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Hygenhund Dog Breed Guide: Info, Pictures, Care & More

Written by: Ashley Bates

Last Updated on May 24, 2024 by Dogster Team

Norwegian Hygenhund Hygen Hound

Hygenhund Dog Breed Guide: Info, Pictures, Care & More

Hailing from Norway, the Hygenhund was created to be a top performer in many different types of environments. These dogs have excellent stamina and are able to withstand harsh, frigid terrain for extended periods of time.

Breed Overview


19 – 24 inches


44 – 55 pounds


10 – 15 years


Brown, tricolor, white, and tan

Suitable for:

Active families, those looking for a low-shedding dog


Affectionate, possessive, aloof, reserved, even-keel

These dogs have unparalleled athletic ability, making them excellent candidates for any physical training. While they can make good family pets, this is a dog bred for work. Find out a little bit more about the breed, including its rarity.

High-energy dogs will need a lot of mental and physical stimulation to stay happy and healthy, while low-energy dogs require minimal physical activity. It’s important when choosing a dog to make sure their energy levels match your lifestyle or vice versa.
Easy-to-train dogs are more skilled at learning prompts and actions quickly with minimal training. Dogs that are harder to train will require a bit more patience and practice.
Some breeds, due to their size or their breeds potential genetic health issues, have shorter lifespans than others. Proper exercise, nutrition, and hygiene also play an important role in the lifespan of your pet.
Some dog breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, and some more than others. This doesn’t mean that every dog will have these issues, but they have an increased risk, so it’s important to understand and prepare for any additional needs they may require.
Some dog breeds are more social than others, both towards humans and other dogs. More social dogs have a tendency to run up to strangers for pets and scratches, while less social dogs shy away and are more cautious, even potentially aggressive. No matter the breed, it’s important to socialize your dog and expose them to lots of different situations.

divider-dog pawHygenhund Puppies


Even though this breed isn’t the most expensive choice out there, you’ll need more than a bit of luck finding one. Outside of Europe, this breed is almost impossible to track down. Across the United States, there are few to no breeders that specialize. Even though you might be able to get a similar breed at a rescue or shelter, the likelihood of you finding one of these dogs up for adoption is very difficult.

If you’re lucky enough to find a Hygenhund, you’ll have an affectionate and loyal pup by your side. Make sure to set plenty of time aside to be able to properly train your Hygenhund and to give them enough exercise and mental stimulation.

Temperament & Intelligence of the Hygenhund

The Hygenhund has a brain that never stops working. These dogs are constantly on the lookout for a task to carry out. Even though these traits make them excellent in their work, it can be challenging to have them as a pet.

This is not the kind of dog that is going to want to cuddle up next to you on the couch for extended periods. They can become nervous and restless if they are not appropriately stimulated. These dogs need a lot of space to explore, and high-intensity games are a must.

Best of luck keeping your dog in the house. These pups are bred for outdoor elements, making them perfect for homes with lots of acreage or country dwellings. These dogs are sharp and quick on their feet. Because of their intensity, they might be a challenge in multi-pet or livestock situations.

Are These Dogs Good for Families?

This breed can make an ideal family pet in the right situation. We do not recommend the breed if you live in the suburbs, city, or a small space like an apartment. These dogs need lots of room to roam, so you should only consider it if you can accommodate their living preferences.

These dogs make fantastic hunters, but they also love outdoor activities such as hiking, jogging, and everyday adventuring. They do get along fairly well with children, but supervision is always required. We recommend housing this breed with kids ages 6 and up.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?

These dogs can make terrific companions for other canines with proper rearing. However, they are very possessive and can show toy and food aggression. With early socialization, these tendencies can be curbed but might never be entirely eradicated.

Because of the high prey drive potential, these dogs don’t work well with smaller animals, including cats. This breed is the epitome of a predator, taking their prey drive very seriously. Even with early introductions, these impulses can be too intense for blended multi-pet situations.

divider-dogThings to Know When Owning a Hygenhund:

Food & Diet Requirements

Hygenhunds do not necessarily require a specialized diet, but you should always offer them a high-quality dry dog food kibble if you plan to go commercial. They require the crunch that kibble pieces provide to clean their teeth and give them all the nutritional benefits they need.

