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Norwegian Elkhound or Elkhound - Discover every aspect of this breed

Cazador de alces noruego o Elkhound - Descubre cada aspecto de esta raza

Lobo Azul |

Energy, loyalty and tenacity are what define one of the best-known dogs in the canine world, the Norwegian Elkhound . The hunting skills and excellent athletic abilities have positioned this canine as one of the favorites of society, beyond its country of origin.

  • Medium size .
  • Weight : Up to 27kg.
  • Hair type : First layer soft and second layer dense.
  • Character : Loyal, loving and excellent companions
  • Health : Healthy and strong.
  • Life expectancy : Between 10 and 12 years.

The history of these dogs has interesting aspects, one of which stands out the most is accompanying the Vikings on different boats. In addition to its growth as an increasingly sought-after hunting dog.

But that's not all, the temperament and physical characteristics of the Norwegian elk hunter have been another notable attribute among other breeds. A loyal, energetic and fun dog, ideal as an excellent pet . Combined with its imposing and striking appearance.

Do you want to know more about this canine? Be sure to read the article below. Discover why it is one of the most interesting breeds today.

Origin of the Norwegian elk hunter

Also known as Elkhound, these spitz-type dogs originate from Norway, where it is presumed that they took their first steps in the practice of hunting. In fact, the name of these dogs refers to the country of origin and their specialty , big game hunting, which in this country refers to elk.

The mountains of Norway were home to the canines of this breed, whose history is believed to be much older than is known. Different archaeological discoveries have been made in which fossils of the body of specimens with characteristics identical to those of this dog were located in Viking vessels of the time.

That is to say, there is a possibility that these canines were the ones who accompanied the Vikings on their long journeys.

As time went by, the recognition of this animal became greater and greater. Firstly, because of their undeniable ability to hunt elk and other animals such as badgers, pumas, bears and lynxes, among others.

And, secondly, their popularity grew because they are excellent companion dogs, which has been demonstrated by their wonderful character. Both aspects made him the owner of a privileged position in different homes in Norway.

Later, the breed spread to other territories until it became one of the most recognized in the world. Although it is still a hunting dog, it is currently more used as a companion dog , especially in large families, where it receives everyone's attention.

Elkhound Physical Characteristics

Its physical characteristics make it seen as an imposing dog with great presence . It is no wonder, since it is a canine with a robust body structure.

Its square build provides it with a solid but light body to move quickly in search of its prey. It has thick and formidable legs, which give it the appearance of a truly strong and very agile canine.

Weight and size

In relation to weight, these dogs are quite pronounced. Males can reach up to 27 kilograms, while females usually do not exceed 25 kg in weight.

In stature, these animals are described as medium to large. Well, the height at the withers, in the case of females, is between 45 and 50 centimeters, while males average between 45 and 55 cm.

In some cases, the body builds of dogs are so similar that their sex is not a way to distinguish them.


The skull is robust and strong. Its head has a wedge shape that becomes smaller towards the nose, ending with a slightly tapered frontal appearance. His nose is black, medium in size. While his eyes are dark in color, almond-shaped.

The ears are medium-sized, triangle-shaped, thin and not so pronounced. They are always in an upright position, which gives them an image of being permanently attentive.


Like the ears, its tail is set high, thin and noticeably long. It generally appears thicker than it really is due to the dense layer of hair that surrounds it.


These dogs belong to the types of breeds with two coats. The first is soft, similar to wool, and dense, which keeps it protected from cold and heat, as the case may be. While the outer layer is even thicker, longer, smooth and rough.

Especially in its country of origin, these two layers are very useful, since low temperatures can be an important enemy for this breed.

In relation to the color of its coat, the Elkhound is characterized by not having much variation. A scale of shades of gray is what distinguishes these canines. In areas such as the chest and legs, it may be mixed with the black color, presenting some spots.

While on the muzzle and ears it can be even darker, without leaving the only color accepted by the standard (gray).

Elkhound Character

In addition to its beauty and simplicity in physical appearance that make it an attractive canine, its true strength is its unique character.

These are very active dogs. His behavior is mainly endowed with incomparable energy, in addition to remarkable attention. He is always attentive to any situation, which gives him great value as a guard dog. At the same time it enhances their hunting skills.

On the other hand, they are loyal, loving animals and excellent companions. Although they can be jealous and appear imposing if they feel that someone is invading their space. However, they are not aggressive dogs.

The issue of coexistence with this breed is not a matter of concern. They are very sociable dogs , both with people outside their immediate circle and with other dogs. However, we must remember that we are talking about an animal intended for hunting. That is, the presence of smaller animals can enhance their hunting instinct and initiate a fast chase.

