Hamiltonstovare: The Ultimate Family Dog

Written by: Bojana Radulovic
The Hamiltonstovare is a purebred dog from Sweden. This breed is knowns for its strength, striking appearance, and great traits. Read on to discover more about the breed.
Dog Breed Group:
Hound Dogs
19 to 24 inches
40 to 75 pounds
Life Span:
14 to 17 years

Breed Characteristics:

Apartment Friendly


How well will this breed adapt to apartment living? Is the apartment size the most important factor when it comes to proper living conditions? Is the breed suitable for apartment living?

Good For First-Time Owners


Some dogs aren't suitable for first-time dog owners. Is this breed a good match for someone with no dog experience? Can training help them be on their best behavior with owners with no dog experience? Are they suitable to be handled by someone who is just entering the canine world?

Overall Sensitivity


Some dogs are sensitive. Certain breeds are rough on the outside, while having the softest heart on the inside. In other words, some dogs are 'thick-skinned' while some are 'easygoing.' Is this breed prone to sensitivity?

Tolerates Being Alone


Separation anxiety in dogs is a serious condition that can affect a dog's life quality. Is this breed prone to this condition? Can you leave him alone for hours? How destructive this breed can become when bored, neglected, or not loved enough?

Affectionate With Family


How affectionate this breed will be around his humans? Will he welcome new family friends easily or he will choose to be shy? Some breeds can be clingy with owners, while others don't attach a lot. Will this breed act as the family's best friend?



Some dogs will tolerate children, while others will adore well-behaved ones. Dogs and children should always be supervised, no matter how well trained the dog might be. Will this breed act as a nanny dog or he will stay away from children?

Friendly Toward Other Dogs


Some dog breeds cannot wait to run to the dog park and run with others. Others prefer to be with their humans, and not to be a part of a multi-pet household. Is this breed dog lover or not? How friendly this breed will be toward other dogs?

Friendly Toward Strangers


Some dog breeds tend to be reserved toward strangers and highly suspicious. Others are fast to walk away with them easily. How welcoming this breed is toward strangers?

Drooling Level


If you love to clean all the time drooling level in dogs is a trait that you should mind. Is this breed less likely to drool, or you will always need a towel on hand?

Easy To Groom


Heavier shedding during the shedding season is something that every dog needs to go through. However, some dogs shed just a bit all year round. Is this breed one of them? How often should you groom this dog?

Overall Health


What can you expect from this breed in terms of health? Are there any genetic conditions to vary about? Is obesity a major issue in this breed? By knowing more about the dog's health, you are learning how to help him live a longer and healthier life.

Prone To Obesity


Treats are a great addition to training sessions. Dogs love sweet bites of dog treats but they should be served in moderation. Treats can lead to obesity, next to poor nutrition. Can this breed gain extra weight from treats? How prone to obesity this breed actually is?

Trainability Level


Training some dogs is easier than others. How easy this dog will be to train? What can you expect? Some dogs are huge people pleasers and they will master commands easily, while others will try to outsmart you.

Intelligence Level


Dogs are smart beings. We do our best to train them, but they do still end up training us to adapt to their needs. How intelligent is this breed? Will he try to outsmart you? Or he will need multiple training sessions to master basic commands?

Prey Drive


Dogs were bred for a specific purpose. Those who were bred to hunt have natural instincts to hunt, even today. This is why many dogs, like Terriers, will chase other animals. They will also have a hard time concentrating on your commands when there is something small moving. Is this breed prone to following his prey instincts?

Barking Level


How vocal this breed is? Can you expect neighbors to ring you often to calm your dog? Or you can sleep without worries of hearing your Fido bark? Some breeds are highly vocal, others have unusual sounds, and some are silent. Is this breed prone to barking?

Energy Level


Low-energy dogs are happy with regular walks and indoor chill times. High-energy dogs are always ready for action. Is this breed a couch potato, energetic dog, or somewhere in between?

Exercise Needs


Some dogs are more than happy with a slow stroll down the street. Others need hours of active time to stay happy and fit. Is this breed demanding in terms of exercise? How much exercise this breed needs to stay happy and healthy?

Playfulness Level


Some dogs never lose that puppy spirit, not even in their senior years. Others are more serious and prefer having a job to do. Is this breed demanding in terms of playfulness? Can you expect playfulness in their senior years as well?

Hamiltonstovare is a strong, medium/large hound dog known for its versatile scent. This breed was originally bred to hunt hare and fox in Sweden.

Even today they are busy as hinters, and when they are not hunting, the Hamiltonstovare can be found in the show ring, as their stunning-look makes them great show dogs.

