The Jämthund is probably the most impressive of Sweden’s native breeds with its size and grand stature. The breed derives from large hunting spitzes found in the forest region of the north barrier of Scandinavia and Russia.
These spitzes most likely came with hunting tribes that migrated to Sweden thousands of years ago. Two types of wolf coloured spitz have been recognised in Scandinavia, the smaller Norwegian Elkhound and the larger Jämthund. The Norwegians decided in 1877 that the smaller was to be called Norwegian Elkhound.
The large variety that was mainly known in the Swedish county of Jämtland did not match the standard for Elkhounds on several points, especially not for size. However, the varieties were judged as one breed for decades.
During the 1930s this became a very hot topic that was frequently discussed, and of such importance that there were ongoing debates also in the national press. The solution came in 1946 when the Swedish Kennel Club decided to recognize the large spitz as a breed of its own under the name of Jämthund.
The breed is self-secure, proud and trustworthy and has a kind disposition in the family. It is an excellent hunter that can track and make an elk stand still as if hypnotized by its powerful, monotonous barking/baying. This is the typical way the breed makes the elk stop and stand until the hunters are in place. There are dogs of this breed that have the courage and sharpness to even stop a bear.
Appearance and size
The Jämthund's body shape is rectangular and strongly but not heavily built.
The coat lies close to the body but on the neck, tail and back of the thighs it is longer. The wolf grey colourings vary in nuance from very light grey to greyish black. On the cheeks, around the eyes, sides of the muzzle, throat, chest, belly, legs and feet are characteristic cream coloured markings, sometimes referred to as "wolf markings".
The height at the withers for males is 57–65 cm, the ideal is 61 cm. Height for females is 52–60 cm, the ideal is 56 cm.
Breed registration statistics
Below you can find the registration statistics for the Jämthund in the Nordic countries from 1990 onwards.