Danish Swedish Farmdog: The Little Big Dog

Danish Swedish Farmdog lying on sofa
Wyatt Robinson
Written by Wyatt Robinson

Everyone loves having a dog around, but it’s not easy when it comes to choosing the right dog for your home. You want to make sure that you’re getting a breed which suits your personality and lifestyle. If you’re the type of person who loves to be outdoors, going for walks and runs, then the Danish Swedish Farmdog is a great option for you. This high-energy dog will be by your side the entire way.

The Danish Swedish Farmdog is a high-energy and playful breed. Originally a herding breed, the Danish Swedish Farmdog is highly intelligent and loves being challenged with mind games, obstacle courses, and tricks.

These dogs love to be active, and if you give them a job, they’ll be able to complete it without hesitation. If you have children or other dogs, it’s even better as this breed is highly social and loves playing with children and other animals.

If you want to learn more about this high-energy and large-personality breed, you’re in the right place. This article covers everything there is to know about the Danish Swedish Farmdog. From their physical traits to why people say they have a big personality, you will learn about all what this breed brings to the table.

Breed Characteristics

Danish Swedish Farmdog with orange spots

  • Adaptability: Average; despite their small size, they are not suited to apartment living due to their high energy level.

  • Trainability: Good; quite obedient but often need to be reminded of their place in the pack.

  • Health and Grooming: Good; low maintenance needs.

  • All Around Friendliness: Good; but they often see cats and smaller pets as prey.

  • Exercise Needs: High.

Dog Breed GroupFoundation Stock Service, Working Dogs
Height12.5 - 14.5 inches
Weight15 - 20 lbs
Lifespan11 - 13 years

The Denmark and Sweden Kennel Clubs worked together to bring the breed back into decent numbers, preventing them from going extinct. Today, they’re popular dogs in the USA as companions.The Danish Swedish Farmdog is a very old breed which, at one point, faced extinction. Originating in Denmark and Sweden, Danish Swedish Farmdogs were used as working dogs. They would hunt rats and mice, herd cattle, and act companions to the family. However, through industrial changes, small farms disappeared, and so the population of the breed declined.

They’re highly intelligent dogs packed with energy. They love being around their family, including children and other household animals. But what they love even more is to be mentally challenged with mind games and obstacles.

See Also: Interactive Dog Toys

Their active and lively personality makes them great for people who are frequently outdoors and have the same energy level as them.

The Danish Swedish Farmdog is extremely low maintenance with grooming as they have short and smooth coats which simply need a quick brushing to prevent shedding. Their coats are odor free. Occasionally you’ll have to give them baths, however, not on a regular basis.

Though they’re small, don’t be fooled as they pack a huge personality. They make great guard dogs as they rarely bark without a cause. In addition, once they understand the family and their place in it, they’ll fulfill any task given to them.

Main Highlights

four Danish Swedish Farmdogs sitting together

  • They are known as the “little big dog” for their large personalities.

  • They’re highly intelligent and have been used in circus acts.

  • They’re traditionally known as herding dogs and do well under instruction and tasks.

  • The Danish Swedish Farmdog is a high-energy dog who does very well when given tasks and mind games such as hide-and-seek and obstacle courses.

  • They’re great at removing rats and mice from your house as they’re very intelligent and fast.

  • They were originally known as the Danish Pinscher.

  • They’re an extremely old breed, dating back to the 1700s.

  • They were commonly seen on farms in Denmark and Southern Sweden.

  • This is a highly trainable dog through positive reinforcement.

Breed History

Danish Swedish Farmdog playing with a toy

The Danish Swedish Farmdog has been around for quite a while and is considered a very old breed. They date back to as far as the 1700s and were known as Old Danish Fox Terrier or Scanian Terrier, even though they’re regarded as pinschers.

The breed originated in Denmark and Sweden. These dogs were commonly seen on farms, catching anything from rats to mice, herding cattle, and being companions for the family. The breed was and is extremely versatile, as it has also been used in the circus for performing.

However, as small farms in Denmark and Sweden disappeared with the development of industrial-grade farms, the breed declined in number and faced extinction. Luckily, kennel clubs, in the 1980s, made an effort to try to bring the breed back by setting a standard then finding the last of the breed and saving them from extinction.

Today, the breed is still rare, but no longer facing extinction. Denmark and Sweden declare this breed as a working breed, however, in the USA, it’s mainly used as a companion dog.


The Danish Swedish Farmdog is a fairly small breed, as they stand at 12.3 to 14.5 inches tall. When they peak at maturity, they will weigh between 15 and 25 pounds.

Though they’re small in size, their personalities are double their height as they’re known as “the little big dog” breed. They also have a lot of stamina and can run around for hours—a throwback to their olden status as working dogs.

Personality and Character

Danish Swedish Farmdog swimming

As stated previously, they’re known as the “little big dog” for a reason. Generally, the Danish Swedish Farmdog has a very easy going and friendly personality, which makes it a suitable breed for families.

Their small size is actually an asset as this makes them very versatile. They’re a working breed which does well with herding livestock and alerting people to intruders as they rarely bark without reason. They’re extremely lively, sweet, and curious—making them ideal for families with children as they’re always interested in playing.