Hamiltons have been used as service dogs in America since the late 90s, and they are popular ever since.

Quick Facts

Real name: Hamiltonstovare
Other names: Hamiltonstövare, Hamilton Hound,
Swedish Foxhound
Nickname: Hamilton
Origin: Sweden
Breed type: Hound Dogs
Weight: 40-75 pounds
Height: 19-24 inches
Lifespan: 14-17 years
Litter Size: 6 – 8 puppies
Color: Tri-colour
Coat: Short, soft coat with undercoat

Hamiltonstovare Intro

Hamiltonstovare is a multi-purpose dog.

They were originally bred to hunt, but they had many different roles, including roles as show dogs and pets. All in, the Hamiltonstovare is a versatile little package.

Since they are hounds, they follow their noes wherever it goes. This is the main reason why you should keep your Hamiltonstovare on a leash whenever you are outside.

Seeing a squirrel can be a potential disaster outdoors. Also, fences are mandatory with this breed, because this breed has extremely high prey drive for both scent and sight.

Inside the home, they are polite, lazy, and prefer to keep their energy at a lower level. They are also highly competitive, so expect to have interesting training sessions.

Simply said, arm yourself with patience. As of today, the biggest issue with this breed is accessibility – there is only one breeder of Hamiltonstovare in the United States.

Sadly, this breed faces many problems as well, so it’s quite common to see at least one Hamiltonstovare in local shelters, in rural shelters to be precise, in West Virginia, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, or Virginia.

Hamiltonstovare History

The Hamiltonstovare breed is alive today thanks to Count Adolf Hamilton, the man who founded the Swedish Kennel Club, in the late 1800s.

He aimed to create a strong and hardworking dog who would assist people in hunting small games, like rabbits and foxes.

Therefore, this breed had to be intelligent, agile, strong, and capable to handle the Swedish landscape.

The Hamiltonstovare breed even worked their way into a Swedish folktale, and it’s even today one of the most popular dog breeds in Sweden.

Since early days, this breed helped hunters reach their goal, thanks to their independence, and hard-working. The United Kennel Club (UKC) recognized the Hamiltonstovare in 2006.

The American Kennel Club (AKC) has admitted the breed into its Foundation Stock Service, the final step before full recognition.

There is even a Hamiltonstovare Club of America, and if you are thinking about getting this breed, think about working only with responsible breeders because eyou would want to have a healhty and strong Hamiltonstovare thats no ho relatable to suspicious puppy mills.

Interesting fact: This breed has no experience with deer hunting, although they could do it due to their size. For centuries, they were bred to refuse deer scent.

Hamiltonstovare Physical Appearance

The Hamiltonstovare is a real old breed, but there are some standards when it comes to size.

They are in general medium size dogs, with a weight between 40 to 70 pounds, and a height range from 19 to 24 inches at the shoulder.

Yet, they may be smaller or larger than normal. The body is well proportioned, giving the impression of stamina and impeccable strength.

They are tricolored, whit a longish head, almond-shaped eyes, and soft/hanging ears.

The neck is long and powerful, while withers are well defined, with a powerful back. The tail is carried straight or slightly curved in a saber fashion.

The overall movement is powerful and parallel. The coat is short, but not too short, and harsher.

Hamiltonstovare Faults

Since this breed is often seen in dog shows, it is expected to see the finest of the breed. Therefore, a certain deviation is considered to be a big fault and could lead to a dog show ban.

Here are the most common faults in this breed:

  • Broad skill
  • Light eyes
  • Soft back
  • Short croup
  • Tail set high
  • Restricted hind movement
  • Heavily marked with one color
  • Bulging cheeks
  • Lack of sexual dimorphism

Hamiltonstovare Physical Personality

The Hamiltonstovare is a good-tempered hound. This breed is an affectionate companion, true to his hunting instincts.

To many, this breed is a true country-lover, who will follow his nose for miles, which is why recall training is mandatory.

Proofing your garden for any type of escape is a must because anything can draw their attention and inspire them to jump over the fence.

This is its ‘own hound’ and naturally loves to do whats he wants opposite to what he should be doing.

This breed may not be the best choice for first time dog owners, due to their stubborn and independent moves.

Just like any other breed thats driven by both scent and sight, the Hamiltonstovare has a high prey drive: as such this breed may not be suitable with homes with small rodents or even cats.

However, if they are introduced to smaller animals at a young age, they shoudl get along nicely, although their high drive prey can kick in anytime.

This is an energetic breed, and as such, they do much better with older children who know their way around dogs.

