Originally from the land of ice and snow, the Norwegian Elkhound got her start herding, hunting, and guarding in the time of Vikings. Sturdy, solid hunters, these dogs are built to run all day through rugged terrain in subzero temperatures. Their stamina and versatility are simply astounding, especially in forested, snowy terrains. Norwegian Elkhounds are dignified, confident, and independent dogs. They make for vigilant guardians and friendly companions.
This ancient breed is originally from Norway, as you might have guessed from the name. These medium-sized dogs can grow to between 48-55 pounds and live an average of 12-15 years. The breed is recognized by the American Kennel Club and classified as a member of the Hound group.
|Breed's original pastime||Hunting|
|Average lifespan||12-15 years|
|Date of origin||Ancient times|
|Original function||Hunting elk|
|Average size of male||Height: 20.5 Weight: 55|
|Average size of female||Height: 19.5 Weight: 48|
|Other name||Elkhound, Norskelghund|
|Energy level||High energy|
|Affection level||Moderately affectionate|
|Friendliness toward other dogs||Shy|
|Friendliness toward other pets||Shy|
|Friendliness toward strangers||Friendly|
|Ease of training||Easy to train|
|Protection ability||Not very protective|
|Grooming needs||Moderate maintenance|
|Cold tolerance||High tolerance|
|Heat tolerance||Low tolerance|
BEHAVIOR & TRAINING
WHAT IS A NORWEGIAN ELKHOUND'S PERSONALITY LIKE?
Norwegian Elkhounds are reliable, bold, and boisterous. They are very playful and can be friendly toward kids and other dogs, but should be supervised in both circumstances. Early, frequent socialization could definitely help. For all their love of the great outdoors, Norwegian Elkhounds want to spend time with their chosen people as much as possible.
WHAT IS NORWEGIAN ELKHOUND BEHAVIOR LIKE?
Given their heritage, it won't surprise you to learn that the Norwegian Elkhound is an active breed. These dogs are athletes who thrive on the physical activity and mental stimulation exercise provides.
Norwegian Elkhounds tend to be protective, which is somewhat unusual for hound breeds: it must be the spitz in her. This dog's deep bark is formidable and should definitely discourage unwelcome visitors. But no matter how fearless, a Norwegian Elkhound is a sensible guardian—yours might be reserved around strangers, but it's unlikely she'll be aggressive if properly socialized.
HOW EASY IS IT TO TRAIN A NORWEGIAN ELKHOUND?
This sensitive, people-loving breed responds well to training. They're smart and independent-minded though, so be patient and consistent with your puppy. Fun, short training sessions will help keep this smarty-paws engaged. Norwegian Elkhounds respond well to praise, play, and treats. Be sure to discourage pulling and excessive barking early and often.
This breed excels in obedience, agility, and rally.
CARE & HEALTH
HOW MUCH DO NORWEGIAN ELKHOUNDS SHED AND WHAT ARE THEIR GROOMING NEEDS?
Those super-thick coats are great for helping Norwegian Elkhounds thrive in near-Arctic temperatures, but these double coated dogs are hardcore shedders. They don't need much grooming, but their hair will be everywhere. You can help keep the dustpuppies at bay by brushing her frequently, especially during seasonal sheds. They don't smell very doggy, and their hair tends to shed dirt. Bathe as necessary.
WHAT HEALTH PROBLEMS DO NORWEGIAN ELKHOUNDS HAVE?
This is a robust breed. Some suffer from hip dysplasia, eye ailments, and skin irritations.