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Norwegian Elkhound

Quick facts

Norwegian Elkhound AKC Group: Hound
Height: Male: 18-20.5 inches, Female: 16-19.5 inches
Weight: Male: 45-55 lbs., Female: 40-48 lbs.
Colors: gray, silver
AKC recognized in: 1913

The Norwegian Elkhound is known by many names including its native name of Norsk Elghund as well as Norwegian Moose Dog and Small Gray Elk Dog. This is an ancient breed which traces its roots to Scandinavia around 6,000 years ago. They were used to hunt larger animals such as moose and bear. The Vikings also used them as guard dogs and even took them in their military campaigns.

The breed is also Norway's national dog. It is well-built and quite sturdy making it an ideal dog even under the toughest conditions. It is a medium-sized dog renowned for its versatility and stamina. The Norwegian Elkhound has many tricks up its sleeve and is able to perform several roles. These include hunter, herd dog, watchdog and family dog.

The breed was first presented to the public in 1877 at the Norwegian Hunter's Association. Exports of this breed to the US began in the 1900s. In 1913, the American Kennel Club recognized the breed.


Norwegian Elkhound Summary
Affection three paws
Cold Tolerance five paws
Ease of Training three paws
Energy level four paws
Exercise Requirements three paws
Friendliness : Children two paws
Friendliness: Other Animals two paws
Friendliness: Other Pets two paws
Grooming Requirements two paws
Heat Tolerance two paws
Playfulness four paws
Protection Ability two paws
Watchdog Ability three paws

Although a stubborn dog, Norwegian Elkhounds are affectionate and sweet. This is especially true when it comes to family members that they are familiar with. They are gentle enough to be trusted around children. On the other hand, strangers may be ignored and even be greeted with hostility. This dog does need adequate amounts of attention.

This breed is also intensely loyal because of its "pack mentality". Given proper care and attention, this makes them an excellent dog for families. This level of loyalty and a loud bark makes this breed suitable for a watchdog role. Dog owners should exercise caution when other pets are involved. Different Elkhounds react differently.

The Norwegian Elkhound is a fairly intelligent breed but it can be a challenge to train. In training, dog owners must be able to overcome the stubbornness and independence expected from this breed. Obedience should not be much of a problem since these dogs are ready to heed their owners.

Training for Norwegian Elkhound is very much encouraged by breeders. This is one way of expending all the energy that this dog has.

Health and Exercise

Norwegian Elkhounds typically live for 12-15 years which is a relatively long lifespan. Dog owners should note that this breed is prone to obesity which makes a controlled diet necessary. Some diseases to look out for are hip dysplasia, Fanconi syndrome and pyotraumatic dermatitis.

This dog can be quite energetic and needs regular exercise. Besides health reasons, exercise is also needed to curb this dog's destructive behavior and to give it something to do as well. A large space is ideal for this dog but is not required. City life should spell no problem as long as regular exercise is maintained.

The good news is that grooming should not pose a problem because of its reasonable requirements. However, owners should be aware of possible shedding especially in the summer although this is not a smelly dog.

Visitor Comments

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