The Hamiltonstovare (also known as the Hamilton Hound) is a native breed of Sweden and is the most popular hound breed. It was developed in the 1800s and named after its founder, Count Adolf Patrick Hamilton, who is also the founder of the Swedish Kennel Club. Count Hamilton wanted a sturdy hound that could exclusively be used for hunting both hare and fox. He began a careful breeding experiment by using German hounds, Harriers and English Foxhounds to produce a breed that could hunt by sight and smell. The result was a breed with an excellent nose that when on the trail is very difficult to distract. Today, the Hamiltonstovare is slowly becoming popular in the U.K and in Europe, mainly for hunting and showing, as well as a companion dog.
The Hamiltonstovare is described as courageous, energetic, friendly, and out-going. It has an excellent sense of smell and is hard to return to call when hard on a trail. It is generally an even-tempered, easygoing and friendly dog and makes for a fine house pet but it can sometimes have a stubborn streak. It has a high prey drive and makes a wonderful hunting companion. Typically, the Hamiltonstovare is devoted, brave, energetic and patient. It can adjust fairly easy in any living environment as long as it gets its daily dose of exercise. It is always willing to work and thrives on human companionship.
Training is on the moderate side. Being a hunting dog, it requires a handler who is firm but gentle, confident and a strong leader. Consistent and firm training with positive reinforcement such as food rewards is the key to training the Hamiltonstovare. Basic obedience training should be started early in the age of the dog. The Hamiltonstovare is a large breed which can easily pull the handler over when on a lead if not trained early and properly. Basic commands as well as walking to heel should be prioritized. The breed responds very well to physical contact and praise.
Grooming is on the easy side. The Hamiltonstovare has a very short coat that sheds very little so it is an easy dog to groom. It is a clean dog and only requires weekly bathing and brushing to remove loose dead hair.
It is a generally healthy dog with a lifespan of 12 years. It may be prone to the following medical problems:
The Hamiltonstovare has an enormous amount of endurance and needs regular exercise in order to channel this reserve energy. It should be taken on daily long walks, jogs or runs. Running alongside a bike will suit the Hamiltonstovare very well, as well as playing off-leash in a secured area. Never let this dog roam free in an unsecured area because its strong sense of smell can lead it to trail scent and is hard to return to call when it is tracking a scent.
The Hamiltonstovare is well-behaved with children and other dogs but young children must always be taught how to treat this hound the right way. Adults must supervise the kids and the dog whenever playing together. Teach the children to never tease the dog. The Hamiltonstovare has a high prey drive so caution is needed when it is around little pets, particularly those that resembles a fox or hare like rabbits, guinea pigs, mice, and similar pets. It will do fine with cats particularly if it is well socialised at an early age.