grey color with characteristic light or cream markings on the sides of the muzzle, cheeks, throat, chest, belly, legs and under the tail.


It has a double coat. Top coat is long, hard and close fitting while the undercoat is short, soft and wooly. The coat is shorter and smooth on head and front of the legs while longer on neck, chest, back of legs and thighs and tail.


Chosen the National dog of the Sweden as well as the official service canine of Swedish Marines and Swedish Air Force, the Swedish Elkhound has great hunting skills, high levels of intelligence, great temperament and versatility that makes this exceptional dog a favorite of all the people. This dog is brave, courageous, energetic yet stoically calm. It forms strong bond with its family being very loving, affectionate and friendly with them. It displays its gentle, kind and playful nature to children, making a great playmate of them. This dog is willing and eager to please its owners and family and responds well to training.

The Swedish Elkhound displays a dominant behavior around other dogs and may not be suitable for other non canine pets in the family due to high prey drive. Early age socialization thus becomes important for this breed.

It is a high energy dog that needs large open spaces to burn its energy by playing and running as it likes. Unsuitable for apartment living, the dog will be best suited to a rural setting.

This dog adores its family and makes a great family pet.


Long coat of this dog can easily get tangled and for this reason, the dog should be thoroughly brushed every day to remove dead hair from the body. Being a hunting dog, it should be checked for burrs and thorns that it might have picked up when hunting.

Ears should be checked regularly to prevent infection and remove any foreign bodies. Bathe only when necessary.


The Swedish Elkhound is a highly intelligent, obedient and eager to please breed. This makes this dog very trainable. The dog should be trained from early age with positive trainings methods.


The Swedish Elkhound is a hunting dog with lots of energy. It needs large open spaces to roam around and play to burn off its excess energy and hence has high physical needs. Suitable for living in a rural or suburban setting, this breed is not for apartment dwellers.

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