The Danish-Swedish Farmdog is a small, versatile dog that loves to work and enjoys challenging tasks. Its calm, gentle, and pleasant nature makes it a great companion dog. However, it was bred originally for farm work and hunting. Also called “The Little Big Dog,” it matures slowly, keeping its puppy-like disposition for a long time.
Though it had many local names, it got its present name in 1987 when the countries of Denmark and Sweden, where this breed hails from, jointly decided the breed standard. Despite resembling Terriers in many aspects, it is a closer relative of the Pinscher class. Its distinctive small, triangular head, folded rose-shaped ears, and rectangular build distinguish it from other terriers or pinschers.
Danish-Swedish Farmdog Pictures
|Other names||Little Big Dog, Danish Pinscher, Scanian Terrier, Råttehund, Rat Dog|
|Coat||Hard, smooth, and short coat|
|Color||Black, brown, fawn, or tan on a white base|
|Life expectancy||11-13 years|
|Litter Size||4 – 5 puppies|
|Behavioral Characteristics||Affectionate, playful, social, calm, and intelligent|
|Good with children||Yes|
|Barking Tendency||Moderate; barks when excited|
|Climate compatibility||High; they can handle both cooler and warmer climates|
|Do they shed||Very little; they shed seasonally|
|Are they hypoallergenic||No|
|Trainability||High; they are eager learners|
|How much do they cost||$600 – $800|
|Competitive Registration Qualification/ Information||AKC, FCI, DSFCA, UKC|
|Country||Denmark and Sweden|
History and Origin
Although the exact origins are unknown, this breed dates back to the 1700s and even earlier. As indicated by the name, Danish-Swedish Farmdogs hail from eastern Denmark and Southern Sweden and are popular in the Scandinavian region. They were bred from Terriers and Pinschers as small working dogs, used for hunting small animals like rodents, herding livestock, and as a watchdog on family-owned farms. With the advent of industrialization, farm owners either sold off smaller farms to become factory workers or converted them to large-scale farming operations. Thus, this breed fell out of favor and nearly became extinct.
In the 1980s, the Danish and Swedish Kennel Clubs, in a joint venture, decided to find the remaining pure breeds and set up a breed standard. Along with renaming the breed in honor of both countries, they did this in 1987. The first breeding program was started in the US in 1998. Finally, the Danish-Swedish Farmdog was recognized by the FCI and AKC in 2009 and 2011, respectively.
Temperament and Personality
Danish-Swedish Farmdogs are friendly, gentle, and lovable dogs. Their calm and playful temperament makes them great companion dogs and good with children and other pets. However, their hunting instincts can make them chase smaller animals like mice and guinea pigs, so they must be adequately trained. They are working dogs, so they require ample physical and mental stimulation. They are loyal and vigilant, making them excellent watchdogs.
Despite their love for exercise and play, they love relaxing in their owner’s lap and cuddling. They are attached to their owner, and leaving them alone for too long can make them destructive and aggressive. Still, their eagerness to please makes them easy to train. Early training and patience are vital to avoid any unruly behavior. A well-trained Danish-Swedish Farmdog is rambunctious, clever, and a joy to be around.
As a working dog, this breed needs adequate exercise and playtime. Daily play in a fenced area and multiple walks are recommended. If you are staying in an apartment, even short hallway walks go a long way in maintaining your dog’s health. Other indoor activities like hide-and-seek, teaching new tricks, or chasing a ball rolling on the floor help provide mental stimulation. Outdoor activities like Frisbee, swimming, and hiking are suitable for controlling excess energy. This breed is known as a show dog, so training for obedience, rally, and scent work is also a great exercise option.
Danish-Swedish Farmdogs shed little and are low maintenance. Only occasional brushing and baths are required to keep their coat clean. A rubber brush is recommended during their seasonal shed to help remove extra hair. You should check their ears for infection and regularly clean the outside to avoid wax build-up. Also, trim their nails with a clipper when needed.
The Danish-Swedish Farmdog is a generally healthy breed, with common concerns being MDR1 medication sensitivity, primary lens luxation (PLL), chondrodystrophy, and intervertebral disc disease (IVDD). Good breeders perform genetic testing to avoid these issues, so always check with your breeder before getting your puppy.
Their diet should consist of food suitable for a small, high-energy breed. They may hunt and eat small rodents or birds if left unsupervised, so be careful how much you feed them to avoid overeating. You must always provide clean, fresh water. It is recommended you consult your veterinarian on their diet plan as they grow up, considering their weight and health concerns.
The Danish-Swedish Farmdog loves attention, and its sweet and eager nature makes it easy to train. Early training will leave you with a happy, social, and well-adjusted dog.
Socialization: Danish-Swedish Farmdogs need gentleness and patience while training. Positive reinforcement and treats are great for new owners while teaching their pets. As with most dog breeds, early socialization is necessary for them to grow up to be happy and well-adjusted dogs. Exposing them to unfamiliar people and places as they grow up is crucial for their development. It will make them social, cheerful, and energetic.
Obedience: They learn at a rapid rate and are well suited for different types of dog sports involving high obedience. Some examples are K9 nose work, tracking, agility, lure coursing, and flyball. Their high emotional intelligence also means they can be trained as therapy and companion dogs.
Leash: You should keep your dog leashed in open areas as they might run after scents. Off-leash play is safe in fenced areas. Always walk before your dog while leashed to establish your leadership correctly.
- Since they are easy to train and are quick learners, Danish-Swedish Farmdogs have been historically used in circuses to perform canine tricks.
- Danish-Swedish Farmdogs are one of the best breeds for the dog sport of flyball. They are the all-time highest-titled breeds in both the U-FLI and NAFA leagues.
The most significant difference is that the Danish-Swedish Farmdog has a more triangular head, a distinctive stop, and a much quieter and gentler temperament than the Jack Russell Terrier.