Norwegian Elkhound Traits & Facts

The Norwegian Elkhound is a medium-sized dog breed that hails from Norway and is known for its versatility and robustness. This intelligent and independent breed excelled as a hunter, watch dog, and herder in its early origins.

Their fur coat is thick and weather resistant, which allowed them to thrive in the harsh and cold Norwegian climate. Norwegian Elkhound has a friendly demeanor and strong protective instincts making them an excellent family pet.

Despite their strong will and independence, they are known to be very loyal and affectionate towards their family. Regular exercise is essential for this breed due to its high level of energy and endurance.

Last Updated on September 20, 2023

Have you noticed that a Norwegian Elkhound been able to make it on your top list for the next dog to consider as a family pet? Let’s take a look at the details you’ll need to determine if they’re the perfect dog for your needs. We will cover everything plus more. From their playful wild and loving personality to their fitness requirements and intelligence.

Norwegian Elkhounds are smart and independent. They are affectionate, playful and welcoming to families. When you are welcoming them to your home, it is important to be aware of their peculiarities because while they’re lovely but they’re not suitable for every family.

The breed is also known by its name, the “Moose” Dog. While they’re called Elkhounds, they’re not actually hounds. Find out if this breed is your new family member.

Norwegian Elkhound

Breed History

The Norwegian Elkhound was born in Norway. Their name is Norweigian is “moose,” which is the way they are described in Norway as their home country. His exact origin information is not known, however evidence suggests that the breed could be present from 5000 BCE. It is possible to trace him to around a thousand years ago.

Vikings utilized this breed for protect as well as hunt. They guarded herds, flocks and even homes. They also hunted large game like bears and moose. They weren’t always employed to kill prey, but rather to alert hunters. They would initially track the prey, and then hold the animal in its place with barks until the hunter arrived to take the animal to slaughter. Norwegian Elkhounds continue to be used in their original role as hunting dogs in the present. But, this smart dog is now more of an everyday companion rather instead of a hunter. Elkhounds are a common feature in Norwegian society.


The dogs are loved and affectionate. They are loyal as well as loyal family members. In keeping with their natural nature they are guard dogs. They are guard dogs by nature and will bark when an intruder crosses. Barking is also a part of their nature. Training can reduce the barking, however they’ll continue to be a barker. Barking is an aspect to take into consideration when deciding if the Elkhound is your new companion.

Because they are extremely smart, they can be an independent and free thinker. This makes them enjoyable and thrilling. However, if they are not subjected to the family’s standards and rules, they could become exuberant. Socialization and training can be helpful for this intelligent child.

Inscribing him into the puppy kindergarten class can be a fantastic beginning. Socialization at an early age through the exposure to various people and sounds, sights, and experiences, can aid the puppy in developing social abilities.

Size And Appearance

Norway’s Elkhound is a sturdy, medium-sized dog. Males are about 20.5 inches in height and weigh 55 pounds, while females average approximately 19.5 inches high and weigh 48 pounds. They sport deep brown eyes, and large ears which are straight. They sport a gorgeous silver-gray coat that has the tail curving across their backs. They are available in a variety of colors.

Coat And Colors

The Elkhound is typically medium gray, with silver and black, often called silver-gray. There are also variations like black and gray or black and silver Silver and white, gray, and gray and black. They are generally more dark grey on the backs, and are black on their ears and the tail. Their chest and their mane are a lighter gray.

The majority of the time, Elkhounds do not shed a lot. However, about two or three times per time, they will blow out their coats. In these instances they shed lots. There will be fur all over the place, which is something to think about when selecting a dog. It is recommended to brush them every week or more often to make the dead fur to come out particularly when they shed their coat. Brushing can also make shed easier to manage.

Exercise Requirements

The dogs require regular exercise of minimum 30 minutes at least two times a every day. They are high-energy dogs who are prone to running and chasing If their energy levels are not sated it can cause them to be destructive in their homes. Be careful when letting them go off-leash because they could chase small animals that attract their interest.

If you’re looking to test the sport of your Elkhound to play dog sport, you could think about flyball, freestyle, guarding, tracking, or sledding. They excel in these activities and appreciate the intense training.

Living Conditions

Elkhounds are able to live in the same house as in an apartment. If the home has an outdoor space, it must be secured. They are a lot of fun to chase and are easily distracted by animals that are passing through. They are able to live in an apartment, but they can bark, so that’s something to think about. Whatever the case, ensure that they are getting enough exercise and don’t stay in a confined space all daytime.

They are able to be housed with children as well as other pets. It is best to be wary of small pets since they may trigger their hunting instincts. Socialization early and exposure to animals of smaller size will aid in keeping their inclinations at bay.


Independent and intelligent, these pups will attempt to rule the world when you allow them to. They see themselves as equals with you , not members who must obey. This makes training challenging. Inscribing them into puppy classes can begin the process. They’ll be able to comprehend the instructions well, but doubt the necessity to repeat them and follow them. If you’re consistent, firm, and patient, they’ll comply by completing the chain of command.


Norwegian Elkhounds can be typically healthy however they can be susceptible to certain health issues. Your Elkhound may not be affected by any of these conditions. However, it is important to be aware of them to ensure his health particularly if you are considering this breed as your future pet.

