Lively, cheerful, intelligent, affectionate… a happy dog, all these are the characteristics that best describes the Hygenhund. This energetic and lively breed is always on the go. Seldom would you see a Hygenhund lazing around. This breed who loves the outdoors makes a suitable companion for a person who has a zest for life. This dog has tremendous energy and stamina. A Hygenhund would keep on going long after its human companion has called it a day. This wonderful furry friend of the family or of a sporty individual makes a fine watch dog as well. Naturally wary and suspicious of strangers, this breed can be depended upon to protect the master, his family and his property.

Being a fantastic companion and a dependable watch dog is not what this wonderful dog was primarily developed for. A Hygenhund is a working breed. This dog is described as short coupled given that a Hygenhund has a rather short but compact and solidly built body. This dog is a hunter par excellence. The dog is noted for its tremendous stamina, for being a distance runner and for its ability to follow the trail of wounded game. This serious hunter hunts singly with the human hunter. Inclement weather would not deter this dog from hunting any type of game on any type of terrain. This breed of hunting dog hunts the Arctic land for long periods of time without tiring.

However, this dog is not a suitable choice for a person with weak constitution or one with a sedentary life style. This is a highly energetic breed, one that barks a lot when bored. This breed would also need a dog experienced owner as a Hygenhund has the tendency to dominate a weak handler. Consistent training and socialization is imperative for this breed.


The Hygenhund, a medium sized hunting dog is acclaimed for its tremendous stamina. This distance runner is well equipped with clean, solid and strong forequarters, well angulated elbows and muscular thighs. The high and arched forefeet and hind feet are well knit, firmly and strongly padded with dense hair between the pads and the toes. The well constructed limbs and feet give the dog free movement on snow covered terrain. Working dogs are not particularly valued for their appearance as the working ability of the breed is more important. A Hygenhund is a breed with impressive work ethics. This dog though also has a striking appearance. This beautiful breed has a medium sized broad head that appears to be wedge shaped. The skull is slightly domed and the broad, clean and deep muzzle should be rounded rather than square. The straight nasal bridge is tipped with a black nose. The cheeks are flat and strong teeth meet in a scissor bite. Dark brown medium sized eyes give the dog calm and an earnest expression. Neither broad nor long, the ears taper to a rounded tip. Set at medium height the thin soft ears can stand out a bit from the head but usually hangs down rather away from the cheeks. A Hygenhund has a strong medium length neck. The back is straight and strong. The broad loin is muscular and the long broad croup is slightly rounded. This breed has a long, deep and spacious chest with well developed back ribs. The belly is slightly tucked up. The tail is set level with the topline. It has a thick base and tapers towards the tip. The tail is usually carried straight or slightly curving upward. A Hygenhund has a very dense shiny coat that is quite harsh to the touch. Coat should not be too short. The tail and the back of the thighs are densely coated. Coat colors can be red brown, yellow red, black and tan, white with yellowish red. Dogs can have black shadings as well as tan and white markings. Yellow coated dogs with white markings are most common.


The Hygenhund is an excellent hunter. Hunting after all is what the breed was primarily developed for. If you have decided on this breed, not only would you have a hunting companion but you would have a watch dog and a fantastic home companion as well. This breed bonds strongly with the family. It is affectionate and gentle with the children. This is a cheerful, lively and intelligent companion. This happy dog makes a good watchdog too. This dog is naturally suspicious of strangers. As it has an inherent protective instinct, the family can be sure that no strangers or intruders can enter the home without being accosted by the dog. This somewhat aggressive nature of this breed can be a problem. This spirited and affectionate companion and reliable watchdog is known to be snappish and temperamental. This dog has the tendency to bite. While some dogs have a dominant nature, others are known to be extremely timid and nervous. Socialization and obedience training will benefit any breed of dog. However, for a Hygenhund, socialization and obedience training that are best started when the dog is still a puppy is imperative. Socialization will curb the dog’s tendency to be dominant with other dogs and smaller pets. Socialization will also develop a Hygenhund into a stoic, calm dog. Obedience training will somehow lessen the aggressive behavior of the dog.

As mentioned, this breed is not for everyone. Being a highly energetic working dog, a Hygenhund would need large spaces. Apartment living is definitely not for this breed. The dog has high exercise requirements. Walks in the park would not be sufficient. These dogs are distance runners and living in the rural area where ample space will be provided for the dog to run off lead would be a most suitable living arrangement.


A Hygenhund is an ease to care for breed. No extensive grooming or professional groomer will be needed to maintain the good condition of the dog’s coat. The short dense coat would only need to be brushed 3 to 4 times every week to maintain its luster. The dense coat provides the dog protection against the frigid arctic temperature. Frequent bathing should be avoided so that the natural oils that weatherproof the coat will not be removed.


The Hygenhund was named after its creator. Norwegian breeder HF Hygen created this breed of hunting hound in the 1800s. He wanted a hunting dog that would be an expert hunter, one that will have the stamina to be able to hunt and run in the thick snow and the freezing temperature of the Arctic regions for longer periods of time without tiring. When Mr. Hygen moved from Ring Rike to Romerike in 1839, he imported Holsteiner hounds from Germany and crossed the dogs with various Scandinavian hounds. The dogs that were produced were again crossed with the Norwegian to give the new breed a lightweight frame that will allow the dog to run longer without tiring easily. The dogs that were produced are now called Hygenhund. Aside from the difference in size and in color, the Hygenhund looks just like any other Scandinavian hound. However, Mr. Hygen achieved what he was aiming for. The Hygenhund is indeed an expert hunter, one that has a strong stamina and a passion to hunt. The dog hunts any type of game. The dog also possesses a lively and happy personality. The hunting dog also developed into a dependable watch dog and a lively and affectionate companion. This breed is highly valued in Norway though the population is pretty small. The Hygenhund is under a strict breeding program. The standard specified that the Hygenhund can not be reconstructed from other breeds. Therefore breed enthusiasts are being careful to maintain the numbers as well as the fine qualities of the breed.

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