The Norwegian Elkhound originated in Norway and are an intelligent breed as they hunt alongside their owners while working as a team. They locate their prey by scent and can target them at several kilometers away. The Elkhound barks and gets the attention of the animal until their owner can get a clear shot. Badgers, wolves, moose, mountain lions, lynx, reindeer and rabbits have been known to be the Elkhounds prey.
This breed is one of the oldest dating back to 5000 BC. This breed has many workable talents, hunting being the main job, but also as a sled dog. Their muscular bodies enable them to track, hunt, sled, herd and guard. Despite their hardworking determination, the Norwegian Elkhound make great pets as well!
The Elkhound is a solid, powerful dog with a muscular body and thick fluffy coat. They have a long muzzle and tall pricked upward ears. Their tail is a tight curl and their legs are straight yet strong. Even though this breed has a thick coat, they have relatively no dog smell!
The Elkhounds coat commonly come in a darker gray with black accents on the ears and on the face. Their undercoat is a lighter gray colouring.
The Norwegian Elkhound has a thick lustrous double layered coat. The under coat is soft and plushy with a lighter gray colouring. The top coat has a hard yet smooth texture and the colouring is a darker gray. Their coat is meant to be thick to serve as a warm layer to protect through the very cold temperatures they work in.
The Norwegian Elkhound is a well behaved and affectionate dog. They make great family pets as they love children and if raised with smaller pets such as cats, can co-exist well. These dogs are responsive and loyal, yet can be very independent and stubborn at will, especially during training. They are a protective breed with a piercing bark making them great watchdogs!
Aloof around people they don't know, the Elkhound will warm up slowly but around family or friends they can be overly animated and goofy. This breed is also very sensitive, so discipline can be devastating to them. The can have hurt emotions just like a person and owners of this breed say the dog will show what they feel!
The Norwegian Elkhound will need to be brushed on a daily basis. Their coat is thick and will need extra help to rid it of the dead fur. Like other breeds with a very plush coat, the Elkhounds coat repels dirt! This breed is prone to hip dysplasia, Progressive Retinal Atrophy, Fanconi syndrome, and renal problems. They also gain weight quickly so owners should constantly monitor their food intake.
The Elkhound is a sensitive breed and training will need to be done in the utmost of gentle and positive methods. They will need firm handling but constant praise will help them learn quickly. Negative training methods are the worst way to practice obedience with this breed as it disables their confidence. Socialization as puppies will be needed with other dogs, smaller pets and people to ensure that as adults they are neither timid nor aggressive.
This breed loves to be outdoors. They have a very thick coat that enables them to be outside in colder temperatures to run around in or play. The Elkhound will need at least an hour of exercise per day as they are very energetic! Leash walks are suggested because if this dog finds an interesting smell, they will more likely follow it rather then listen to the owner. They will do well in an apartment as long as they get their daily exercise. A back yard would be preferable so they could have more space to roam around in.