The Norwegian Elkhound: A Complete Guide

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This Norwegian Elkhound is a gorgeous dog with a wolf-like face. He is smart and has a wonderful sense of humor.

He’ll race you right inside your own home and reverse directions at the last minute, and then he will howl as if laughing at your inability to catch up.

Before you decide to buy and bring home a Norwegian Elkhound, consider his fearless and active noisemaking strategy.

He’ll be fine in basic obedience, and he makes a great family dog. But understand clearly that pleasing you is not the highest item on his to-do list.

That’s what happens when you share your heart and home with an independent thinker.

If you want to motivate your Norwegian Elkhound in training and form a partnership, you’d better have a steady supply of treats on hand.

Norwegian Elkhounds are strong-willed enough that they can take over a home if they’re allowed. They love the dominant role. This can be a problem if they are not properly socialized and trained.

Naturally, they prefer a winter climate with lots of snow to play in. A true adventurer, the Norwegian Elkhound wants his adventure to occur outdoors.

If you’re not ready to give up the couch potato lifestyle, it’s best to consider a different breed. Norwegian Elkhounds are affectionate dogs who make devoted and wonderful family members.

They’re excellent with children and are terrific watchdogs, treating strangers with natural suspicion. They thrive on attention, and it’s hard to find a more loyal companion.

Norwegian Elkhound Puppies – Before You Buy…

A side view of the Norwegian Elkhound
The Norwegian Elkhound is typically of an unaggressive nature.

What Price are Norwegian Elkhound Puppies?

The price of the Norwegian Elkhound puppy is between $500 to $700.

How to Find Reputable Norwegian Elkhound Breeders?

Finding a good breeder is a great way to find the right puppy.

The right breeder will match you with the perfect puppy. He is more interested in placing puppies in the right homes than making big money.

They will also welcome your questions about temperament, health clearances, and what the dogs are like to live with.

They will have their own questions about what you’re looking for in a dog and what kind of life you will be able to provide for them.

Reputable breeders will have no problems telling you about the complete history of the dogs. They can explain why a puppy is not pet quality and why another is.

They will discuss what health problems affect the breed, as well as the steps that you need to take to avoid those problems.

Avoid buying puppies from breeders who only seem interested in making a quick buck.

Remember that buying a puppy from a website that offers to ship your dog to you immediately can be a risky venture.

Not only can you be buying from backyard breeders, but it also leaves you with no choice when the puppy you get is not exactly what you expected.

Whether you’re planning to get your new best friend from a breeder, a pet store, or another source, be careful of disreputable breeders.

Do not forget to ask your veterinarian, who can often refer you to a reputable breeder, breed rescue organization, or other reliable sources for healthy puppies.

3 Little-Known Facts About Norwegian Elkhound Puppies

  1. The Norwegian Elkhound was originally used to hunt moose and other big game.
  2. The name of this ancient breed is a complete misnomer. These dogs weren’t meant to hunt elk, and they aren’t hounds.
  3. Norsk Elghund means “moose dog” in Norwegian. Elch means “moose” in German. This can be the reason why there is confusion with its English name.

Physical Traits of the Norwegian Elkhound

A Norwegian Elkhound looking happily at you
The Norwegian Elkhound is highly smart and trainable.

The Norwegian Elkhound is a medium-sized, hardy, and squarely built dog designed to withstand cold weather and hunt for days at a time.

The double coat is gray on top with a lighter undercoat and underside. A heavy seasonal shed is standard. The ears, muzzle, and tail are black.

Like other northern-type dogs, the tail rolls curls over the back. The head is broad and wedge-shaped, and the ears stand erect atop the head.

The eyes are dark brown. Norwegian Elkhounds don’t need frequent baths because they don’t have the usual doggy odor.

They are blessed with dirt and water repellent coats.

Shedding can be seasonally heavier, which usually happens twice per year.

You won’t need to trim or clip the coat, but you’ll have to perform regular maintenance.

How Big is a Full-Grown Norwegian Elkhound?

Male Norwegian Elkhounds can be 19 to 21 inches at the shoulders and weigh 23 to 27 kilograms.

Females can grow to 18 to 20 inches and weigh 18 to 25 kilograms.

What is the Life Expectancy of the Norwegian Elkhound?

