Did you know?
The Norwegian Elkhound’s job when hunting is to hold the moose at bay by jumping in and out toward the moose
until the hunter arrives.
Inside every Newfoundland, Boxer, Elkhound and Great Dane is a puppy longing to climb on to your lap. – Hellen Thomson
The Norwegian Elkhound is a member of the Spitz or Nordic group of dogs. He was known as the “Elghund” or “moose dog” but his name was translated incorrectly when it was anglicized. In Medieval times he was called the “dyrehund” which is Norwegian for “animal-dog” and was highly prized as a hunting dog. A natural breed whose roots go back thousands of years, the Elkhound today is the same dog who travelled with the Vikings.
Interestingly, DNA testing has shown that the Norwegian Elkhound breed resulted from a female wolf-male dog mating. This DNA classification is only found in northern Scandinavia.
The national dog of Norway, he is still used to hunt Elg (moose) because he is capable of tracking his quarry for hours over unfriendly terrain and in bad weather. He has been used for hunting other large game such as bears and wolves. Known for his endurance and stamina, the Elkhound has also been used as a draft dog and in search and rescue work.
Photos displayed courtesy of Wayne Schmoland, Alberta
The Elkhound is deep-chested, compact and square in profile. Males stand 20.5 inches (52 cm) tall at the shoulder. Females are 19.5 inches (50 cm) tall. This is a strong and hardy animal.
The Elkhound has a thick, dense, weather-resistant double coat with a silver white undercoat. The topcoat or guard hair is “banded”. Each hair is black at the base, silver in the middle, and black at the tip. This topcoat provides the distinctive Elkhound “harness mark” and “saddle”. Puppies are born black but markings begin to appear within two weeks.
He has a sharp, loud bark as you might expect of a dog who is prized as a watchdog and guardian.
Like other Spitz dogs, the Elkhound carries his tail curled up over his back. Shedding occurs once or twice a year and an Elkhound has little or no doggie odor. He needs only a weekly brushing to keep his coat in shape.
The Elkhound has a bold and energetic personality; he is confident and outgoing. he is neither shy and submissive nor domineering and aggressive. The alert and friendly Norwegian Elkhound is an excellent family pet and therapy dog who is loyal and devoted to people. His dependability and trustworthiness make him an excellent and protective watchdog.
The Elkhound is a very intelligent breed of dog and uses his intelligence to make decisions. Both the males and females are easy to train as they learn very quickly. Required routine training is very easy with positive motivation and sensitive teaching and they are very easily house broken. The Elkhound respects firm, fair leadership.
Although the Elkhound loves the outdoors and rigorous exercise he is equally adaptable to indoor living. This flexibility makes the him an excellent choice for urban dog owners.