Everything You Need to Know About the Smalandstövare Dog Breed

If you’re looking for a dog breed that’s both energetic and affectionate, the Smalandstövare might be the perfect fit for you. Originating from Sweden, this breed has gained popularity over the years because of its physical appearance, unique hunting background, and lovable personality. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the Smalandstövare dog breed, defining its history, physical characteristics, personality, health issues, and more.

History and Origin of the Smalandstövare Dog Breed

The Smalandstövare dog breed has its roots firmly planted in Sweden. A “stövare” is a type of scenthound dog that has been specially bred for hunting purposes. This breed goes back to the 19th century, when Swedish breeders started crossing different types of hounds to create a colorful and energetic breed.

Swedish Roots and Development

The Smalandstövare was specifically developed in the region of Smaland, which is located in southern Sweden. The breed was created by crossbreeding various types of hunting dogs, including the German Hounds, Beagle, and Harrier. Through selective breeding over time, the breed has evolved into a unique-looking family dog that retains its hunting instincts.

Smaland, the region of Sweden where the breed was developed, is known for its dense forests and rugged terrain, making it an ideal location for hunting. The breed was specifically designed to thrive in these challenging environments, with a keen sense of smell and a strong hunting drive.

The Smalandstövare’s Hunting Background

The Smalandstövare has a rich history as a hunting dog, with its primary purpose being to track and hunt game. This breed was originally used for hunting hares, foxes, and wild boars. They are known for their excellent sense of smell, which enables them to effectively track game even in the most challenging of terrains.

The breed’s hunting instincts are still strong today, and many Smalandstövare owners continue to use them for hunting. However, they have also become popular as family pets due to their affectionate and loyal nature.

Recognition by Kennel Clubs

The Smalandstövare was recognized by the Swedish Kennel Club in 1921, but it wasn’t until the 1950s that the breed began to gain popularity outside of Sweden. Today, the Smalandstövare is recognized by various international kennel clubs, including the FCI and UKC.

In recent years, the breed has gained a following among dog lovers who appreciate its unique appearance and hunting abilities. However, due to its relatively small population, the Smalandstövare is still considered a rare breed.

Despite its rarity, the Smalandstövare has a dedicated following of breeders and enthusiasts who are working to preserve and promote the breed. With its rich history and unique qualities, the Smalandstövare is sure to continue captivating dog lovers for years to come.

Physical Characteristics and Appearance

The Smalandstövare is a relatively small breed, weighing between 35 and 45 pounds on average and standing at around 18 inches tall at the shoulder. Despite their relatively small size, these dogs are powerful and athletic, with a muscular build that enables them to be fast runners and agile hunters. They are known for their excellent sense of smell and their ability to track prey over long distances, making them a popular hunting dog in their native Sweden.

When it comes to their physical appearance, the Smalandstövare has a sleek and streamlined body that is built for speed and agility. Their long legs and low body profile allow them to move quickly and easily through dense undergrowth and other challenging terrain. They are also known for their muscular build, which gives them the strength and endurance needed to keep up with their prey over long distances.

Size and Weight

Male Smalandstövares typically weigh between 40 and 50 pounds, while females are considerably lighter at around 30 to 40 pounds. Despite their small size, however, these dogs are known for their impressive strength and athleticism. They are capable of running at high speeds for extended periods of time, making them an excellent choice for active owners who enjoy outdoor activities like hiking, running, and hunting.

One of the most distinctive features of the Smalandstövare is their long legs and low body profile. This unique combination of traits allows them to move quickly and easily through dense undergrowth and other challenging terrain, making them a popular choice among hunters and outdoor enthusiasts.

Coat and Colors

The Smalandstövare has a short, sleek coat that requires minimal grooming. The breed comes in several different colors, including black, tan, brown, and white, with varying degrees of patterning on the coat. Some Smalandstövares may have a solid coat color, while others may have a combination of two or more colors.

Their short, sleek coat is perfect for outdoor activities, as it helps to keep them cool and comfortable in warm weather. Additionally, their coat is relatively easy to maintain, requiring only occasional brushing to keep it looking healthy and shiny.

Distinctive Features

The Smalandstövare has a distinctive appearance, with a narrow head and a long snout. Their ears are long and floppy, and they have a bushy tail that is carried high over the back. This breed has expressive, almond-shaped eyes that are usually dark brown or amber in color.

One of the most unique features of the Smalandstövare is their long snout, which is perfectly suited for their role as a hunting dog. Their powerful sense of smell allows them to track prey over long distances, making them an invaluable asset for hunters and outdoor enthusiasts alike.

Overall, the Smalandstövare is a unique and fascinating breed that is well-suited for a variety of outdoor activities. With their impressive athleticism, excellent sense of smell, and distinctive appearance, they are a popular choice among hunters, hikers, and outdoor enthusiasts of all kinds.

Personality and Temperament

The Smalandstövare is a loyal and affectionate family dog with a playful and curious personality. They are highly intelligent and easily trained, making them great pets for active families who enjoy spending time outdoors. Smalandstövares thrive on companionship and enjoy being around children and other pets.

Intelligence and Trainability

The Smalandstövare is an intelligent breed that is relatively easy to train. They enjoy learning new things and respond well to positive reinforcement training methods. However, training must be consistent, as the breed can be stubborn. Early socialization is also essential for this breed to ensure they are well-rounded and well-behaved.

Energy Levels and Exercise Needs

The Smalandstövare is a high-energy breed that requires regular exercise and plenty of mental stimulation. Daily walks, runs, and play sessions are essential to keep the breed physically and mentally stimulated. These dogs also enjoy activities like hiking, swimming, and playing fetch, which can help keep them entertained and out of trouble.

Socialization and Interaction with Other Animals

The Smalandstövare is known for being friendly and playful with other animals. However, proper socialization during puppyhood is essential to ensure they get along well with other dogs and pets. Due to their hunting background, it’s important to supervise them around small animals like cats and rabbits, as they may be prone to instinctually chase or hunt them.

Health and Lifespan

The Smalandstövare has a relatively long lifespan, with an average life expectancy of 12 to 14 years. However, like all dog breeds, they are susceptible to certain health issues, including:

Common Health Issues

  • Hip dysplasia
  • Elbow dysplasia
  • Cataracts
  • Epilepsy
  • Progressive retinal atrophy

Preventative Care and Regular Checkups

Regular checkups with a veterinarian are essential for catching and preventing health issues. Additionally, responsible breeders will screen their dogs for common genetic health issues before breeding them to help reduce the incidence of genetic health problems in future generations.

Expected Lifespan

With proper care, a Smalandstövare can live a healthy and happy life for more than a decade. Ensuring they receive proper nutrition, regular exercise, and medical care can help increase their lifespan and overall health for years to come.


The Smalandstövare dog breed is a lovable and energetic dog that makes a great addition to an active and adventurous family. They have a rich history as hunting dogs, with a unique appearance and personality that sets them apart from other breeds. With proper training, socialization, and care, these dogs can make great pets that are sure to light up your life for years to come.

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