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Norwegian Elkhound dog breed

Norwegian Elkhound

Norwegian Elkhound is the national dog of Norway. He descends from Spitz-type dogs known in Scandinavia since Viking times (AD 800-1000) and perhaps even earlier since archaeological findings in west Norway included two dog skeletons dating to 4000 to 5000 BC that are similar in structure to today’s Elkhounds.

Norwegian Elkhounds sled dogs

Norwegian Elkhound

In their homeland, people used Elkhounds to pull sleds, guard home and family, do mountain rescue and hunt big game such as moose and bear as well as some smaller quarry. Dog lovers knew this dog breed as the Elghund, meaning ‘moose dog’ but it became Norwegian Elkhound in English.

Norwegian Elkhound Temperament

The Elkhound is an excellent family pet and guardian. Dog loving families prefer the Elkhound as the breed is good with children. This breed is bold and energetic.

Norwegian Elkhound dog

General Appearance: The Norwegian Elkhound is a typical northern dog, of medium size, with a compact, proportionately short body, with a thick and rich, but not bristling, gray coat, with prick ears, and with a curled tail carried over the back.

Norwegian Elkhound Size

Dogs: About 20-1/2 inches (52 cm) at the shoulders; Bitches, about 19-1/2 inches (50 cm).

Coat and Color: Coat thick, rich and hard, but rather smooth lying. On head and front of legs, short and even; longest on neck and chest, on buttocks, on the backside of forelegs and on the underside of tail. The coat has longer and harder covering hairs, dark at the tips, and of a light, soft, wooly undercoat. Color: gray, with black tips to the long covering hairs; somewhat lighter on chest, stomach, legs, the underside of the tail, and around the anus. The color may be lighter or darker, with a slight shading towards yellow; but a pronounced variation from the gray color disqualifies. Avoid too dark or too light individuals; also, yellow markings or uneven coloring. Pronounced white markings are undesirable.

Norwegian Elkhound head

Norwegian Elkhound

Head: Dry (without any loose skin), broad at the ears; the forehead and back of the head only slightly arched; the stop not large, yet clearly defined. The muzzle is of medium length, thickest at the base and seen from above or from the side, tapers evenly without being pointed. The bridge of the nose is straight; the lips are tightly closed and the teeth meet in a scissors bite. Eyes not protruding, brown in color, preferably dark, lively, with fearless energetic expression. Ears set high, firm and erect, are higher than they are wide at the base, pointed (not rounded) and very mobile. When the dog is listening, the orifices are turned forward.

Neck: Of medium length, dry (without any loose skin), strong, and well set up.

Norwegian Elkhound dogs

Forequarters: Legs firm, straight, and strong; elbows closely set on. Body Powerful, compact, and short, with broad, deep chest, well-sprung ribs, straight back, well-developed loins, and stomach very little drawn up.

Hindquarters: Hind legs with little angulation at knees and hocks. Seen from behind, they are straight. Feet comparatively small, somewhat oblong, with tightly closed toes, not turned out. There should be no dewclaws on hind legs.

Norwegian Elkhound puppies

Norwegian Elkhound puppies

Norwegian Elkhound puppy

Tail: Set high, short, thickly and closely haired, but without brush; tightly curled, not carried too much to one side.

Disqualification: Pronounced variation from gray color.

Norwegian Elkhound pup

Links: Norwegian Elkhound clubs: USA; UK