Norwegian Elkhound showing the standard tightly curled
Gray Norwegian Elkhound
Small Grey Elk Dog
|Country of origin
|Classification and breed standards
||Group 5 Section 2 #268
||Group 4 (Hounds)
||Group 2 - Hounds
|Not recognized by any major kennel club
|This breed of dog is
|The FCI divides this into two breeds,
Black (268) and Grey (242). The standard for the Grey is not
available on the FCI site.
The Norwegian Elkhound is a
dog, specifically a
member of the
family. The dog is the national dog breed of
The dog stands about
centimetres high and weighs up to
kilogrammes. Its grey coat is made of dense smooth lying hair ranging from
black at the muzzle, ears and tip of its tail, to silvery grey on its legs, tail
and underbody. Solid black elkhounds are rarer.
Origin and history
Archaeological digs in
Scandinavia show this breed existed in the
At the end of the
century the breed came to
in 1901 the
The Kennel Club was officially recognised it.
For many years, the breed was considered one of the oldest dog breeds, going
back more than five thousand years. Recent
analysis reveals, however, that this breed is actually a recent
construction, bred to resemble an older form. An ideal elkhound has a tightly
curled tail, as the dog shown in the photograph on this page. The elkhound is a
medium sized dog and extremely hardy. They are bred for hunting large game, such
as bear and
elk. The elkhound has
a very strong drive and it is not unheard of for an elkhound to go through a
plate glass window when motivated by its quarry. Although the breed is strong
and hardy, the dogs typically have an inseparable bond with their masters and
are quite loyal.
The Norwegian elkhound was presented at a
dog exhibition for the first time in
Norwegian Elkhounds are loyal to their "pack" and make good family dogs. They
are tolerant of children and are protective of those they consider part of their
pack or family. Norwegian Elkhounds are difficult to train because of their
intelligence and deep independent streak. However, they are good natured in
their disobedience (for example, failing to "come" because there is something of
greater interest in the other direction).
Norwegian Elkhounds shed a great deal, particularly in fall and spring when
they molt their
Elkhounds require significant grooming because their oil glands will become
plugged and easily infected without regular brushing. When brushed in a hot
summer month, the dog will produce copious amounts of fur, which in some rural
regions of Norway, people make clothing such as sweaters from.
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