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Dansk-Svensk Gårdshund (Danish-Swedish Farmdog)

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162 – September, 2014

text and illustrations by Ria Hörter

The FCI (Fédération Cynologique Internationale), the World Canine Organization, includes 87 member countries and contract partners (one member per country). Each issues its own pedigrees and trains its own judges. The FCI ensures that the pedigrees and judges are mutually recognized by all FCI members.

Recognition of a breed by the FCI means that in almost every European country, that breed can be awarded FCI championship prizes. One of the recently provisionally recognized breeds is the:

Dansk-Svensk Gårdshund

(Danish-Swedish Farmdog)

The Dansk-Svensk Gårdshund is classified by the FCI in Group 2, Pinscher and Schnauzer – Molossoid breeds – Swiss Mountain and Cattle Dogs (Section 1.1 Pinscher type). Denmark and Sweden are the countries of origin. The original valid standard was published on May 19, 2009. In 2011, the breed was accepted in the American Kennel Club Foundation Stock Service®.

Pinschers and Fox Terriers

For ages, this type of dog was known around farmhouses not only in Denmark, southern Sweden and northern Germany, but also in the Baltic countries. They were useful animals that destroyed vermin such as mice, rats and other small rodents, but also kept foxes away from the chickens, and strangers from the premises.

Almost nothing is known about the breed’s early history, but most dog writers assume that its ancestors were Pinscher-Fox Terrier crosses. Some are of the opinion that this type of dog has existed for 200 years. Others assert that its history goes back to the Vikings and that these dogs were depicted in the 15th century.

Mentally and physically they most resemble the Russell Terrier, but the easy-going little Danish-Swedish Farmdog has a softer temperament.

Rudolf Steiner

Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925), an Austrian phi-losopher and social reformer, is said to have known the breed and formed an attachment to one named ‘Pschulek.’ He was photographed twice with a farmdog, possibly Pschulek. In 1891, Steiner earned a doctorate in philosophy at the University of Rostock, in northern Germany. Rostock is in the region where the Danish-Swedish Farmdog was developed.

Steiner was interested in the soul of dogs and gave lectures on this subject: Über das Verhältnis der Tierseele zur Mensenseele (The relation between animal souls and human souls) and Die Seele der Tiere im Lichte der Geistenswissenschaft (The soul of animals in the perspective of the humanities).

Similar Types

In the 1960s, first attempts were made by the Svenska Hundklubben (svenskahundklubben.se) in Sweden to get national recognition for the breed. Because the breed developed separately in Denmark and Sweden, there is no synchronicity in historical dates. The little Farmdog was recognized only about 30 years ago, but sources are not unanimous on details.

The first breed club – Rasklubben för Skånsk terrier – was founded in Sweden in 1983. At a meeting in Malmö, Sweden, in February 1986, 107 dogs were photographed, filmed and recorded. At the end of the day, the owners concluded that the dogs were of a similar type, a positive conclusion when it comes to the development of a breed. In Denmark, the dogs had been more-or-less purebred since about 1985.

In 1987, the Danish-Swedish Farmdog was recognized by the Danish Kennel Club (dkk.dk) and Swedish Kennel Club (skk.se). The first championship prizes were presented in September 1987.

About 50 Danish-Swedish Farmdogs were exhibited at the World Show in Copenhagen in 1989, where well-known Swiss dog writer Hans Räber first encountered the breed: “When I saw the first Danish-Swedish Farmdog on the showground, I did not dare to ask people the name of the breed – because there was a possibility that they participated in agility or obedience and therefore it was not necessarily a pedigreed dog. When more turned up, I became suspicious! Indeed, they were purebred dogs!”

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162 – September, 2014

Short URL: http://caninechronicle.com/?p=58572

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