The Gotlandsstövare (Gotland Hound) is a relatively rare dog breed from Sweden, known for its excellent scent-tracking abilities. Although not well-known outside its homeland, this breed holds an important place in Swedish culture and history. The Gotlandsstövare originates from the Swedish island of Gotland. The breed's existence was first officially recorded in the early 20th century, although it's thought that the breed has a far more extended history tied to the island's rabbit hunting traditions. They are believed to be descended from a mixture of local hunting dogs and imported hounds, particularly the English Harrier and other similar breeds, which were brought to Sweden by the British during their hunting trips. During the mid-20th century, the breed's existence was threatened due to the changing lifestyle on the island and decline in rabbit hunting. However, breed enthusiasts worked tirelessly to revive the breed's numbers and maintain its distinct characteristics. This survival story is part of what makes the Gotlandsstövare so treasured today in Sweden.
Currently, there are no known genetic conditions tightly associated with the Gotland Hound. As for all breeds, genetic screening is recommended to assist veterinarians with diagnosis and proactive care, as well as help breeders identify affected and carrier dogs.
The Gotlandsstövare is known for being calm, friendly, and affectionate with their human families. They are excellent with children and usually get along well with other dogs, making them a great choice for a family pet. Being a hound breed, they have a strong sense of smell and can be determined and focused when on the scent trail. This also means that they may need ample mental and physical stimulation to avoid becoming bored.
The Gotlandsstövare is also known as the Gotland Hound or the Gotlandic Hound.
The breed is so named because it was primarily used to hunt hares on the island of Gotland.
Despite their hunting origins, Gotlandsstövares are known to have a very gentle temperament and are often described as "kind-hearted" by their owners.
The Gotlandsstövare is the only native breed of the Gotland island.