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

Life expectancy :





Temperament :

Playful Calm Hunter

Size :

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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

FCI Group

Group 6 - Scent hounds and related breeds


Section 1 : Scent hounds

Physical characteristics of the Smålandsstövare

Adult size

Female : Between 17 and 20 in

Male : Between 18 and 21 in


Female : Between 33 and 40 lb

Male : Between 33 and 40 lb

Coat colour

Type of coat

Eye colour



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.


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    Known to be affectionate, loving and loyal, but only to its owner and immediate family.

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    This dog loves to run around and play outside with its family, especially the kids.

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    Assuming it gets enough exercise, the Smaland Hound is a calm, content and docile pet within the family home.

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    The Smaland Hound is highly intelligent, capable of learning complicated tricks with ease.

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    As a natural hunting dog, chasing and killing prey is part of this breed’s nature.

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    Fearful / wary of strangers

    The Smaland Hound is naturally wary of strangers and highly protective over its family.

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    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

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      Tolerates solitude

      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.

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      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.

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      Although this breed will bark loudly at strangers, it’s not otherwise known as a vocal breed.

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      Tendency to run away

      The Smaland is a talented scent hound and will fiercely track any smells it picks up on. While a good recall can help, it might be necessary to keep your dog on a lead in areas with lots of wildlife, small animals or traffic.

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      The Smaland’s destructive tendencies (hyperactivity, chewing, barking) solely depend on whether its needs are met. Under-exercise this active breed, and say hello to destruction!

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      Greedy / Gluttony

      This dog is not known to be excessively greedy, but treats are always a good positive reinforcement for good behaviour.

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      Guard dog

      This is not a guard dog at heart, but it can be territorial and protective enough to boldly alert its family of suspicious intruders.

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      First dog

      While the Smaland Hound is first and foremost a working dog, it can make a great companion for novice owners due to its easy-going personality.

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        Smålandsstövare in a flat

        This energetic breed is likely to be destructive in a flat or apartment, where it would lack the ability to explore and expend energy. Ideally, the Smaland will live in a country/rural environment.

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        Need for exercise / Sporty

        The Smaland was bred to work and, therefore, thrives in an active household. If you’re considering keeping this breed as a family pet, you’ll need to be able to dedicate at least two hours per day for exercise and mental stimulation. Fast walking, hiking, jogging, scent games, swimming and sports are all great options!

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        Travelling / easy to transport

        As a medium-sized breed, the Smaland can be easily transported. However, due to its high exercise requirements, it may become restless during long journeys.


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          Smålandsstövare and cats

          The Smaland can coexist with cats it grew up with.

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          Smålandsstövare and dogs

          The Smaland is sociable in nature, and can cohabit or meet regularly with other dogs.

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          Smålandsstövare and children

          This friendly pooch is known to adore kids and loves to spend time playing with them.

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          Smålandsstövare and the elderly

          The Smaland is far too active for an elderly dog owner.



          We do not have enough data to set an average price for purchase of this breed. However, looking after a dog of this size typically costs between £70 to £100 a month, including food, medical/insurance, and incidental expenses.


          Thankfully, the Smaland Hound has an easy-care coat which will only require a weekly brush. The rest is normal canine care, such as occasional bathing, nail trimming once monthly and daily tooth brushing. The Smaland’s ears need more care and attention than other breeds, though. Check and clean them (if necessary) once per week.


          This breed sheds seasonally. Brush the Smaland daily during these periods.

          Nutrition of the Smålandsstövare

          Feed this energetic dog a high-quality, complete and balanced dog food which is formulated specifically for working or active dog breeds.

          Health of the Smålandsstövare

          Life expectancy

          Generally long-lived and robust with a strong immune system, this breed's life expectancy is 13 years.

          Strong / robust

          The Smaland Hound is famed for its sturdy and robust disposition.

          Withstand heat

          This hardy breed will tolerate heat but is far better suited to cold climates.

          Withstand cold

          The Smaland is capable of hunting during freezing cold Swedish winters, holding a high tolerance to cold and wet weather.

          Tendency to put on weight

          If this active breed receives adequate exercise, it’s highly unlikely to experience weight problems.

          Common illnesses

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