Norwegian Elkhound Dog Breed Information: Profile, History, Care & Review

A typical northern spitz-like breed, the Norwegian elkhound is a square-proportioned, close-coupled dog, with substantial bone, broad head, pricked ears, and a tightly curled tail. This dog is built for agility and endurance instead of speed. The Elkhound contains a thick, smooth-lying coat consisting of straight outer hairs and a wooly undercoat. This mixture presents the best protection against cold and snow.

This gorgeous dog breed with the wolflike face delights in life. Smart as are often, he also features a wonderful sense of humor. He’ll race you around the kitchen island, reverse directions once you do, and then howl for sheer fun. Bold, energetic, and protective, he makes a superb watchdog and guardian. Elkhounds are utterly dedicated to their families. When you’re upset, this tenderhearted Viking will plop his head on your lap.

Norwegian Elkhound Dog Information:

Breed Name Norwegian Elkhound
Other Names Elkhound, Norsk Elghund, Grå Norsk Elghund, Gray Norwegian Elkhound, Small Grey Elk Dog, Norwegian Moose Dog, Harmaa Norjanhirvikoira
Breed Group Northern Breeds (UKC)
Type Hound
Size Medium
Weight Male: 50-60 pounds (23-27 kg)
Female: 40-55 pounds (18-25 kg)
Height Male: 19-21 inches (48-53 cm)
Female: 18-20 inches (46-51 cm)
Area of Origin Norway
Life Range 10-12 years
Colors Black & Gray
Black & Silver
Black White & Silver
Gray & Black
Gray Black & Silver
Silver & Black
Silver Gray & Black
Level of Energy Very energetic
Bark Tendency  High
Exercise Daily
Overall Grooming Moderate Maintenance

Norwegian Elkhound Dog History:

The Norwegian elkhound is one among many breeds of the Spitz family, or, as they’re often mentioned, the Northern Breeds. Throughout its history, this multi-talented breed has been used as a herding dog, sled dog, guardian, and hunter.

As its name implies, it’s from Norway, and it had been used (and still is) to hunt elk, as well as other games like moose, bear, and wolf. They’re believed to be a really ancient breed, with ancestors known in Viking times. In Norway, only dogs that qualify within the Norwegian Hunting Trials could also be awarded the title of breed champion. The gray coat color is usually darker in European members of the breed. Even when used as a hard hunter, they create a wonderful family pet.

Norwegian Elkhound Dog Photos:

Norwegian Elkhound - Dog Breed Information and Images - K9 ResearchNorwegian Elkhound Info, Temperament, Puppies, Pictures ...Norwegian elkhound | breed of dog | Britannica

About Norwegian Elkhound Dog Health:

By and enormous, this is often a very healthy breed. The average life span is 12–14 years, with most owners losing their dogs because of cancer or heart issues. Negligible incidences of PRA are found but are often traced to foreign dogs. hip dysplasia occurs, but by and huge dogs that are checked usually get a “good” or “fair” evaluation from OFA, with many rating “excellent.” There are some bouts of renal (kidney) issues, but this seems to possess been put out of the breed’s current state of health.

  • Major concerns: CHD
  • Minor concerns: hot spots, kidney disease (renal dysplasia), sebaceous cysts
  • Occasionally seen: Fanconi syndrome, PRA, patellar luxation, intracutaneous cornifying epithelioma
  • Suggested tests: hip, eye, (Fanconi), (knee), (PRA)

Nutrition For Norwegian Elkhound Dog:

The Norwegian elkhound should do well on a portion of high-quality pet food, whether commercially manufactured or home-prepared, together with your veterinarian’s supervision and approval. Any diet should be appropriate to the dog’s age (puppy, adult, or senior). Most Elkhounds are “food hounds,” not picky eaters, and can develop pitiful faces so as to weaken their humans into giving them as many treats as are often mustered! A key to assessing whether the Elkhound is in good weight is to watch them once they eat. The area just behind the top of the ribcage should sink in once they eat. Another indication of an overweight dog may be a rolling motion on the dog’s back or sides when he trots. Learn about which human foods are safe for dogs, and which aren’t. Ask your vet if you’ve got any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet. Clean water should be available at all times.

How to Take Care of Norwegian Elkhound Dog:

The Norwegian elkhound requires daily exercise (breeders recommend 30 minutes twice a day), not only to burn off energy but also to assist him in maintaining a healthy weight. Exceptionally food-motivated, he can become obese (look out for those huge, soulful brown eyes aimed toward your dinner), and proper feeding and exercise are required throughout his life.

He does alright in apartments, but he’s a barker, so take that into consideration. A home with a fenced yard is more suitable. He could live outside because he’s so hardy, but he’d much preferably be indoors with you.

Crate training benefits every dog and maybe a kind way to make sure that your Elkhound doesn’t have accidents within the house or get into things he shouldn’t. A crate is additionally an area where he can retreat for a nap. Crate training at a young age will help your Elkhound accept confinement if he ever must be boarded or hospitalized.

