In Sweden, hunting with dogs have a long tradition and scenthounds were used for centuries. The Hamiltonstovare was developed in the second half of 19th century by big dog enthusiast and first president of Swedish Kennel Club, Count Adolf Patrik Hamilton. He wanted to create a sturdy scenthound, capable of hunting hare and foxes in harsh weather and difficult forested and mountainous terrain of Sweden. The breeds used in development of Hamilton Hound were three already extinct German breeds – Holsteiner Hound, Heiderbracke and Curlandish Hound – and also English Foxhound and Harrier.
And the breeding goal was definitely achieved, because Hamilton Hound is just extremely good at hunting and its no wonder that they are used to this day for this purpose. Interesting fact is, that unlike many other scenthounds, especially the english ones, they were not bred to hunt in a pack, but to hunt on their own or in pairs. They have great qualities for hunting, such as extremely good sense of smell, high endurence, agility and flexibility, intelligent, but also independent mind, which makes them very good problem solvers and, of course, high prey drive
Even when this breed is not use for hunting, they will still love to have some kind of a job. And thanks to their versatility, they are suitable for variety of other tasks. They can be excellent trackers, they do great at various dog sports such as agility, nosework, rally, dock diving or lure coursing. The Hamilton Hound is also quite strong dog and they are good weight pullers. And of course, they will always love to go on a long walk or hike with their owners.
Buut the life of Hamiltonstovare is not only about work, they also make very good companion dogs and pets. This is quite friendly and playful breed when it is around its family and they make good play partners for kids, but of course, the kid should be old enough to know how to treat dogs gently. On the other hand, they can be suspicious towards strangers. The Hamilton Hound will enjoy almost any activity with its family and they truly love its owners.
As i said, the Hamiltonstovare is a very intelligent breed, but that does not mean they are total pushovers to train. It is true, that they are capable of learn a lot of tricks and commands fairly quickly, but because of their independent and lets say stubborn personality, they do not always obey your commands. For example, it is quite hard to teach them reliable recall, because even if they understand the command properly, it would be extremely hard to recall them if they catch a scent to follow. These dogs are also known for being quite vocal and they definitely need a proper early training and socialization provided by absolutely patient, firm and consistent leader. Hamilton Hounds are very food motivated, so make sure you always have their favourite treats when you start the training.
This is very strong and athletic, medium sized dog breed with average height between 49-61 cm, which is 19-24 inch and weight is usually between 22-27 kg, which is 50-60 lbs. Females are naturally little bit smaller then males.
The Hamiltonstovare has a short and harsh doublecoat which is lying very close to the body. The coat on the head and front legs are very smooth. This dog comes in the beautiful tricolor color combination.
8) Tomten and Karo
One Hamilton Hound is quite popular in Swedish folklore, which tell a story about a small Elf Tomten and his companion dog – Hamiltonstovare Karo, who together helped Swedish housewifes.
Great fact is, that this is very low maintenance breed. They have very low doggy odor, they do not shed much and the coat does not need any grooming and it will still look good. Just like with all dogs, you should regularly check their eyes, ears, nails and teeth and clip them or clean them if needed.
This is usually very healthy and hardy dog breed with amazing lifespan around 15 years. Just like all dogs, even the Hamiltonstovare can suffer from some health issues. The main health problem is hip dysplasia, other minor and not so common health issues are epilepsy, different allergies or some eye problems.