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Norwegian Elkhound Dog Breed

About the Norwegian Elkhound

The Norwegian Elkhound, or simply Elkhound, stands among Europe’s oldest breeds of dog. This spitz-type canine is known for its rather wolf-like appearance and robust build. The breed’s name is somewhat of a misnomer, however, as the Elkhound was never intended to hunt elk. Even today, they are not considered a genuine hound. In Norwegian, “elg” means moose and “hund” means dog. So, the Elkhound is really a “moose dog.” Whatever its name, the breed can make for a wonderful watchdog and a beloved family companion.

AKC Group

AKC Group


Dog Breed Height


19.5 – 20.5 Inches

Dog Breed Weight


48 – 55 Pounds

Dog Breed Lifespan


12 – 15 Years


Country of Origin Norway
Bred For Hunting, Companionship
Known For Northern Appearance, Courage, Endurance
Popularity Low to Moderate
Temperament Bold, Energetic, Independent
Activities Hunting, Running, Hiking, Watchdog, Conformation Shows, Dog Sports

History of the Norwegian Elkhound

The beautiful and rocky regions of Norway are home to the Norwegian Elkhound. The breed dates from about a millennium ago to a time when the Vikings used a sizeable and comparable dog for hunting and protection. Archaeologists have discovered skeletons of dogs that closely resemble the Elkhound in size and shape among artifacts from a primitive culture, suggesting that the breed may date back as far as 5,000 BCE. Although its exact history is lost in time, there is no doubt that the breed is inextricably linked to the area’s early human civilizations.

Norwegian Elkhounds are categorized as hounds despite having a very different appearance from the scenthounds and sighthounds that originated in warmer climates. The Elkhound has been used to protect herds, flocks, and homes as well as for hunting large animals such as bears and moose. The breed’s usefulness as hunter was due to its ability to track down prey by following its scent and then keep it at bay by barking until the hunter arrived.

Following the first dog exhibition organized by the Norwegian Hunters Association in 1877, the Norwegian Elkhound gained popularity as a breed. Local breeders soon started working to establish a written Breed Standard, maintain breed data, and develop the Elkhound as a competitive contender in the Conformation arena. In addition to being an excellent family companion, the modern breed excels in a wide range of canine sports and occupations, including Tracking, Guarding, Herding, Sledding, Agility, Obedience, Flyball, and Canine Freestyle. Norwegian Elkhounds are still employed as hunting dogs too, just as they were in the past.

General Appearance

Height & Weight

Mature male Norwegian Elkhounds typically stand around 20.5 inches at the shoulder, while females usually measure around 19.5 inches.

Norwegian Elkhound males typically weigh around 55 pounds, with females averaging about 48 pounds in weight.

Proportion & Substance

The Norwegian Elkhound is a typical spitz breed that displays a square profile and compact build, medium in both size and substance. A muscular neck, straight topline, and short body contribute to the breed’s strength and are collectively considered essential characteristics of the breed. The Elkhound’s size allows the dog to do its job perfectly, and its construction allows for movement that is light and effortless.

Coat Texture, Colors & Markings

Texture: The undercoat is soft, dense, and wooly, while the outer coat is coarse and straight. The Norwegian Elkhound’s coat is typical of most Northern dog breeds, with thick, protective guard hairs and a soft, dense undercoat for insulation. This double coat is weather-resistant by virtue of it being thick, hard, and smooth-lying. On the head, ears, and fronts of the legs, the coat is short and even, but it is longer on the back of the neck, buttocks, and underside of the tail.

Norwegian Elkhound Colors

Standard Color
Gray Black & Silver ee
Silver Gray & Black ee
Gray & Black ee
Silver & Black ee
Black White & Silver ee
Black & Gray ee
Black & Silver ee

Markings: Variations Shadings

A Note About Color: Although generally gray in color, the Norwegian Elkhound’s coat displays variations in shade due to the length and quantity of the guard hair’s black tips. The body is darkest on the back (saddle) and lighter on the chest, mane, and from the shoulder to the elbow (harness). The muzzle, ears, and tip of the tail are black, and black hairs on the muzzle fade to lighter gray on the forehead and skull. “Sooty” coloration, irregular markings, white patches, and yellow or brown shading are not acceptable in the breed. Likewise, red, brown, white, solid black or any other solid color are unacceptable.


