The Gotlandsstövare is a rare hunting breed with a keen nose and friendly, lively personality.
Experts believe the Gotlandsstövare is a descendant of Eastern European hounds brought to Sweden by troops returning home in the 17th and 18th centuries. But after that, this Swedish scenthound has a complicated history.
The Swedish Kennel Club accepted the breed standard for the Gotlandsstövare in 1920. But 10 years later, the club decided Gotlandsstövares should be combined with the yellow variety of Smålandsstövare. In 1934, the club pivoted again, declaring the Gotlandsstövare part of the Hamiltonstövare breed.
(A yellow coat wasn't part of the Hamiltonstövare breed standard. But the occasional yellow puppy was born in a litter and registered. Since most of these yellow puppies originated on the island of Gotland, people referred to them as Gotlandsstövares.)
In 1990, the Gotlandsstövare received recognition as a distinct breed. But the breed's population has remained extremely small, and it's considered endangered today.
The Gotlandsstövare is a medium-sized dog with a rectangular body and elegant overall appearance.
Coat and Coloring
Gotlandsstövares have smooth, close-lying, short coats. They come in yellow or reddish yellow and have symmetrical white markings on the nose, chest, legs, and paws.
Distinctive Physical Traits
Notable traits of the breed include dark brown, almond-shaped eyes, triangular drop ears, and a flat, strong back.
Friendly, lively dogs, Gotlandsstövares possess excellent hunting abilities. Their sweet, gentle nature also makes them outstanding family pets.
Gotlandsstövares thrive on a high-quality diet formulated for their life stage (e.g., puppy, adult, senior). Foods designed specifically for medium-breed dogs are also a great option to consider.
To help your dog maintain a healthy weight, measure their portions to avoid overfeeding and keep an eye on how many treats you're giving them. As a guideline, treats should make up no more than 10% of a dog's daily calories.
Weekly brushing and the occasional bath are usually sufficient to keep a Gotlandsstövare looking their best. To reduce your pup's chance of ear infections, check their ears regularly and clean them as needed to remove wax build-up and debris.
Nail trims should also be part of every dog's grooming routine. If nails grow too long, they can cause pain and potentially lead to problems running or walking.
Lastly, good dental hygiene will support your dog's overall health. Dental disease is one of the most common health conditions in adult dogs. Left untreated, it can contribute to other serious issues. In addition to professional cleanings, establish an at-home dental care program that includes regular teeth brushing and veterinarian-recommended dental chews.
As active pups, Gotlandsstövares need daily exercise to be happy and healthy. Brisk walks, play sessions in the backyard, and long hikes are all great ways to keep them active.
Gotlandsstövares respond well to reward-based training methods using treats and plenty of praise. In addition to basic obedience training, they benefit from early socialization. Introducing your pup to different people and environments when they're young will help them develop into a confident, well-mannered adult dog.
Reviewed June 16, 2021 by Annette Louviere, DVM