Since before the time of Vikings, dogs have held a key place in Swedish history. They have been valued in Sweden because of their fierce loyalty, among other traits. Here are a few popular Swedish dog breeds you should know about.
1. Swedish Elkhound
The Swedish Elkhound is also known as the Jamhundt and is used for hunting and sled pulling most commonly. It is a spitz-type breed that is known for its mild mannerisms and amicable nature.
They, however, exhibit a high prey drive and may get aggressive with other animals from time to time. They are high on energy and are agile so you would have to spend a lot of time training them and getting them their required quota of exercise and physical activity.
With a life expectancy of about 12-13 years, the Swedish Elkhound doesn’t respond well to heat and needs to be kept in cold places.
Sometimes, people confuse the Swedish Elkhound with the Norwegian Elkhound and though there are similarities, there are notable differences. You can distinguish the Swedish Elkhound from its physical appearance. It is longer, taller and heavier than the Norwegian Elkhound.
2. Schiller Hound
The Schiller Hound or the Schillerstövare dates back to the 19th century and was originally bred as a hunting dog. It is a medium to a large-sized dog that is known for its agility, attention span and lively disposition. They have a black and tan coat and are really pleasant-looking dogs.
These dogs love attention and human companionship. They may bark sometimes, so if you have an aversion to their barking, you should invest in their training meticulously and start young. They are also known to be territorial about their owners and may not take very well to guests.
These dogs usually have a healthy lifespan, though sometimes they can develop ear infections and hip dysplasia. They tend to enjoy a very fit and healthy lifestyle and for this, they need a very vigorous routine involving a lot of exercise and physical activity.
Another key thing to note about this dog is that you can’t confine it to a small space. This dog loves open spaces and would enjoy roaming around. The main thing about the Schiller Hound is that you need to keep it engaged at all times.
The lack of physical and mental stimulation can make it restless and aggressive. It can break into howling, chewing on furniture and even ignoring your commands. This is not merely a nuisance, but may also lead to long-term behavioral issues in your dog. Hence, you need to be careful of these things right from the beginning.
A spitz-type dog breed from Sweden, the Norrbottenspets is a small to medium-sized dog that was originally bred as a hunting dog. It has many names some of which include Norrbottenspitz, the Nordic Spitz and the Pohjanpystykorva. The breed is said to have a combination of German and arctic blood in it, though its exact origin is somewhat obscure.
Confined mostly to the Scandanavian region, the Norrbottenspets were once declared extinct in the 1960s. It was only after significant numbers were sound later that the status was revoked.
It has all the typical spitz features and is compact in size and sturdy in its build and strength. The breed has a thick double coat that helps them in withstanding harsh winters. It comes in a number of colors and is distinguished by its yellow and red patches all over its body.
They are known for their intelligence and energy and have a lot of exercise needs. You cannot expect them to be lying around the house without venturing out. They will not only turn restless with the lack of exercise but will also exhibit destructive tendencies. Hence, such a situation is best avoided.
These dogs are known also for their curious nature that is likely to keep you engaged at all times. Though it is not very aggressive, it is said to be less tolerant of pesky children. Hence, you are best advised to keep children away from Norrbottenspets.
The Drever is a short-legged scent dog from Sweden that is known for its hunting abilities. This dog breed has short fur with a lot of white patches on a number of colors. This dog is agile and doesn’t seem to have a lot of health issues that make them a good addition to any household.
They are very affectionate towards their owners and love to cuddle with them indoors. They also make good watchdogs provided they have a good trainer who catches them young.
They have a good amount of energy and would enjoy high levels of activity. You can take them out for walks, play with them. The idea is to mix it up so that they don’t get bored.
They also like a lot of attention so if you have other pets in the house, she may not like it. The same goes for very young children. If you have both very young children and pets at home, you should invest in training more thoroughly and that should work.
5. Hamilton Hound
Named after the founder of the Swedish Kennel Club, Count Adolf Patrick Hamilton, this is a beautiful and low-maintenance dog. They are agile and need a lot of exercise, which means you would have to spend time and energy on keeping them active.
If you love jogging or hiking and are looking for a companion who wouldn’t say no, get home a Hamilton Hound (also known as Hamiltonstövare). They also make great tracking dogs. The only limitation with these dogs is that they can’t survive heat for long periods, hence you can only get them if you live in colder climates.
6. Swedish Vallhund
Dating back almost 1,000 years, this is one of the oldest dog breeds out there. The Swedish Vallhund is one of Sweden’s most popular breeds which was originally bred as livestock guard dogs. Because of this reason, they were also called ‘Swedish Cow Dog’.
They have survived a bout of extinction around the 1940s but prolonged efforts and careful breeding have kept them alive till today. They are incredibly popular among dog lovers because of their mild manners and beautiful appearance.
They are incredibly inquisitive and will make excellent playmates for people who love to engage with their dogs. They are fiercely protective of their owner and would like to be engaged in everything they do.
7. Smaland Hound
The Smaland Hound originated in the 16th century and is one of the oldest remaining scent hounds in Sweden. They are exceptionally rare and very compact. They don’t do well in small and cramped apartments and are suited only to open spaces.
They bond well with their owners and are known for their loyalty and fierceness towards them. You would also have to spend a good amount of time on their training and exercise needs. Else, they will feel bored and restless.
The lack of exercise can even turn them destructive and they may misbehave. This is why you cannot miss their exercise even once. If you have other dogs at home, you need to train your Smaland Hound from a young age to ensure it gels well with other dogs. They may not do very well with cats though.
8. Swedish Lapphund
Being one of the oldest of Swedish dog breeds, this dog has undergone several changes since it was originally bred. It has worked as a guard dog, hunting dog and even a reindeer herder and this makes it incredibly special. The Swedish Lapphund is on the decline and only a few remain today.
They are ideal for competitions and make lovely home companions. They are cute and compact but will need to be trained because they have a propensity to bark a lot. Almost a timeless breed, these dogs make excellent playmates for children.