Norwegian Elkhound

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(26 Reviews)

Is the Norwegian Elkhound right for you?

Species group:

Other name(s): Norsk Elghund; Grå Norsk Elghund; Gray Norwegian Elkhound; Small Grey Elk Dog; Norwegian Moose Dog

The basics:
The so-called "dog of the Vikings" and the national dog of Norway, the Norwegian Elkhound is a hunting and tracking breed that may date back to at least 5,000 BC. This ancient breed helped early humans track moose, elk, bear, and other big game. A true friend to people, this Spitz-type breed has been summed up by the AKC as "confident, dependable friendly." They are fearless in pursuit of game and often enthusiastic about greeting human strangers as well as family.

Despite their joy in working with you, the Norwegian Elkhound isn't a pushover. They can be somewhat independent and willing to put you to the test. Know how to be a strong, kind alpha. And be prepared to provide enough exercise and activities to satisfy an energetic animal meant to roam over large areas.

Appearance / health:
Norwegian Elkhounds are typical hardy northern dogs of medium size and substance, square in profile. They have broad wedge-shaped heads with prick ears. The dark-brown oval eyes are of average size. The strong neck is of medium size with no loose skin on the throat. The chest is deep and moderately broad. The tail is tightly curled and carried over the back.

The undercoat sheds heavily twice a year, usually at six-month intervals. At other times, the dog sheds long hair continuously. Daily brushing is necessary to remove dead hair. Bathing and shampooing is done when necessary. They do not have any doggie odor.

Exercise for the Elkhound may be divided into two sessions of twenty minutes each or a long session of forty minutes to an hour. Their high energy levels demand exercise in the form of walking, running, and swimming. Owners may ride bicycles with their dogs running along.

Elkhounds enjoy treks, picnics, etc.

Hip dysplasia, a condition marked by abnormal hip formation, occurs in Norwegian Elkhounds. Eye disorders (blindness), kidney diseases, and skin ailments (cysts) are known to occur in the breed. Deafness occurs in some dogs.

Behavior / temperament:
Norwegian Elkhounds are born hunters and curbing this natural instinct is difficult. They have tremendous stamina. The breed requires human company to flourish and may become destructive if left alone for too long. As with many breeds, most dogs are sensitive to the owner's gestures, words, and changes in mood. Experienced owners criticize sparingly. Norwegian Elkhounds have a pack mentality, treating every member of their family as the pack and their owner as the "alpha". They love to sleep comfortably near the feet of their owners. Their high intelligence can be seen by the way they learn to open doors, including the refrigerator.

The Norwegian Elkhound is sensitive to praise, and harsh treatment may break the spirit of these dogs. Training may be difficult, as they tend to be stubborn. However, they are fast learners, and if trained properly, they make wonderful pets. Firm, consistent, and patient training with proper socialization is necessary for the Norwegian Elkhound. Food is a strong motivator for an Elkhound.

They communicate by barking. They have a deep, piercing bark that they use often to announce a stranger in their territory.


smart, affectionate dog, absolutely beautiful dog, watch dog, great personality, Loving Guard Dog


heat, apartment dog, heavy shedding, loud highpitched barks, neighbors


little doggy odour, impossibly thick coat, wolfish looks, camping, abundant energy

Helpful Norwegian Elkhound Review

Norwegian Elkhound

From Esme Sep 6 2018 7:41PM


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