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Norwegian Elkhound Breed Information

Norwegian Elkhound

Recognized By: ACR , AKC , ANKC , APRI , CKC , CKC , FCI , KCGB , NKC , NZKC , UKC
AKA: Norsk Elghund Gra, Norsk Elghund Sort

Caring for a Norwegian Elkhound

Feeding: Care should be taken to not over feed this breed as they tend to gain weight easily.

Living with a Norwegian Elkhound

Temperament: The Norwegian Elkhound is a bold, affectionate, loyal, energetic, fearless, friendly, independent dog who makes an excellent guard dog. They are typically friendly but may be reserved with strangers.

Family Dog: The Norwegian Elkhound makes a great companion for children. Some are great with other pets while some are not.

Shedding: The Norwegian Elkhound is a seasonally heavy shedder.

Grooming: The coat of the Norwegian Elkhound is easy to groom. They should be brushed regularly especially during their high shedding times. It is recommended to use a rubber brush or wooden comb with two sets metal teeth. They should be bathed only when necessary to keep from stripping the natural oils from their skin. Like most Arctic dogs, the Norwegian Elkhound does not have the 'doggie smell'. The coat should not be trimmed except for the whiskers which is optional.

Training: The Norwegian Elkhound may be somewhat resistant to training and needs a good, fair trainer.

Barking: Some Norwegian Elkhounds do love to bark and may need to be trained to be quiet when told.

Weather: The Norwegian Elkhound prefers cool weather.

Exercise: The Norwegian Elkhound is a very energetic dog that requires lots of daily exercise including a long, brisk walk.

Living Conditions: The Norwegian Elkhound can like in an apartment, provided they are given plenty of daily exercise. They can be fairly active inside but should have a large yard in which to run.

Norwegian Elkhound Appearance

Appearance: The Norwegian Elkhound is a medium-sized, sturdy hunting dog with a gray coat. They are square in profile with a broad head and prick ears. The tail is tightly curled over the back.

Size: The male Norwegian Elkhound weighs between 50 to 60 pounds and stands between 19 to 21 inches tall while the female is between 40 to 55 pounds and 18 to 20 inches in height.

Head: The Norwegian Elkhound has a strong, wedge-shaped head that is broad at the ears and free from any loose skin. Their expression is alert and keen signifying dog with great courage. When viewed in profile the forehead and back of the skull appear slightly arched. The stop is well defined.

Eyes: The Norwegian Elkhound has medium sized, dark brown, oval eyes which should not protrude.

Ears: The ears of the Norwegian Elkhound are set high and held firm and erect, yet remain very mobile. They are relatively small compared to the dog's overall size. They are slightly taller than they are wide and pointed at the tip. When the dog is alert, the opening of the faces forward with the outer edges vertical. When the dog is relaxed or showing affection the ears are back.

Muzzle: The muzzle of the Norwegian Elkhound is broadest at the base. When viewed from the side it appears to taper smoothly without any signs of being pointed. The top of the muzzle is parallel and approximately the same length as the top of the head. The lips are tightly closed.

Teeth/Bite: The teeth of the Norwegian Elkhound meet in a scissors bite.

Neck: The Norwegian Elkhound has a medium length, muscular, slightly arched neck free from any loose skin on the throat.

Body: The body of the Norwegian Elkhound is square in appearance and close coupled with a long rib cage which accounts for the majority of its length. The chest is deep and broad with the height of the brisket equaling half the dog's overall height at the withers; which is also approximately equal to the distance from the forechest to rump. The back is strong and level. The loin is short and wide with little tuck-up.

Forequarters: The shoulders of the Norwegian Elkhound slope nicely keeping the elbows close to the body. The legs are set well under the body and medium in length. When viewed from the front, the legs appear straight and parallel.

Hindquarters: The thighs of the Norwegian Elkhound are wide and muscular with moderate angulation at stifle and hock. When viewed from the rear the legs appear straight.

Gait: When at a trot the Norwegian Elkhound has an even and effortless stride throughout which the back remains level. As the dog's speed increases both sets of legs converge toward the center line of the body called single tracking.

Feet: The feet of the Norwegian Elkhound are small, slightly oval in shape, turning neither in nor out with tightly closed toes and thick pads. Feet turn neither in nor out. The rear dewclaws should be removed.

Tail: The tail of the Norwegian Elkhound is set high and tightly curled over the back.

Color: The coat of the Norwegian Elkhound should be a medium shade of gray which is determined by the length of black tips and the amount of guard hairs in the coat. The undercoat is a light silver color matching the coat on the legs, stomach, buttocks and underside of tail. The coat is the darkest at the saddle and lighter on the chest, mane and in a band stretching from the shoulder to elbow. The ears and tip of the tail are black along with the muzzle which fades to gray as it approaches the forehead.

Coat: The coat of the Norwegian Elkhound consists of a double coat with a soft, dense, woolly undercoat and a straight, coarse top coat. The coat is short and even on ears, head and front of the legs with the longest coat on the top of the neck, buttocks and underside of the tail. The coat is dirt and weather resistant.

Norwegian Elkhound Facts

Category: Northern, AKC Hound

Life Expectancy: The average life expectancy of the Norwegian Elkhound is between 12 to 15 years.

Characteristics: The Norwegian Elkhound has been bred as a hunting dog and can hold prey at bay by barking constantly until the hunter arrives. They also have a tendency to roam. They may tend to be aggressive with other Norwegian Elkhounds of the same sex in the household.

Norwegian Elkhound Health

Health: The Norwegian Elkhound is prone to hip dysphasia, pyotraumatic dermatitis and PRA. They may also be susceptible to Fanconi syndrome.

Norwegian Elkhound History

History: The Norwegian Elkhound is one of the oldest breeds. They have been aiding hunters since the days of slingshots. Remains resembling today's Norwegian Elkhound have been found dating back to 4000 BC. They were used Scandinavia as big game hunters where they would track game and hold them at bay until the hunter arrived. They are also great sled dogs and more recently have found a place as family pets. They were first exhibited in 1877 at the Norwegian Hunters Association. The Elkhound Club was first formed in 1923 making them officially recognized by the British Kennel Club. They were officially recognized by the AKC in 1930.

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