Jämthund Breed description: Character & Co



The Jämthund - Swedish powerhouse

The Swedish dog is also called the Swedish moose dog. The name says it all: He was bred for hunting moose.

About the breed

The Jämthund belongs to FCI group 5, the top dogs and dogs of the primitive type; it is classified in section 2, the Nordic hunting dogs. It is the largest of the Nordic hunting dogs.

History: hunting for over a thousand years

The Jämthund originates from Sweden. There he was used to hunt moose, but also bears and lynxes. In Jämtland it is said to have been known for over a thousand years and to have gone hunting with the first settlers.

However, the Nordic elk-dogs were considered long as a race with different expressions. It was not until 1946 that they were divided into the Swedish Elkhound (Jämthund), the grey Norwegian Elkhound and the black Norwegian Elkhound.

Today it is the Swedish national dog. It is still used for hunting, but is also popular and well known beyond that. It is used as a working and companion dog and is still very rare in Germany.

Banner: Shutterstock / BMJ
Dog,Mammal,Vertebrate,Canidae,Dog breed,Norwegian elkhound,Black norwegian elkhound,Carnivore,Snout,Jämthund,
Alternate Name Swedish Elkhound
Origin Sweden
Life expectancy 10 - 15 years
Care requirements low-maintenance
Activity level high
FCI group Nordic Hunting Dogs
AKC group not recognised
KC group not recognised

The nature: a strong personality

The Jämthund has a very strong personality. This is due to the mission for which it has been used for centuries. It hunts independently, but in contact with its handler.

Accordingly, the Swedish Elkhound is distinctly independent and self-reliant, yet a strong character.

Blind obedience does not suit it at all. In addition, it has a strong desire for freedom and a strong hunting instinct. The Jämthund is certainly not a dog for beginners.

Education: nothing for beginners

If you buy a Jämthund puppy, you should start early with the socialization. The education needs a lot of patience, again and again tact and good ideas, in order to make the exercises, which one wants from him, palatable to the dog, which is so independent. The visit of a dog school is recommended in any case.

With the necessary experience, a lot of consequence and patience the Jämthund can be trained not only as a hunting dog, but also as a rescue dog, a herding dog or a guard dog.

Attitude of the Swedish dog

The agile Jämthund needs a lot of exercise. In a cramped apartment it is not in good hands - a large garden, in which it can move freely, is clearly better. In addition, it needs a lot of exercise and physical and mental workout. Beside long walks - gladly also bicycle tours or riding tours - it needs a task. If it is not to be trained as a hunting dog, it should receive other training or be used in dog sports.

If it is well exercised, it can become a good family dog on the side, accepting children and also other pets.

Since it is very independent, the Jämthund can stay well alone. Then it will return to its role as a watchdog.


Health: the robust

Breed specific diseases are not known in the robust Jämthund. In case of insufficient exercise and wrong feeding, it can develop overweight.

The Jämthund is said to have a life expectancy of up to 15 years.

Care of a moose dog: uncomplicated

The Jämthund is relatively easy to care for. Its coat must be brushed or groomed regularly, in the change of coat daily. In addition, there are the regular checks of ears and eyes, paws and claws, which are necessary for every dog. The teeth also require attention. Either feed your Jämthund food that cleans its teeth, or brush its teeth regularly with a dog toothbrush.

What else you should know

Think carefully about whether you can offer a Jämthund what he needs: Freedom, consistency, work, exercise ...

If you decide to get a Swedish Elkhound, make sure that it is well socialized.

Then the strong dog can become a friend for life.

Jämthund breed description, dog similar to Husky

After the puppies look a little bit like teddy bears, the exterior of the adult Swedish Elkhound reminds more of a wolf.

  • Male 57 to 65 cm height, female 52 to 60 cm
  • weight 29,5 to 30,5 kg
  • powerful stature
  • ears set high, pointed, longer than wide, hairy inside
  • strong and persistent
  • tail of medium length, carried curled up over the back
  • rectangular physique
  • grey, coarse, weatherproof coat with cream-coloured, dense undercoat. cream coloured patches possible in some places
Fur length medium
Fur flat coated
Ear shape Standing Ears
Tail rolled up
Anatomy massive, strong
Size ♀ 52 - 60 cm
Weight ♀ 29 - 30 kg
Size ♂ 57 - 62 cm
Weight ♂ 20 - 30 kg
Suitable For -


  • Overweight

    Often, unfortunately, the dogs very much under excess weight. But the dogs themselves are never to blame!

Sources and relevant links

FCI-Rassestandard (Deutsch)

Accessed on 24.01.2024


Accessed on 24.01.2024

Hans Räber (2014). Enzyklopädie der Rassehunde, Band 1. Franckh-Kosmos Verlags-Gmbh & Company KG.

