The Swedish Elkhound is a very old breed believed to have been around during the 1000s. The companion dogs of the Stone Age people are speculated to be the ancestors of this breed. Jamtland, a province in the northwestern part of Sweden is the place of origin of this breed. It is believed that this breed noted for its magnificent stature has been raised by the Jamtland people during the later period of the last Ice Age. This is the reason why the breed gained the name Jamthund.
The Swedish Elkhound is a spitz type dog breed that has the looks of a wolf. A Swedish Elkhound’s longer than tall body is smoothly covered by a light to dark close lying hair. Cream and gray marking on the dog’s cheeks, muzzle, chest, belly and legs enhances the striking appearance of the thick double coat. A tightly curled scimitar shaped tail is another feature that gives this breed an impressive appearance.
As the name suggests, the breed was primarily used to hunt elk. A Swedish Elkhound is a strong, courageous and energetic hunter. This breed was specifically developed to be a working dog. The breeding was aimed at creating a taller and bigger dog with a strong constitution . The dog has to have remarkable ability to adapt to the densely forested areas, to have the ability to climb steep rocky ledges and to easily negotiate deep snow when trailing a prey. The Swedish Elkhound has gained a name for being an outstanding hunter not only of elk but of moose, lynx, bear and other game. The name Jamthund in fact is a local dialect that means bear dog.
A Swedish Elkhound is an all around breed. Primarily developed to be a hunter, the dog has adapted well to its environment so that it was given other duties as well. A Jamthund is also a herding dog, a utility dog, a guard dog and a sled dog . Due to the bravery and intelligence, this dog was used as an army dog and was named as the national dog of the Swedish Marine. The Swedish Elkhound was designated as the official service canine of the Swedish Air Force.
Bold and aggressive when hunting, a Swedish Elkhound is known for its stoic demeanor. A Swedish Elkhound makes a wonderful companion dog as apart from an affectionate and friendly nature, this dog also has a stable and calm temperament. The affection for the whole family, the tolerance and the gentleness shown to the children are qualities that make a Swedish Elkhound breed an ideal family companion.