- Height: 16-21 inches
- Weight: 33- 45 lb
- Lifespan: 10-13 years
- Group: UKC Scenthound
- Best Suited For: active singles, active families, house with a yard, experienced dog owners, hunters
- Temperament: loyal, gentle, protective, intelligent, active
- Comparable Breeds: Black and Tan Coonhound, Rottweiler
Also known as the Smaland Hound, the Smålandsstövare is a Swedish scenthound and the smallest of the Swedish hounds. This breed is similar in appearance to the Rottweiler, but his talents lie in hunting rather than guarding. Though the breed is recognized by the FCI, it is still extremely rare with fewer than 100 puppies registered each year.
Also known as the Smaland Hound, the Smålandsstövare is a Swedish scenthound and the smallest of the Swedish hounds.
Though to be the oldest hound breed in Sweden, the Smålandsstövare is also known as the Smaland Hound. This breed originated in the 16th century and was developed by crossing local spitz-type dogs with various hounds kept by soldiers of the Swedish Empire returning home. During their development, the Smålandsstövare came to be a well-rounded farm dog in addition to being a scent hound because farmers could only afford to feed one hunting dog. The breed is talented in hunting a variety of quarry, though he is most commonly used for hare, squirrel, and fox.
In the 20th century, the Smålandsstövare almost went extinct but breed enthusiasts fought to keep him alive. The first breed standard was adopted in 1921 by the Swedish Kennel Club and the breed is also accepted by the UKC, FCI, and the American Rare Breed Association (ARBA). The breed remains rare today with fewer than 100 puppies being registered with the FCI each year.
The Smålandsstövare is the smallest of the Swedish hound breeds, developed from native Swedish hounds and local spitz-type dogs.
Choosing the right diet for your Smålandsstövare is very important for his long-term health and wellness. As a medium-sized breed, this dog may do well on a high-quality commercial diet formulated for adult dogs. If you use your dog for hunting or dog sports, however, an active or working breed formula may be more appropriate. Just make sure your dog gets plenty of protein to maintain his lean muscle mass and be wary of overfeeding to prevent obesity.
The Smålandsstövare is an intelligent breed that generally responds well to positive reinforcement training.
The Smålandsstövare is an intelligent breed that generally responds well to positive reinforcement training. These dogs were bred to hunt and to act as all-purpose farm dogs, so they do have an independent side to them. It is best to maintain a firm and consistent hand in training without being harsh or cruel. These dogs do best with an experienced dog owner and they need to have their training reinforced throughout their lives.
The Smålandsstövare is a medium-sized hunting breed that typically stands 16 to 21 inches tall and weighs 33 to 45 pounds.
The Smålandsstövare is a hardworking breed with a great deal of stamina but he can also do well as a companion pet. These dogs form strong bonds with their owners and they can be very protective of their family as well as their territory. These dogs are naturally wary around strangers and generally make good watch dogs. They can be very vocal and they do need a good deal of space, so they are not a good choice for apartment dwellers.
Common Health Problems
Because the Smålandsstövare is such a rare breed, little is known about congenital conditions to which he may be prone. As a hunting breed, however, the Smålandsstövare is likely prone to field injuries and his pendulous ears put him at risk for ear infections. Other conditions to which the breed may be prone include hip dysplasia and obesity.
The average lifespan for the Smålandsstövare is 12 to 15 years.
The Smålandsstövare is a very energetic breed with a great deal of stamina. As such, he requires at least an hour of moderate to vigorous exercise per day, though more is always appreciated. If you don’t train your dog for hunting, consider another dog sport to ensure that his exercise needs are met.
The Smålandsstövare is a hardworking breed with a great deal of stamina but he can also do well as a companion pet.
The Smålandsstövare is not currently recognized by the AKC but is a member of the Scenthound group with the UKC and belongs to Group 6 (Scenthounds) with the FCI.
The Smålandsstövare has a medium-long coat that is coarse in texture. It is straight, shiny, and close-lying with a short, dense undercoat. The breed is black and tan in color with tan markings located over the eyes and on the chest, cheeks, throat, feet, and legs. Some dogs also have tan coloring on the belly and inner thighs. Grooming is fairly straightforward and this breed sheds seasonally.
The average litter size for the Smålandsstövare is unknown because it is still a rare breed. Puppies should be started with socialization and training as early as possible, especially if you plan to train your dog for hunting. Feed your puppy a high-quality puppy formula until he is 12 months old then switch to an adult or working breed recipe.
Photo credit: Linathrash/Wikimedia; Canarian/Wikimedia