  • Skull: The skull of the Norwegian Elkhound, when viewed from the side, is slightly arched. The stop is not large, but it is clearly defined.
  • Expression: The breed’s expression is keen and alert. The eyes are an essential feature of the breed and indicate a dog of great courage.
  • Eyes: The Norwegian Elkhound has medium-sized eyes, oval in shape and very dark brown in color. Coupled with the breed’s high-set ears, the eyes display the breed’s characteristically alert expression.
  • Ears: The ears of the breed are its most expressive feature and indicate how the dog is feeling. Set high, firm, and erect yet mobile, the tips of the ears are pointed and are slightly taller than their width at the base. When the Elkhound is alert, the orifices turn forward, with the outer edges vertical. When the dog is relaxed, the ears typically fold back.
  • Muzzle: The muzzle is thickest at its base and tapers evenly without being pointed, whether viewed from the side or above. The bridge of the nose is straight, parallel to and around the same length as the skull.
  • Nose: The Elkhound’s nose is black in color and is well defined.
  • Bite: The Norwegian Elkhound has a full complement of strong, white teeth, meeting in a scissors bite, where the upper incisors closely overlap the lower incisors and are well-set in the jaws.

A close-up photo of a Norwegian Elkhound's head.


The Tail of a Norwegian Elkhound is always set high, tightly curled, and carried over the centerline of the back, making for a slightly different appearance than many of its Northern cousins. The tail is thick and closely haired, without the “brush” found on similar spitz breeds. The tail is always left natural and is never trimmed.

Owning a Norwegian Elkhound – What to Consider?

When considering a Norwegian Elkhound for the home, it’s important to understand the breed’s characteristics, needs, and temperament. By being highly adaptable and affectionate, this breed can be a great choice for both experienced pet owners and novices, the most important consideration is providing plenty of exercises to fulfill the breed’s high-energy needs. The Elkhound is an intelligent, bold, energetic, and protective breed and makes an ideal guardian. Before acquiring the breed, however, it’s essential to consider the fact that the Elkhound is known for barking and is not a great choice for apartment living.

Family Life

Affectionate With Family

How affectionate a breed is likely to be with family members, or other people he knows well. Some breeds can be aloof with everyone but their owner, while other breeds treat everyone they know like their best friend.
Independent Lovey-Dovey

Good With Other Dogs

How generally friendly a breed is towards other dogs. Dogs should always be supervised for interactions and introductions with other dogs, but some breeds are innately more likely to get along with other dogs, both at home and in public.
Not Recommended Good With Other Dogs

Good With Young Children

A breed’s level of tolerance and patience with childrens’ behavior, and overall family-friendly nature. Dogs should always be supervised around young children, or children of any age who have little exposure to dogs.
Not Recommended Good With Children


Shedding Level

How much fur and hair you can expect the breed to leave behind. Breeds with high shedding will need to be brushed more frequently, are more likely to trigger certain types of allergies, and are more likely to require more consistent vacuuming and lint-rolling.
No Shedding Hair Everywhere

Coat Grooming Frequency

How frequently a breed requires bathing, brushing, trimming, or other kinds of coat maintenance. Consider how much time, patience, and budget you have for this type of care when looking at the grooming effort needed. All breeds require regular nail trimming.
Monthly Daily

Drooling Level

How drool-prone a breed tends to be. If you’re a neat freak, dogs that can leave ropes of slobber on your arm or big wet spots on your clothes may not be the right choice for you.
Less Likely to Drool Always Have a Towel

Coat Type


Coat Length


Social Attributes


Trainability Level

How easy it will be to train your dog, and how willing your dog will be to learn new things. Some breeds just want to make their owner proud, while others prefer to do what they want, when they want to, wherever they want!.
Self-Willed Eager to Please

Barking Level

How often this breed vocalizes, whether its with barks or howls. While some breeds will bark at every passer-by or bird in the window, others will only bark in particular situations. Some barkless breeds can still be vocal, using other sounds to express themselves.
Only To Alert Very Vocal

Energy Level

The amount of exercise and mental stimulation a breed needs. High energy breeds are ready to go and eager for their next adventure. They will spend their time running, jumping, and playing throughout the day. Low energy breeds are like couch potatoes – they are happy to simply lay around and snooze.
Couch Potato High Energy

