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Danish Dogs, Great Danes, Danish Farm Dogs, Danish Broholmer
Your #1 resource for Danish Swedish Farm Dogs, Danish Broholmers, Great Danes, Old Danish Pointers, Old Danish Chicken Dogs

Danish Swedish Farm Dogs

We love these breeds so much that we developed an entire web site dedicated to Danish Dogs, and especially Danish Farm Dogs.  The Danish Farm Dog is also knows as the Swedish Farm Dog.  So you will often see it referred to as the Danish/Swedish Farm Dog.

The Danish Farm Dog should not be confused with the Danish Chicken Dog – they are two different breeds.  To learn more about the Danish Chicken Dog, please visit our Danish Chicken Dog page.

If you are interested in learning more about other breeds, please visit our profiles of other hounds, such as Danish Swedish Farm Dogs, Danish Broholmer, Great Danes, Old Danish Pointers, and Old Danish Chicken Dogs.


Danish Swedish Farm Dogs History

In Danish / Swedish the dog is called: Gaardhund (Gårdhund).  Gaard means farm – Hund means dog.

The Danish/Swedish Farm Dog has a long and storied history.  Records show that it was prominent in Denmark and Sweden since at least the 1700s.  But its history likely extends back over one thousand years, with origins in such places as Great Britain, Germany, France, Denmark, and Sweden.  The Danish/Swedish Farm Dog was originally called the Old Danish Fox Terrier or the Scanian Terrier or even more simply The Rat Dog (since it was used to capture mice and rats on farms ).  Today, it is regarded a Pinscher rather than a Terrier.  The Danish/Swedish Farm Dog was sometimes classified as a Terrier, since it looks somewhat like a Fox Terrier, but it is actually in the Pinscher family of dogs.  The origins of the dog are from Denmark and Sweden.  Today, it is still rare to find this breed inside the United States. However, the American Rare Breed Association recently recognized the breed and you may start seeing them in regional dog shows.

Much suggests that the Danish/Swedish Farm Dog was a favorite of The Vikings. There is a isolated living population of Danish/Swedish Farm Dogs on a location in The Normandie, which is the area of France where Danish Vikings settled.  So we assume they brought these dogs from Denmark.  Also, archaeologists often find bones from small dogs in their excavations of Vikings’ living areas.  We assume these are bones of Danish/Swedish Farm Dogs.

The Danish/Swedish Farm Dog is a versatile working farm dog.  It performed a variety of tasks such as performing as a watch dog, catching mice and rats, assisting with hunting, and herding cattle.  The Danish/Swedish Farm Dog was also, of course, an excellent companion to the family.  The Danish/Swedish Farm Dog was energetic and trainable, so it was also often used in circuses as a clown’s playmate.  It has the ability to amuse and perform a variety of tricks.

Sadly, the dog has had a few brushes with extinction, but was recently saved by a coordinated effort between the Danish and Swedish Kennel Clubs.  The Danish/Swedish Farm Dog was widely used on farms in the countryside of Denmark, Schleswig-Holstein, Sweden, and Scania during the 1700s, 1800s, and early 1900s.  However, as these regions’ economies became less agrarian and more industrial, workers migrated away from the farmlands to the cities and industrial centers.  And automated equipment and modern technology was used to replace the Danish/Swedish Farm Dog’s functions.   This lessened the need for the Danish/Swedish Farm Dog, and its numbers declined drastically until it nearly faced extinction.

Around the 1980s, the Danish and the Swedish Kennel Clubs then made a joint effort to find the remaining the Danish/Swedish Farm Dogs, set a written standard to classify and breed them, and save the breed from extinction. In 1987, the “new” breed was declared by both kennel clubs and its official name became Danish/Swedish Farm Dog. Many mixed breed dogs that do not meeet the exact breed standard as still considered Danish/Swedish Farm Dogs, since there is no other name for them. Denmark and Sweden considers the farm dog to be a working breed, however, it is mainly a companion dog in the USA. It is placed in the “FCI Group 2 – working dogs without trials” by the Danish and the Swedish Kennel Clubs.  Today, close to 2000 Danish/Swedish Farm Dogs have been officially registered.  In Sweden and Denmark today, it is a quite popular new breed.

