Thursday, June 28, 2012

Unusual Breed: Jämthund

The Jämthund is also known as the Swedish Elkhound
Today's unusual breed is actually quite popular in its native Sweden: the Jämthund. Currently, it's really unusual to find the breed in such countries as the United States. This breed and the Norwegian Elkhound were apparently once considered to be one and the same and were shown together. The FCI has considered them to be separate breeds since 1941, with the standards calling for the Jämthund to be significantly larger. Hunting needs required a larger, more powerful dog as Jämthunds were expected to not just hunt elk, but to do such things as take on a bear.

Standards for the Jämthund seem to emphasize a strong, sturdy, capable dog. Interestingly enough, there are a number of marked points that now differentiate this breed from the Norwegian Elkhound, including such things as tail curl and some notes on facial structure. Temperament calls for an energetic dog that is courageous and capable, but also very calm. There is a strict color standard, allowing only one color with specifics to where the pale markings on the dog must be, and also what they look like. Some of the traits deemed unfavorable are also interesting, such as not fitting the aforementioned color standard and having anything other than a loosely curled tail with fur that's rather profuse. The really is a lot of mention of coat markings and the tail.

As for health in this breed, I have found evidence of hip dysplasia, thyroid issues, renal issues, cysts, and progressive retinal atrophy.

Sources are Fédération Cynologique Internationale, United Kennel Club, PubMed, MyPets, and Svenska Jämthundklubben. Image is from Wikimedia Commons under a Creative Commons license.


  1. Which standards are you reading about the faults?

  2. Excited to see that someone wrote about the swedish moosehound, doesnt happen very often. I had one myself and its a gorgeous noble breed.
    Too bad that every-single-kennel in Sweden only sell dogs to hunters that will use the dog to hunt, people who want to only have a friend gets declined, which limits this breeds recognition and gene pool, and this breed really deserves more attention, I hope that other major kennel clubs will recognize the Jämthund soon.
    The colors in this breed is only agouti, and has been for hundreds of years which is why there aren´t any other colors or patterns faulted other than the "tie". The differences are huge between the swedish and the norwegian, though the picture above dont really justify how the Jämthund looks.