The Norwegian Elkhound is one of the members of the Spitz family of dog breeds. The dogs that belong to this family are Akita, Alaskan Malamute, Shar Pei, Chow Chow, Welsh Corgi, and Pomeranian.
These spitz-type breeds are believed to have originated from Northern Asia. The most common features are pointed ears and muzzles, tightly curled tails with long and thick coats. Read on this detailed guide to get a full profile of the Norwegian Elkhound breed’s history and traits.
Norwegian Elkhound History
As the name indicates, the Norwegian Elkhound has its roots in Norway and Scandinavia. It is an ancient breed with remains dating back to 5000 B.C. Since then, these dogs have served as true all-purpose dogs. They guarded farms, hunted elk and other animals, and herded flocks since the Vikings.
This dog breed doesn’t exactly resemble the sleek, droopy-eared hounds of the south. Instead, they are excellent scent trailing dogs as their main skill as a working dog is as a scent-hound.
Historically, the Norwegian Elkhound mix employed tracking abilities to hunt moose or a bear. His main role in hunting was to find the prey and hold it at bay by barking. With this, the hunter could arrive to kill the animal.
Moreover, after the Norwegian Hunters Association held its first dog show in 1877, this moose dog became a breed of interest. Following this, breeders started to create a breed standard to shape Norwegian Elkhounds into serious competitors.
Similarly, the breed also gained the public’s attention when President Hoover was given an Elkhound as a gift from Norway. It was in appreciation for his help in World War I. the American Kennel Club recognized this breed around 1930, and since then, the Norwegian Elkhound enjoyed popularity.
Their courage has also earned them a special place in the defense efforts of their native country. It was especially in the times of war where the Norwegian Defense Minister authorized all privately owned Norwegian Elkhounds.
Norwegian Elkhound Physical Attributes
The following are some common physical attributes of the Norwegian Elkhound.
The Norwegian Elkhound is a hardy gray hunting dog. Generally, it is a northern dog of medium size with a curled tail and prick ears.
The head is broad at the ears and is usually wedge-shaped, dry, and strong.
The eyes are also medium-sized, oval, and dark brown. The expressions are also keen and alert that indicates it is a courageous dog.
The ears of this breed are firm, erect, and set high. They are small but taller than their width at the base with pointed tips. They turn forward when the Norwegian Elkhound is alert and go back when he is relaxed.
Skull & Muzzle
The back of the skull and forehead is slightly arched. On the other hand, the muzzle is thickest at the base.
Nose & Lips
The nose is straight, parallel, and is of the same length as the skull. However, the lips are tightly closed with a scissor bite.
The neck is muscular and of medium length. The back is strong and straight from its high point to the tail.
The body is short and closely coupled with the rib cage, whereas the chest is broad and wide.
The tail of this dog breed is tightly curled with naturally thick and untrimmed hair. It carried over the back.
Legs & Paws
The legs are straight, parallel, and of medium length. Nevertheless, the paws are comparatively smaller and oval with thick pads.
The coat of the Norwegian Elkhounds is thick, hard, and smooth lying. It is weather-resistant and made up of a soft, dense, woolly undercoat. It is also short and even on ears, legs, head but longer at the back, neck, and tail.
The coat is usually gray with a light silver undercoat at the legs, stomach, and tail. This gray color is darker at the saddle and lighter on the chest. Furthermore, the ears, muzzle, and tail tips are black. There are also brown and yellow shading with white patches and irregular markings on the lower legs and eyes.
Norwegian Elkhound Temperament and Personality
The Norwegian Elkhound husky mix is an energetic, bold, playful, reliable, fearless, and extremely loyal companion. This breed is a little bit reserved around strangers, but they will greet other family members. They are always ready for adventure, especially when it takes place outdoors in a cold climate.
Like other northern-type dogs, the Norwegian Elkhound is relatively an independent dog. This independence is necessary when the dog has to hold on to an elk at bay until the human arrives to kill. However, it can be a challenge when it comes to modern obedience training.
The watchdog talents of the Elkhound can be evident with its tendency to bark more than some other breeds do. But this intelligent and affectionate animal does best in the family with well-behaved children or no children at all. Furthermore, avoid this breed to live with small pets as they may consider them as prey.
Norwegian Elkhound Care and Grooming
Follow the below-given tips to groom your Norwegian Elkhound puppy.
The Norwegian Elkhound is typically a clean breed in terms of its coat that naturally expels debris. It does not smell too doggish and requires a bathing session when it is necessary. However, keep in mind to use a high-quality dog shampoo while bathing.
Norwegian Elkhounds do shed a lot. They have a thick double coat that usually sheds moderately throughout the year. However, there are two or three times a year when this breed sheds a lot and can last for up to a month. For this, they require weekly brushing.
Brush the teeth of the Norwegian Elkhound at least twice or thrice a week to get rid of tartar and the bacteria. But it is better to brush the teeth daily to prevent bad breath and gum disease.
Trim the nails once and twice a month. If you hear them clicking on the floor, they are too long. Ask a professional vet or groomer to cut the dog toenails.
Check the ears of this dog breed weekly for bad odor or redness It can be a sign of infection. Therefore, wipe them out with a cotton ball dampened with a pH ear cleaned.
Nose, Mouth & Eyes
Check for rashes, sores, or any other signs of infection. It may include tenderness, redness, or inflammation on the skin, mouth, nose, eyes, or feet. The eyes must be clear with no discharge.
Crate training benefits the Norwegian Elkhound and ensures that the dog does not have accidents in the house. Similarly, it will also help the dog at a young age to accept confinement and does not get into things he should not.