Mental Stimulation Needs

How much mental stimulation a breed needs to stay happy and healthy. Purpose-bred dogs can have jobs that require decision-making, problem-solving, concentration, or other qualities, and without the brain exercise they need, they will create their own projects to keep their minds busy — and they probably wont be the kind of projects you would like..
Happy to Lounge Needs a Job or Activity

Norwegian Elkhound Health

The Norwegian Elkhound is typically healthy, however, the breed is prone to some health issues, as are all breeds and mixed breeds. Of course, not all Elkhounds will get any or all of these diseases, but it is essential to be aware of them. And it is important to remember that regular veterinary check-ups and a balanced diet can go a long way toward ensuring the well-being and longevity of any dog.

Lifespan: The average lifespan of a Norwegian Elkhound ranges between 12 and 15 years, but with proper care, regular exercise, and a balanced diet, many can thrive beyond these years.

Potential Health Risks

While the Norwegian Elkhound is generally a healthy breed, it is not immune to certain health conditions. Some of the more common issues seen in the breed include:

  • Fanconi Syndrome: This is a hereditary condition that affects the kidneys and the tubules responsible for reabsorption. It results in
    abnormal calcium, glucose, phosphate, sodium, and amino acid levels. If untreated, it can be fatal.
  • Hypothyroidism: This is a thyroid condition that may be the cause of epilepsy, alopecia (hair loss), obesity, lethargy, hyperpigmentation, pyoderma, and other skin diseases. Medication and a special diet are used to treat it.
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA): This is a group of eye diseases characterized by the slow degradation of the retina. Affected dogs become night-blind early in the disease; as the condition develops, daytime vision is lost. As long as the affected dog’s surroundings do not change, a dog can adjust well to the reduced or lost vision.
  • Sebaceous Cysts: These are follicular cysts that develop beneath the dog’s skin. They can grow to be as huge as a walnut in size and will, on occasion, burst open, ejecting a thick, white substance. The most common therapy is surgical removal.

Norwegian Elkhound Personality

The Norwegian Elkhound traces its roots back to ancient times when the dogs were shipmates of the Vikings. Today, this tough and tenacious breed can make a wonderful companion to people from all walks of life. It is a highly extroverted character and loves to be around the action. As is typical of active and independent breeds, it should be noted, this one can be a challenge to train.

Elkhounds are highly devoted to the family and are generally protective, and sometimes, even possessive. Yet, these characteristics make for a wonderful guardian. These dogs are loyal and devoted, but many have the need to be the center of attention most of the time.

Barking is one of the more notable characteristics of the Norwegian Elkhound. The breed can provide a level of security and is a natural watchdog, especially since it enjoy making vocalizations. It is not, however, an inherently aggressive dog. Any excessive barking can often be quieted through training, although it is best to avoid keeping this breed in an apartment.

The Elkhound loves to play a lot, but usually not with toys. Chasing balls (but not bringing them back) is one of its favorite activities. The breed is naturally adventurous and needs plenty of space to run around. So, all exercise should take place outdoors. Otherwise, most of the household belongings could get tossed and turned.

Overall, the Norwegian Elkhound is a loving dog that makes a fantastic family member in the right setting. These Nordic originals are naturally suspicious of strangers and make excellent watchdogs, but they thrive on attention and are typically great with kids. In fact, a more devoted canine companion might be pretty hard to find.

Norwegian Elkhound Feeding & Nutrition

The Norwegian Elkhound should thrive on high-quality food, whether purchased commercially or prepared at home with a veterinarian’s supervision. The diet should be high in protein, moderate in fat, and low in carbohydrates, and it can sometimes be best to feed a raw food diet. Elkhounds can be “food hounds,” so it is important to supervise what the dog eats.

The diet should be tailored to the age of the dog (puppy, adult, or senior), as well as its size, build, metabolism, and activity level. Highly active dogs will need more food than those that are less active.

When it comes to feeding an Elkhound puppy, a nutrient-rich diet that promotes steady growth and development is crucial. A pup’s dietary requirements will change as it reaches adulthood, when the recommended amount of food will be 2 to 2.5 cups per day.

