Other names: Swedish Elkhound, Swedish Moosehound
The Jamthund is named after a small province in central Sweden. It was developed by mixing domesticated hunting dogs with wild wolves, which explains the breed’s wolf-like appearance. Used as a sled dog, a watchdog, and a hunting companion, the Jamthund is tough, brave, and very loyal. But while they’re very calm and gentle around humans, the Jamthund can become aggressive and dominant towards other dogs. Today, the Jamthund is still used as a hunting dog. They track elk, lynx, and even bears.
Key facts about the Jämthund
- Life expectancy : Between 12 and 14 years
- Temperament : Hunter
- Size : Large
- Type of coat : Long
- Price : Between £1000 and £1500
Group 5 - Spitz and primitive types
Section 2 : Nordic Hunting Dogs
Physical characteristics of the Jämthund
|Female dog||Between 20 and 24 in|
|Male dog||Between 22 and 26 in|
|Female dog||Between 55 and 66 lb|
|Male dog||Between 55 and 66 lb|
Grey or dark grey. Black mask, and white markings on muzzle, cheeks, and belly.
Type of coat
Harsh, straight topcoat. Soft and dense undercoat.
Large spitz breed. Strong, proud stature. Alert expression. A wolf-like appearance.
This big dog is a real softy at heart. They love being around their favourite people and really enjoy human contact.
A naturally playful breed. Enjoys high energy games that can also provide a mental challenge.
Once properly exercised, the Jamthund becomes surprisingly calm. In fact, they’re actually quite docile, especially during the late evening.
A very intelligent dog with a strong and independent mind. Enjoys being mentally challenged.
This dog was bred to hunt elk, moose, and bears. Has a very high prey drive. A fearless and bold-hearted dog.
Fearful / wary of strangers
A confident and self-assured dog. Will never display any nervous behaviour around strangers.
Independent and strong-willed. Likes the feeling of being in charge. Tends to assert its personality over other dogs.
Behaviour of the Jämthund
The Jamthund is happiest when working alongside its handlers. This dog thrives of a close and lasting relationship with a master. Not suited to solitude.
Easy to train / obedience
Can be a little stubborn. Puppies can struggle to focus during early years training. However, these dogs are willing learners with a desire to please.
Generally quiet. Relaxed and calm around the home. Has a tendency to bark when they come into contact with other dogs. This is their way of saying “I’m the boss!”
Tendency to run away
Very unlikely to run away. Prefers to stay close to its master.
This dog is prone to separation anxiety, which can lead to destructive behaviour. They also enjoy digging up the garden.
Greedy / Gluttony
No issues with overeating.
An excellent watchdog. Brave, loyal, and completely fearless. Has an excellent nose for potential trouble.
Not the best option for the first-time dog owner. The Jamthund is willful and very strong. Can easily dominate less-experienced dog handlers.
Jämthund in a flat
A flat is the wrong environment for this large, energetic, working dog.
Need for exercise / Sporty
This dog needs around two hours of exercise every day.
Travelling / easy to transport
These big dogs can be awkward to transport, especially for people with smaller cars.
Jämthund and cats
It’s best to keep the Jamthund away from cats. They are well known for chasing and hunting small animals.
Jämthund and dogs
The Jamthund is a competitive and aggressive animal. They like to take a dominant position and will often overwhelm smaller dogs.
Jämthund and children
The Jamthund is very affectionate to children that they know well. However, they should never be left unsupervised around unfamiliar children.
Jämthund and the elderly
Far too big and strong for the majority of elderly dog owners. Many elderly people may struggle to meet this dog’s exercise demands.
The initial cost of a Jamthund puppy is between £1,000 to £1,500. The average cost to keep one of these dogs (including vet bills, insurance, and food) is between £50 to £100 a month.
Nutrition of the Jämthund
4 cups of high-quality dog food.
Health of the Jämthund
A very healthy and well-bred dog. Their average life expectancy is between 12 and 14 years.
Strong / robust
These dogs have been hunting some of the world’s largest and most dangerous predators for thousands of years. Bred to survive in the harshest natural environments. Very strong. Very robust.
Sheds during the spring, which helps keep them cool in summer. However, they’re not designed for warmer climates. Will feel uncomfortable in hotter countries.
They have a thick, double-layered coat that provides protection against the cold, the rain, and the wind. No problems surviving the cold.
Tendency to put on weight
No issues with weight or obesity. Any unexplained weight gain could be linked to an underlying health issue. Consult a vet for more advice.
Good to know
Often referred to as stubborn, this strong-minded dog needs a confident and competent handler.
Very gentle and soft around the family, but can quickly become aggressive if it perceives any threats to the pack. Early socialisation is crucial.
Shouldn’t be left alone with other pets or small animals.
Origins and history
Although the Jamthund is a very ancient breed, it wasn’t recognised by a kennel club until 1946. This is because the Jamthund and the smaller Norwegian Elkhound were considered as the same breed. The two dogs have a striking similarity, so it’s understandable how many experts believed that the Jamthund was just a larger version of the Elkhound. It’s named after a central Swedish province called Jamtland and locals refer to this big, powerful breed as the “bear dog.” The Jamthund is one of the few working dog breeds that are brave enough to track and hunt bears. The Jamthund is a social and friendly dog, but many experts recommend against keeping them as just pets. The breed has a natural work ethic and will quickly grow bored of domestic life.
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