Jämthund (Swedish Elkhound)

Description Jämthund

Resourceful, Confident, Alert
The Jämthund comes from cold and impassable areas of Sweden. It is a hunting dog that needs a lot of exercise. Therefore, he is not suitable for a city apartment. The animals do not tolerate excessive heat and should always be given a cool retreat in summer. Jämthunds are very proud and loyal and can bond well with you and your family.FCI Group: Spitz – Primitive type dogs

  • Size: Large
  • Weight: 25-35kg
  • Life expectancy: 12-13 years
  • Coat type: short hair
  • Colours: blue-grey, white

Character Jämthund (Swedish Elkhound)

The Jämthund is a robust, agile and powerful dog of great strength. He is resourceful, confident, intelligent and light-footed. This dog forms a strong bond with you. He will bond with all other family members as well. The Jämthund is an excellent family dog ​​and companion.

The main characteristics of the Jämthund are strength, agility, speed and tenacity. But also boldness, independence, calmness, loyalty, intelligence, vigilance, perseverance and perseverance. He is a very curious dog who loves to roam and explore his surroundings. Therefore, if you live in the city center, he is not an ideal dog for you. A Jämthund feels at home in wide open spaces in nature.

So it is necessary that you have a large garden.
The life expectancy of a Jämthund is 12-13 years. The males are between 57 and 65 cm tall and weigh about 30 to 35 kg. The females are between 52 and 60 cm tall and weigh around 25 to 30 kg. A Jämthund is a very energetic and active dog with great stamina that requires plenty of daily exercise.

So remember to take your dog for a hike or jog at least once a day. However, before you take your dog outside, you should give him proper socialization as early as possible. He is, after all, a hunting dog with a strong need to chase his prey. Therefore, it is extremely dangerous for cats and other small pets.
The Jämthund often tends to be very dominant when dealing with other dogs.

This can quickly end in a fight. You should not tolerate this behavior, so it is very important that you teach your Jämthund obedience. But the Jämthund is a very proud, headstrong and independent dog. He is not easily willing to be trained or controlled.
The Jämthund needs a dominant and self-confident handler with a lot of experience.

You must start training as soon as the puppy is three months old. Organize his workouts in a fun and focused way with a gentle attitude. But without too many repetitions. Also, you need to keep the lessons short but persistent on a daily basis. This is the only way your Jämthund will be ready to fully engage in the training.

The good thing is that he is a very smart dog. With a correct approach, you can easily teach him all the commands. This is why the Jämthund is both a great hunting dog and a working dog. It can be used for all types of work. From observing and guarding to pulling and guarding sleds.

his ability easily understanding and accepting of his duties made him such a prized dog in his home country. There he is officially recognized as the Swedish national dog.
The Jämthund is a large medium-sized dog that has a very wolf-like appearance. Slightly longer at the withers than tall. His body is muscular and supple.

This dog’s medium-length coat is hard and dense. The underlying layer of hair is soft and light, while the protective layer above is rough but smooth to the touch. The hair is slightly longer on the neck, chest, tail, buttocks and on the back of the front legs. This coat is perfect for cold winter conditions. But because of this, this dog cannot stand excessive heat.

So remember to put your Jämthund in a shady, cooler room on hot summer days. The Jämthund has a wolf-like color pattern. The gray or dark gray hair is on most of its body, head and tail.
The wedge-shaped head of a Jämthund is very reminiscent of a gray wolf. It has a medium, strong and slightly tapered snout with strong jaws.

His rather small, brown eyes have a lively look. The broad nose is black and the pointed ears are triangular and erect. The neck is strong and long. The chest is wide. The tail is long and loosely curled on its long, broad, and strong back.

The front legs are straight and strong. The hind legs are muscular and very strong. The feet are well haired and rather small. The Jämthund is an elegant animal with incredible mobility and jumping power. Its graceful and quick gait enables it to overcome the toughest terrain without effort.

Diet Jämthund

The Jämthund should be given high-quality dog ​​food. It is best to prepare this yourself under the supervision and approval of your veterinarian. The diet should be appropriate for the dog’s age (puppy, adult or senior). Most Jämthunde are “omnivores” and not picky eaters. They pull pitiful faces to weaken you, give them as many treats as you can muster.

Therefore, it is also important that you offer your dog a lot of exercise and only then give him his food. In this way you can avoid obesity in your four-legged friend.
A sign of an overweight dog is a rolling motion on the dog’s back or sides when it is trotting. Clean, fresh water should be available to your four-legged friend at all times.


Most Jämthunds enjoy swimming and this can be a great way to cool off during the hot summer months. Just watch out when the animals shake out their thick fur afterwards. Otherwise you will get an unwanted shower.
As long as the Jämthunds get plenty of exercise throughout the day, these animals can be kept in apartments. However, as guard dogs, they tend to bark.

Overall, however, these dogs are happiest in homes with well-fenced yards.
These dogs are usually good with strangers and very gentle with children. This makes them a good option as a family pet. However, as with any dog, you should never leave the dogs unsupervised with young children.
These dogs can show aggression towards other dogs.

Therefore, you should start proper socialization very early.
These dogs need frequent brushing to remove loose hair and dead skin. These dogs’ coats can quickly become matted if not brushed enough.
Animals are made for cold weather. Although they can survive warmer climates, they are happiest in ice and snow.


The early Jämthunde came to northern Sweden thousands of years ago. The dog got its name because it was originally bred in Jämtland. A district in the middle of Sweden, near the Swedish-Norwegian border. This area covers huge areas with dense forests and steep mountains. In addition, the region is known for having one of the harshest climates in the world.

Such harsh conditions place special demands on the physical characteristics of hunting dogs. The thick coat of the Jämthund is a reliable protection against water and cold. Its wedge-shaped snout withstands gusty and cold north winds. Its fast and muscular legs can easily conquer the almost inaccessible terrain.
The Jämthund and the Norwegian Elkhound have very little difference.

These two breeds originally came from the same stock. In the early 20th century, such a striking resemblance caused confusion. It was thought that all grey-haired specimens of elkhound represented a single breed of dog. For more than 40 years of the last century, the Jämthund was only bred by a small group of loyal breeders. These lived mainly in the areas of the province of Jämtland.

In 1942, the Norwegian Aksel Lindström realized that his beloved Nordic breed, the Jämthund, was threatened with extinction. So he pushed the publication of an article about this majestic breed and managed to draw the entire nation’s attention to this issue. In particular, Count Björn von Rosen, a famous dog lover and diplomat, was interested in the breed. These two men applied to the Swedish Kennel Club for recognition of the Jämthund as a separate breed. The club agreed to this proposal and worked out its final standard in 1946.

Even today, this breed lives primarily as a guard and hunting dog, but many also simply enjoy life as a family pet.

Jämthund Accessories

In order for your Jämthund to do well, you should buy high-quality dog ​​food. You can of course also prepare this yourself. In addition, these four-legged friends need a lot of exercise. Therefore, it is best to have a garden or spend a lot of time in nature. A toy that you can use to exhaust your dog is great for this.

You will also need a brush, as the fur of the animals has to be combed often. A leash can’t hurt either. Because they are hunting dogs, they like to dart away in certain situations.

6.8Expert Score
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