No matter how your Hamiltonstovare might be gentle and harmful, make sure that you educate your children on how to behave around dogs and provide supervision when they are spending time together.

Explain to your children why the Hamiltonstovare shouldn’t be disturbed when eating, drinking water, or simply spending time in his kennel.

Still, many Hamiltonstovares get along just fine with other animals, including cats and smaller pets, so it really comes a lot to training, proper socialization, and the dog’s individual temperament.

Hamiltonstovare Training

Training your Hamiltonstovare should start as soon as you bring the puppy home.

The training process is identical for any breed, no matter the size, temperament, and dog’s age.

Even senior dogs cna be trained to know the house rules, and even learn the new tricks – it just takes time and patience.

If you are getting a puppy, you need to follow through with the puppy vaccination schedule and focus on indoor time to keep your puppy entertained and well-behaved.

In general, dogs’ training sessions can start as early as eight weeks of age.

Once the vaccination schedule is done you can start introducing your Hamiltonstovare to the outdoor world, new places, other animals, and new people.

If you feel like you need extra help with training, think about puppy classes.

Since this is a very perceptive breed, they will enjoy practical, fun, and shorter training sessions, otherwise, they may get bored and demonstrate destructive behavior.

They adore their people and prefer to be next to family members, so avoid leaving this breed alone for too long, or you might notice symptoms of separation anxiety, and this condition isn’t something that merely goes overnight: it takes time, additional training, and a lot of devotion.

Hamiltonstovare Exercise Needs

Hamiltonstovare is an active breed, and they love spending time outdoors. Luckily, they do have an off switch as long as you manage not to provide enough exercise space.

In general, they need at least a 20 minute-free run outside and something to stimulate the mind.

Having interesting and diverse toys can always help – dogs love being mentally stimulated, which is why dogs report constant basic commands like ‘sit’ and ‘come.’ This is a highly intelligent breed that loves making his people happy.

Double-check if your fence is well-secured because as hounds they could dig under almost anything. If there is no space for your Hamiltonstovare to run, provide walking one to two hours a day.

Hamiltonstovare Grooming

Hamiltons are dogs with minimum drool and low maintenance in general. This breed requires grooming once a week, and a bit of brushing on a weekly level.

Make sure that you use the right brush to keep Hamiltons coat and hair, and if brushing seems like too much work for you think about hiring a professional groomer, who can take the brushing requirements of your back.

The rest is the regular maintenance:

  • Check ears weekly and clean them when needed
  • Check gums for any sign of tooth decay
  • Know the most common symptoms of eye disorders
  • Trim or grind nails when needed
  • Bath only when really necessary: don’t forget that dogs have differnet ph skin than humans do, and they do not need frequent bathing like humans do

Since they do not drool and rarely have a doggy odor, you will have more time to play with your canine, rather than to groom him.

A good vacuum cleaner is always useful to have on hand when you have dogs around.

Hamiltonstovare Health

When dealing with responsible breeders you usually don’t have to fear about dog’s health condition.

Responsible breeders will always present you with the medical documentation on the breed, let you see the space, and even introduce you to the dog’s parents.

If a breeder avoids showing you premises and has no medical documentation to offer you on the dog, know that you are standing in a puppy mill.

As a breed, Hamiltonstovare is very healhty, although (just like humans) they can be more prone to certain conditions.

Hamiltonstovare can get hip dysplasia and epilepsy but in a really small percent.

They are also sensitive to heat, so if you are based somewhere where the summer is most of the time, think about heatstroke, and what you can do to keep him safe.

They cannot be outside for long periods in temperatures over 80 degrees.

Once you get your Hamiltonstovare you are directly responsible for his nutrition, and keeping him obesity-safe: obesity in dogs is a problem on the rise across the States, and not being part of that statistic should be your goal.

The best way to keep your dog healthy is to stick to recommended guidelines on feeding, have regular veterinarian check-ups, and provide enough exercise.

Hamiltonstovare Fast Facts

Are you thinking about welcoming the Hamiltonstovare into your home? If so, double-check this shortlist below to see if you are fine with the characteristics of the breed.

Getting a dog is a serious decision, and it’s important to know the breed before you get the dog home.

Be sure that you can deal with the following treats, and that you truly understand what getting a dog really is – a 10 to 17 years-long commitment.

  • Dog suitable for owners with previous dog experience
  • Enjoys being active
  • Requires grooming once a week
  • May chase smaller pets
  • Vocal and chatty dog
  • Great family dog
  • Poor guarding dog
  • Requires training to live with other pets

If these traits are something that you can work with then Hamiltonstovare just might be for you.

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