Smaland Hound – General Description
The Smaland Hound (Smålandsstövare) is a breed of dog that originated in Sweden in the 16th century. Thought to be the oldest scenthound breed in Sweden, it was first recognized by the Swedish Kennel Club in 1921. They are the smallest of the Swedish hound breeds, and have black and tan markings similar to the Rottweiler. Internationally, it is recognized by a number of kennel clubs and registries including the Fédération Cynologique Internationale and United Kennel Club. It is considered rare, even in its native Sweden where only around sixty puppies are registered each year.
Classification and Standards
- FCI Group 6, Section 1.2, #129
- UKC Scenthound Group
Character & Temperament
A popular Swedish hunting dog, members of the breed can form strong attachments to their master; but are also seen as household pets due to their gentle and protective nature. In hunting, they are used to drive the quarry for the hunter. They are a highly intelligent breed, and require a high level of exercise. They therefore are not best suited to living in a small apartment. Smaland Hound are wary of strangers and can be territorial, but this can also make a Smaland Hound a good watchdog. Participation in field trials for Smaland Hounds are becoming increasingly common. They remain active up until around twelve years old.
The breed has existed in Sweden since the 16th century. The name originated from the breed’s links with Småland in southern Sweden. During the time of the Swedish Empire a number of wars were fought, with soldiers returning to their native country bringing a variety of hound breeds with them. These hounds were bred with local spitz type dogs, and the offspring became the foundation stock of the modern Smaland Hound.
Farmers in Sweden preferred an all around hunting dog as they could often only afford to feed a single hunting dog, and so the breed became adept at hunting a number of quarry including hares, squirrels and foxes as well as birds and larger game such as moose. During this initial period the Smaland Hound came in a variety of colors, sizes and lengths of tail with selective breeding not being put into practice until the 19th century. At the first dog show held in Sweden, in 1889, 444 dogs were entered, of which 189 were hound type dogs, including a number of Smaland Hounds. In the early 20th century, breeders worked to restore the breed to the old type, with a naturally occurring short tail.
The breed was first recognized by the Swedish Kennel Club in 1921, the same year that the first breed standard was drawn up. The first of the breed to be registered was Skoj av Myren 789 V, owned by Mary Stephens from the Torne valley. At the time of the first standard, both long and short tails were allowed under the regulations. Baron Frederik von Essen is responsible for breeding short tailed Smaland Hounds, which was to become a trait of the entire breed after they were initially developed in Jönköping County. The most recent standard was drawn up in 1952, around the same time as other dogs of a similar type were used to inject new blood into the breed. This was the most recent time that dogs with an unknown background were allowed to be registered as a Smaland Hound. Currently on average around sixty puppies a year are registered with the Swedish Kennel Club, and the breed is therefore considered rare. They are not normally seen outside of Sweden.
Outside of Sweden, it is recognized by the American Rare Breed Association, Continental Kennel Club, and the Fédération Cynologique Internationale. The United Kennel Club recognized the breed as the Smaland Hound in 2006.
Size & Appearance
Often confused with the Rottweiler breed due to common coat coloring, the Smaland Hound is the oldest scent hound breed native to Sweden. They have a medium length top coat with a shorter, dense undercoat; longer hair grows on the fringed tail and thighs. The most common coloring of the breed is a mostly black coat with tan markings, although the markings can range in color from shades of amber to a reddish brown.
They have a tough, robust body which is compact and almost square in shape. It is the smallest of the Swedish hounds, on average they measure between 16–21 inches (41–53 cm) at the withers with males being slightly larger than females. Average weight is around 33–44 pounds (15–20 kg) for both genders. The Smaland Houndh as a natural bobtail due to this being specifically bred into the breed, and a typical member of the breed should be well muscled in proportion throughout.
The facial features include wide nostrils on a black nose, the jaw closes in a scissors bite and the eyes are typically dark brown. The skull itself is lean with a well defined stop. The ears have rounded tips, and are set fairly high on the skull, hanging flat down the sides.
Health & Maintenance
The Swedish breed club for the Smaland Hound commissioned genetic tests on a number of dogs between 1994 and 2008. The tests showed that there were no specific health issues unique to the breed, nor any major generic issues. They recommended that where rare health issues present themselves, that the dog involved should not be bred from in order to prevent that health issue from spreading through the breed. They have an average life expectancy of twelve to fifteen years.
- “Smålandsstövare Information”. Sarah’s Dogs. – http://www.sarahsdogs.com/breeds/smalandsstovare/
- “Sveriges hundraser” (PDF). Svenska Kennelklubben. – http://www.skk.se/Global/Dokument/Hundrasguiden/Svenska-raser.pdf?epslanguage=sv
- “Historik över Smålandsstövaren” (in Swedish). Svenska Smålandsstövareföreningan. – http://www.smalandsstovaren.se/page4.php
- “Smålandsstövare” (DOC). Fédération Cynologique Internationale. – http://www.fci.be/uploaded_files/129gb2001_en.doc
- “Smålandsstövare”. American Rare Breed Association. – http://www.arba.org/smalandsstovare.htm
- “Smalandsstovare”. Continental Kennel Club. – http://www.continentalkennelclub.com/Ads.aspx?BreedNum=2197
- “Smaland Hound (Revised July 1, 2009)”. United Kennel Club. – http://www.ukcdogs.com/WebSite.nsf/Breeds/SmalandHoundRevisedJuly12009
- “Smålandsstövare” (in Swedish). Svenska Jagareforbundet. – http://www.jagareforbundet.se/Jagarenojakten/Jakthundar/Presentation-av-jakthundraserna/Drivande-hundar/Smalandsstovare/
- “Avel med smålandsstövare åren 1994 – 2008” (in Swedish) (DOC). Svenska Smålandsstövareföreningan. – http://www.smalandsstovaren.se/attachments/File/Avel/Avelsanalys_Sm__landsst__vare_W97.doc
- Linathrash [GFDL (www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons
Smaland Hound (Smålandsstövare)
FCI-Standard N°129/ 17.11.1997/ GB
TRANSLATION : Renée Sporre-Willes.