  • The Fanconi Syndrome:Fanconi Syndrome is an extremely serious, genetic kidney disease caused by the inefficient transport of nutrients and water back to the body. Because the body is unable to absorb the nutrition, the nutrients are destroyed. This could cause imbalances in vital nutrients like sodium, glucose, calcium as well as phosphate and amino acids. The imbalance or deficiency of nutrients could cause severe damage to your health and wellbeing of the Elkhound. The symptoms can start at ages 1-7. Most often, it starts with frequent thirst and urination. As the disease progresses , and the kidneys begin to fail, the symptoms can include the loss of weight, muscular wasting muscles pain, fatigue, weight loss, and nausea. If left untreated or not detected the condition is fatal. If it is caught in the early stages and properly treated, pets will be healthy. Treatment includes medications, changes of diet and a continuous supply of freshwater.
  • Hypothyroidism: Hypothyroidism can be described as a thyroid condition. It is a condition that occurs when the body fails to produce enough thyroid hormone to allow the body to perform normally. Symptoms include weight gain, lethargy, hair loss, behavioral changes, etc. It may also cause other health issues, such as hyperpigmentation, epilepsy, pyoderma or eye problems, as well as weight gain. If diagnosed, hypothyroidism may be treated with a regular hormone supplement and a healthy diet.
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA): Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) is an inherited disease that causes degeneration of both cone and rod type Photoreceptor cells of the Retina which can lead to complete and partial blindness. The unfortunate thing is that Norway Elkhounds have a higher risk than all other breeds to suffer from this disease. There is no curefor this condition, however, dogs are able to adapt to losing vision. Genetic tests can tell whether your dog is susceptible towards prA.
  • Sebaceous Cysts Sebaceous cysts look like pimple-like bumps which form under the skin of a dog. Sebaceous cysts may develop when sebum blocks the pores of the skin as well as hair follicles. Sebum, which is oily compound which keeps the fur looking shiny. Oil glands that are blocked can cause small to large pimples on the skin of dogs. Sometimes, they will burst open and release a thick, white, cheesy liquid. The majority of the time, these cysts are harmless however, they have to be treated in order to prevent infections. Treatment may include the use of medicines at home, or removal surgically.


The recommended amount of food to feed the Elkhound can be between 2 and 2.5 cups of premium dry food every day. The amount of food he eats will be based on the size of the dog, his age as well as his build and the level of activity. It is recommended to divide the food in two portions. Be careful with table foods and other meals since they could lead to obesity.


The Elkhound is two coats that includes a top coat as well as the underneath coat. The topcoat is thin and thick, and is smooth. The undercoat is soft and woolly to the feel. In the shedding season the undercoat sheds and shed fur all over the home. Every day, a five-minute brushing can help keep the shed going. The topcoat sheds too, but not as often than the lower coat.

The Norwegian Elkhound is a dog that does not possess much of an odor.. It is recommended to take a shampooing and grooming session every two to three times per year is enough. Baths can help dead and worn-out coats fall out, so that fresh healthy, healthy hair will grow. If you bathe your dog it is important to make sure you use a the best dog shampoo available.

Clean the Elkhound teeth at minimum twice or three times per week to get rid of tartar and the bacterial buildup that it contains. Brushing daily is better to prevent bad breath and gum disease.

The grooming of your ear and nails is essential to the overall health of your dog’s ears. Cut nails at least once every month, and examine ears every week. Be aware of any odors or the appearance of redness.

Make sure your dog is familiar with being groomed and groomed as an infant. Play with his feet, and he will feel at ease with his paws being handled. Certain dogs are apprehensive about touching their paws, therefore, the sooner you can get comfortable with having your hands touched, the more comfortable. Additionally, begin looking into the mouth of your dog and get used to examining and brushing. Because they are food-lovers and treats, offering them sweets can help them associate grooming as a positive experience. It can be enjoyable and satisfying.

Breeders And Puppy Costs

An excellent place to begin your research into breeders is The Norwegian Elkhound Association of America. The price is contingent on a variety of aspects, such as pedigree, lineage, experience of the breeder and proximity to the breeder, as well as the method of delivery. The cost of puppies typically ranges between $750 and $950.

Be cautious of discounts or bargains. The lower cost at the beginning could mean more expensive costs later on. Certain breeders might not correctly check for medical issues or make them socialized enough.

When you are preparing for the arrival of your puppy Also consider the cost of puppy supplies such as food, toys, and medical costs. In addition, you might require puppy-proofing your home and your yard.

Rescues And Shelters

These rescue groups can be a great way to begin the adoption process.

As Family Pets

Norwegian Elkhounds love being with their families. They are highly loving and loyal. Elkhounds are known to bond closely with their family members. They love to play and are a great participant in fun activities. But, they might not be a fan of toys. Because they are individuals They are likely to not return the ball to the game of fetch.

Elkhounds are excellent when it comes to children. They love playing with children and are also guardians of them. They must be socialized early in order to be comfortable being with children. The owners must also remain firm and consistent with smart puppies. If they are not, they could take on the position of an alpha particularly with children. Training can aid in establishing the ground rules and boundaries.

The Norwegian Elkhound is a great companion alongside other pet breeds, however, owners must be cautious with pets that are smaller. They are naturally chasers and are prone to chase smaller animals. The interaction with pets from an early age can be helpful in establishing these bonds.

Final Thoughts

It is said that the Norwegian Elkhound is a lively loving, intelligent and gentle dog. He is an enduring and loyal pet. The beauty of this breed requires owners to be firm but loving. They should be aware of the need for regular physical exercise and mental stimulation however, bathing requirements are not too much. Like any pet you are considering joining your family, it’s recommended to know the most possible about your breed as well as what they require. The addition of a dog to your family is a lengthy commitment. You’ll want to make sure that you make the best choice for your family as well as the dog.

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