Dansk/Svensk Gårdshund: Not a Terrier

At first glance to the uniformed, the Danish Swedish Farmdog looks like a Smooth Fox Terrier. Sort of. Only the white coat with reddish brown or black patches is actually reminiscent of a Fox Terrier, and, perhaps, a narrow skull or flat cheeks that gives the breed a terrier-like expression.  Some writers even today speculate that the breed is a cross between the British Fox Terrier and the European pinscher, though proof of that is elusive. It was Dutch writer and breed historian, Hans Raber, who thought that the relationship to pinschers was closer than it was to terriers, and perhaps that is why the breed was originally known as the Danish Pincher. To be fair, however, the breed was also once referred to as the Danish Fox Terrier, Scanian Terrier, and Skaansk Terrier.

Our personal favorite name for the breed would have been the Danish Chicken Dog had it not been a mistake. An error in the English language publication of Bruce Fogel’s Encyclopedia of the Dog mixed up the Old Danish Chicken Dog, the Old Danish Pointer, and the Danish Swedish Farmdog. A photo of a Danish Swedish Farmdog appeared under the name, “Old Danish Chicken Dog,” but it was never known by that name.  Sadly, many English language websites continue reprinting the error.


All that said, the FCI, Danish Kennel Club, and Scandanavian Kennel club agreed with Raber, and put the breed not in the terrier category, but in the Pinscher group. The breed was shown officially for the first time in Denmark at the World dog show in Bella Center.

Image: “Sally, ” a Danish Swedish Farmdog by Karin Marjamaa. Support her on her Facebook page

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