Other names: Smaland Hound
The Smålandsstövare, more commonly known as the Smaland Hound, is a medium-sized scent hound native to Sweden. Famed for being a robust and hardworking hunter, it was (and often still is) used to hunt fox and hare. However, this working dog also makes a loving family companion; known to be loyal and friendly to its inner circle yet wary of strangers. In fact, this unique hound can make the perfect pet for those living in rural areas who are searching for a protective and active canine companion.
Key facts about the Smålandsstövare
Origins and history
The Smaland originates from 16th century Southern Sweden, but wasn’t recognised as an official breed by the Swedish Kennel Club until 1921. This robust, dedicated and intelligent dog is an incredible multitasker, and so, was loved by Swedish farmers who couldn’t afford more than one working dog. The breed is believed to be a mix of several Spitz breeds along with English, Polish and German hounds.
FCI breed nomenclature
Group 6 - Scent hounds and related breeds
Section 1 : Scent hounds
Physical characteristics of the Smålandsstövare
Female : Between 17 and 20 in
Male : Between 18 and 21 in
Female : Between 33 and 40 lb
Male : Between 33 and 40 lb
Black and tan, sometimes with white markings on the chest and feet.
Type of coat
Thick, harsh and weatherproof.
The Smaland Hound is a medium-sized, muscular and stocky dog with a square-like, compact body. The head and face are narrow, featuring a black nose with big nostrils, moderately-sized, high-set floppy ears and dark, almond-shaped eyes.
Good to know
The Smaland Hound is thought to be the oldest scent hound breed in existence.
Known to be affectionate, loving and loyal, but only to its owner and immediate family.
This dog loves to run around and play outside with its family, especially the kids.
Assuming it gets enough exercise, the Smaland Hound is a calm, content and docile pet within the family home.
The Smaland Hound is highly intelligent, capable of learning complicated tricks with ease.
As a natural hunting dog, chasing and killing prey is part of this breed’s nature.
Fearful / wary of strangers
The Smaland Hound is naturally wary of strangers and highly protective over its family.
Bred to work alone on farms with little to no guidance from its master, this breed is independent and free-spirited. However, it is generally obedient, and this independent streak is only likely to rear its head if the dog is tracking a scent.
Behaviour of the Smålandsstövare
Although not known to suffer from separation anxiety, this breed does form strong ties with its family and will appreciate as much company as possible.
Easy to train / obedience
This dog is docile and devoted to its master. It’s quite simple to educate the Smaland Hound in a positive and benevolent way. It needs to learn not to run away too much during walks.
Although this breed will bark loudly at strangers, it’s not otherwise known as a vocal breed.