Better quality food will nourish a dog best, so less food will be needed. Meals should be measured and split it into two servings per day rather than one. Also, it’s important to never leave food out all day and avoid feeding human food.

It is essential to monitor a Norwegian Elkhound’s weight to avoid overfeeding. The main indication that a dog is overweight is a rolling motion of its back or sides when the dog trots.

Another important consideration is to always have fresh water readily available for the Norwegian Elkhound. Hydration is just as crucial as nutrition, and this is especially so for such an active breed.

Norwegian Elkhound Training

The Norwegian Elkhound is an independent and stubborn breed that can occasionally make training a bit difficult. The journey of training one of these beautiful hounds requires patience, consistency, and an understanding of the breed’s true nature.

Elkhounds are intelligent, so they can easily pick up commands. On the other hand, they want something in return for the obedience work. Treats can be a good reward, but so is the owner’s praise. Once the Elkhound gets attached to its favorite person, the bond is inseparable.

This Elkhound is naturally dominant, so it needs a firm handler for training. Owners of this breed should represent the pack leader as it is the only way for the dog to follow commands and take the training seriously. Otherwise, training can be difficult and the Elkhound will want to take the lead.

The Norwegian Elkhound should be provided with plenty of outdoor space. With its hunting heritage, the breed is highly adventurous and enjoys running and chasing whatever it perceives as prey. Some have even been known to catch game on their own. Elkhounds prefer a winter climate with lots of snow, but if this is not possible, most can happily exercise in warmer environments provided there’s a change-up to their daily routine.

In general, a Norwegian Elkhound’s daily activity should be vigorous. This breed can become irritable if it does not get enough mental and/or physical exercise. And when walking this breed, it’s best to have the dog heel beside or behind the handler, never in front, to reaffirm the owner’s position of authority.

Norwegian Elkhound Grooming

The Norwegian Elkhound has a weather-resistant coat that provides insulation in all types of temperatures. However, the breed’s double coat  sheds two to three times a year and requires regular grooming to keep it looking its best.

Grooming Expectations

Coat Type Thick, Hard, Weather-Resistant, Smooth
Grooming Requirements Weekly Brushing, Occasional Bathing, Routine Ear Cleaning, Periodic Nail Trimming, Regular Tooth Brushing

The Norwegian Elkhound’s coat is short and thick, with an undercoat that’s dense, wooly, and soft. The breed is always found in its natural state, with no trimming needed. Many Elkhounds can be prone to skin problems when they are trimmed or even shaved, and a haircut typically damages the guard hairs and causes them to grow improperly.

Elkhounds are a naturally clean breed in terms of their coat, which tends to expel debris on its own. Weekly brushing is needed when the dog isn’t shedding its coat, but daily brushing is often required during shedding seasons.

Luckily, Norwegian Elkhounds don’t typically have a doggy odor, so bathing is not required too frequently. Instead, it should be necessary only when the dog has rolled in something stinky. In that case, bathing should be done with a high-quality shampoo to protect the skin and coat.

Beyond coat care, other grooming tasks include brushing the Elkhound’s teeth two to three times a week to remove tartar build-up and bacteria. To prevent gum disease and bad breath, it is better to do the daily brushing if possible. Trimming the nails should be done once or twice a month if the dog doesn’t wear them down naturally, and ears should be also checked and cleaned weekly.

Living with a Norwegian Elkhound

Living with a Norwegian Elkhound is a rewarding experience considering the breed’s protectiveness, adaptability, and most importantly, its wonderful sense of adventure. The breed is highly adaptable and enjoys accompanying its family on any kind of outdoor adventure. Elkhounds love cold weather and definitely enjoy playing in the snow; however, swimming can also be a good option for fulfilling their high-energy needs.

Training is essential for an Elkhound, although it can be a challenge due to the breed’s often stubborn and dominant nature. It is important, therefore, to be firm and consistent when training and to reinforce that the dog is not the one in charge. Conversely, the breed is highly affectionate towards its family members and usually makes an outgoing, if protective, companion.

Since the Elkhound is a highly vocal breed, these dogs can bark at anything and everything, even if there’s nothing to bark at! And although it is not a good choice for an apartment dog, an Elkhound can live in a smaller space without barking excessively if it is given enough time outdoors and plenty of mental stimulation.

