Hamiltonstövare dog breed
Photo: antoinedebroye/Getty Images

Quick Facts

  • Weight: 50 to 60 pounds
  • Height: 19 to 24 inches

The Look of a Hamiltonstövare

The Hamiltonstovare looks a bit like the Harrier. It is well proportioned and strong, very hardy and healthy.

This dog has a short, soft undercoat and a tough, rough outer coat that appears only in tricolor (black, brown, and white). The white appears on the underside of the breast, tail, and neck; the lower part of the feet and legs; and as a blaze on the muzzle.


  • Tricolor markings
  • Ability to hunt alone
  • Distinctive scenthound bay
  • Stable and reliable personality
  • Lifespan: 10 to 13 years

Ideal Human Companion

  • Those with well-fenced yards
  • Outdoorsy types who enjoy hiking with their pets
  • Families
  • Those who want a friendly, sweet-natured dog

What They Are Like to Live With

The Hamiltonstovare has a personality common to many hounds. These dogs are even-tempered, patient, and laid-back when not hunting. They make an excellent family dog, but must be watched around other pets.

The Hamiltonstovare has a sweet disposition. This dog is friendly and extroverted, and has a great affection for all humans. Eager to please, they are easy to train though always anxious for the hunt to begin; distraction and exercise are useful with this.

The Hamiltonstovare is an active dog who needs plenty of exercise, including walks and sports. It is an excellent lure courser and swimmer. They need only minimal grooming, except during the shedding season.

Things You Should Know

Because of its solitary hunting skills, the Hamiltonstovare has a very high prey drive for a scenthound. This can manifest itself in chasing a squirrel or the family cat. Ensure you train your Hamiltonstovare not to give in to this powerful urge. Without sufficient exercise, this breed is prone to develop behavior problems. It is also important to socialize it with other dogs at an early age since their history of being solitary hunters can make such interaction difficult.

The Hamiltonstovare is prone to hip and elbow dysplasia, epilepsy, breathing issues, and retinal atrophy.

Hamiltonstövare History

The founder of the Swedish Kennel Club, Count Adolf Hamilton, bred the first Hamiltonstovare in the late 19th century using several breeds of hound, including some now-extinct German breeds and English Foxhounds and Harriers. In Swedish folklore, the dog is said to have accompanied an elf who traveled the country, helping housewives.

The skills of the Hamiltonstovare are interesting and different from most other scent hounds. This dog hunts alone or with a canine partner, and actually pushes its prey (fox or hare) toward the hunter rather than trapping it. It was bred for independence, tenacity, and intelligence.

The Hamiltonstovare is still used for hunting in Sweden and continues to grow in popularity in the U.S. and elsewhere. There is even a Hamiltonstovare Club of America. It is also known as the Hamilton Hound and the Swedish Foxhound.

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