The life expectancy of the Norwegian Elkhound is 12 to 15 years.

Intelligence, Temperament and Personality Traits of the Norwegian Elkhound

The Norwegian Elkhounds are independent thinkers.

They are also extroverted clowns that like to be where the action is. They see themselves as coexisting with their humans and not necessarily underneath them in the chain of command.

They can be hard to train because of their independent streak, but they can get it if you’re firm and consistent.

If you’re not a firm person, however, this dog will walk all over you. While consistency is critical, harsh training methods don’t work well for these dogs.

He is very devoted and protective if not outright possessive of his family. He’s happiest to be with you all the time and dotes on your attention and interaction.

He makes an excellent watchdog, but he is never aggressive. Just his bark alone will provide a level of safety against intruders.

A Norwegian Elkhound is excellent with children and will play with and protect them.

The Norwegian Elkhound’s Diet

A Norwegian Elkhound in the snow
The Norwegian Elkhounds are strong-willed dogs.

While some owners spend a lot of time and effort in creating special meals for their dogs every day, all that is needed is avoiding harmful foods and including the right nutrients.

While many pet companies now offer breed-specific prepared dog food that is free of preservatives, artificial colors, and additives, the healthiest and least expensive option is the home-cooked diet.

Dry food can be occasionally given to your Norwegian Elkhound to keep his teeth clean and give his jaws some exercise.

Proper food sources for a given breed are those that are the same as the nutrients that were common in the diet of the ancestors of the breed.

This ensures that their digestive system is familiar with the nutrients that they take and is able to assimilate them.

For example, the ancestors of the Norwegian Elkhound originated in the Scandinavian country of Norway.

The meat fed to the Elkhounds in this area most likely came from animals, like elk, wolf, hare, bear, or lynx.

These land animals have relatively high body fat content. Furthermore, Elkhound ancestors were most likely fed a great deal of both freshwater and saltwater fish.

Dog dieticians recommend a diet high in animal fats and carbohydrates derived from potatoes or wheat.

Fresh beef and pork, along with equal amounts of fish, should be included regularly in their meals.

Refrain from adding white rice or soy products in their diet. Norwegian Elkhounds will benefit most from home-cooked and fresh diets.

You’ll be able to notice the beneficial effects of this healthy diet by observing how glossy and shiny your Norwegian Elkhound’s coat becomes when given the proper nutrition.

Not only will your Norwegian Elkhound look better, but he will also feel better and have fewer gastrointestinal problems.

How Much Exercise Does a Norwegian Elkhound Need?

Norwegian Elkhounds have a lot of energy and stamina. They do best with extended exercise.

Exercise your dog for more than 1 hour a day. But keep him on a leash or in an enclosed area because he may wander off out of curiosity or to follow a scent.

These dogs can do well in apartments if their exercise needs are met.

Norwegian Elkhound Health and Conditions

Health conditions that may be of concern for this breed include hip dysplasia. It’s one of the most common diseases seen in dogs.

It can also be prone to pyotraumatic dermatitis, a condition that’s seen in dogs with thicker coats. It causes inflammation and discomfort.

Norwegian Elkhounds can also be affected by glaucoma, hypothyroidism, Fanconi syndrome, retinal dysplasia, and progressive retinal atrophy

My Final Thoughts on the Norwegian ElkhoundThe front view of a Norwegian Elkhound

The people-loving Elkhound is inclined to be friendly to family and strangers alike.

He has a deep bark that will give intruders second thoughts, but only if they’re unfamiliar with the

Norwegian Elkhound’s typically unaggressive nature.

If he is brought up with children, the loving and good-natured Elkhound enjoys their company and can be a good playmate.

Remember that no dog is automatically good with kids.

An adult Norwegian Elkhound who is not experienced with children needs time to get used to their quick movements and shrill voices.

As with any dog, never leave a Norwegian Elkhound alone with young children, no matter how well he knows them or how gentle he seems.

Be prepared to teach him from an early age when it’s okay to bark and when to stop.

When you see the word ‘hound’ in a breed’s name, the first words that should come to mind are ‘independent’ and ‘stubborn’.

The Norwegian Elkhound is highly smart and trainable. He understands why you want him to do something, and he will be happy to comply.

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