Norwegian Elkhound

Norwegian elkhound is a breed that dog lovers will always have something to talk about. Whatever anyone may say about this breed of dogs, it is never lost that the dogs have a long history which dates back to the Viking era. In their incessant raiding spree, the Vikings always carried along this breed of dog along for special reasons.

Norwegian Elkhound is known for its lush silver-grey coat as well as dignified demeanour. It is among the oldest dogs in Europe apart from being Norway’s National dog. During the Viking Age, they sailed with figures and Vikings in the Norse legend and Art.

During the Viking Age, the dog served as defender, guardian, herder, ad hunter. Therefore, it is well known for its courage in hunting and tracking moose as well as other large games, including wolves and bears. It was the first dog that was presented in 1877 during Norway’s dog exhibition.

Breed Details of Norwegian Elkhound

The status of Norwegian Elkhound is common. Its life expectancy is about 12 to 14 years while the weight is from 22 to 25kg. The coat is medium, and their height is from 19.5 to 20.5.” As opposed to the other dogs, Norwegian Elkhound needs grooming over once a week.

Norwegian Elkhound can stay in any town or even country. Regarding the minimum garden and home size, it needs a large garden and house. Besides, it needs about 1-hour of exercise, the breed kind is a hound, and the Størrelse is large.

History of Norwegian Elkhound

The dog originated in Norway. Elkhound can be traced from over 1000 years in which a breed of a dog with the same size and shape was utilized by the Vikings in hunting and guarding. The breed may reach back to 5000 BCE because, apart from the artefacts from a primitive culture, the archaeologists have found skeletons and resemble Elkhound shapes.

The Norwegian Elkhound has been used in guarding homes, flocks, and herds. After the first dog show in 1877 held by the Norwegian Hunters Association, Norwegian Elkhound became of interest. After that moment, the breeders established breed records and standards and shaped it into a serious competitor in the conformation ring.

Currently, the Norwegian Elkhound makes a great family companion as well as in other dog careers and sports. They include rescue, guarding, fly ball, agility, conformation, and tracking. Besides, they still have the capacity of hunting.

Personality of the Elkhound

The Norwegian Elkhound enjoys being around places where there is action as they consider themselves as coexisting. Due to their independence, it is challenging to train them. However, after the training, they do turn to be consistent and firm. If one is not firm, then the dog will definitely walk over them.

One fantastic thing about the Norwegian Elkhound is that they are protective and devoted. They are also loyal and attached, making them the happiest beings to be around. Being born as a watchdog makes his bark to offer safety levels from the intruders.

Elkhound also requires early socialization when they are young. They should be exposed to different experiences, sounds, sights, and people. This ensures that the puppy grows to be a well-rounded dog. Some of the strategies to use are inviting visitors regularly and enrolling them in the puppy kindergarten class.

The use of Norwegian Elkhound

The Norwegian Elkhound combines spitz and hounds like dogs traits. This makes the breed to be boisterous, alert, independent, playful, and bold. The dog is always ready to adventure and becomes happier when the adventure is outdoors in the cold weather.

Daily exercise is needed for the Norwegian Elkhound to prevent destructive behaviour and frustration. Besides, it is friendly with strangers, although in some cases it still quarrels with the unfamiliar dogs. Families that need Elkhound in their household are supposed to train it not to pull on a leash.

Appearance and Size of Norwegian Elkhound

The dog has a proud posture and is lightly built but not slender. Due to its nature, the breed is not supposed to be too heavy, and it should be squarely built. Since the first breed was published, its standard has just changed a little.

The earlier standards have remained the same, as evident by the current breeding goal. Now, the breeding goal is “specific emphasis on a dark mask, small ears, squarely-built, strong body, a high-set tail that is firmly curled over the centre line, thick, grey coat with no sooty colours, well angulated and effortless movements.” The recommended size for bitches and males is 49 cm and 52cm, respectively.  


The Norwegian Elkhound are natives of Norway. They were hunters, making them follow and track the mouse, and they could trot several miles for many days if necessary. Since they have to make their own decisions while hunting, they are independent and love freedom. Thus, while exercising, the owners are not supposed to allow them to roam the neighbourhood.


Although the Norwegian elkhounds are generally healthy, they are prone to some health conditions just like the other breeds. The following are the health conditions:

Sebaceous Cysts

The follicular cysts form under the dog’s skin, ranging from small to large walnut and, in some cases, burst. The usual treatment is surgical removal.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)

PRA is a family of eye illnesses involving gradual retina deterioration. At the early stages of the illness, the influenced dogs do become night blind, and as it progresses, they lose their sight during the day. Most of the dogs influenced by this illness adapt well to their lost or limited vision as long as the surrounding is the same.

Fanconi Syndrome

Fanconi Syndrome is an inherited disease that is serious, and it affects the kidneys as well as the tubules reabsorbing substances. This issue results in improper amino acids, sodium, phosphate, glucose, and calcium levels. The symptoms include thirst and excessive urination occurring from one to seven years. As the illness progresses, the kidneys commence failing, and the symptoms are vomiting, loss of appetite, lethargy, muscle pain, weight loss, and muscle wasting.

Advantages of having a Norwegian Elkhound dog

  • Fearless, steady, and confident
  • Good with children
  • Gregarious as well as extroverted personality
  • Good watchdog because of its loud bark
  • Protective, devoted, and loyal.

Limitations of Having Norwegian Elkhound at Home

  • Sheds a little bit
  • Can be rowdy and rambunctious, especially when young
  • Have a tendency of excessively barking
  • Territorial when it comes to other dogs and cats
  • Overprotective of territory and family
  • Difficult to train

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