Since absolutely no one has heard of these breed, I'd love to tell you all about my lovely two!
It's not uncommon for people to go "A what?" when I tell them we're the owners of two beautiful Hamiltonstovares! They're known as a rare breed outside of their homeland of sweden, and most dog websites, too, have been nagged by myself to include them!
Anyway. I'll do a little copy and pasting from places, and then I will go into my breed shpeel.History:
The Hamiltonstovare (also known as the Hamilton Hound) originated in Sweden in the 19th century. The breed was created by Adolf Patrick Hamilton, the founder of the Swedish Kennel Club, to hunt fox and hare over difficult terrain and in all weathers including deep snow. The background of the Hamiltonstovare is believed to include the Foxhound, the Holsteiner Hound, the Heiderbracke, the Harrier and the Curland Hound. Developed to work singly rather than in a pack the Hamiltonstovare excels at flushing, tracking and trailing. The breed was first shown in Sweden in 1886 and is the most popular of the hounds in that country. Outside of its homeland it is little known and is considered a rare breed but it is making strides in Britain both as a companion and show dog.Quick Info:
KC, AKC, FCI recognized?
Yes, no, yes
Dogs: 50 - 60 cm (19.5 - 23.5 ins)
Bitches: 46 - 57 cm (18 - 22.5 ins)
23 - 27 kg (50 - 60 lbs)
Tricolour (black, brown, and white markings in specific areas)
12 - 13 years
Outer coat short, dense, close, weatherproof. Undercoat short, thick, close, soft
No known hereditary disorders.My Personal Facts:
Owning a Hamiltonstovare means you are NEVER lonely. There is a deep intellegence in this breed that I have honestly never experienced before in my life. Such is the way of a companion dog that they sense your mood, and whether or not you are stressed or angry. They are an addictive breed in that once you have one, you will want another, and another, and another. The experience you get from them is a mixture of joy and sometimes great worry.
As a hound, the Hamilton will NOT come on recall when let off leash in a field. Mia herself has caught hare, rabbits, and even torn after deer before when off the lead, and no amount of shouting or bellowing or treats will gain her attention long enough for her to return from tracking. However, that is not to say they are an unintellegent dog. From experience with both my own Hamiltons and the Hamiltons owned by other people whom I have spent time with, they are deceptively "stupid" at times. An example would be if you asked a Hamilton to sit, it will ignore you depending entirely on the situation. If to them, it seems more advantageous to stand and walk off, then they will.
They are also intense Houdini's! Apollo's mother, who is now an old lady, can and will find any method of escaping and use it to go and have a really good time elsewhere! For this reason alone, I HIGHLY recommend to anyone that before even considering this breed, that they spend many, many hours searching for holes in fences, gates that can be "limbo danced" underneath, and that their fences do not bend when pressed.
However, it is extremely rewarding to have a dog that picks up commands so easily. Tricks can be taught sometimes in a day, sometimes a few days. Using food as a treat (these dogs think with their stomachs completely), they will respond to any position, and if they truly trust their owner, will even perform simple tricks, whether it be balancing treats on their noses, to begging with both paws. I would even recommend trying them at agility, or perhaps use their sniffing instincts as games ('Go find' is a particular favourite).
They do require a good walk, and if you know a fenced in field somewhere, they will truly cherish the freedom of running around blindly, chasing anything and everything, sniffing and running. Playful and mischievious, they will sometimes "snatch" items they are not supposed to when they believe you are not paying them enough attention, and then will expect you to chase after them. If you do not, then expect said snatched item to be in pieces!!!
They are an EXTREMELY clean dog. Mia is not spayed, and will clean up her mess when she is in season without even thinking about it. They are easy to housetrain and Mia will even refuse to step in Apollo's wee, or even go near it. Even their toilet habits when out can lead to shall we say... a case of "... I cannot collect that poo." Mia delights in going down the bottom of ditches, behind prickly hedges, anywhere there is minimum accessability. Apollo, despite his habits in the garden, is much the same. These are not "Poo on the pavement" dogs. These are dogs that seem to have an excellent time in making their "presents" as difficult to collect as possible.
I will say that it is a noted opinion that the boys are more affectionate than the girls. Boy Hamiltonstovare want to be with you every second of the day, loving the attention and affection and they show beautifully. Naturally they trot with an elegant grace that would make an owner very happy in the show ring. The girls, however, seem to have a little more intellegence, and are easier to train. They are more "I'll come to you when I feel like it" sorts though. They are not so dependant on affection, and sometimes prefer to just blank your existance. (It hurts when you sit next to your favourite girl and she gets up in disgust and sleeps in another room
In terms of aggression, the only time you are likely to see any is when it comes to food. These dogs LOVE their food, and will protect it. I am sure they can be trained out of it; sadly, Mia has been like this for too long, and this behavior seems "set". Otherwise, they are extremely tolerant. Even in pain they will whine and "mouth" rather than straight up bite. They are children friendly, and very, very good judges of character. They will withstand childish pokes and prods with nothing more than perhaps a little displeased grumble.More Information:
If you want more information on this beautiful breed, I can suggest the following links.http://www.dogsey.com/hamiltonstovare.htmhttp://www.meillion.btinternet.co.uk/
<- A barmy Hamilton lady who absolutely ADORES her dogs. And my goodness does she have a lot!http://www.mangothehamilton.blogspot.com/
<- Mango is currently in Holland, so the blog has some awkward language moments, but the pictures are beautiful!