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May 21, 2013

Meet the Breed: The Norwegian Elkhound

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Overview:

  • Height: 18"- 21”
  • Weight: 40-60 pounds
  • Historical function: Moose, bear, and wolf hunting. Also guard dog.
  • Modern function: Companion, agility
  • AKC classification: Hound

Physical Characteristics:

The Norwegian Elkhound is a sturdy Spitz-type dog with a square build, a double thick coat, pricked ears, and a tightly curled plumed tail that is carried high over the back. The legs are straight and parallel. The coat color is light grey with black tips, giving a silvery appearance. Puppies are born black and lighten within a week.

History of the Breed:

The Norwegian Elkhound is an ancient breed originating in Scandinavia and documented as far back as the Stone Age (4,000-5,000 years ago) by skeletal remains. They later became companions to the Vikings and functioned as watchdogs and hunting companions. They have also been valuable as sled dogs.

Temperament:

The Norwegian Elkhound is a lively, bold, intelligent, outgoing, athletic dog that requires a lot of exercise. They can be a bit independent and headstrong, but this breed is friendly and trustworthy with children. As hunters, this dog should not be trusted with non-canine pets. This dog is not known for being great at obedience training, so firm, calm leadership is required to gain this dog's respect and loyalty.

  • Best suited for: Active families willing to give this dog a job.
  • Preferred living conditions:  This is a dog ready for adventure and is happiest if that adventure takes place outdoors in cold weather.

Care and Health:

  • Grooming requirements: Easy-care coat requires minimal brushing. Do not bathe often to retain water-resistant qualities. Sheds heavily seasonally.
  • Exercise needs: Daily walk or jog.
  • Life expectancy: 12-15 years.
  • Health concerns: May be prone to hip dysplasia, eye problems and obesity.

Breed Club Links: Norwegian Elkhound Association of America

BaxterBoo.com Perfect Pairings: Zoom Groom Natural Rubber Dog Grooming Brush

Have any stories about a Norwegian Elkhound? Please share!

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia Commons.

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