Never stick your dog in a crate all day long as it is not jail. He should only spend a few hours in it as they are people dogs, and don’t like to lock up in a crate or kennel.
Perfect Household and Living Conditions
Norwegian Elkhound puppies can adjust in all apartments. Nevertheless, he is a barker, so it is more suitable to have a home with a fenced yard. Thus, because of being hardy, he can live both indoors and outdoors. Similarly, this breed prefers to live in cold weather as they have a very low tolerance for heat.
This breed is prone to obesity. Thus, it requires daily exercise or dog sports to burn off energy and maintain a healthy body weight. The Norwegian Elkhound breeders usually recommend the exercise or walk of around 30 minutes twice a day throughout his life.
They are also excellent for other big games like agility, swimming, hiking, and jogging. You can use puzzle toys to burn off the excess energy of your Norwegian Elkhound while you are at work.
Diet & Nutrition
Your Norwegian Elkhound dogs are big foodies, but they are not that picky. It means that the pet requires a nutritious moderate diet to prevent the risk of obesity. For this, you should see the dog’s waistline, hip bones, and ribs to notice any signs of obesity.
These dogs may require bigger servings and more protein. The recommended daily amount of food must be divided into two meals. The best diet consists of well-balanced formula with a meat-based protein such as fish, beef, and poultry. Also, provide him with fruits and vegetables to absorb essential vitamins and nutrients.
Lastly, consult the vet so that he can recommend you high-quality dry dog food or a home-cooked diet.
Norwegian Elkhound Health Problems
Generally, Norwegian Elkhound is a healthy breed, but it is also prone to certain health problems. Not all of them get these diseases, but the pet parents need to be aware of them.
If you are planning to buy a puppy, prefer to find a good breeder who will show you health clearances. It shows that the dog has been tested or cleared for specific conditions.
Below are the health problems that Norwegian Elkhound might suffer from.
It is an inherited condition that affects the tubules and kidneys that reabsorb substances. It causes improper levels of glucose, calcium, sodium, phosphate, and amino acids. Moreover, this disease occurs in dogs that usually ages from one to seven years.
The major symptoms include excessive urination, weight loss, muscle pain, lethargy, loss of appetite, and thirst. If it is diagnosed at early stages, the affected dogs can be treated well; else, the disease can be fatal. The vet may recommend certain medications, changes in diet, and excessive use of freshwater to treat the disease.
It is a disorder involving the thyroid gland. This condition leads to the conditions like epilepsy, dog hair loss, obesity, hip dysplasia, lethargy, hyperpigmentation, pyoderma, and other skin diseases. Furthermore, hypothyroidism is treated with the help of diet and medication.
In this condition, follicular cysts build up under the dog’s skin. It can range in size from small to large and can sometimes burst open. However, surgery is required to treat this issue.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)
It is a condition that involves certain eye diseases and can lead to deterioration of the retina. At the early stages, the dogs might become night blind, but as it progresses, the dog also loses sight during the day. The affected dogs can do well with their lost vision unless the surroundings remain the same.
Norwegian Elkhound for Sale
A Norwegian Elkhound price ranges between $700-$1,500 with an average cost of $995. The expenses in the first year are around $3,545 and will reach about $1,505 per year. Moreover, the average price of owning this breed is $23,110 throughout the year.
It covers all the essentials that include training costs, supplies, medical expenses, food, treats, grooming, and other health licenses. With all this, the total cost of owning this dog can reach $70,595 and $142,105 for 14 years.
The cost to buy this dog breed varies and largely depends on the following factors.
- Breeder’s location
- Breeder’s reputation
- Litter size
- The lineage of the puppy
- Breed’s popularity
- Breed lines
- Socialization efforts
Norwegian Elkhound Interesting Facts
Here are some interesting facts about the Norwegian Elkhound dog breed.
Norwegian Elkhound Pros and Cons
The following are some important pros and cons to consider before buying this dog breed.
- Norwegian Elkhound is a fearless dog breed.
- They have excellent sight and hearing.
- They are extremely loyal and people-friendly dogs.
- They do not grow to be very large dogs.
- This breed does not go well with other pets.
- They are not a hypoallergenic breed.
- They usually bark loudly.
- These dogs are difficult to train.
Norwegian Elkhound as an Emotional Support Animal
Most people often purchase this breed without any clear understanding and knowledge. If you are wondering how to get an emotional support animal and want to buy a black Norwegian Elkhound, always consider a reputable breeder.
A good way is to ask seeing a puppy with a mother, where they were born and reared. If the breeder refuses due to any reason, there is a possibility that they are not likely a reputable one. Moreover, you can also adopt a dog from Norwegian Elkhound rescue groups.
This breed is one of the most affectionate dogs that make wonderful family members. They go well with children. However, they can be suspicious towards strangers and mostly act like perfect watchdogs.
Such qualities make Norwegian Elkhound an ideal emotional support animal for mentally and emotionally disabled individuals. It is really hard to find a more loyal companion than these dogs.
Thus, to adopt them as your support animal, get a valid ESA letter from a mental health provider. If you need a letter urgently, contact us at RealESALetter.com now.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do Norwegian Elkhounds like to swim?
Yes, Norwegian Elkhounds enjoy swimming. It is considered a great way to help them cool down during hot summers.
Are Norwegian Elkhounds endangered?
Yes, the Norwegian Elkhound population is so low indicating that their future is at risk. The factors like animal rights, mandatory spay, and legislation limiting dog breeding have affected these dogs.
Can you shave a Norwegian Elkhound?
No, you should not shave a Norwegian Elkhound because their outer coat protects them from rain and snow. It also helps to regulate body temperature.