Swedish Elkhound, Jämthund

The Swedish Elkhound, known in his native country as Jämthund, is an ancient Nordic hunting dog similar to the smaller Norwegian Elkhound. It was cherished by the Vikings and appears in many of the Viking sagas. This courageous and energetic breed has been used for centuries for hunting elk, bear, and lynx.

The coat consists of a close-lying topcoat and a short, soft, light undercoat. It is smooth on the head and front of legs, longer on neck, chest, tail, and backside of legs and thighs. According to the breed standard, only light and dark gray colors are permitted with light gray and cream characteristic markings on the sides of muzzle, cheeks, throat, chest, belly, legs and under the tail. The ideal height at the shoulder is 20.5-25.6 inches.

Swedish Elkhound, JamthundPhoto courtesy of Swenska J¨mthundklubben

The importance of hunting ability in this breed is clear when one takes into consideration, that, in Scandinavia, an Elkhound cannot gain the title of Show Champion without receiving a first grade in a Hunting Trial. Friendly, intelligent and independent, the Swedish Elkhound is first and foremost a working breed and should be given meaningful activity to keep his mind active. It is not suited for apartment living.


  1. FCI Standard #42
  2. Juliette Cunliffe. Elkhound

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