Dog Breeds


Jämthund is a large, strong hunting spitz designed for hunting big animals. Brave, endowed with strong hunting instincts, he is sometimes dominant towards other dogs. It requires a lot of movement and attachment. I need an experienced owner who will meet his requirements. A loyal companion and an excellent watchman.


Jämthund is endowed with strong hunting instincts. As a passionate, persistent, independent hunter helper, he doesn’t give up following animals, even in difficult conditions.

This inborn stubbornness is a positive trait in a hunting dog, but sometimes it gets in the way of everyday life, especially if the owner has unrealistic expectations of the dog.


When hunting, full of passion and energy, the home is usually trouble-free. Calm and patient with children. Of course, you must know that unbridled and bored can become a destroyer. Jämthundy is generally not aggressive dogs, but as strong animals, they tend to dominate other quadrupeds.


Currently jämthundy are mainly used for hunting elks, but earlier they were also hunted with bears and lynxes. In the local dialect, they were called bear dogs. This is one of the few quadrupeds that does not run away at the sight of this powerful animal.

Jämthund. Training and education

Jämthund, though intelligent and very devoted to the owner, is not a blind obedient dog. He learns easily but requires a special approach. The guardian of a representative of this breed should respect his independent nature, which does not mean that he can allow him everything. On the contrary, raising a puppy should be started as early as possible to implement and consolidate especially the most important command, i.e. recall.

So you have to call him as often as possible and reward him for coming to the command and without it. In the case of puppies, we repeat the commands and try to make them run as soon as possible.


However, this cannot be expected in all situations from an adult jämthund. His natural behavior is moving within a large radius from the guide, which he looks at or returns to from time to time. A learned recall will definitely come, but sometimes it will take him a little more time. Let him do it at his own pace.

Jämthund, who has good contact with the owner, is happy to follow his instructions. Of course, an untrained or inadequately guided dog will not listen to it at all. Patience and a friendly but consistent approach are key when laying jämthunda. Sometimes you just have to let your dog be himself – don’t require him to walk like clockwork.

Some people think that jämthund is slightly less stubborn and easier to train than elkhound. Most problems called “stubbornness” result from a lack of training or from an inappropriate approach. Well-behaved jämthund is a great companion.


Who is this race for?

This breed is suitable primarily for hunters or people who will be able to provide him with movement and occupation and respect some independence of this dog.

Jämthund. Advantages and disadvantages


  • sometimes stubborn and independent
  • has a strong hunting instinct
  • may be dominant towards other dogs
  • bored can destroy


  • loyal companion
  • excellent hunter’s helper
  • healthy and resistant to weather conditions
  • good watchman

Jämthund. Health

In terms of health, they are very strong and resistant dogs. From time to time, however, they have hereditary diseases. Like many large quadrupeds, dysplasia occurs; eye diseases, especially PRA, are also found.

Even before the eyes were regularly examined, there were cases of blindness in adult dogs. There is currently no test for this disease for jämthunds. Known to other breeds of this ailment were excluded. In this situation, the more important are regular eye examinations of breeding dogs.



Jämthund is not particularly demanding when it comes to nutrition, but it should be remembered that a hunting dog, especially in winter, requires high energy.



The care of this large Spitz is simple, but this dog molts generously twice a year. Especially during this period, regular combing is important.

Jämthund. History

Jämthund, also called the Swedish elkhound, is the largest of the Swedish Spitz. This strong and robust, but at the same time agile dog enjoys great popularity in his homeland. The breed was officially recognized only in 1946, including thanks to the efforts of Aksel Lindström. Earlier it was considered a variation of the Norwegian elkhound recognized in the nineteenth century.

The problem was that it did not fully meet the requirements of the pattern. In 1937-1946 there was a fight for jämthunda. Some Swedes wanted to prove at all costs that this is their race, which has nothing to do with the Norwegian cousin. In 1946, the dispute ended with the success of supporters of the separation of races.

Of course, both races have a lot in common. Large hunting spitz has been kept in these areas since the end of the last glaciation. They were used for hunting large animals, pulling sleighs and guarding. Dogs from the south and the coasts of Sweden and Norway were slightly smaller, but more stocky, while quadrupeds from the central and northern regions were taller and longer.

The former had to deal with dense thickets and in rocky areas; while the latter faced a larger snow cover in winter. In Sweden, those from the south were referred to as grahunds (identical to the Norwegian elkhunds), and dogs from the center and north were called norrland. And they have just been recognized under the name jämthund, originating from the province of Jämtland in central Sweden, which by the way was for centuries a dispute between Norway and Sweden and changed hands many times.

In Sweden, jämthund is the fourth most popular breed. Every year around 1,600 puppies are registered there. Many of them are in the hands of hunters. In addition, many dogs of this breed can be found in other Scandinavian countries. Elsewhere, it is rare.

In the United States and Canada it is not recognized at all; jämthundy is treated here as a variation of the Norwegian elkhund and is crossed between them. In general, however, these dogs are rare there, unlike elkhund.

Jämthund. Template

Jämthund – grupa V FCI, section 2, reference number 42

  • Country of origin: Sweden
  • Character: intelligent, brave, energetic, but at the same time stoically calm, loyal, independent, stubborn, alert, with strong hunting instinct
  • Size: dogs 57-65 cm (ideal height 61 cm), bitches 52-60 cm (ideal height 56 ​​cm)
  • Weight: dogs 30-35 kg, bitches 25-30 kg
  • Coat: short, thick, double-layered, with a thick undercoat; the shortest hair on the head and legs; on the neck, breast, tail and trousers longer, but does not form a feather
  • Ointment: wilted with light gray or cream markings on the mouth, throat, breast, stomach, paws and under the tail
  • Lifespan: 10 years
  • Vulnerability to training: average – they are smart and learn quickly, but at the same time have their own opinion
  • Activity: needs a lot of traffic, but at home is calm
  • Resistance/susceptibility to diseases: very resistant
  • Possibility of buying a puppy: only abroad

Interesting facts

Norwegian and Swedish elk dogs are easiest to distinguish by the color of the mask: the first one has a black mask, the second one is light, similar to the meanings in the wolf or Czechoslovakian wolfdog. In addition, Norwegian elkhounds are smaller than Swedish ones.

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