While looking into Norwegian Elkhounds, I stumbled onto info about the Swedish version, what they call a Jamthund. My idea of a perfect dog is one that will: 1) come when called; 2) blood trail on a leash when asked. It would be nice to have a dog to hike with again. Also, I understand that 1 and 2 take a good effort on the part of the human.
It's probably pricey to find one of these breeds that's well-papered. Maybe some of the Alaskan folk who either breed or happen into sled dog stock might know of some, though it looks like that sport selects for husky breeds. In real life I dunno if there would be any difference. These elkhounds are fond of their people, not easily ruffled, and woodsy, which I like.
Anybody got insight or experience with these breeds?
I live in Sweden and over the past few decades I have experience with about a dozen different Jämthunds, a common dog (along with Norwegian elkhunds) in my moose hunting team.
Here is a nice Jämthund:
and here is a nice Norwegian elkhund:
The Jämthund has longer legs than the Norwegian elkhund (generally a bit more than the difference between these two pictures), but they both have similar personalities with regard to family and kids -- which is great IMNSHO. They are both robust dogs, tough as hell and are not bothered by little kids mauling them - I can't imagine one ever snapping at a child. Both breeds are calm with family and strangers in my experience.
Both dogs need a lot
of exercise, but they will keep you fit!
I've seen both breeds do truly excellent work in following the blood trail of a wounded moose, even when it repeatedly crossed the trails of many other moose. We have really high moose densities here in Sweden, so a dog that stays on the trail of a particular (wounded) moose is worth a lot. There are regular moose-finding and moose-tracking competitions, and a moose with a good competition history will be insured for $US 10,000 or more.
Jämthunds do very well as grouse-hunting dogs as well as deer, bear and moose.
Both breeds have a very dense double coat, if one goes swimming, you can put your fingers in their fur and the dense undercoat next to the skin will by DRY. These dogs shed
. Make sure that everything in your house is gray and you will be fine!
If your screen name isn't taken from your past and you are really in Arizona, I'm sorry to confirm that neither of these breeds do well in the heat
. I'm in the north of Sweden, but in the south it is warmer (although nothing like an Arizona summer I'm sure!) and here some owners shear the dogs for the summer. The dogs love water and will swim to cool off, but that doesn't sound like much of a solution for many parts of Arizona.
Jämthunds are a tough, healthy breed, but can have hip displaysia. Just make sure the parents are free of this and you should be good to go.
Some Swedish Jämthund breeders will export a dog but don't be surprised if they want to make sure that you will really, REALLY hunt with the dog before they will sell you one! Here is a link to the Jämthund dog clubb LINK to JämthundKlubben
but if you use the browser Chrome, it can translate to English for you. Nearly all Swedes understand English well, so you could make contact by email I'm sure.
Cheers from dark, snowy northern Sweden,