Country of OriginSweden
Nicknames and Other NamesSwedish Moosehound, Jämthund
Scientific NameCanis lupus familiaris
Breed TypePurebred
GroupNordic Hunting Dogs, Northern Breed
Bred ForHunting small and big game
Recognized ByFCI, UKC
Life Span12-13 Years
Ideal Weight50-66 Pounds (male and female)
Ideal HeightMale: 22-26 Inches
Female: 20-24 Inches
Fur TypeShort, Soft, Close-laying topcoat
Common ColorsLight and Dark Grey
AvailabilityModerately Available
AchievementsKnown as a “Bear-Dog”
Suitable for ApartmentsNo
Used in World WarNo
Most Similar ToFinnish Lapphund

The Swedish Elkhound is one of the two Elkhound where the other two are: Norwegian Elkhound and Black Norwegian Elkhound. It is a medium to the large-sized spitz-type dog breed that was bred for hunting small as well as the big game. They are also popularly known as Jämthund and the ‘bear dog’.

Swedish Elkhound is a strong, muscular dog that has a wolf-like appearance and marking on their coat. The head is long and broad with erect ears and oval-shaped, dark brown eyes. Their tail is curly, dense and usually held high.

Origin and History

The Origin of the Swedish Elkhound is in Sweden and is widely found in northern Europe. It was breed through hybridization male dogs and female wolves. Swedish Elkhound has shared its history with Swedish Lapphound, Norweigian Elkhound, Laponion Herder, and Finnish Lapphound.

The FCI has included Jamthund in the Nordic Hunting Dog under the Primitive dog group. The United Kennel Club has kept it in the group of Northern Breed Group.

Temperament, Behavior, and Personality

Temperament: The Swedish Elkhound is a well-tempered and well-mannered dog that does well with an active, loving family. At home with their people, they are very loving, gentle, and calm. Whereas in the field, they are very brave, bold, and confidant.

Behavior: Swedish Elkhound forms a very strong bond with its family and sees them as a part of their pack. So, they will warn their people if there is any threat with a massive bark. They are also a very active dog breed that thrives on regular activities.

If they are provided with good amount of physical exercise, they tend to get anxious and destructive.

Swedish Elkhound with its master on the hunt
Swedish Elkhound with its master on the hunt.
Image Source: browning blog

Personality: The personality of the Swedish Elkhound is friendly, loving, and protective. As mentioned above that they see their people as a member of their pack, they are very protective of them and defend them from any kind of harm. Despite their high energy, they are very calm and quiet at home.


Training Swedish Elkhound is not a tough task to do as long as you can provide them with consistent training. Ne patient and firm with them and establish leadership from an early age. They tend to respond well to positive methods of training, so reward them with delicious treats and lots of vocal praise.

Is Swedish Elkhound Child-Friendly?

Yes, Swedish Elkhound does very well with children due to their gentle, friendly, and loving nature towards them. They are playful and protective of kids. Although they can get along with each other, proper elderly supervision is always necessary to avoid any kind of accidents.

A baby surrounded by Jack Russell Terrier, hamiltonstövare, and Swedish Elkhound
A baby surrounded by Swedish Elkhound, Jack Russell Terrier, and hamiltonstövare.
Image Source: Instagram-@ vilddjurenpasjutton


  • Swedish Elkhound is also known as the ‘Bear Dog’ as it is one of the few dogs that are not likely to draw back while confronting a bear.
  • It has not yet been recognized by the American Kennel Club (as of 2019).

Health Issues

General HealthHealthy
Common Health IssuesDiabetes, Liver Issues, Obesity,
Skin Allergies, Deafness
Vaccination RequiredRabies, Canine Coronavirus, Leptospirosis,
Canine Parvovirus, Canine Distemper,
Kennel Cough, Canine Parainfluenza
SheddingModerate Shedder
DroolingAverage Drooler
GroomingAverage Grooming Required
Weight Gain PotentialAverage
Separation AnxietyLow Chance
Diets and SupplementsProtein: 25%
Fat: 8%
Digestive Enzymes
Milk Thistle

The Swedish Elkhound is a healthy dog breed in general but can face some of the following canine diseases:

  • Hip Dysplasia: It is a genetic problem where the hip joints of your dog are dislocated from its original place or underdeveloped. So, before buying a puppy from a breeder, check for its parent’s health problems.
  • Skin Allergy: When your dog is in contact with foreign particles or food that can be harmful to its skin like sun, dust, grasses, it is called skin allergy. It causes rashes, itching, and pain in the body. So, anything that can be harmful to our dog should be avoided by it.


Swedish Elkhound comes in the following colors:

  • Ligh
  • Dark Gray
  • Wolf markings


Swedish Elkhound puppies
Swedish Elkhound puppies playing.
Image Source: Pinterest-@docs

Cost: The average cost of the Swedish Elkhound puppy is between $500-$800 USD.


Height: The average height of the Swedish Elkhound is between 20-26 inches.

Weight: The average weight of the Swedish Elkhound is between 55-77 pounds.

Similar Dog Breeds to Swedish Elkhound

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