ORIGIN : Sweden.
DATE OF PUBLICATION OF THE ORIGINAL VALID STANDARD : 17/07/1997.
Scent hound used for hunting hare and fox. It is not a pack hound and not used for hunting deer.
F.C.I. CLASSIFICATION :
- Group 6 Scent hounds and related breeds.
- Section 1.2 Medium-sized hounds.
With working trial.
BRIEF HISTORICAL SUMMARY :
A great variety of scent hounds existed in the county of Småland during the 19Th century. Some, whose ancestry came from German, Polish and Baltic hounds, had accompanied soldiers returning to Småland from the great wars (1611-1718). Those hounds together with local farm dogs of spitz type with an addition of English hounds became the foundation of the Smålandsstövare. Size as well as color varied, as did the length of tail. Some where black-and-tan, others red or yellow. White markings were common. Some dogs were born with short tails. In the early 20Th century great efforts were made to re-establish the old Smålandsstövare, mainly the bobtailed variety, although the first standard drawn in 1921 allowed both the natural short and long tail. Colour was primarily decided to be black-and-tan but red and yellow was allowed as was white markings. The Smålandsstövare has had continuing additions of new blood, sometimes with strong lines to other breeds. The last time new blood was added was in the 1950’s, when for a short period, dogs of accepted type but with unknown background where registered as Smålandsstövare.
GENERAL APPEARANCE :
Robust dog with a somewhat elegant look. It should be strong but not heavy in built. Coat should be harsh.
IMPORTANT PROPORTIONS :
Almost square in body. Depth of body should be nearly equal to half of the height at withers.
BEHAVIOR / TEMPERAMENT :
Calm, kind dog with a faithful and keen temperament.
CRANIAL REGION :
Skull : Lean and of medium length. Broadest between the ears.
Stop : Stop well defined, distance from occiput to stop should be equal to that from stop to tip of nose.
FACIAL REGION :
Nose : Nose black, with large nostrils.
Muzzle : Muzzle well developed, neither coarse nor snipy. Bridge of nose straight and parallel to line of skull.
Lips : Upper lips only slightly overhanging.
Cheeks : Cheeks lean.
Jaw/Teeth : Scissor bite. Teeth strong and well developed.
Eye : Dark brown with calm expression.
Ear : Set fairly high and slightly raised when the dog is attentive. Slightly shorter than the distance from base of ear to half-way along muzzle. Hanging flat and tips rounded.
Moderately long, powerful without being coarse, merging beautifully into shoulders. Skin on neck supple and close fitting.
Withers : Withers well defined.
Back : Back short and powerful.
Loin : Loin muscular and slightly arched.
Croup : Croup slightly inclined, long and broad.
Chest : Chest well developed with well sprung ribs.
Underline and belly : Belly only slightly tucked up.
- Either long and set on in a straight line with the back. Straight or slightly curved in sabre fashion. Barely reaching hocks. Half length tails also permissible. When the dog moves, tail preferably not carried above the level of the back.
- Naturally born short tail ( stumpy tail ), beartail permissible.
General appearance : When viewed from front forelegs appear straight and parallel. Strong bone in harmony with the general appearance of the dog.
Shoulder : Shoulder long, muscular and well laid back. Closely lying.
Upper arm : Upper arm long and forming a right angle to shoulders.
Elbow : Elbow set close to body and not visible under ribcage.
Pastern (Metacarpus) : Springy and forming a slight angle to forearm.
Forefeet : Firm with well knuckled and tight toes.
General appearance : Strong and parallel when viewed from behind.
Thigh : Muscles well developed and thighs broad when viewed from side.
Stifle : Well angulated.
Hock joint : Well angulated.
Metatarsal : Short, lean and straight.
Hindfeet : Like front feet. Dewclaws undesirable.
Parallel, strong and long-reaching.
Medium length, harsh, close fitting coat that is coarser on back and neck. Undercoat short, dense and soft. On head, ears and front of legs coat should be short and smooth coach. Under the tail and back of thighs top coat longer than on the back. Coat well developed between toes and pads.
Black-and-tan. Tan, any shade from amber to a warm auburn. Small white markings permissible on chest and toes.
Height at withers :
Males : 46-54 cm, Ideal size 50 cm.
Females : 42-52 cm, Ideal size 46 cm.
Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog.
- Wrong proportions, i.e. too rectangular in body.
- Lack of masculinity or femininity.
- Heavy head, broad skull.
- Short or snipey muzzle.
- Pendulous lip corner.
- Overshot or undershot bite, level bite.
- Light eyes.
- Too long in back.
- Short, steep croup.
- Tail carried over level of the back.
- Restricted hind movement.
- Short or thin coat.
- Lack of tan-markings ; black penciling in the tan.
- Too much white or white in non-permissible areas.
- Liver-and-tan color.
ELIMINATING FAULTS :
- Aggressive or overly shy.
- Pronounced over- or undershot bite.
- Height at withers which is less than or exceeds allowed variations by more than 1 cm.
Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioral abnormalities shall be disqualified.
N.B. : Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.
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