Jämthund

Other names: Swedish Elkhound, Swedish Moosehound

Jämthund

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 :

7

19

12

14

Temperament :

Hunter

Size :

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.

FCI Group

FCI Group

Group 5 - Spitz and primitive types

Section

Section 2 : Nordic Hunting Dogs

Physical characteristics of the Jämthund

Adult size

Female dog : Between 20 and 24 in

Male dog : Between 22 and 26 in

Weight

Female dog : Between 55 and 66 lb

Male dog : Between 55 and 66 lb

Coat colour

Blue

Type of coat

Long

Eye colour

Brown

Description

Large spitz breed. Strong, proud stature. Alert expression. A wolf-like appearance. 

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. 

Temperament

  • 33%

    Affectionate

    This big dog is a real softy at heart. They love being around their favourite people and really enjoy human contact. 

  • 66%

    Playful

    A naturally playful breed. Enjoys high energy games that can also provide a mental challenge.

  • 66%

    Calm

    Once properly exercised, the Jamthund becomes surprisingly calm. In fact, they’re actually quite docile, especially during the late evening. 

  • 66%

    Intelligent

    A very intelligent dog with a strong and independent mind. Enjoys being mentally challenged. 

  • 100%

    Hunter

    This dog was bred to hunt elk, moose, and bears. Has a very high prey drive. A fearless and bold-hearted dog. 

  • 100%

    Fearful / wary of strangers

    A confident and self-assured dog. Will never display any nervous behaviour around strangers. 

  • 100%

    Independent

    Independent and strong-willed. Likes the feeling of being in charge. Tends to assert its personality over other dogs.

    Behaviour of the Jämthund

    • 100%

      Tolerates solitude

      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.

    • 33%

      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. 

    • 100%

      Barking

      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!”

    • 100%