Hamilton Hound: The Hunter of the Family

Hamilton hound stanting on grass
Wyatt Robinson
Written by Wyatt Robinson

If you’re considering getting yourself a dog, then you want a breed which will be able to adapt to your lifestyle and personality. If you’re someone who’s highly active and even-tempered, then why not consider a Hamilton Hound as a possible breed for your home?

This breed is ideal for families or individuals who enjoy the outdoors and are looking for an easy-going and friendly dog. The Hamilton Hound was traditionally used as a hunting dog. They love to run around—catching scents and exploring the land around them.

They’re extremely friendly with people and are very patient toward young kids. As hunters, though they’re friendly, they also make excellent guard dogs and will protect their family. They’re highly intelligent dogs who can quickly adapt to new environments with proper training.

Curious about the Hamilton Hound? Your desire for more information will be quenched. In this article, you’re going to find out everything you need to know about the Hamilton Hound. We’ll tell you more about how the breed came to be, their physical and personality traits, as well as their needs.

Breed Characteristics

Hamilton hound standing on grass

  • Adaptability: High
  • Trainability: Above Average; needs a gentle yet firm hand
  • Health and Grooming: Good; low maintenance
  • All Around Friendliness: Good
  • Exercise Needs: Moderate to High Maintenance

Dog Breed GroupHound Dogs
HeightMale: 19.5 - 23.5 inches
Female: 18 - 22.5 inches
Weight50 - 60 lbs
Lifespan11 - 13 years

The breed originated in Sweden back in the 19th century and was created by the founder of the Swedish Kennel Club, Adolf Patrick Hamilton. As you can see, the breed was named after him.The Hamilton Hound, overall, is a very easy breed to be with. They’re extremely friendly with people, children, and other dogs as well. However, they are a hunting breed, so, smaller animals such as rabbits and guinea pigs don’t do well in their company. But if they’re around their family, they’ll be as happy as can be.

The Hamilton Hound was created through the crossbreeding of multiple breeds of hound dogs. They’re designed to hunt foxes and hares in harsh and unpleasant terrain and climates.

Hamilton Hounds are easy to take care of. They love physical activity, have a healthy appetite, are pleasant around people, and they require minimal grooming attention, though they do have an undercoat which needs to be brushed. Other than that, there’s not much you need to do.

They love exercise as stated before. If you want to take them off-leash, it’s important to have them properly trained or make sure that the area is properly secured. Once they catch a scent, they’re off. They can be stubborn. However, with a firm and gentle hand, you’ll be able to train them easily.

Main Highlights

Hamilton hound puppy lying on grass

  • Also known as the Hamiltonstovare.
  • The breed originated in Sweden in the 19th century.
  • Was created by the founder of the Swedish Kennel Club, Adolf Patrick Hamilton, and is a mix of various hound breeds.
  • The Hamilton Hound is a hunting dog and was bred mainly to hunt foxes and hares in harsh terrain and weather conditions.
  • They’re popular in Sweden, however, have yet to become popular outside of their home country.
  • They come in tricolors.
  • They’re extremely gentle and even-tempered dogs that love to be surrounded by family members.
  • They’re not a breed that can be left alone for long periods of time. They also don’t like to live outside without much human contact. This breed is ideal for individuals or families who have time to spend with them.
  • Because they’re scent hounds, once they catch a scent, it can be hard to control them without proper training.
  • They’re easy to house-train and are low-maintenance in terms of grooming.
  • They require a copious amount of physical activity with a mix of brisk walks and off-leash running.
  • Although they do well with other dogs and cats in the home, they do not do well with small animals such as guinea pigs, rabbits, or birds.

Breed History

Hamilton hound and her puppy

The Hamilton Hound, also known as the Hamiltonstovare breed, originated in Sweden back in the 19th century. In 1886, the breed was first exhibited in Sweden and became the most popular hound in the country. However, outside of Sweden, the breed is quite rare. Although, it’s becoming more visible in Britain as both a show dog and a companion dog.

The breed was created by the founder of the Swedish Kennel Club, Adolf Patrick Hamilton. The ancestry of the Hamilton Hound consists of a mix of a couple of breeds such as the Foxhound, the Heiderbracke, the Harrier, the Curland Hound and the Holsteiner Hound.

The Hamilton Hound was bred to hunt foxes and hares in difficult terrain and harsh weather conditions. The Hamilton Hound is designed to work independently rather than in a pack. This dog excels in tracking, flushing, and trailing.

See Also: Hunting Dog Training


Hamilton hound standing with a leash

The Hamilton Hound is considered to be a medium-sized breed. Both female and males weigh around the same, in between 50 — 60 pounds. However, their physical sizes do vary slightly.

Females are typically 18 — 22 inches tall at the shoulder while the males are around 19 — 23 inches tall. They’re built sturdily with straight backs and a deep chest.

Personality and Character

The Hamilton Hound is generally a very friendly and easy going breed. They’re extremely patient with children, making them ideal for homes with kids. Though they’re great with kids, they’re also very keen hunters; they have a high prey drive. So, you’ll want to make sure that they’re properly trained.