Despite the breed’s wolf-like appearance, the Norwegian Elkhound is far from intimidating. On the contrary, most Elkhounds are known to be friendly and sweet. When they are not active, their favorite activity is to cuddle with their owner. Most are great around children of all ages, although interactions with kids and dogs should always be supervised.

The Norwegian Elkhound tends to be a highly protective dog, so it is important to socialize puppies when they’re young and introduce them to as many people as possible as they mature. Introducing the Elkhound to other dogs is also important, since the breed is not always polite during these introductions.

Norwegian Elkhound Puppies

Norwegian Elkhound puppies bring joy and happiness to most any home with their energy, playfulness, and friendliness. However, the stubborn side of the breed shows at a young age and requires a lot of patience and responsibility for their caretakers. Still, raising these puppies is always a fun journey – no matter what.

Caring for a Norwegian Elkhound Puppy

When bringing a Norwegian Elkhound puppy home, it can be easy to think that it’s a shy and calm breed. However, once the puppy has adapted to its surroundings and meets its own people, a whole new story begins. The Elkhound puppy is, indeed, active, curious, playful, and most of all, stubborn.

Nutrition is one of the first things to think about. A puppy grows quickly and its diet should keep up with its growth. A high-quality puppy food that is rich in critical nutrients and designed specifically for medium and large breed puppies is needed. The amount and frequency of meals can be guided by the feeding guidelines published on pet food packaging or by a veterinarian’s advice.

Socialization is the second important aspect of a puppy’s life. With the Elkhound being a protective breed and not necessarily good with other dogs, it is of great importance to start introducing the new puppy to different dogs and people. New introductions help to shape a pup’s temperament and its behavior as an adult.

Training should begin as soon as possible, taking advantage of a puppy’s adaptable nature. While the Elkhound puppy is intelligent, the breed’s stubbornness can make training difficult at times. Positive reinforcement strategies, such as using treats, praise, and toys, are the most effective.

Because of its curious temperament, the Norwegian Elkhound puppy will want to explore every corner and crevice of its new home. The living space must therefore be puppy-proofed. In the early weeks and months, it is critical to maintain a healthy environment that is free of dangerous substances and choking hazards.

Norwegian Elkhound Activities & Dog Sports

Norwegian Elkhound owners understand that their dogs are high-energy canines that require a lot of exercise to keep them from climbing the walls. Aside from daily walks, it is critical to engage these dogs in a variety of activities.

  • Conformation Shows: These competitive events spotlight the Norwegian Elkhound’s adherence to its Breed Standard, where the focus is on a breed’s physical attributes, movement, and temperament. Dog shows offer a stage where the Elkhound’s character and its light, graceful gait can be celebrated.
  • Camping: Elkhounds enjoy spending time outdoors. Camping can be a great opportunity for bonding, whether an overnight trip or a week-long excursion. Hiking can be a great addition to this activity and a wonderful way to share moments together.
  • Snow Play: The Norwegian Elkhound is a Nordic breed, and with that being said, these dogs love to play in the snow. Running, walking, and rolling around in the white powdery substance are all great things for this cold-weather breed.
  • Trick Training: With Elkhounds being an intelligent breed, they need a way to continually engage their minds and keep up their mental stimulation. For example, hiding treats under cups, mixing them up, and letting the dog find them can be a fun activity for both the dog and family members.
  • Therapy Work: If trained properly, Norwegian Elkhounds can make wonderful Therapy Dogs because of their affectionate and friendly nature. It is important to teach them basic obedience and make sure they are calm enough to sit with people, which is often an easy thing to do for an Elkhound.

Group Classification & Standards

The Norwegian Elkhound is recognized by the world’s leading registries and kennel organizations, which categorize the breed into a specific Group based on its unique characteristics. This breed is recognized worldwide under the following Group designations.

International Organizations

Organization Group Classification
AKC (American Kennel Club) Hound
UKC (United Kennel Club) Northern Breed
CKC (Canadian Kennel Club) Hounds
ANKC (Australian National Kennel Council) Hounds
RKC (The Royal Kennel Club) Hound
FCI (Fédération Cynologique Internationale) Group 5: Spitz and Primitive Types; Section 2: Nordic Hunting Dogs

The ideal Norwegian Elkhound is described by a Breed Standard that is approved by each of the world’s leading registries and kennel organizations. The Breed Standards for this breed may be found in the following links.

