Temperament: Agile, Versatile, Regal
- Height: 19-24 inches
- Weight: 40-75 pounds
- Life Expectancy: 14-17 years
- Group: Foundation Stock Service
The Hamiltonstovare is a versatile scent hound, bred to hunt hare and fox in Sweden. When not hunting, they can be found in the show ring, as their striking color makes them a stunning show dog. Hamiltons have been used as service dogs in America since the late 90s, where their versatility and close bond with their people shine.
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.
NUTRITION 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.
GROOMING 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.
EXERCISE 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.
TRAINING 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.
HEALTH 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