In addition, they’re extremely stubborn. Once they hit a scent, they will be racing off and won’t be back even if you call them unless you’ve trained them to heed your calls.

See Also: How to Teach a Dog to Stay, Sit, or Come When Asked

Although, once they join a family, they’re highly loyal and devoted to their owners and have no problem taking on tasks in order to protect. Overall, Hamilton Hounds have a wholesome character which thrives on the love of their family as they’re gentle and even-tempered.

Health and Potential Problems

Hamilton hound head

In general, the Hamilton Hound has very little health problems that you need to be aware of. They’re typically quite healthy. However, like all breeds, they can be susceptible to common illnesses and conditions.

The Hamilton Hound’s chances of contracting any conditions are very low, but there is one condition which is more prevalent in this breed, and that condition is epilepsy. Epilepsy is a neurological disorder which is characterized by epileptic seizures which can be brief or last for longer periods of time.

See Also: Epilepsy in Dogs: Learn about Factors that May Trigger Seizures

Of course, the Hamilton Hound is susceptible to minor conditions such as infections and injury. However, since they’re bred for hunting, they’re typically hardier than most other breeds.

Care Features

two hamilton hound running in snow

Hamilton Hounds are highly active. They need a considerable amount of attention to keep their bodies and minds fit. Long, fast-paced walks as crucial for the well-being and happiness of the breed, regardless of the weather.

Of course, if your Hamilton Hound is properly trained, off-leash exercise is also a great addition to their daily routine. Although you should be mindful of letting them off in non-fenced areas as once they grab the scent of an animal, they’ll easily disappear on the hunt.

Proper training will allow them to respond properly to commands so that you can comfortably take them off leash. If you’re concerned about training, you’ll be glad to know that the Hamilton Hound is very easy to train; you just need to be consistent.

Feeding Schedule

Hamilton hound standing

Proper nutrition is essential for all dogs, regardless of the breed. They need nutrients to not only keep their minds and bodies sharp but also to supply them with proper energy.

The Hamilton Hound is relatively easy to care for when it comes to their feeding schedule. Of course, you should provide them with high-quality food and make sure the food is specific for their age and activity level. The more active they are, the more nutrients they need to fuel them.

The best way to figure out their feeding schedule is to consult your vet. The vet will be able to suggest the best food and feeding schedule specifically based on your dog’s unique needs. If there are any health concerns, that’ll be taken into account as well.

See Also: What is a Good Dog Food

However, if your Hamilton Hound is healthy, it’s recommended that you feed him/her a daily amount of one or two cups of high-quality dog food. You can divide the meals into smaller portions throughout the day as this will ease their digestion. In addition, always make sure your Hamilton Hound has a fresh bowl of clean water at all times.

Coat, Color, and Grooming

Hamilton hound sitting with her puppy

The Hamilton Hound comes in an array of colors. Their tri-colored coats are incredibly striking and attractive. The sides, back, and upper neck are usually black in color. In some cases, these areas will be brown. The feet, tail, legs, and lower neck are typically white.

The Hamilton Hound’s coat usually comes in two strong layers. The undercoat is smooth, short, and close to the body. The top coat is typically waterproof since it’s dense and close to the body. Their undercoat is very thick during the winter, which means they’ll be losing it during the spring season.

See Also: Get Dog Hair Off Couch

Now, when it comes to grooming, it’s very easy as they’re average in shedding. You simply have to make sure that you brush them a couple of times a week, or more often during the post-winter period. You will also need to bathe them once a month. Other than that, keep their nails trimmed and their ears cleaned with routine checks.

Children and Other Pets Compatibility

The Hamilton Hound does amazing with children. They’re very patient and gentle with kids; thus, if you have a family with younger children, they’ll make a great addition to your home.

They’re also compatible with other dogs and can learn to adapt to a home with cats. However, they do not do well with small animals such as rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, birds, ferrets, etc. Small animals which they would traditionally hunt will trigger their hunting instincts as these types of pets are prey to them.

Wrap Up

Hamilton hound running

The Hamilton Hound is a great family dog. If you’re a person who is highly active or has children, this breed will be a great addition to your home. They’re energetic, even-tempered, friendly, patient, and highly devoted to their family. Though at times they may be stubborn, their positive qualities outweigh the negative.

In addition, the breed is generally low-maintenance when it comes to grooming. You only need to brush them a couple of times week and bathe them on a monthly basis. So, if you don’t have the extra time for grooming, don’t worry because they don’t need it. However, what they lack in grooming they make up for with exercise as they’ll need daily walks and runs.

This low-key breed is a hunting breed, so, even though they’re relaxed and easygoing, training is still a requirement to make sure your Hamilton Hound doesn’t run off chasing scents and small animals. The good news is that they’re easy to train with a gentle, yet firm hand.

Now that you know what to expect from a Hamilton Hound, do you plan to proceed with the adoption? We’d love to know all about your experience with this friendly dog breed, so do leave comments so we can talk more!

If you’ve just adopted a Hamilton pup, you’ll need to christen him/her with a fitting name. Our list of superhero names for dogs may be able to help you with that. After all, these dogs will quickly become your kids’ best friends and protectors—superheroes indeed!

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.

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