Norwegian Elkhound

Norwegian Elkhounds are medium-sized dogs with sturdy bodies designed to withstand harsh climates. The Norwegian Elkhound stands at the height of 20 inches, and their bodies are covered with short, silver-gray coats. Their thighs are muscular, designed for a whole day of work.

These dogs are known to make excellent watchdogs, but they are great family companions as well. Because they’re strong-willed, they will not be an excellent fit for inexperienced dog owners. They require someone confident and firm who can make them obey. If that’s you, then rest assured that you got yourself a loving and loyal companion.

Norwegian Elkhound

Norwegian Elkhound Statistics

Dog Breed GroupHound
Breed SizeMedium
Height20.5 inches (male); 19.5 inches (female)
Weight55 pounds (male); 48 pounds (female)
Lifespan12-15 years

Norwegian Elkhound Ratings

Energy level
Exercise needs
Requires attention
Playfulness
Trainability
Shedding
Grooming
Friendly with family
Friendly with kids
Friendly with strangers
Friendly with other dogs
Prey Drive

Norwegian Elkhound History

Norwegian Elkhounds, as their name implies, came from Norway. Their history can be traced back as far as 5000 BC. It’s even believed that these dogs are the same dogs used by Vikings as guards and hunting companions.

Although their true history is unclear, these dogs have been part of the Norwegian culture. Norwegian Elkhounds are used to guard herds, flocks, and homes, hunt large animals, and become loving family companions after a long day.

These dogs first appeared in a Norwegian dog show in 1877. The interest in the breed immediately grew that breeders started to create a standard for the breed.

It was the 19th century when the breed first became popular outside Norway. By 1913, the American Kennel Club finally recognized the breed. Now, the dogs rank 97th as the most popular dog breed in the US.

These dogs make excellent family companions and can even participate in dog sports.

Norwegian Elkhound Temperament

Norwegian Elkhounds are generally friendly, confident, and dependable dogs. The American Kennel Club describes them as bold, energetic, and dignified dogs. These are independent dogs that require someone with great leadership to control them better.

They have boundless energy, and they most definitely love rugged plays and other vigorous exercises. If you are into this, then they’ll be an excellent exercise partner.

Norwegian Elkhounds thrive for human companionship. They love spending time with family members but are reserved when it comes to strangers.

They are also very protective. Expect them to bark when they see someone suspicious. However, they are not aggressive and will not jump in unless they sense a grave threat.

These dogs are perfect for families with well-behaved children. As for toddlers, make sure to keep strong supervision. Remember, these dogs are highly active, and they may accidentally injure little ones.

When it comes to other pets, Norwegian Elkhounds get along well with them. But like other dogs, early socialization is highly encouraged to make them more well-rounded and confident.

Training may come as a challenge. These dogs will try to be in control and may not follow your orders well. Consistency is key here. Help him understand that you’re the leader, but never treat them harshly.

Norwegian Elkhound Care Requirements

  • Nutrition: Norwegian Elkhounds, like any other dog breed, need a high-quality and well-balanced meal. This should consist of all the essential nutrients such as proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. Protein should come from high-quality animal meat such as poultry, beef, or lamb. As for fats, you can get this from fish oils. You can add some brown rice or sweet potatoes as good sources of carbohydrates, and other fruits and vegetables for fiber and vitamins. For dog food, choose the ones that are of premium quality. This shouldn’t contain fillers and other harmful additives that will cause problems in your dog’s digestion. If your dog is allergic to anything, take note of those and stay away from those ingredients.
  • Grooming: Norwegian Elkhounds have a two-ply coat that shed seasonally. It needs a thorough weekly brushing if you want to save yourself from a lot of cleaning up. This also helps remove any dirt that may be stuck to the coat. If it’s the shedding season, you might need to brush the coat daily instead of weekly. Baths can occasionally be given too. Due to the harshness of their coat, they don’t release that doggy smell. You can bath them once every 2-3 months, or depending on how dirty they get. Make sure to pay close attention to your dog’s ears and regularly clean it. Nails should be trimmed and kept short as well.
  • Exercise: Norwegian Elkhounds are originally hunting dogs. It’s normal for them to be active, so regular exercise is highly necessary. They are great dog companions if you’re a hunter yourself. If not, you can take him to long walks, hikes, or swim. Don’t let him roam on his own, off-leash, in your neighborhood. With their hunting instincts, they are sure to stray away inspecting. You can make him participate in dog sports, too, to showcase some of his skills.
  • Health: Though a generally healthy dog breed with a long lifespan, Norwegian Elkhounds are prone to some diseases that you need to watch out. Among these are Fanconi Syndrome, Hypothyroidism, Progressive Retinal Atrophy, and Sebaceous Cysts. It’s best to pay attention to your dog’s diet. You can also meet one of your dog’s parents to know any existing disease that your dog might inherit. Take him to regular check-ups, too, especially if you notice any significant changes in his behavior.
  • Lifespan: The life expectancy of Norwegian Elkhounds is 12-15 years.

Famous Norwegian Elkhounds

  • Weejie: Norwegian Elkhound of US President Herbert Hoover

Fun Facts about Norwegian Elkhounds

  • Norwegian Elkhounds are ancient dogs believed to have existed around 5000 BC.
  • These dogs are believed to have served Vikings as guard dogs and companion dogs.
  • They originated from Norway.
  • They were bred to hunt big animals like moose and bears.
  • These dogs are originally called “Norsk Elghund.”
  • They were recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1913.

Check Out Other Hound Dog Breeds:
Afghan Hound, American English Coonhounds, American Foxhound, Basenjis, Basset Hound, Beagle, Black and Tan Coonhound, Bloodhound, Bluetick Coonhound, Borzois, Cirnechi dell’Etna, Dachshund, English Foxhound, Grand Basset Griffon Vendeens, Greyhound, Harrier, Ibizan Hound, Icelandic Sheepdogs, Irish Wolfhound, Otterhound, Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen, Pharaoh Hounds, Plotts, Portuguese Podengo, Redbone Coonhound, Rhodesian Ridgeback, Salukis, Scottish Deerhounds, Sloughis, Treeing Walker Coonhound, Whippet

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