AKC Group: Hound
19.5 - 20.5 inches (Male)
48 - 55 pounds (Male)
Norwegian Elkhounds are confident, alert and independent. They love to be outdoors, especially in cold weather. They're sometimes aggressive with other dogs and love to bark.
Norwegian Elkhounds are part of the hound group. Because they're great at sniffing and exploring, hounds were originally used to trail rabbits, foxes and other small mammals. In general, most hounds are good-natured dogs that make loving companions if trained properly. Hounds are sometimes stubborn, though, so training may take a while.
Most hounds need rigorous physical exercise, so daily walks and runs are a must. Never let a hound off a leash unless it's in an enclosed area, because it will take off if it picks up a scent. Hounds are barkers and howlers, and they're sometimes hard to housebreak.
Thick with a dense undercoat. Needs frequent brushings.
Gray and silver. Hairs are tipped with black. Muzzle, ears and tail are always black. Puppies are born black and lighten with age. Eyes are dark brown; nose is black. Tail should curl over its back.
For thousands of year, the Norwegian Elkhound has been helping Norwegians hunt large game like moose, mountain lions, bears, badgers, wolves, rabbits and elks. His hunting style is to track and quarry the game, holding it at bay until the hunter can join him and finish the job. Not only were these loyal and courageous dogs invaluable on the hunt and for hauling supplies on sleds, but they made fine family companions as well. The Norwegian Hunters Association began holding shows for the breed in 1877. They were recognized by the Kennel Club (KC) in Britain in 1923 and then by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1935.
Even-tempered, intelligent and alert, the Norwegian Elkhound is an all-around companion. Strong and fearless enough to take the role of watchdog seriously, he is also levelheaded and sensible enough not to overdo things, discerning friend from foe with little fanfare. He is naturally reserved with strangers, but with those he knows, he is enthusiastically affectionate. His strength belies a sensitive soul, and he shrinks from harsh tones or demands. Independent minded, he can take matters into his own paws if it suits him.
The Norwegian Elkhound is a surprisingly versatile breed. Despite his history as a hunter, he can thrive equally well in the city or country, provided his mental and physical needs are met. His thick coat, developed to protect him from the cold Norwegian weather, also serves to insulate him against the heat, so he can do well in all kinds of climates. Historically, his hunting style was to alert the hunter by barking, so don't be surprised if he likes to use his voice. He is naturally clean. A fenced-in yard where he can safely play is recommended.
A happy Elkhound is one who is involved in sports such as pulling sleds, tracking, herding and agility.
Norwegian Elkhounds are robust and athletic dogs who thrive on exercise. Not only do they enjoy their long walks with family, but they need to have their minds and bodies focused on jobs and activities.
The energetic and active Elkhound is a hearty eater whose weight should be monitored because he has a tendency to overeat. A high-quality, age-appropriate diet is best. Feeding twice a day as an adult is recommended.
The sensitive, independent-minded Elkhound does best with motivational and reward-based training. Working him for short sessions several times a day will yield the best results. He pays attention when he's motivated, and being involved in sports or family activities are both ways to keep him focused.
The Norwegian Elkhound gets along well with children but should be socialized to other pets and dogs in order to consistently get along with them.
The average life span of the Norwegian Elkhound is 13 to 15 years. Health problems may include Fanconi syndrome; hip dysplasia; hypothyroidism; progressive retinal atrophy (PRA); and skin problems.
In Norwegian, "Elg" means moose, and the Norwegian Elkhound was so named because he was useful at hunting them.
The thick double coat of the Norwegian Elkhound requires regular brushing and combing to loosen and remove dead hair. Use a good-quality bristle brush, and brush the coat in all directions to help remove the dead undercoat. He is a seasonally heavy shedder; regular grooming will help keep his coat in shape.
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