That is why, although these are sociable dogs, it is necessary to adopt training rules aimed at avoiding this behavior.

Now, dealing with children is ultimately what should be highlighted. It is an energetic dog, so it will be an excellent company for the little ones in the house, who will enjoy playing games next to these dogs.

As if that were not enough, they are excellent protectors, so they will keep children away from danger.

Although it is an independent dog, it will always need a space to rest, move and release accumulated energy; These specimens require attention from their owners. Especially in topics such as walking, otherwise you could feel trapped and adopt negative behavior.

Elkhound Training

As we have mentioned previously, these are attentive dogs, so their education can be easy in terms of understanding and retention. However, we detail that it is a strong and independent animal, so the way in which it should be trained should be considered important.

If the dog feels that commands are being given inappropriately, it will not feel comfortable and the process will not yield the expected results. That is, conventional training does not work favorably with these canines.

It is important, mainly, to start training at a very early age. The first three weeks of the canine's life will be enough for it to begin practicing the aspects related to its education.

On the other hand, consistency is essential. Because, if continuous training is not carried out, the dog will be rebellious to the sporadic practice of any teaching.

Socialization is a key point in the training of these animals . It is necessary that this dog be trained to coexist with people and animals outside its circle. In this way, unnecessary persecutions can be avoided.

A key aspect in the education of these canines is that they are sweet-toothed animals, they love snacks. This aspect can contribute to its training, because by basing it on positive reinforcement, the dog will receive a treat for each order completed , thus it will feel motivated and the process will be carried out favorably.

Respect, motivation and continuous effort are key elements in your training. This will establish a relationship of trust with the canine, which will make it feel comfortable and perform the assigned tasks, as long as it is done appropriately.

On the contrary, if they feel attacked, this dog can respond negatively and, although they are not usually aggressive, they will protect themselves if they feel that shouting or violence in training puts them in danger.

It is important that the training of these canines does not exceed 15 to 20 minutes a day, as this can lead to fatigue on the part of the canine and performance would decrease considerably.

Maintaining a slow but progressive pace will be the most appropriate way to educate the Norwegian Elkhound correctly.


He is a fortunately healthy and remarkably strong dog. These are canines whose life expectancy usually exceeds 12 to 15 years, enjoying a perfect state of health.

Hereditary diseases are not part of this dog breed, since the vast majority are healthy and robust specimens. This is one more reason why it is also a favorite breed.

Although it is rare, skin diseases can appear in your life on some occasions. This is because due to its dense coat, it is likely that the coat will not be properly maintained and traces of dirt will remain.

However, this can be avoided with proper care to maintain the favorable health and well-being of this dog breed.


Although it is true that it is one of the healthiest dog breeds, care is not enough. Well, to a large extent, the well-being and strength of these dogs will depend on them.

If we want our furry companion to remain healthy for a long time, it is important to follow some simple but essential care .


If there is one aspect that must be taken care of, it is food. As mentioned in previous paragraphs, these are dogs that love treats. But this does not mean that the consumption of them should be exceeded, as it can cause obesity or other stomach diseases.

It is important to moderate the intake of snacks and also promote good nutrition by providing balanced, quality feed .


Exercise is as important as diet. This will not only help these canines stay healthy, but will also allow them to drain the large amount of energy that is building up in their body.

It is essential to provide daily walks, at least three times a day for up to 1 hour. Also combining them with exercises and games will allow you to maintain your physical condition and also a healthy mental condition.

If these processes are not carried out, the dog could adopt negative behavior.


To avoid skin infections, coat care, bathing and hygiene are of great importance. Brushing the coat of these dogs should be done at least 3 times a week thoroughly.

This will help dispose of all the waste that is stored in its dense coat of hair.

For its part, baths should be done only when strictly necessary, this is because it is not advisable to exceed the number of baths. It can be carried out up to once every two months if really necessary.

Medical checks

An aspect that should not be left aside is the strict medical control for these canines. Complying with vaccination and deworming schedules will help strengthen your immune system and also eliminate any possible disease from the body.


Without a doubt, one of the most complete and attractive breeds is this one. Both for their hunting skills and their exemplary behavior, they will make you enjoy unparalleled company at all times.

This dog breed has different attributes that make it worthy of a place in any home. However, it is important that the person who decides to adopt it has enough space and time to dedicate to the walks that these dogs require.

Consider each of the aspects indicated in this article to determine if it is the pet that you and your family want to have.

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