Danish Swedish Farm Dogs Temperment

The Danish/Swedish Farm Dog is energetic, lively, eager, bright and alert. It is extremely intelligent and a quick learner. It gets these traits from its history as a working dog.  It is agile and quick at catching mice.  It is bold too.  On a farm, it won’t back down from chasing a mouse into a fox’s hole and to face the fox.  It is not an imposing figure, but it will act as a good guard dog since it will bark if it senses anything unusual going on.  The dog is also good at scent tracking and some of them have even passed the extremely difficult test to become an official Swedish search and rescue dog.  This test requires a dog be able to help find people in extremely distressed situations.

The Danish/Swedish Farm Dog loves attention and is sweet and friendly. It is curious, full of personality, and always eager to play. It is good with children and makes a good family dog.  They love toys, interactive games and sports.  It is not an aggressive breed.

Its instinct and breeding was a farm dog trained to catch rats and mice, so it cannot be trusted with pets such as guinea pigs, hamsters, or pet birds. They will point and flush a bird.  If you have a problem with mice or rats, then you can easily train them to catch these no problem.  General training is important and should start while the dog is still a puppy. They have the ability to learn a wide variety of tricks and obedience tasks.  These dogs have excellent memories and do not forget things easily.

The Danish/Swedish Farm Dog is not a yapper.  But they do tend to bark when necessary, which makes it a good watch dog.

The Danish-Swedish Farmdog does require a lot of exercise. At least one hour a day of some type of one on one activity along with a daily walk. This breed was bred as a working dog, and will do best and be happiest with some type of job to do or some type of one on one game with the owner. Keep them leashed in unsafe areas, as they may suddenly decide to chase another small animal such as a rabbit, squirrel or even a cat they see from a distance.

Danish Swedish Farm Dogs Description

The Danish/Swedish Farm Dog is a small dog, but this makes it comfortable to live with inside a home.

Average Height: Male 12-14 inches (32-37 cm.); Female 12 – 14 inches.
Average Weight: Male 20-25 pounds (7-12 kg.); Female 18 – 22 pounds

The Danish/Swedish Farm Dog has a shiny, short, hard, close lying smooth coat.  It is small and compact, and almost rectangular in build with a deep wide chest when fully developed.  It is often mistaken for a Jack Russell or a Fox Terrier.  It takes the dog about 3 years to develop.  The head is small, triangular, with a wide, slightly rounded scull and a well emphasized stop, that tapers to the end tip of the nose.  The nose does not have a pointy, snipey look. It is the well emphasized stop and the triangular shape of the head that makes it differ from the Fox Terrier. Its jaws are powerful. The ears fold forward, or are rose shaped. The tail is either long or naturally bob-tail, but it is never docked. A natural bobtail can occur if one or both of the parents have a bobtail. The natural bobtail can be any length shorter than a full size tail. Docking is illegal in most European countries. Coat colors include, white with chocolate brown and or black to red / reddish, either tri-color or bi-color.  Most people say the Danish/Swedish Farm Dog is odor-free.

Danish Swedish Farm Dogs Health

Danish/Swedish Farm Dogs are a robust breed and have prooven to be a particularly resistant and tough breed.  It is not uncommon for these dogs to live for 15 – 16 years, which is longer than most other breeds of dogs, but its average life expectancy is 10 – 15 years.  These dogs have no known common problems or hereditary diseases either.  It is generally healthy with no breed-specific inherited disorders.

Danish Swedish Farm Dogs Grooming and Care

The Danish-Swedish Farm Dog is easy to groom. The coat is short and does not require daily brushing. It sheds a little all year round with a seasonal heavy shedding.  Brushing with a rubber brush to remove loose hair can reduce some of the shedding.  Adding an essential fatty acid supplement to food eliminates year-round shedding but does not interfere with seasonal shedding. Nails should be clipped regularly and teeth brushed 2-3 times per week.

The Danish-Swedish Farm Dog eats between 1 – 2 cups of premium dry food per day depending on their overall size and level of activity. Providing safe “chewing” type treats will help maintain teeth and promote overall good oral health.

Regular veterinary check-ups and immunizations will help insure the continued health of your Danish-Swedish Farm Dog.

Danish Swedish Farm Dogs Recognition

BThe Scandinavian Countries’ Kennel Clubs, NKU (Nordic Kennel Union), FCI-Pending, ARBA (American Rare Breed Association), APRI, ACR, DSFCA

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