Many dog owners will use wet food as a topper for the dry kibble to provide an extra savory kick. However, many wet foods can be high in calories and lack solid nutritional value. Many dog owners are also catching onto raw food or homemade food diets. If you choose a more natural approach, always make sure to double-check any of the ingredients with your veterinarian. The lack of necessary nutrients could cause malnutrition if you aren’t careful.


Like any other canine, the Hygenhund requires daily exercise to stay happy and healthy—but crank up the movement. These dogs don’t just need a few brisk walks a day. This hunting breed requires extensive physical activity each day.

This dog needs plenty of high-intensity workouts to stimulate its mind. These dogs are built for adventure, adoring any type of outdoor activity, making them perfect for hiking or trail buddies.

Because of their great need for physical activity, they work best in areas that give them much room to explore. If you live in an area where that isn’t possible, they need a secure fenced-in backyard to burn off some steam. These dogs do very well with games such as fetch and other physically strenuous activities.


Hygenhund needs plenty of rigorous training to keep up with their physical and mental needs. The more well-trained your dog is, the better your relationship will be. Because these dogs are so high energy, they may require professional training if you don’t feel up to the task.

These dogs are smart as a whip, picking up on new concepts easily. However, repetition and positive reinforcement training are crucial. These dogs do not do well with harsh punishments.

The breed, untrained, can develop nervous tendencies that may lead to destruction and other bad behaviors.

Grooming ✂️

The Hygenhund is a seasonal shedder, meaning they lose their coat heavily in the spring and fall months. To combat their heavy shedding, it’s a good idea to brush daily.

You can brush these dogs daily with a slicker or bristle brush. For heavy shedding periods, you may want to use a deshedding tool once a week to get dead hairs on the undercoat.

Before you welcome this dog into your home, understand that they do have a traditional hound dog sent. This can be a little overwhelming for some owners, even with routine bathing.

These oils are important, however. You should never over bathe the breed, keeping up with a regular bath every 4-6 weeks. Follow up bath time with air cleaning, nail clipping, and teeth scrubbing.

Hygenhund taking bath_SGM_Shutterstock
Image By: SGM, Shutterstock

Health and Conditions

Hygenhunds are built to withstand the elements. This rugged breed is exceptionally hardy, and made for the outdoors. They have terrific immunities and excellent muscle structure.

During your puppy’s first year of life, they need to see the vet pretty frequently. They will need to stay up-to-date on their vaccinations, have neuter/spay surgery, and have any wellness check-ups. Once the first year has passed, you can switch to annual vet visits that monitor the health and livelihood of your dog.

Even though this breed doesn’t have very many health concerns to mention, some issues can still affect them.

Minor Conditions
  • Von Willebrand’s disease
  • Arthritis
Serious Conditions
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Bloat

Male vs. Female

Males and females both have the potential to have intense personalities. Each specific trait will vary depending on the dog itself.

However, they do differ in size. Males are larger and stockier than females, weighing 45 to 55 pounds. Females are leaner, weighing between 40 to 50 pounds.

The differences between males and females are not substantial and have much to do with bloodlines.


3 Little-Known Facts About the Hygenhund

1. Finding a Hygenhund dog in the United States can be incredibly challenging. 

2. The Hygenhund was named after the breed’s creator—Hans Fredrik Hygen.

3. Hygenhund is a Norwegian breed, built to withstand the harsh winter climates.

divider-dog pawFinal Thoughts

If you live in the United States, it is not likely that you will ever own one of these beautiful dogs. However, you can always love and appreciate the breed for what they are. There are plenty of other similar dogs that would make equally fantastic companions. If you are lucky enough to land yourself a Hygenhund, be sure to provide it with adequate mental and physical stimulation to keep it happy and healthy.

Featured Image Credit: Norwegian dog breed hygenhound (Image Credit: Bjorn Konestabo, Wikimedia Commons, CC SA 2.0 Generic)

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