Frank Rosell (2018). Secrets of the Snout. University of Chicago Press.

Other large dogs

Useful Articles

Subscribe to our newsletter
to stay up to date on dog trends.
We won’t spam your inbox! We won’t sell or rent your email address.
To find out more, view our Privacy Policy
dogbible - a platform for people who love dogs
<svg aria-hidden="true" focusable="false" data-icon="facebook" role="img" xmlns="http://www.w3.org/2000/svg" viewBox="0 0 512 512"><path fill="currentColor" d="M504 256C504 119 393 8 256 8S8 119 8 256c0 123.78 90.69 226.38 209.25 245V327.69h-63V256h63v-54.64c0-62.15 37-96.48 93.67-96.48 27.14 0 55.52 4.84 55.52 4.84v61h-31.28c-30.8 0-40.41 19.12-40.41 38.73V256h68.78l-11 71.69h-57.78V501C413.31 482.38 504 379.78 504 256z" data-v-b19174da="" class=""></path></svg> <svg aria-hidden="true" focusable="false" data-icon="instagram" role="img" xmlns="http://www.w3.org/2000/svg" viewBox="0 0 448 512"><path fill="currentColor" d="M224.1 141c-63.6 0-114.9 51.3-114.9 114.9s51.3 114.9 114.9 114.9S339 319.5 339 255.9 287.7 141 224.1 141zm0 189.6c-41.1 0-74.7-33.5-74.7-74.7s33.5-74.7 74.7-74.7 74.7 33.5 74.7 74.7-33.6 74.7-74.7 74.7zm146.4-194.3c0 14.9-12 26.8-26.8 26.8-14.9 0-26.8-12-26.8-26.8s12-26.8 26.8-26.8 26.8 12 26.8 26.8zm76.1 27.2c-1.7-35.9-9.9-67.7-36.2-93.9-26.2-26.2-58-34.4-93.9-36.2-37-2.1-147.9-2.1-184.9 0-35.8 1.7-67.6 9.9-93.9 36.1s-34.4 58-36.2 93.9c-2.1 37-2.1 147.9 0 184.9 1.7 35.9 9.9 67.7 36.2 93.9s58 34.4 93.9 36.2c37 2.1 147.9 2.1 184.9 0 35.9-1.7 67.7-9.9 93.9-36.2 26.2-26.2 34.4-58 36.2-93.9 2.1-37 2.1-147.8 0-184.8zM398.8 388c-7.8 19.6-22.9 34.7-42.6 42.6-29.5 11.7-99.5 9-132.1 9s-102.7 2.6-132.1-9c-19.6-7.8-34.7-22.9-42.6-42.6-11.7-29.5-9-99.5-9-132.1s-2.6-102.7 9-132.1c7.8-19.6 22.9-34.7 42.6-42.6 29.5-11.7 99.5-9 132.1-9s102.7-2.6 132.1 9c19.6 7.8 34.7 22.9 42.6 42.6 11.7 29.5 9 99.5 9 132.1s2.7 102.7-9 132.1z" data-v-b19174da="" class=""></path></svg> <svg aria-hidden="true" focusable="false" data-icon="pinterest" role="img" xmlns="http://www.w3.org/2000/svg" viewBox="0 0 496 512"><path fill="currentColor" d="M496 256c0 137-111 248-248 248-25.6 0-50.2-3.9-73.4-11.1 10.1-16.5 25.2-43.5 30.8-65 3-11.6 15.4-59 15.4-59 8.1 15.4 31.7 28.5 56.8 28.5 74.8 0 128.7-68.8 128.7-154.3 0-81.9-66.9-143.2-152.9-143.2-107 0-163.9 71.8-163.9 150.1 0 36.4 19.4 81.7 50.3 96.1 4.7 2.2 7.2 1.2 8.3-3.3.8-3.4 5-20.3 6.9-28.1.6-2.5.3-4.7-1.7-7.1-10.1-12.5-18.3-35.3-18.3-56.6 0-54.7 41.4-107.6 112-107.6 60.9 0 103.6 41.5 103.6 100.9 0 67.1-33.9 113.6-78 113.6-24.3 0-42.6-20.1-36.7-44.8 7-29.5 20.5-61.3 20.5-82.6 0-19-10.2-34.9-31.4-34.9-24.9 0-44.9 25.7-44.9 60.2 0 22 7.4 36.8 7.4 36.8s-24.5 103.8-29 123.2c-5 21.4-3 51.6-.9 71.2C65.4 450.9 0 361.1 0 256 0 119 111 8 248 8s248 111 248 248z" data-v-b19174da="" class=""></path></svg>