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Smalandsstovare

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Species group:

Other name(s): Smalands Hound

The basics:
The Smaland Hound-- believed to be the first Swedish scenthound-- was developed in the 16th century to serve as versatile hunters and retrievers for small homesteaders who could only afford to feed one dog. Because they had to do it all, from retrieving tiny forest birds to tracking full-sized elk, they were bred for their hunting abilities instead of a certain color or size. The first standard was drawn up in 1921, but dogs of unknown background were registered as Smaland Hounds as late as the 1950s. They are still popular hunting hounds in their native Sweden, but they remain almost unknown outside their native land.

Appearance / health:
Smalandsstovares are medium sized, strong dogs with an almost square profile. They are robust but never heavy with an elegant look. Head is medium sized in proportion to the body size. Eyes are dark brown with a calm expression. Ears are set fairly high, hanging flat with rounded tips. They are slightly raised when the dog is attentive. The chest is well developed with well-sprung ribs. Back is short and powerful. Belly is only slightly tucked up. Tail is long and set on in a straight line with the back. Half-length tails are also found.

Their coat does not need much care and grooming. They are average shedders. Brushing the coat once or twice a week is sufficient to keep it clean and stimulate coat growth. Ears should be checked and cleaned regularly. Toenails can be trimmed once in two or three weeks.

Occasional brushing using special toothpaste and toothbrush available at pet store prevents tartar build up.

Smalandsstovares are hunting dogs and need a good amount of exercise. A long walk twice a day on different routes satiates their keen sense of smell and keeps the dog physically fit and mentally stimulated. Puppies can be taken for shorter walks.

Not much is documented about the health conditions seen in this breed.

Behavior / temperament:
They usually maintain a low profile in the house. However, they like an active existence, which can be witnessed when they are taken out for exercise or a hunt. These scenthounds are quick to escape and are easily distracted by interesting scents. They cannot be left off leash outside the house, until they are properly trained.

They are intelligent, calm, and eager to please with a good attention span. Basic obedience and household rules training is necessary.

Training needs to be firm and consistent while avoiding harsh methods. Positive reinforcement with food, toys, and praise yields excellent results during training.

They bark when they find their quarry. Some tend to bark at new sound and sight they come across. They need to be trained against excessive barking.

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