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28 Swedish Elkhound Temperament and Personality Traits (MUST KNOW)

The Swedish Elkhound temperament makes her both a great hunter and family dog. However, before you decide to bring home that lovely Swedish Elkhound puppy you need to understand more about the breed's temperament and purpose.

The Swedish Elkhound is a working dog that originated in the Arctic areas of Scandinavia. She is a valiant moose and bear hunter who sometimes works as a sled dog or a rescue dog.

The Swedish Marines and the Swedish Air Force use them as service dogs.

If you’re considering adding one to your family, you will need to understand the Swedish Elkhound temperament. She is not a good choice for the inexperienced dog owner.

She has an independent streak and a strong prey drive, and she can be aggressive with strangers. The Swedish Elkhound temperament needs firm and consistent training from an experienced handler.

But for those who are up for the challenge, she makes a loving family companion as well as a hard worker and an expert hunter. She is an excellent all-around dog.

The Swedish Elkhound Temperament

1. Intelligent

The Swedish Elkhound is a smart dog who needs a lot of mental stimulation to keep her out of trouble.

2. Independent

The Swedish Elkhound is a hunting dog. She has the independence she needs to do her job well.

3. Stubborn

As with most intelligent breeds, she can be stubborn when she wants to be. Proper training will help with this.

4. Courageous

This is one brave hunter. She is a moose and elk hunter, but she is also the rare breed that will face down a bear.

5. Powerful

These dogs are very strong. They use that strength to track and hold large prey in rugged terrain. The combination of strength and speed makes them great sled dogs as well as hunters.

6. Cheerful

The Swedish Elkhound temperament is happy and outgoing. Spending time with her is a real pleasure.

7. Loving

She is loving and affectionate to every member of her family.

8. Loyal

She forms strong attachments with her people, both adults and children.

9. Adaptable

The Swedish Elkhound temperament can easily transition from one setting to another. If she gets enough exercise, she is content to be working, playing, or spending time at home with the family.

10. Hardy

The Swedish Elkhound doesn’t mind the cold. She originated from a cold climate and does well in even Arctic conditions. She lives mostly in northern and Arctic areas in Canada, Scandinavia, and Russia.

11. Proud

She stands with self-confidence with her head erect. She has a grand, regal posture.

12. Curious

She loves to explore her surroundings. She needs space and would not make a good apartment dog.

13. Energetic

The Swedish Elkhound has a lot of energy and needs plenty of exercise.

14. Playful

This breed works hard, but she plays hard, too. She is a great companion for the kids.

15. Enthusiastic

She loves having a job to do and can’t wait to get to it. She is equally excited about playtime.

16. Affectionate

The Swedish Elkhound is a very affectionate breed. She loves positive attention and gives it right back.

17. Eager to Please

She is smart and easy to train, but she needs a firm and consistent trainer or she can be stubborn.

18. Protective

They love children and do well with them because of their natural protective tendencies.

19. Calm

The Swedish Elkhound can “go with the flow.” She’s a real stoic in almost any situation.

20. Active

She likes to be busy at work or play. Either one is fine with her.

21. Trustworthy

The Swedish Elkhound is reliable in all situations. She is dependable on the hunt, and she can be trusted to take good care of “her” family (especially the children) at home.

22. Territorial

She is suspicious of strangers and very protective of her family and property. She makes an excellent watchdog or guard dog.

23. Vocal

The Swedish Elkhound barks a lot related to her work as a hunting dog. When she tracks a moose, her job is to bark a notice to her master until the hunter can get to her.

24. Dominant

This breed loves to be in charge. She will be aggressive to other dogs who challenge her, so she does best in a single-dog home. She needs a very firm, dominant “pack leader” in the home and on the hunt.

25. Persistent

She has great endurance and stamina. She can run miles during a hunt, and then spend as long as it takes to hold the prey while “baying” for her hunter.

26. Responsive

The Swedish Elkhound temperament is highly focused on the owner or trainer. She responds quickly to commands and instinctively knows what to do, often without command.

27. High Prey Drive

She is a hunter, after all. The Swedish Elkhound temperament makes her a poor choice for a home with smaller pets. She will need to be contained when she’s outdoors.

28. Agile

The Swedish Elkhound covers rock, ice, forests, and mountains in the course of her work. She is graceful and light-footed.

She has no problem trudging through belly-deep snow or charging through dense brush.

Swedish Elkhound Training

Once again, this breed is not for everyone. The Swedish Elkhound temperament is very trainable, but she has a strong independent streak.

The Swedish Elkhound is a dominant breed. She needs a strong, confident leader who takes firm control. Otherwise, she may not always obey commands.

Helpful Dog Training Resource:

For help with training your Swedish Elkhound dog, you should take a look at The Online Dog Trainer by Doggy Dan. Doggy Dan is an expert Dog Trainer based in New Zealand. His online resource contains Hundreds of Excellent Dog Training Videos that will take you step-by-step through the process of developing a healthy, happy well-behaved dog.

With proper leadership, the Swedish Elkhound temperament is eager to please. She is a fast and eager learner, so positive reinforcement works well with her.

She may need short but consistent lessons. Her intelligence causes her to be easily bored. She learns even complex commands in no time.

She also needs early socialization to prevent stranger or dog aggression.

Swedish Elkhound Appearance

General Appearance

The Swedish Elkhound is a medium-sized dog. She has a thick double coat that helps her tolerate the cold weather of Scandinavia. Her top coat is long and tight. Her undercoat is shorter and soft to the touch.

She is a Spitz-type dog with a wolf-like appearance and a tail that curls up over her back. She is dark gray and white with a white muzzle.

Swedish Elkhound Size

Swedish Elkhound weight is between 50 and 65 pounds. And their Height is 20-1/2 to 25-1/2 inches.

Swedish Elkhound History

The Swedish Elkhound is a primitive dog that originated in the Arctic region of Scandinavia. Historians believe she is a cross between a female wolf and a male dog.

The Swedish call this dog Jämthund. The name comes from Jämtland, a province in central Sweden.

It is a Spitz-type breed