If you’re looking for a dog which is easy to train, the Danish Swedish Farmdog is one great choice. The breed takes leadership, training, and exercise very seriously. But this means you should train these dogs from puppyhood.

These dogs are highly intelligent. Thus, they have the ability to learn a wide range of skills and tricks. They have been used for circus performances, so you can see that they’re able to take on whatever is presented to them.

See Also: How to Teach a Dog to Speak

Health and Potential Problems

Generally, the Danish Swedish Farmdog is a healthy breed and isn’t burdened with many potential health issues. However, to ensure that your Danish Swedish Farmdog is healthy, make sure the breeder has proper papers and that you have sufficient knowledge of the parents.

If they do experience any health problems, it will most likely be dental problems or patellar luxation.

  • Patellar Luxation: occurs when the kneecap is dislocated from its normal position.
  • Dental Problems: this can include bad breath, bleeding gums, and gum loss. Oral brushing can prevent many of these issues.

Care Features

Danish Swedish Farmdog lying on armchair

The Danish Swedish Farmdog is generally an easy dog to be with. Though, there are some things that you need to be aware of. If you live in an apartment, they generally are okay, however, they do best in areas where they’re able to freely run around. So, if you live in a house with a yard, this is more suitable for them.

But just because you have a yard, doesn’t mean they don’t need to be exercised. The Danish Swedish Farmdog is a high-energy dog, requiring daily exercise. They need at least one hour a day of physical activity which is one-on-one with their master.

You should walk them or play fetch with them. It’s not that they can’t be left to exercise on their own, but they do need some reminding of their place in the pack. If you let them be without any supervision for too long, they may start to consider themselves the alpha and forget that they need to answer to you.

Danish Swedish Farmdogs are working dogs, so, they do best when they’re given tasks or jobs to complete. Playing games with them or making them go through obstacles are great ways for them to exercise their body and mind.

See Also: How to Teach a Dog to Fetch

Be careful about letting them go off-leash as they’ll easily run after birds, rabbits, or cats if they seem them in view.

Feeding Schedule

Of course, proper nutrition is essential for any dog, regardless of the breed. You should aim at providing them with high-quality dog food, making sure that the food is specific for their age and breed as dog foods vary in nutritional levels.

Of course, you have the control when it comes to the food you choose to feed your dog. However, it doesn’t hurt to go to the vet and see what they recommend.

If you purchased your dog from a breeder, consulting them as well to see the amount of food the dogs were being fed is also a good idea as you’ll be able to continue the feeding regime. In addition, always make sure your dog is supplied with clean, fresh water.

See Also: Dog Food Nutrition: 5 Common Mistakes in Dog Nutrition and How to Correct Them

Coat, Color, and Grooming

Danish Swedish Farmdog puppy with brown head

The Danish Swedish Farmdog has a short, close-lying coat with smooth hair. Typically speaking, their coats are white, however, can have patches of black or tan as well.

The Danish Swedish Farmdog is a very easy dog to maintain in terms of grooming. Their coat is short, which means they don’t require daily brushing. It’s recommended that you do brush them though, to keep the shedding to a minimum.

In addition, you do not need to bathe them on a regular basis, but rather when they start to have that dog smell. Nail trimming is recommended on occasions to prevent overgrowth and splitting.

Children and Other Pets Compatibility

two Danish Swedish Farmdogs on sofa

The Danish Swedish Farmdog is highly recommended for families with children as this breed is highly social and playful. It also does well with other dogs, if you introduce them properly.

See Also: How to Introduce Dogs to Other Dogs

If you have children and other dogs, you’ll be happy to know that this breed will blend into your family without any effort. However, the Danish Swedish Farmdog is not great around pets such as guinea pigs, hamsters, or birds. These types of pets are prey for them.

Wrap Up

Danish Swedish Farmdog puppy lying


The Danish Swedish Farmdog is a high-energy and powerful dog who loves to socialize with both people and other dogs. Their high energy level makes them eager to complete tasks when given as they’re bred as working dogs.

Their intelligence makes them easy to train which comes in handy as they have a tendency to chase cats, rats, and mice. The Danish Swedish Farmdog is best for people who are generally active and have the time to take them out for walks and runs as they need a lot of exercise.

If you’re looking for a low-maintenance dog that doesn’t need daily or weekly brushing, then you’ll love the Danish Swedish Farmdog. You don’t need to brush them on a regular basis. However, it does help to maintain their shedding.

Their coat is odor-free, so they don’t need regular bathing either. You will have to make sure their nails are properly trimmed or else they’re prone to splitting and breaking. Overall, these dogs are easy to take care of.

Do you think that the Danish Swedish Farmdog is the breed for you? Which part of the dog do you like the most? Did we miss anything worth mentioning about this amazing breed? Do share your thoughts in the comments section! If you decide to adopt a Danish Swedish Farmdog, you may find our article on little dog names handy.

About the author
Wyatt Robinson
Wyatt Robinson

Wyatt Robinson had a great 25-years career as a veterinarian in United Kingdom. He used to be a member of British Veterinary Association and worked in 3 pet hospitals in London and Manchester. He is shining when he sees his pets healthy and full of energy and it is his duty to help other dog owners to keep their best friends full of life.