The Jamthund is a primitive, Nordic dog breed that has a great resemblance to their ancestor - the wolf. These dogs were originally bred to hunt large game such as wolves or bears but these days can mostly be found in the role of a family pet and guardian.

The Jamthund is an attractive dog breed, especially to those of us that love breeds that look like wolves. Like their mighty ancestor, the Jamthund is strong and very active. These dogs are happy and enthusiastic about most of the activities you would want to do with them. They can, however, be a bit stubborn and dislike some training methods so they need a firm and experienced owner.

Jamthund Height


20-26 in (52-65 cm)

Jamthund Weight


55-66 lb (25-30 kg)

Jamthund Origin



Jamthund Life Expectancy

Life Expectancy:

12-13 years

Breed History

Jamthund or Swedish Elkhound is believed to be one of the ancient dog breeds in the world. They were originally bred for working purposes – hunting wolves, bears, and elks. To be able to sustain rough terrain and weather conditions these dogs had to develop extreme pyhicsal power and be extremely brave. Many of these dogs were used for hunting, but people also use these dogs as pets and guard dogs.

Dog Breed Characteristics

Energy Level
Grooming Needs
Exercise Needs
Kid Friendly
Dog Friendly
General Health

The Jamthund is a strong, rectangularly built, Spitz-type dog breed. They are unsurprisingly strong, otherwise, they would not be able to do their original purpose. These dogs have substance but still remain agile and quick on their feet. These dogs should never give the impression of being heavy or sluggish.

The Jamthund should have brown eyes that have a slight oval shape. Their ears should be set high on their head and be completely erect. Their ears are completely covered in hair to protect them from frostbite. These dogs should be deep-chested with well-developed muscles all over their body. They should also have a smooth gait and their trotting should seem effortless.


Jamthund standards


  • Group 5 Spitz and primitive type. Section 2 Nordic Hunting Dogs.
  • Working trial only for the Nordic countries
  • height - males in 22,5-26 in (57-65 cm), females  in 20-23,5 in (52-60 cm)
  • date of acceptance - 1/3/1954


This breed is not accepted by the AKC


Jamthund dogs have a thick coat that requires regular brushing if you want to keep the amount of hair under control.

The rest is basic care; trim their nails when needed (if they don't wear them down naturally), brush their teeth weekly to prevent tartar buildup and bacteria development. Regularly check their ears for any sign of redness or a bad odor that can indicate an infection. You can wipe their ears with the cotton ball dipped into an ear cleaner. The key for your dog to get used to all things mentioned above is to start early with them. Make a positive experience for the dog, full of praises and rewards, and you can be sure that your dog will enjoy all these things when they grow up.

Jamthund temperament

Jamthund’s temperament is quite surprising and you would never guess it just by looking at their pictures. These dogs are brave and courageous when hunting but are almost never aggressive towards humans. They have a natural suspicion towards strangers and a strong protective instinct when it comes to their family. It is no wonder that these dogs were used as guardians.

The Jamthund is very affectionate and calm when at home but active and lively when playing or doing any outdoor activity. This is a breed that is not a best fit for those that already have a pet at home because they have a strong prey drive and might view them as prey. If you do have other pets at home, try and introduce your Jamthund to them while it is still young.


Jamthund training and socialization

The Jamthund is a strong dog breed that needs to be well trained and properly socialized. They usually respond well to positive training methods and can be trained to a certain degree. They are a Nordic breed and it is typical of this breed to have a stubborn streak. Prepare yourself with loads of patience and consistency when training a Jamthund.

Like any other breed, the Jamthund requires early socialization. The sooner you start this process with your dog, the better. They will have more time to adapt and polish their social skills. Expose your Jamthund puppy to different sights, sounds, people, dogs, and situations so that your dog can learn proper behavior in all future situations they might find themselves in.

Health problems

The Jamthund is generally considered a healthy breed, but they are prone to some health issues and concerns like any other dog breed. These dogs have an average lifespan of 12-13 years. 

When getting any breed, the breeder must show you health tests that they have done for their breeding dogs. Dogs must be adequately tested because taking a chance and hoping that the puppy’s parents are healthy is a risk no one should ever take. Only healthy dogs should be bred because that is the only way to assure that bloodlines will remain healthy and without any problems. Health problems associated with this breed are;

  • Hip dysplasia - Genetic problem affecting hips resulting from an improperly formed hip joint.
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy - Group of diseases that affect the retina and cause it to deteriorate over time.
  • Elbow Dysplasia - Usually, it affects large breeds and is caused by uneven growth of three bones making a dog’s elbow.
  • Allergies - these dogs are prone to have allergic reactions to specific foods, products, or medications.
  • Obesity


If you decided that this is the right dog for you, now it's time to find a good and responsible Jamthund breeder. Buying a dog from such a breeder will provide you with a healthy puppy who will not have health and temperament problems.

Jamthund is still a rare dog breed and if you are interested in getting one of these dogs you must be prepared that you will be put on the waiting list.

When you bring your new puppy home start with the training and socialization immediately. By doing so, you will end up with a well-behaved dog whom you can trust. Provide him with enough daily exercise for him to be happy. With this dog, you must be firm and you must be an alpha for him to listen to you. If you devote your time and energy to this dog, you can be sure that you will end up with a companion for life.

World Dog Finder team


Updated at02.08.2020.