Five Swedish Animal BreedsApril 21, 2017
When you think about animals in Sweden, moose and cows probably are among the first that come to mind, but there are many other Swedish animal breeds out there for you to learn more about.
We’ve pulled out a couple – some are endangered, some are cute and some have made the journey across the pond to the States (by air or by boat, we assume).
There is only one breed of cat that hails from Sweden and that’s the European Shorthair. This cat originally was from Rome but made its way around Europe, and the Swedes continued to breed the cat with more of a historical lens, keeping the cat’s features similar to what they were in Roman times. But let’s be honest. Unless you’re a Sphynx, a Himalayan, a Scottish Fold and maybe a Russian blue, cats pretty much look the same.
You may not have heard of a Fjäll, a breed of mountain cattle, but this cow has a harried history. The Fjäll almost became extinct in the 1970s and 1980s, but it was saved by a cow sperm bank (not really, but close). A breeders’ association formed to protect this breed of cow, and the group has since helped to regenerate the population. The Fjäll is primarily used as a dairy cow.
You may have seen our article entirely dedicated to Swedish Dog Breeds, and while many breeds from Sweden are purebred, Americans may be more familiar with the breed that is registered with the American Kennel Club (AKC), the Swedish Vallhund. But stay tuned, the Norrbottenspets breed currently is classified as a miscellaneous dog breed, which means it soon could be registered fully with the AKC. Who knows, maybe we’ll see this breed debut in the hound group during the 142nd Westminster Kennel Club show.
You’re not likely going to see a Gotland pony anywhere near the tracks of the Preakness or Belmont, but this pony is one of the most common horse breeds, which is now bred in the United States. These ponies have a slightly chunkier frame – but that doesn’t stop them from competitive show jumping! The breed has a large enough following in the States to warrant its own association – the Gotland Russ Association of North America.
While the Gute is cute (it’s one of the most primitive breeds native to Sweden), the Rya – aka Swedish Carpet Wool Sheep, wins the prize for chicest sheep. These fluffy sheep have long, straggly fur that is often used for wool carpet fibers.