The Norwegian Elkhound!

The Norwegian Elkhound is a hardy gray hunting dog with a rugged and robust built for endurance. Bred and trained as a hunter and tracker, the Elkhound displays a keen and very acute sense of smell and hearing. The Elkhound is also a loving and good-natured dog, sensitive to praise and reproof without the necessity of physical punishment. Remarkably intelligent, an Elkhound is also headstrong and independent.

Some Quick Facts:

Life Expectancy:
14-16 years

Energy Level:
Above average.

Living Conditions:
Very flexible.

Higher than average.

Exercise Needs:
Two, 20 minute walks.

Breed Group:


19 to 21 inches

48 to 55 pounds

Standard Hair Colors:
Gray with variations in shade. Muzzle, ears and tail tip are black

National breed club:
Norwegian Elkhound Association of America

Norwegian Elkhound Skills

The Norwegian Elkhound is a hunting dog that originated in Norway as early as 5000 B.C. Remnants of Norwegian Elkhounds have been found with Viking remains and weapons, a testament to their importance in the Nordic culture. It was used to hunt elk, bear, and other wild animals. Today, the Norwegian Elkhound is known for its versatility. His unique coloring, weather resistant coat and stable disposition make him an ideal multipurpose dog at work or at play. His stamina, especially in rugged terrain, remains unexcelled.

Norwegian Elkhound Personality

The Norwegian Elkhound is bold and energetic, an effective guardian yet normally friendly, with great dignity and independence of character. An Elkhound can be protective, even possessive, of his human family and his property making him a commendable watch dog. His bear-like look, deep resounding bark, and large white teeth can discourage most unwanted visitors.

Exercise Needs

Elkhounds are very energetic and need to have consistent exercise daily (20-30 minutes twice a day) or they may have trouble adjusting to the calm housepet role expected by most owners. Strong and vigorous, he will relish long walks or bicycling with his master.

Living Conditions

Because of his long association with man and his deep devotion to his human family, an Elkhound thrives on love and attention. Housing needs are simple as he will prefer to live with you. Given a proper diet, reasonable exercise (30 minutes twice a day), and clean living conditions, the Elkhound is an extraordinarily maintenance free dog.

Grooming Requirements

As is common with most northern dogs, the Norwegian Elkhounds breed is double-coated -- long coarse outer hair to shed rain, sleet and snow and soft wooly undercoat for insulation against the elements of nature. The undercoat sheds profusely twice a year, usually at six month intervals; guard hairs are shed approximately every other year. Regular grooming is advisable and an absolute necessity when shedding. A most unusual physical characteristic of the breed is the absence of "doggy odor".

Health Issues

The Elkhound is fortunate that it does not have the number of health problems present in many other breeds. However , there are genetic defects that are most prevalent in the breed. Eye disorders (blindness), skeletal anomalies (hip dysplasia), urogenital conditions (renal disease), and skin ailments (cysts) are known to occur in the breed. It is possible to eliminate or reduce the incidence of these genetic problems by carrying out screening tests on all breeding stock.

If you liked this dog… with an Elkhound can be challenging as it requires exceptional motivation. You may also consider an Afghan hound. The breeds have very similar skills and share an elegant appearance.

norwegian elkhound


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