Norwegian Elkhound Grooming, Bathing & Coat:

Bathing Care: The Norwegian elkhound has a thick double coat with two distinct shedding cycles; spring and fall. We recommend Simple Shed Shampoo, which has oat proteins to assist loosen the undercoat. Follow that up with Simple Shed Treatment. After the Simple Shed Treatment is worked into the fur, use an undercoat rake and brush through the coat while the Simple Shed Treatment remains present. This may pull out the undercoat and help prevent drain clogs when bathing during a tub. If you’re bathing your Elkhound outside, it’ll release the coat and dramatically cut down on brush out time.

Between Bath Coat Care: During the dry winter months, or in generally dry climates, use Aloe Hydrating Spray to hydrate and moisturize the skin and coat. For a fast bath in between regular “full baths,” use Perfect Calm Waterless Bath. Simply spray on and wipe with a towel.

Ears Care: For monthly ear cleaning, use Espree Ear Care. If weekly care is required for an existing chronic ear condition, use Espree Ear Care Aloe Wipes. This routine will help keep any ear problems cornered. Remember, never clean further than you’ll see inside the ear.

Eyes Care: Opti-Soothe Eye Wash is often wont to help flush foreign matter, like leftover shampoo, also as help rinse common eye allergens while soothing any irritation.

Paws Care: Rub Paw Balm on the pads of the feet to guard and condition the pads since this is often a really active breed that needs exercise daily.

Norwegian Elkhound Dog Exercise:

These are hunting dogs in their native Norway. They track and follow moose, ranging far before the hunterand that they must be able to trot many miles for several days if necessary. Because they need to make their own decisions when hunting, and by virtue of the way they hunt, they’re independent and lovers of the woods and their freedom. For that reason, when exercising their Norwegian Elkhounds, owners should resist the temptation to permit them to roam the neighborhood or the park off the lead. The instinct to travel and to examine the world is intrinsic to the breed. Most love swimming (a required moose-trailing activity), and lots of enjoying agility also as herding trials.

Norwegian Elkhound Dog Personality:

The Norwegian elkhound is a fearless, reliable, energetic, and very loyal companion. These dogs could also be a little reserved around strangers, but they’re going to greet family members and other people they know with gusto.

Like other northern-type dogs, the Norwegian elkhound may be a relatively independent animal. This independence is important when holding an elk cornered until the human hunter arrives for the kill, but this will pose a challenge when it comes to modern obedience training. The Elkhound’s watchdog talents are evident in its tendency to be territorial and to bark more than other breeds do.

This proud, intelligent, independent, yet affectionate animal does best during a family with well-behaved older children or no children in the least. Caution is so as with reference to adding a Norwegian elkhound to a family that already has smaller pets; this dog may view the smaller animals as prey.

Norwegian Elkhound Dog Training:

This breed doesn’t tend to be a star performer within the obedience ring. The Elkhound learns very quickly, being extremely smart, but after this learning process, it becomes, “Didn’t we already do that 12 times?” the other difficulty in training this breed for activities is their independent nature, inspired by their hunting traits. As far as simple house manners, they’re very clean and quickly respond to correctly managed to housebreak.

Pros of Norwegian Elkhound Dogs:

  • Intelligent Rank: Smart: Norwegian Elkhound has great intelligence.
  • Trainability: Norwegian Elkhounds are easy to train.
  • Drooling tendency: The Norwegian elkhound may be a perfect example of a very low drooling tendency.
  • Watchdog Ability: Norwegian Elkhounds are one among the best watchdogs.
  • Adaptability: Norwegian Elkhounds adapt alright to lifestyle changes and basically all living environments.
  • Child Friendly: Norwegian Elkhounds are kid-friendly dogs.
  • Senior Citizens Friendly: Norwegian Elkhounds are usually recommended for elderly people.

Cons of Norwegian Elkhound Dogs:

  • Hypoallergenic: Norwegian Elkhounds don’t have the best with allergy sufferers by causing the allergy.
  • Shedding Level: Norwegian Elkhounds shed above average.
  • Weight Gain Potential: Average to High.
  • The impulse to Wander or Roam: Wanderlust’s potential of the Norwegian elkhound is strong enough to escape from home.
  • Office Friendly: Norwegian elkhound isn’t the best dog breed for the office environment.
  • Good For First Time Owners: Norwegian Elkhounds aren’t good for novice owners, because of their stubborn personality.


More About Norwegian Elkhound Dog:

The Norwegian elkhound was originally wont to hunt moose and other game. The name of this ancient breed may be a complete misnomer; they weren’t meant to hunt elk, and that they aren’t hounds. In Norwegian, Norsk Elghund means “moose dog,” and in German, each means “moose” — probably part of the reason for the confusion in English.

Linguistic history aside, the Elkhound has phenomenal stamina. While hunting, he would jump forward and back and around the moose, bear, or wolf, keeping it in one place and barking nonstop until the hunter arrived.

While most of the people who accept Norwegian elkhound today don’t hunt outside the refrigerator, think about his fearless and active noisemaking strategy before you select to bring an Elkhound into your life. Norwegian Elkhounds are known for barking, and although the trait is often trained out of some, you cannot bet on it.

What this background means to the typical dog owner is that exacting obedience work just isn’t within the picture. He’ll be fine in basic obedience, and he makes a great family dog, but understand clearly that pleasing you isn’t the very best item on his to-do list. This is often no golden retriever, so go get your own slippers. Toys are generally of no interest. He loves chasing balls, but you’ll forget about him bringing them back to you.

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