Hamilton Hound (Hamiltonstövare)

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tricolor: black, tan & white
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The Hamilton Hound (the Hamiltonstövare or the Swedish Foxhound) is one of the most numerous breeds in Sweden although is remains very rare in other countries except for Great Britain where it becomes more and more popular as a show and working dog. It is an elegant, gentle and even-tempered hunting breed. The Hamilton Hound will be a great companion for a family with children and an excellent pack hunter for tracking and flushing the small game (especially foxes and hares).

The Hamilton Hound originated in was created in Sweden in the late XIX century by Adolf Patrick Hamilton, who also was among the founders of the Swedish Kennel Club. Count Hamilton crossed different German Beagles with English Foxhounds and now extinct German hounds (the Curlandish Hound, the Holsteiner Hound, and the Heiderbracke). This experiment resulted the breed that was named in honor of its creator – the Hamiltonstövare.

Although the similar hounds existed in Sweden already in the Middle Ages, the first breed member was shown only in 1886. The Hamilton Hound was used for hunting the small game and vermin. It was also good in tracking and retrieving and was able to work in a very rough terrain and severe climate.

Today, the Hamilton Hound is still very rare outside Scandinavia and Great Britain where it is widely used as a companion animal and for hunting. This breed is currently recognized by the Kennel Club (England) and FCI (Fédération Cynologique Internationale).

The Hamilton Hound is a friendly, calm, gentle, lively, charming, loyal and affectionate working breed. It is very people-oriented and needs a constant attention, love and guidance from its family or owner. This dog will be a wonderful family companion as well as an excellent hunter.

The Hamilton Hound will be very patient with children and makes a great playmate for them. It will excitedly greet any guest trying to instantly become their friend. However, this breed can be too friendly and will loudly bark and jump over other people that can lead to unwilling accidents. So teach your dog to behave properly and be more reserved. The Hamilton Hound makes poor guard and watchdog.

Most breed members will get along well with other dogs but the Hamilton Hound has a strong prey drive and will chase non-canine animals. It is possible to socialize your dog with other household pets, but for strange animals this breed is always a threat.

Health Problems
The most common problems for the breed include:

• patellar luxation;
• congenital heart disease;
• cryptorchidism;
• allergies;
• gastric torsion;
• canine hip dysplasia.

The Hamilton Hound is very easy to groom. It sheds very little and needs to be brushed with a special grooming mitt one or two times per week. Bathe your dog only when it gets really dirty. Check and clean ears and teeth on a regular basis, trim nails when needed.


The Hamilton Hound is an intelligent, docile and obedient dog that is willing to learn and is quite easy to train. However, this breed is also independent, can be stubborn and without proper training methods there won’t be any success.

Obedience training is very important for this breed, as it prefers to do what it likes rather than what it is asked for. If your dog trusts and respects you it will learn quickly all the basic commands. The sensitive Hamilton Hound needs to be trained only with positive methods like treats, reward and praise.

With a competent trainer this dog will be able to learn and perform almost any task or a trick. Socialization must start from the very young age as in case with any other dog.

The Hamilton Hound is a very energetic breed with a great stamina that needs to be exercised a lot and daily. Your dog will need both physical and mental stimulation. A long, brisk walk on a leash every day is a must. This breed makes an excellent jogging and cycling companion.

The Hamilton Hound loves to hunt, run and play. But you can let your dog off the leash only in a fully secured area as if it starts following the scent it can run away and never come back. This breed is definitely suited only for an individual or a family with an active lifestyle. It also needs a lot of space to run (better a field), therefore the Hamilton Hound is not for an apartment living.