Swedish Elkhound

Grey Elkhound, Jamthund

The Swedish Elkhound is an excellent life companion. He remains a primitive dog and predator, but his affectionate, calm and quiet side makes him a family dog that can play with everyone without any issue. His tenacity and perseverance at work and in family are much appreciated when hunting and at home, and by all members of the household.

Height 52 to 65 cm
Weight 25 to 30 kg
Life expectancy 12 to 14 years
Home country Sweden

Quick Overview of the Swedish Elkhound


  • Brave hunter
  • Persevering
  • Lively and tenacious
  • Affectionate and faithful


  • Nice appearance, solid build
  • Flat coat
  • Brown oval eyes
  • Pointed erect ears


  • Rustic and robust
  • Almost never sick
  • No specific pathology

Temperament of the Swedish Elkhound

The Swedish Elkhound is a courageous, persevering, lively and tenacious hunter. He is affectionate, loyal, calm and of a rather strong and dominant character.

He is compatible with children and is an excellent babysitter.

As he can be stubborn, his education must be firm and uncompromising.

This beautiful Nordic dog remains an elk hunting dog above all. He has become a good companion dog and is also used as a guardian.

These multiple roles can be taught without any problem because he has all the necessary skills to perform them well.

chien d'élan suédois personnalité

Breed Appearance

Swedish elkhound

This large, rectangular Spitz-type dog has a certain presence and is solid and strongly built.

His Nordic look is very recognizable, and his developed musculature does not prevent him from displaying surprising agility. His morphology is harmonious.


Between 57 and 65 cm (22.44 to 25.59 inches) for the male
Between 52 and 60 cm (20.47 to 23.62 inches) for the female


Between 25 and 30 kg (55.12 to 66.14 pounds) for the male
Between 25 and 30 kg (55.12 to 66.14 pounds) for the female


The color of his coat can vary from light to dark grey.

Light grey or cream-colored spots may be found on each side of the muzzle, cheeks, throat, abdomen, limbs and under the tail. These are known as "wolf marks".


The hair of the Swedish Elkhound is flat, but not flattened. His short undercoat is soft and often of a beautiful cream color.


His skull is slightly domed with a clear stop. His eyes are oval and brown. His pointed ears are erect.

His broad nose is black. His pretty bushy tail is medium size. It is carried curled over the back but not too tight.

According to the FCI breeds nomenclature, this breed belongs to group 5, section 2 and is #42

Tips About this breed

However, he needs an early and firm education. It must be respectful and include socialisation, which usually does not cause any real problems.

It is important to master his natural reserve towards strangers at an early stage. This mistrust should never be exacerbated, but rather, it should be contained and and controlled.

He is rarely aggressive, but because he doesn't like newcomers, his distrust is usually enough to impress malevolent people.

Despite his strong temperament and independence, he loves his family and is very affectionate.

He is still a predator, but he is relatively calm and quiet in the household.

He can live indoors and outdoors without any problems, as long as he benefits from his daily exercise.

Health of the Swedish Elkhound

This hardy and robust dog is hardly ever sick.

He is not affected by any specific pathology or genetic disease and his life expectancy is appreciable.


His coat is very easy to maintain and does not require any special care. An occasional brushing is enough to ensure a healthy coat.

History of this breed

Originally from Sweden, the Swedish Elkhound has been known since the repopulation of Northern Sweden.

Used at that time to hunt elk, he was also prized for hunting lynx and bear.

Recognized only in 1946, he was related, for a long time, to his counterpart, the Norwegian Grey Elkhound. This misconception was later corrected, and the breed became a very distinct breed in the 1940s.

Mainly used as a hunting dog, he is also sleigh dog, companion, research and therapy dog.

He can perform all these tasks without very easily.

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