Danish-Swedish Farmdog (Dansk-svensk gårdshund)

Country of origin:
Denmark, Sweden
Height (cm):
Weight (kg):
Life span (years):
white with patches of different colours, sizes and combinations
Hair length:
Recognized by:
FCI code:
Good with kids:
Pros Cons
  • devoted friend
  • easy to groom
  • communicative
  • good health
  • needs a substantial amount of daily exercises

The Danish-Swedish Farmdog is an all-purpose working breed, which originated in Denmark and Sweden. It is prized not only for its versatility and quick-wittedness but also for its lovely temperament, which makes it a brilliant family pet. Being incredibly agile and fast the dog also thrives in a wide variety of dog sports.

It’s currently believed that the Danish-Swedish Farmdog came to existence in the XVIII century. It’s impossible to pinpoint the exact location of the place of its origin since it was popular both in Denmark and Sweden. It’s known that it could also be found in Great Britain, France, and Germany. Archaeological diggings located the remains of small-boned resembling dogs far from its homeland, namely in Normandy and France. There is a theory that breed members accompanied the Vikings in their conquering campaigns against these countries.

The Danish-Swedish Farmdog was a general worker on small family farms. This little fearless dog was trusted with herding large cattle. It guarded the chicken coups from foxes and other predators and effectively coped with such household vermin as rats and mice. Thanks to its keen intellect and learning ability it also attained certain recognition as a circus dog. For example, in the 20s of the XX century it participated in circus performances of the biggest stationary and travelling circus in Denmark, named the Circus Benneweis. But it remained first and foremost the beloved member of the farmer’s family and craved to spend all its spare time in its company.

With time under the pressure of the enlargement of the farming industry small family farms appeared to be unprofitable and the vast majority of formed farmers and their families moved to towns. The Danish-Swedish Farmdog predominant role of the farmer’s assistant was no longer urgent. This fact led to dramatic drop in population of the breed so the threat of its eventual disappearance was quite real at that time. Some of its fanciers believe that interest to the breed was revived by the translation of the Danish TV series in the late 70s and early 80s of the XX century, named «Matador» featuring the Danish-Swedish Farmdog.

In 1985 the Danish and the Swedish Kennel Clubs united their efforts to find remaining pure-bred specimens and finally launched systematic breeding programs. In 1987 their work was rewarded and the breed was officially recognised under its present name. In 2009 the Danish-Swedish Farmdog was given complete recognition of the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI). In 2011 the breed was also acknowledged by the AKC Foundation Stock Service.

Nowadays majority of its specimens serve as human companions but this dog is quite capable of applying its multiple talents in various dog sports, including tracking, Frisbee, swimming, herding, hunting and many others.

The Danish-Swedish Farmdog is a mischievous and frisky dog, which wants nothing more than to be surrounded by love and attention of its family. Despite its apparent resemblance to a Terrier-type dog, it differs from a typical terrier by calmer and more well-balanced temperament. It’s alright with children and usually makes an indefatigable participant of their games. The breed is probably too energetic for families with small children but with correct socialisation it can become a well-behaved member of any family.

The Danish-Swedish Farmdog is well-known for its friendliness but it tends to be reserved and aloof by the first meeting with an unfamiliar person. The breed behaves politely and mannerly with people it knows but it’s always happy to make a new human acquaintance. It’s vigilant enough to make a decent watchdog without the highly undesirable tendency to constant barking. At the same time it’s too small and amiable to be turned into a good guard dog.

The Danish-Swedish Farmdog is noted for its communicability and usually likes to spend its time in the group of other dogs. It will be glad to have one or several canine housemates to play with. On the whole the breed behaves well in the presence of strange dogs although its socialisation in this respect should begin as early as possible. It retains much of its hunting instincts intact and therefore can’t be trusted with other small pets. This dog will accept a household cat as a part of its family if they have lived together since its puppyhood.

Health Problems
The most common problems for the breed include:

• canine hip dysplasia.

The Danish-Swedish Farmdog’s coat requires minimal maintenance. It should be brushed only occasionally and will never need professional grooming. Furthermore dirt and grime don’t stick to its sleek and short fur meaning the dog should be bathed rather infrequently. In most cases it’s quite sufficient to wipe down the dog’s trunk with a watered towel to maintain its well-attended look.

The Danish-Swedish Farmdog loses its hair in small portions all the year around and sheds most of its coat once a year. During shedding period its owner should brush the dogs’ daily with a rubber brush in order to decrease the amount of hair in the house.

The training of the Danish-Swedish Farmdog can be performed with moderate amount of efforts. One of the positive traits of this breed is its inquisitiveness. This feature in combination with its high intelligence makes it a very capable learner. On the other hand the breed is known to be somewhat slow to mature and can behave childish even at the age of three years. That’s why it requires patient and understanding trainer who is aware of its mischievous nature.

The Danish-Swedish Farmdog will never tolerate rough-housing and responds to it with disobedience and even aggression. Its training should begin in its puppyhood and the dog should be motivated exclusively with verbal praise and plentiful of food incentives.

The Danish-Swedish Farmdog is very diligent and tireless dog, which is happiest with the task at hand. It purports that it should receive plenty opportunities to release its buyout energy preferably in some kind of meaningful work. The perfect solution is to let your dog pass through agility or obedience training course or to engage it in some dog sports on continuing basis.

Don’t be duped with a moderate size of this breed since a discontent or bored specimen can bring major destruction to your possession. At the very least the Danish-Swedish Farmdog should be taken on the lengthy and vigorous daily walk during which it will be able to socialise with other canines or run and play off leashed in a safely enclosed area.