Swedish Language Blog

Corona Pups: Swedish Dog Vocabulary Posted by on Jul 9, 2021 in Culture, Grammar, Vocabulary

Photo by Anna Tarazevich from Pexels

Did you adopt a furry friend to keep you company during quarantine from COVID-19? You’re not alone. On average, Swedes registered 1,000 more dogs monthly compared to pre-pandemic. If you are a relatively new hundägare (dog owner), chances are you have been practicing commands while creating routines and boundaries for your newest family member. With that in mind, how about a vocabulary-heavy blog post to help you speak Swedish with your dog? Bra! Häng med!

Är du hundägare? Are you a dog owner?

Ägare is the general word for “owner” in Swedish. Put it together with hund, the Swedish word for dog (you knew that one right?), and you’re a hundägare! Remember that Swedish singular nouns ending in -are keep the same form in plural.

en hundägare → hundägaren      hundägare → hundägarna
a dog owner   → the dog owner    dog owners → the dog owners

Förrhoppningsvis ångrar du inte ditt beslut att bli hundägare.
Hopefully, you don’t regret your decision to become a dog owner.

Valpar! Puppies! …and other Swedish canine nouns

So continues the dog-centered vocablary, but many of these are applicable to other pets, too! 

en valp           a puppy
     valpen → valpar → valparna
      the puppy → puppies → the puppies

       Valpar har kort uppmärksamhetsförmåga.
       Puppies have a short attention span.

ett koppel              a leash
        kopplet → koppel → kopplen
        the leash→ leashes → the leashes

Att gå i koppel kan vara stressigt för en valp.

         To walk with a leash can be stressful for a puppy.

ett (hund)halsband              a collar (literally “neck band”, this is also for word for necklace)
        halsbandet → halsband → halsbanden
        the collar    → collar       → the collars

Mäta din hunds hals och huvud för att ett halsband som passar perfekt.
Measure your dogs neck and head for a collar with a perfect fit.

en (hund)godisbit    dog treat
          godisbiten → godisbitar → godisbitarna
         the treat     →   treats         → the treats

         Gå på promenader med några godisbitar i fickan.
         Go for walks with some treats in your pocket.

hundträning             dog training
        Det är hjälpsamt att gå på hundträningskurser ett par gånger.
        It is helpful to go to dog training classes a couple of times.

tid och tålamod         time and patience
        Det kräver mycket tid och tålamod att träna din nya valp.
        It takes a lot of time and patience to train your new puppy.

sociala djur               social animals
         Hundar är sociala djur. Dogs are social animals.

ett kommando           a command
          kommandot → kommandon → kommandona
          the command→ commands → the commands

          “Bra” är ett viktigt kommando för din hund.
          “Good” is an important command for your dog.

Sitt! Kom! Swedish Dog Commands

This subject is perfekt for refreshing your Swedish imperative (command form) skills. In Swedish, we drop letters off of present tense verbs to form the imperative. For example, Swedish group 1 verbs lose their -r. The Swedish verb pratar becomes Prata! (Speak!) Group 2 verbs lose their entire -er ending. See the examples below:

sitter  Sitt!  Sit!
ligger  Ligg! Lie down!
kommer Kom! Come!
stannar Stanna! Stay!
väntar Vänta! Wait!
hoppar  Hoppa! Jump!

More Doggy Verbs and Example Sentences

att skaffa hund              to get a dog
             skaffar → skaffade → har skaffat

             Ska vi skaffa hund eller inte? Shall we get a dog or not?

att uppmuntra              to encourage
              uppmuntrar → uppmuntrade → har uppmuntrat

             Det är viktigt att uppmuntra ett gott beteende.
             It is important to encourage good behavior.

att belöna                       to reward
              belönar → belönade → har belönat

             Belöna hunden för att lära den vad ett bra beteende är.
             Reward the dog to teach it what good behavior is.

att lämna ensam       to leave alone
             lämnar → lämnade → har lämnat

             Hundar vill gärna inte lämnas ensamma.

             Dogs prefer not to be left alone.

att adoptera               to adopt (works for animals, and people)
            adopterar → adopterade → har adopterat

             Adoptera helst ett hemlöst djur istället för att köpa en.
            Adopt a homeless animal rather than purchasing one.

Okej, vem ska adoptera en hund nu då? I have somehow managed to not adopt a dog this year despite weekly visits to my local humane society’s website. But I’ve spent plenty of time dog sitting my in-laws’ “corona pup.” Tell me in the comments below – did you skaffa en coronahund AND will you teach it some Swedish kommandon?

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About the Author: Chelsea B

Chelsea is a Swedish language instructor and translator living in Minnesota, U.S. She has a degree in Scandinavian Studies from Gustavus Adolphus College and has experience living and working in Sweden from north to south! In her free time, she enjoys cooking, hiking, listening to music, and practicing slöjd, the Swedish word for handcraft.