The Jämthund, also known as the Swedish elkhound, is a breed of domestic dog of the Spitz type. The breed originated in Northern Europe and is associated with Jämtland, where it is said to have been used for sled pulling and moose hunting since the last ice age. It was known locally as the bear dog, because it was and is one of the few breeds that do not run away when encountering a bear. Before 1946, when this breed was recognized as distinct, it was thought to be the same as the Norwegian elkhound.
The Jämthund resembles a wolf, with a tall strong body and white muzzle. It varies in size depending upon the sex, with males reaching an average height between 22 and 26 and inches and females reaching an average height between 20 and 24 inches. The standard of the breed calls for a double coat of fur that can be many shades of agouti. Preferably, that tail should curl slightly at the top when held erect, but should remain straight when the dog is relaxed.
Because the Jämthund was bred for activities that require large amounts of energy, it is recommended that those kept as pets be given as much activity as possible, in order to keep them physically and mentally healthy. The breed is known for being stubborn, so it may not get along well with other dogs if not trained and socialized properly. It requires regular grooming of the coat to keep it smooth. The Jämthund is recognized by the UKC and the FCI.
Image Caption: Jämthund. Credit: Jörgen Blom/Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 3.0)