Breed Standards

Organization Breed Standard
American Kennel Club AKC Norwegian Elkhound Breed Standard
United Kennel Club UKC Norwegian Elkhound Breed Standard
Canadian Kennel Club CKC Norwegian Elkhound Breed Standard
Australian National Kennel Council ANKC Norwegian Elkhound Breed Standard
The Royal Kennel Club RKC Norwegian Elkhound Breed Standard
Fédération Cynologique Internationale FCI Norwegian Elkhound Breed Standard

Norwegian Elkhound Clubs

Norwegian Elkhound clubs are indispensable in preserving the breed’s Standards, promoting responsible breeding practices, and fostering a supportive community for enthusiasts and breeders alike. These organizations often serve as hubs for education, social events, and advocacy for the Norwegian Elkhound as a recognized breed.

In the United States, the primary organization dedicated to the Norwegian Elkhound is the Norwegian Elkhound Association of America (NEAA). The NEAA is committed to safeguarding the breed’s written Breed Standard, advocating for responsible breeding practices, and providing educational resources for both owners and judges of the breed.

The Norwegian Elkhound Club of Canada takes a leading role in promoting the breed in Canada. The NECC offers competitive events, educational resources, and networking opportunities for Canadian Elkhound lovers.

In the United Kingdom, the Norwegian Elkhound Club of Great Britain is dedicated to promoting the breed. It was founded in 1923 as the British Elkhound Society, though it was later renamed.

Joining or engaging with these and similar clubs provides Norwegian Elkhound enthusiasts with a wealth of knowledge and opportunities to connect with others who share the same passion for this iconic breed.

Norwegian Elkhound Rescue Groups

If purchased without previous knowledge of the breed, a Norwegian Elkhound can end up in need of adoption or foster care.

Norwegian Elkhound Rescue is the leading rescue group in Canada, operating under the broader umbrella of the Norwegian Elkhound Club of Canada.

In the United Kingdom, the most popular organization to aid Elkhounds in need is the Elkhound Rescue Fund. Besides finding homes for abandoned or neglected dogs, this group also takes care of dogs whose owners can no longer take care of them for any reason.

Norwegian Elkhound Facts

  • Wolf-Like Appearance: With their thick, silver-gray coat, upright ears, and curled tail, they have a distinctly wolf-like appearance.
  • Age: According to records, the Norwegian Elkhound could have appeared as early as 5,000 B.C. Archaeologists have discovered bones similar to the Norwegian Elkhound in the same locations where Viking remnants and weapons have been discovered. This would make them one of the world’s oldest dog breeds.
  • Name: The Norwegian Elkhound was given the name “Norsk Elghund,” which translates to “moose dog.” The name is misleading, however, since Europeans refer to moose as elk, while moose and elk are different animals in North America.
  • Cold-Weather: Because of their thick double coat and sturdy frame, Norwegian Elkhounds are well-suited to colder climates.
  • Worker: Norwegian Elkhounds are versatile. They have been employed to hunt a wide range of animals in America, from birds to mountain lions. They make excellent Service Dogs for persons with disabilities due to the breed’s innate intelligence. Its ability to track can make the Elkhound ideal for Search and Rescue teams as well.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Do Norwegian Elkhounds shed?

Yes, Norwegian Elkhounds are known to shed a significant amount. They have a dense, double coat that sheds throughout the year, with increased shedding during seasonal changes. Regular grooming can help to manage the shedding, but potential owners should be prepared for a considerable amount of hair in their homes.

How big do Norwegian Elkhounds get?

Norwegian Elkhounds are medium-sized dogs, with males typically weighing around 55 pounds and standing 20.5 inches at the shoulder. Females are slightly smaller, usually weighing around 48 pounds and measuring 19.5 inches tall. The breed’s sturdy and compact build makes these dogs well-suited for endurance and agility activities.

Are Norwegian Elkhounds aggressive?

Norwegian Elkhounds are not inherently aggressive, but they do have a strong protective instinct. They were originally bred for hunting large game, such as elk and bears, which has ingrained a fearless and resilient nature in the breed. With proper training and socialization, they are known to be friendly and good-natured, though they can be reserved around strangers.

