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  • Temperament: Agile, Versatile, Regal
  • Height: 19-24 inches
  • Weight: 40-75 pounds
  • Life Expectancy: 14-17 years
  • Group: Foundation Stock Service

    The AKC has grouped all of the breeds that it registers into seven categories, or groups, roughly based on function and heritage. Breeds are grouped together because they share traits of form and function or a common heritage.

FCI Standard
Hamiltonstovare standing facing right, head turned left
Hamiltonstovare standing in three-quarter view in the grass.
Hamiltonstovare head facing left
Pack of Hamiltonstovare dogs standing in a grassy field
Hamiltonstovare standing stacked in the grass.
Hamiltonstovare walking on the beach.

About the Hamiltonstovare

Hamiltonstovare are most commonly multi-purpose dogs; they are hunters, show dogs, and pets, all in one regal and versatile little package. As a hound, they follow their nose wherever it goes (and will not return for a good long while), so leashes and fences are a necessity with this breed. Unlike most scent hounds though, the Hamiltonstovare has an extremely high prey drive for both scent and sight. They can make excellent lure coursing dogs. In the home, they are a lazy, low maintenance dog who rarely sheds. Very food motivated, they can be easy to train despite their hound stubbornness, but higher competitive obedience levels are not usually an option. The only major problem with this breed is accessibility; there is only one breeder of Hamiltonstovare in the United States. Unfortunately, Hamiltonstovare have a rescue problem in the US as well, and some can be found in rural shelters in Virginia, North Carolina, West Virginia, Kentucky, South Carolina and Tennessee.


Club Contact Details

Club: Hamiltonstovare Club of America
Name: Ashley Hammock
Address: 2311 Chapel Hill Rd, Goochland, Va 23063

National Breed Clubs and Rescue

Want to connect with other people who love the same breed as much as you do? We have plenty of opportunities to get involved in your local community, thanks to AKC Breed Clubs located in every state, and more than 450 AKC Rescue Network groups across the country.
Hamiltonstovare puppy
antoinedebroye/Getty Images Plus via Getty Images

Find a Puppy: Hamiltonstovare

AKC Marketplace | PuppyFinder

AKC Marketplace is the only site to exclusively list 100% AKC puppies from AKC-Registered litters and the breeders who have cared for and raised these puppies are required to follow rules and regulations established by the AKC.



Hamiltons are a cold weather breed and do not do well with certain grain sources, so a grain-free diet is recommended. They usually do not suffer from food allergies, so as long as they are kept on a grain-free diet, they will thrive. Working with your veterinarian and/or breeder will be the best way to determine frequency of meals as a puppy and the best adult diet to increase his longevity. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.


Hamiltons require very little grooming and are very easy to keep clean. They are seasonal shedders that only shed low to moderately in the spring and fall. Hamiltonstovare also do not drool and rarely have a doggy odor. A bath once a month and proper nail and dental care are all that are required to keep them looking their best.

Grooming Frequency

Occasional Bath/Brush
Occasional Bath/Brush




Hamiltonstovare are an active breed but they do have an off switch. They are ready to warm the sofa one day and go for a 10 mile hike the next. Daily, they need at least a 20 minute free-run outside and also something to stimulate their mind. They are a highly intelligent breed that thrives on being with their people and doing things that make their people happy. They are hounds and will follow their nose so a securely fenced yard is recommended.

Energy Level

Couch Potato
Needs Lots of Activity


Hamiltonstovare are a highly perceptive breed and adore their people. They make excellent service dogs, especially for medical alerts and psychological alerting. They are also wonderful family dogs and generally get along with everybody and everything. Hamiltons do have a high prey drive though, so they may not be the best dog for homes with rodents or even some cats as pets. They are highly food motivated and easily trainable to do just about anything.


May be Stubborn
Eager to Please




As a breed, Hamiltonstovare are very healthy and rarely diagnosed with inheritable diseases. Hamiltonstovare can get hip dysplasia and epilepsy, but it rarely happens. Care should be taken to not over-exercise them before their growth plates have closed. They are also sensitive to heat and cannot be outside for long periods of time in temperatures over 80 degrees.


Recommended Health Tests From Parent Club for Breeding and/or Show Purposes

  • Hips: X-rays evaluated by OFA, PennHip, or the SKK
  • Elbows: X-rays evaluated by OFA
  • Thyroid testing: blood drawn and tested by an approved lab for OFA
  • Dogs with evidence of epilepsy are not to be used for breeding and should be immediately spayed/neutered at the first confirmation of diagnosis.
  • *Optional* DM: DNA tested by an approved lab and recorded with the OFA
Hamiltonstovare head portrait outdoors.
Hamiltonstovare curled up sleeping in a chair outdoors.


The Hamiltonstövare is a native breed of Sweden, where it was founded in the late 1800s by the founder of the Swedish Kennel Club, Count Adolf Patrick Hamilton. Count Hamilton sought a sturdy hound that could hunt both hare and fox in difficult terrain and harsh climate. The breed also needed to be flexible to negotiate the terrain of Sweden, which is mainly forested and mountainous. He used English Foxhounds, Harriers, and three now extinct breeds from Germany: the Curlandish Hound, Holsteiner Hound, and Heiderbracke. The hounds credited with founding the Hamiltonstövare breed were known as Pang and Stella, owned by Hamilton. The Hamiltonstövare was first shown in Sweden in 1921. They were known as the Swedish Hound then, but the name has since changed to honor the breed founder.
Unlike its English relatives, the breed was not developed to hunt in a pack, but instead used as a solitary hunter or as a pair. To this day, the Hamiltonstövare still performs its original purpose in Sweden, where the breed has a popular following. Most recently, Hamiltons have started to make an impact around the world outside of Sweden, though they are still very rare in the United States.

Did You Know?

The Hamiltonstövare is one of the most popular breeds in Sweden.
The breed has several different names: Hamiltonstövare, Hamilton Hound, and Swedish Foxhound; all are technically correct.
Despite their size, Hamiltons do not hunt deer. Over the centuries, it has been bred into them to refuse deer scent.
Hamiltonstövare play a part in Swedish folklore where a Hamiltonstövare named Karo accompanies a small elf named Tomten. Tomten and Karo are said to help housewives.
The character Mikael Blomkvist in "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" is said to have owned a Swedish Foxhound (Hamiltonstövare) that he used for hare hunting.
The Hamiltonstövare has been assigned the Hound Group designation.
The Hamiltonstövare was added to the Foundation Stock Service in May 2011.

The Breed Standard

Colors & Markings


Description Standard Colors Registration Code
Tri-Colored Check Mark For Standard Color 380
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