Jamthund (Swedish Elkhound) - A Tough and Attractive Breed

Swedish Elkhound is Scandinavian and Nordic region breed. The dog was bred to hunt in cold regions. It shares resemblance to Swedish Lapphund. The only difference is that it is a sturdily built up animal and short in stature.

They have a magnetic look and any dog lover will be attracted to it. However, it is not suitable breed for every owner as the dog has wolf ancestry, so it tends to be strong headed and needs experienced leader to be tamed.


They are double coated animals, so they need regular brushing as they shed a great deal of hairs. The dog has a jest to live an active life; it cannot cope up in home environment with limited movement and activity. It was bred to hunt and work alongside human; you will hardly find this dog taking afternoon nap.

It is a loyal dog and determined watchdog that will take care of your kids in your absence. They also love to play with kids. If you are confident and experienced owner, then only own this breed.


It is an ancient breed and not much documents are available that can prove its exact origin. Experts believe that it is a purebred which was kept by Sami people to aid them in their day to day life. They used to hunt with these dogs and used it for collecting woods for cooking.


This breed shares the same bloodline with Swedish Lapphund, Finnish Lapphund, Lapponian Herder and the Norwegian elkhound. Earlier Norwegian and Swedish elkhound were considered as same but because of their stockier body and small body, they were registered as different breed.


Jamthund Characteristics

  • The breed belongs to Nordic region and is a hunting as well as working dog.
  • Life expectancy of this breed is 11-14 years.
  • It is a courageous, calm, active and dominant minded.
  • Height of the dog is 57–65 cm.
  • It weighs around 23–30 kg.
  • Dog comes in shades of grey color.
  • The breed requires ample of physical exercise and mental stimulation to stay happy and healthy.
  • It sheds heavily. Coat should be brushed daily to keep it in healthy state.
  • It is not a hypoallergenic breed.
  • The dog is proficient in hunting large animals like beer and moose.
  • Experienced trainer is required to teach it skills.
  • Average price of the puppy is $1000 to $1200.


It is a wolf-like dog which is longer than tall. Its body is sturdily built up and muscular. Its head is wedged shaped and muzzle is short and tapered towards the end. The dog has strong jaws with a leveled bite. Its ears are pointed, erected and sets atop its head. The neck of the dog is long and well arched. Its tail is bushy and gets curled over its back. Front legs are strong and straight. Hind legs are muscular and powerful.

Size and Weight

Average height of the male breed is 57–65 cm while female height is 52–60 cm. The breed should be 23–30 kg in weight.


Coat and Color

The breed has similar coat to spitz type dogs. It has double coat which is thick and medium in length. Hair tends to be longer in the neck, chest and tail region. The dog can withstand extreme cold temperature because of its coat type. However, they cannot thrive in hot temperature area.

The breed requires air conditioned room in summers. Like all dogs, its top coat is rough and coarse to dense. Undercoat is dense and soft to touch. It comes in similar color as that of wolf. The dog comes in shades of grey color with tan markings on head, tail, chest and neck.


  1. Personality - The dog is valiant in nature. It doesn’t know what it is like to be week and timid. It is courageous and fearless breed. Because it was bred for large hunting games so it tends to be stubborn and dominant in nature. It remains even tempered inside home on the condition you fulfill its exercise needs. If children are raised with this breed, they make best four legged animals to the breed. They can do well with house children because of their naturally protective instincts. They are not animal friendly breed and should always be under supervision when with other house pets.
  2. Behavior - This breed is not suitable for apartment life because they crave for outside environment and an open space where they can express themselves. They are human pleasures but require firm owner who can establish leadership in dog’s mind. They are remarkable hunting dogs and working dogs. They are tenacious worker and dedicated hunter. The dog makes wonderful watch dog. They are also capable of guarding, herding and pulling sleds.
  3. Activities Requirement - It is an energetic dog that needs to be exhausted before you take it inside home. They love to work alongside and should be given chance to engage in any task. Along with physical exercise, they also require mental stimulation. The dog loves challenging work where it can prove itself.
  4. Training - They are sharp minded and are eager to learn new skills, however as mentioned above, they need strong hand to tame them. Make the dog understand, its position in the pack (family). Obedience training and early socialization are must for them to learn. The dog is independent minded, so it may not always listen to you. Positive techniques will ensure that they give response to your command.


Puppy diet should have high quantity of protein to foster its development. Feed the puppy three times a day till the dog reaches one year. After that you can reduce it to twice bowl of meal per day. The food should be superior in quality and shouldn’t have artificial preservative in it. Feed it raw meat, fish, bacon, prawn and vegetables.


The life expectancy of this breed is 11-14 years.

Health Issues

It is not a hypoallergenic breed. Generally, it is a healthy breed with no major health defects. Few minor health concerns may include - hip and elbow dysplasia, patellar luxation, PRA, skin diseases, liver disease, and hearing problems. The breed is also prone to get obese.

Grooming and Caring

They shed throughout the year. Use bristle brush to comb short hair coat and pin brush to comb long hair. This breed doesn’t need frequent bathing. The dog can develop tear strains around its eyes which should be cleaned with vet approved solution or warm wet cloth. Check its ear periodically for any sign of wax, infection and irritation. Clean its teeth to promote good oral health. Trim its nail if it doesn’t wear them off.


The dog thrives well in cold climate regions. It is fond of snowfall. It is not an apartment dog and needs open space to thrive.

Pet Names

  1. Tingu
  2. Tisca
  3. Silver
  4. Kind
  5. Joe

Things To Consider Before Buying


  1. The dog is highly versatile. It makes excellent watchdog, guard dog and herding dog.
  2. It is a healthy breed with no major health issues.
  3. A well trained dog is a perfect addition to family.


  1. It is not an animal friendly dog.
  2. The dog requires active owner who can fulfill its energy requirement.
  3. It is stubborn and willful minded.