Are Norwegian Elkhounds easy to train?

Norwegian Elkhounds are intelligent and eager to please, which can make them relatively easy to train. However, they also have a strong-willed and independent nature, which may require consistent and patient training methods. Positive reinforcement and early socialization are key to successfully training a Norwegian Elkhound.

Are Norwegian Elkhounds endangered?

Norwegian Elkhounds are not considered endangered. They are a popular breed in their native Norway and have a steady population in other parts of the world as well. However, like all breeds, responsible breeding practices are important to ensure the health and longevity of the breed.

Are Norwegian Elkhounds good family dogs?

Norwegian Elkhounds can make excellent family pets. They are known for their loyalty and affection towards their family, and they generally get along well with children. However, due to their hunting background, they may have a strong prey drive, so interactions with small pets should be supervised.

Are Norwegian Elkhounds good guard dogs?

Yes, Norwegian Elkhounds can make good guard dogs. Their protective nature and strong bark make them excellent watchdogs. They are also very loyal to their family and will not hesitate to defend their home if they perceive a threat.

Are Norwegian Elkhounds good with cats?

The interaction between Norwegian Elkhounds and cats can vary depending on the individual dog. Some Elkhounds will live peaceably with cats, especially if they are raised together. However, the breed’s strong prey drive can trigger a chase response, so introductions should be done carefully and supervision is recommended.

Are Norwegian Elkhounds hypoallergenic?

Norwegian Elkhounds are not considered hypoallergenic. They have a dense double coat that sheds a considerable amount, and they produce dander, both of which can trigger allergies in sensitive individuals. Potential owners with allergies should spend time around the breed before making a commitment.

Are Norwegian Elkhounds rare?

While Norwegian Elkhounds are not as common as some other breeds, they are not considered rare. They have a stable population, especially in their native Norway and in other parts of Scandinavia. They are also present and recognized in many other countries around the world.

Are Norwegian Elkhounds smart?

Yes, Norwegian Elkhounds are known to be intelligent and quick learners. They have a history as a hunting dog, which requires the ability to make quick decisions and work independently. This intelligence, combined with the breed’s eagerness to please, makes them responsive to training.

Can Norwegian Elkhounds swim?

Norwegian Elkhounds are capable swimmers, and many of them enjoy water and swimming activities. However, individual preferences can vary, and not all Elkhounds may be inclined to swim. Proper introduction to water and safety measures should be taken when allowing an Elkhound to swim.

Do Norwegian Elkhounds bark a lot?

Norwegian Elkhounds are known for their strong and powerful bark, which they use to communicate and to alert their owners. They can be quite vocal, especially if they sense something unusual or if they are not properly stimulated. Proper training and mental engagement can help to manage any excessive barking.


Dan Sayers

Dan Sayers

Dan Sayers is the Editor-in-Chief of SHOWSIGHT digital and print publications. He received a B.S. from Drexel University where he studied interior architectural design. His professional career has allowed him to develop his planning, problem-solving, and project management skills, which were employed in the office, educational, and financial sectors. While working as a project manager, he earned a Graphic Design Certificate from the University of the Arts and began creating ads for many of America’s top-winning show dogs. Through this work, Dan became Editor-in-Chief of the nation’s first online-only dog show publication. His current role expands on this experience and broadly extends to cover the sport of dogs in Companion and Performance events as well as all aspects of Conformation.

Dan is a long-time member of the Irish Water Spaniel Club of America and is the organization’s current AKC Delegate and Archivist/Historian, as well as a club-approved Breed Mentor. From 2000-2010, he was the club’s AKC Gazette Columnist. He breeds Irish Water Spaniels under the Quiet Storm prefix and has judged the IWSCA National Specialty Sweepstakes twice. Dan is a member of the Morris and Essex Kennel Club as well as the Dog Writers Association of America, which recognized his illustrations in the award-winning canine compendium, the Encyclopedia of K-9 Terminology.

Find a Breeder or Rescue

The best way to ensure a long and happy relationship with a purebred dog is to purchase one from a responsible breeder. Not sure where to begin?

Contact the National Parent Club’s Breeder Referral Program, which is listed on the AKC Breeder Referral Contacts page.

Find a Norwegian Elkhound Puppy
Find a Breeder or Rescue