How to Train a Danish-Swedish Farmdog

Known as the Little Big Dog, the Danish-Swedish Farmdog is a companion dog that loves to work and enjoys a challenge. They are small, compact, and slightly rectangular dogs, known to mature late. This breed entered the American Kennel Club Foundation Stock Services Program (AKC FSS) in 2011. They are eligible to compete in Agility, Barn Hunt, Flyball, Herding, Lure Coursing, Nosework, Obedience, and Rally, Tracking, and AKC FSS Open Shows.


Until a few decades ago, the small farmer’s dog, originally known as the Danish Pincher, was a natural part of Danish rural life. The Danish-Swedish Farmdog’s everyday functions were many, including mouser/ratter, livestock herder, hunting dog, watchdog and family companion. As lifestyles have changed, smaller family farms have become rarer and so too has the faithful working Farmdog. Efforts from the Danish and Swedish Kennel Clubs to bring back this breed culminated in 1987 with the first breed standard for the Danish-Swedish Farmdog. In 1998, a DSF was imported to the United States to establish the first official breeding program there. The FCI Standard for the breed was officially published on March 26, 2009. The Danish-Swedish Farmdog was recorded in the American Kennel Club Foundation Stock Services in 2011, its first step to its goal of becoming fully recognized by the AKC.

Quick Facts

Temperament: energetic / trainable / attentive

Height: 12.5 to 14.5 inches 

Weight: 15 to 20 pounds

Life expectancy: 11-13 years

Foundation Stock Service


Over the years, the DSF has proven to be a healthy breed, free of commonly reoccurring health issues, genetic or otherwise. Working with a responsible breeder, those wishing to own a Danish-Swedish Farmdog can gain the education they need to know about specific health concerns within the breed. Good breeders utilize genetic testing of their breeding stock to reduce the likelihood of disease in their puppies.


The Danish-Swedish Farmdog is an easy dog to groom, care for and maintain. Being very low maintenance, the occasional brushing and bath are all that is needed to keep them clean and looking their best. If necessary, their nails can be trimmed with a nail clipper or grinder to avoid overgrowth, splitting and cracking. Their ears should be checked to avoid a buildup of wax and debris which can result in an infection. Teeth can be brushed.

Daily exercise is recommended for proper conditioning. Options for exercise include play time in the backyard, preferably fenced, or taken for walks several times a day. Exercise can also come in the form of indoor activities, like hide-and-seek, chasing a ball rolled along the floor, or teaching them new tricks. Certain outdoor activities like swimming, hiking, retrieving balls or flying discs can provide a good outlet for expending energy. If you live in an apartment, even short walks in the hallways can give your dog some exercise, especially during inclement weather. Training for dog sports like agility, obedience and rally can also be a great way to give your dog exercise.


Will benefit from an early training program that utilizes positive reinforcement training techniques. Contact us for more information. 


Generally, the Danish-Swedish Farmdog is an easy and thrifty dog to care for. Any good-quality food is recommended. Many dog food companies have breed-specific formulas for small, medium, large and extra-large breeds. Danish-Swedish Farmdogs are a small breed and may have a lifespan ranging from 11 to 13 years. What you feed your dog is an individual choice, but working with your veterinarian and/or breeder will be the best way to determine the frequency of meals as a puppy and the best adult diet to increase his longevity. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.