ANorwegian Elkhound might just be the right dog breed for you—if you want to build an inseparable bond with a smart, reliable, and affectionate furry buddy. Learn more about the breed as you read this post.
Norwegian Elkhound: The Grey Elk Hunter
The Norwegian Elkhound, also called Norsk Elghund and Grey Elk Dog, is one of the oldest hunting companions known to man. But the breed is not just a hunter but a watchdog and herding dog as well. It is a smart and courageous creature with the capacity to adapt to harsh conditions. Although some dogs of this breed are actively working, it is mostly a family pet these days. Independent, versatile, and energetic, the Norwegian Elkhound does well with active and more experienced owners. Read on to find if this breed has the qualities you want for a furry buddy.
What does a Norwegian Elkhound look like?
The Norwegian Elkhound is a sturdy, spitz-type breed with a square-like built. A medium-sized dog, it stands between 19 to 21 inches and weighs around 44 to 55 pounds.
It has the following physical traits:
- Grey and silver coat colors
- Darker shade on the muzzle, ears, tail tip, and saddle
- Lighter shade on the chest, mane, and legs
- Dense and smooth double coat, which is weather-resistant
- Firm, prick ears
- Tightly curled tail, set high and carried over the back
- Dark brown eyes
- Broad and wedge-shaped head
- Wolflike face
- Easygoing expression
Where does the Norwegian Elkhound come from?
The Norwegian Elkhound has probably been around for a very long time already, perhaps as far back as 5,000 B.C.E. It may have descended from ancient spitz-type dogs, which were working dogs as well as companions. Dogs similar to the breed were used by the Vikings to hunt and guard.
Although it is named ‘elkhound’, the breed did not just exclusively hunt elk (moose) but also bear, reindeer, badger, etc. This versatile dog was also used to herd livestock and pull sleds.
What is the Norwegian Elkhound like?
Norwegian Elkhounds are independent dogs with a tendency to be dominating and strong-willed. They do best with experienced owners who are kind but firm. These dogs can be aloof around strangers although they are quite affectionate and attached to their families.
Because they are intelligent and very active, Norwegian Elkhounds need to exercise daily and engage in challenging activities frequently. Expect these dogs to bark more often than other dogs. Although they are not aggressive, they are naturally territorial and protective.
Norwegian Elkhounds have a relatively strong prey drive and may chase other animals. But with other obedience training, they can do well around children and other pets.
When is a Norwegian Elkhound fully grown?
Norwegian Elkhounds grow close to their full frame or height in 12 to 18 months. They continue to fill out in weight until they are about 2 years old.
Growth rate varies from one puppy to another; and, it is affected by factors such as pedigree, environment, and food quality. One way to ensure a dog reaches maturity at a healthy, normal pace is to provide it with good, nutritious food. Owners can choose to feed their dogs with raw food, commercial dog food, or homemade dog food. Any of these food choices will do—what matters is the quality of the ingredients.
Is the Norwegian Elkhound hypoallergenic?
No, Norwegian Elkhounds are not considered hypoallergenic. They shed often—and even more profusely when they blow their coat twice or thrice a year, depending on the climate. Their coats need to be brushed daily on the months when they do shed more than usual.
Shedding is associated with the production of dander, a common allergen, which is why dogs labeled as hypoallergenic are often those that shed minimally. But take note no breed is completely non-allergenic. Exposure is one way to find out if a person is allergic to a specific dog breed.
How much are Norwegian Elkhound puppies?
Norwegian Elkhound puppies can cost anywhere between USD $500 to $1,000. A puppy’s pedigree and age, including the credibility and location of the breeders can affect the selling price.
Of course, the expense does not just stop once the puppy is already paid for. Responsible owners must be aware of the common costs of owning a dog, even before the dog is brought into their homes. They must prepare the essential dog supplies like first aid kits, crates, beds, etc.
Outdoorsy and energetic, the Norwegian Elkhound makes a wonderful companion to people with an active and adventurous lifestyle. If you’re one of them, then this gorgeous creature might just be suitable for you, especially if you live in a less urbanized area with a cooler climate. Take note this breed has a stronger prey drive; so, make sure you are capable of training it well. Just remember dogs respond best to firm but gentle and positive training methods.