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Norwegian Elkhound Breed Summary

Energetic, Affectionate, Loyal, Protective and Playful

These doggies are a very sturdy and solid looking breed and were originally bred to hunt Elk in the northern regions of Norway. They belong to the Spitz family of dogs and have the pricked ears and tight curly tails associated with the breed. In Norway, they remain a highly prized breed for both their stamina and fantastic hunting skills.

Unfortunately, they are not as well known here in the UK, but are slowly starting to rise in popularity mainly due to their lovely appearances and gentle natures. However, they are better suited to 'hoomans' who already have specific knowledge and experience with the breed.

Fun Fact: The breed has been around as far back as 5,000 BC!

Kennel Club Group Hound
Lifespan 12 - 15 years
Height (at the withers) 49 - 52 cm at the withers
Weight 22 - 25 kg
Coat Coats are Very Profuse and Close Lying. They Topcoat is Corse and the Undercoat is Softer and Dense with a Woolly Texture
Colour Grey, Grey & Black, Wolf Grey
Eye colour Dark Brown
Common health issues Hip dysplasia, Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), Renal dysplasia, Patellar luxation, Fanconi syndrome, Von Willebrand’s disease Type II, Early retinal degeneration (ERD), Intracutaneous cornifying epithelioma, Hot spots, Sebaceous cysts, Hypothyroidism
Other Names Elkhound, Norwegian Moose Dog, Small Grey Elk Dog, Gray Norwegian Elkhound, Norsk Elghund, Grå Norsk Elghund

These guys are known for their very high levels of energy. For this reason, they need to be kept by a family that already lead a very active lifestyle that Elkhounds can easily slot into. They absolutely love 'hoomans' and thrive in a family environment, making them extremely sociable and happy doggies! However, the breed can sometime see very over-protective of their families, so it is important that they are socialised from a young age to try and tone down this trait. They also need to know their place in the pack, otherwise they will take on the role of Alpha Male, making them fairly difficult to live with! Because of their love of people, they don't like to be left alone for too long as this can lead to them developing separation anxiety, becoming destructive and depressed. For this reason, they need someone to be with them for most of the day. However, for the right family, who have experience with similar breeds, they have the potential to make fantastic pets.

Norwegian Elkhounds are an extremely ancient breed, it's thought that remains of similar doggies have been found that date back to the Stone Ages! It's thought that they first originated from the northern regions of Scandinavia and were bred to hunt and guard livestock whilst living alongside Vikings! Additionally, these guys are extremely skilled at hunting, able to track down their prey over very large distances. They were also just as adequate at hunting through the night as well, which led to them being extremely highly-prized by their owners. It was during the mid 1800's that they became most highly regarded, during the 'Wolf Period' whereby many 'hoomans' and their livestock were attacked by Wolves. Therefore, Elkhounds were used as valuable guard dogs, donning spiked colours made of iron as extra protection against the predators. There are two varieties of the breed; Bandhunds and Loshunds. Bandhunds track scents whilst being held on a lead by the hunters, whereas Loshunds go ahead of the hunters to catch prey. They first went on display in England around the late 19th century but are fairly rare outside of their native country. Anyone wanting to share their home with one of these fluffy guys would need to be put on a waiting list.