The Hamiltonstövare: Everything You Need to Know

The Hamiltonstövare, also known as the Hamilton Hound, is a Swedish dog breed that has captured the attention of canine lovers around the world.

In this article, we will explore the history, physical traits, personality, health, and much more of the Hamiltonstövare, so you can learn more about it.

A Brief History of the Hamiltonstövare Dog Breed

Origins in Sweden

The Hamiltonstövare is a hunting dog that originated in Sweden. It was developed in the late 1800s by Count Adolf Hamilton, a prominent Swedish aristocrat who was passionate about hunting.

The breed was created by crossing Harriers, English Foxhounds, and several other breeds, with the goal of creating a dog that was skilled at tracking and hunting large game, such as moose and bear.

The Hamiltonstövare was named after the count who created it, and it quickly became one of the most popular dogs in Sweden. Its excellent tracking skills and friendly temperament made it a favorite among hunters, who appreciated its loyalty and obedience.

Hamiltonstövare in the United States and Beyond

The Hamiltonstövare was first introduced to the United States in the early 20th century and got accepted into the American Kennel Club’s Foundation Stock Service. 

Today, the Hamiltonstövare is still valued for its exceptional tracking skills. However, as the breed is slowly gaining popularity, more and more owners choose it as a family pet. 

Physical Characteristics of the Hamiltonstövare

Size and Weight

The Hamiltonstövare typically weighs between 40 and 75 pounds and stands around 19 to 24 inches tall at the shoulder. It has a well-proportioned body that is muscular and athletic. 

Coat and Color

The Hamiltonstövare has a short, dense coat that is typically tri-colored, including black, white, and tan or red. Breed members shed moderately and require weekly brushing to keep their coats looking healthy and shiny. 

Distinctive Features

The Hamiltonstövare’s hallmark traits are its distinctive droopy ears and long, powerful legs, which give the breed a regal and athletic appearance. Despite their powerful build, breed members have gentle expressions that reflect their friendly and loyal personalities. 

Personality and Temperament

Intelligence and Trainability

Hamiltonstövare dogs are highly intelligent, which makes them easy to train. They respond excellently to positive reinforcement training methods and are happiest when they are given a job to do.

Hamiltonstövare dogs are excellent trackers and hunters, but they also make great family pets due to their loyalty and affectionate nature, as well as their ability to adapt to various situations. 

Energy Levels and Exercise Needs

Hamiltonstövare dogs have a lot of energy and require regular exercise to maintain their physical and mental well-being. They enjoy long walks, hikes, and other outdoor activities.

Hamiltonstövare dogs also need mental stimulation. The breed thrives on having a job to do and is prone to becoming destructive if it lacks ample mental challenges and stimulation. 

Socialization and Compatibility with Other Animals

Hamiltonstövare dogs are naturally friendly and social, hence being great with humans and other animals. They enjoy when they are given plenty of opportunities to play and interact with others, and they have a strong bond with their families.

However, it’s important to socialize a Hamiltonstövare dog from a young age to ensure that they learn appropriate behavior around new people and pets. As hunting dogs, they have a strong prey drive unless socialized extensively and from a young age. 

Health and Lifespan

Common Health Issues

Like all dog breeds, Hamiltonstövare dogs are prone to certain health issues, such as: 

  • Hip Dysplasia: Genetic malformation of the hip joint resulting in pain, lameness, and early-onset arthritis 
  • Epilepsy: A severe neurological condition that manifests with seizures and occurs due to unknown reasons 

It’s important to work closely with a veterinarian to monitor your dog’s health to prevent any potential health problems from developing.

Preventative Care and Regular Checkups

The Hamiltonstövare requires regular checkups with a vet to monitor its health and to provide preventative care. This may include vaccinations, flea & tick prevention, and dewormers.

It’s also important to provide your Hamiltonstövare with a healthy diet and plenty of exercise to help maintain its overall health and prevent boredom-related behavioral issues. 

Life Expectancy

The average lifespan of a Hamiltonstövare dog is between 14 and 17 years. By providing your dog with regular exercise, a healthy diet, and preventative care, you can help prolong its lifespan.


Whether you’re interested in hunting or simply looking for a loyal and affectionate family pet, the Hamiltonstövare is a breed that is definitely worth considering.

By understanding the history, physical traits, personality, and health of the Hamiltonstövare, you can make an informed decision if it is the right breed for you. 

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