Norwegian Elkhound

Norwegian Elkhound

A medium to large spitz dog (with a thick coat, prick ears and tail curled over the back), the Norwegian Elkhound dog is a powerful hound with a squarish shape and compact body. Adult male dogs stand at 52cm and weigh around 23kg and females are 49cm tall and weigh 20kg. The thick, profuse coat comes in shades of grey with the hair of the topcoat tipped black.

  • Dog suitable for owners with some experience
  • Some training required
  • Enjoys active walks
  • Enjoys walking an hour a day
  • Medium dog
  • Heavy drool
  • Requires grooming daily
  • Non Hypoallergenic breed
  • Very vocal dog
  • Guard dog. Barks and alerts
  • May require training to live with other pets
  • May require training to live with kids

Origin

An ancient breed, with archaeologists unearthing the skeletons of a similar dog dating back to 4,000-5,000BC, the Norwegian Elkhound dog breed is a spitz breed used for hunting elk. He would track down the elk and bark and keep it in one place until the hunter came to shoot it. He was first exhibited at a dog show in Norway in 1877 and is still used for hunting in Scandinavia.

Personality

A friendly, confident dog, the Norwegian Elkhound is energetic and hardy. A natural watchdog, he is vocal and will need early training to bark on command. A good family dog, he is independent but does enjoy the company of his loved ones. The houseproud should note that the coat does shed profusely.

Health

As with many breeds, the Norwegian Elkhound can suffer from various hereditary eye disorders, and hip and elbow dysplasia (joint conditions that can be painful and lead to mobility problems). Eye testing and hip scoring of dogs prior to breeding is therefore important.

Exercise

About an hour's daily exercise is needed as a minimum, though the Norwegian Elkhound dog is capable of more - this is a dog bred to track elk for miles in harsh conditions, after all! Do ensure he is kept cool in warm weather.

Nutrition

Your dog's diet needs to have the right balance of all the main nutrient groups including a constant supply of fresh water. It's important to conduct regular body condition scores to ensure you keep your dog in ideal shape and remember to feed him at least twice daily and in accordance with the feeding guidelines of his particular food.

Grooming

The weather-resistant coat of Norwegian Elkhounds comprises a thick, woolly undercoat and a profuse topcoat, which is longer on the back of the legs, and on the neck and tail. A brush through two or three times a week is advised, with daily grooming when the coat sheds.

Best Dog Breeds for Children

While many dogs are traditionally thought of as being good with children , all dogs and children need to be taught to get on with and respect each other, and be safe together. Even so, dogs and young children should never be left alone together and adults should supervise all interactions between them.

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Is this the right breed for you?

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What to consider next

Adoption

It is incredibly fulfilling to adopt a dog from an animal shelter or rescue organization. It often means offering them a second chance in life. There are many dogs waiting for a loving family, a forever home. Reputable centers will be very careful about matching the right people with the right dogs. Staff learns all they can about the dogs they take in, and will spend time getting to know you, your family and your lifestyle, before they match you with any of their dogs. They’ll also be happy to give you advice and answer any questions you might have before and after the adoption. Click here for more information.

Finding a good breeder

If your heart is set on a pedigree puppy, then your best bet is to find a reputable breeder. Contact The Kennel Club or a breed-club secretary who may have a list of litters available, or should be able to put you in contact with breeders in your area. Try to choose a breeder who is part of the Kennel Club’s assured breeder scheme.Visit dog shows to meet breeders in person and inquire about availability of pups of your chosen breed. Click here for more information.

Welcoming your dog home

Whether you’re bringing home a tiny puppy or rehoming an adult dog, this is a hugely exciting time for everyone. While you’re waiting for the big day you might need to distract yourself, so luckily there are a few things you need to sort out before you welcome your new arrival. Click here for more information.