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Norwegian Elkhound

Good points

  • Good household pet
  • Odourless
  • Reliable with children Sensible guard

Take heed

  • Needs firm but gentle discipline in puppyhood

The Elkhound is a happy breed, loyal and devoted to its master, reliable with children. It has a great love of the outdoors, IS energetic, and is not recommended for those unable to provide exercise.


Height at shoulder dog 20V2in (52cm); bitch 19V2in (49.5cm). Weight: dog 50lb (22.7kg); bitch 431b (19.5kg).


Needs plenty of exercise.


Frequent brushing and combing.


Thirteen-200z (369-587g) of a branded, meaty product with biscuit added in equal part by volume, or 1%-3 cupfuls of a dry food, complete diet, mixed in the proportion of 1 cup of feed to ’12 cup of hot or cold water.

Origin and history

The job of the Elkhound was to seek out elk and hold them at bay until its master moved in for the kill. It has existed in Norway for centuries but was not considered a show prospect until 1877, the year in which the Norwegian Hunters’ Association first held a show.

Today’s Elkhound has been tailored to meet the ideal decided upon by various Scandinavian clubs and societies. When other Spitz breeds fell by the wayside, a Norwegian breed standard emerged for this national breed.


General appearance. It has a compact and proportionately short body, a coat thick and abundant but not bristling and prick ears; tail tightly curled over back.

Colour. Grey of various shades with black tips to the Ion;) outer coat; lighter on the chest, stomach and legs, and the underside of the tail. Any distinctive variation from the grey colour is most undesirable, and too dark or too light a colouring should be avoided. Pronounced markings on legs and feet are also not desirable.

Head and skull. Broad between the ears; the forehead and back of the head are slightly arched with a clearly marked but not large stop. Muzzle moderately long, broader at the base and gradually tapering ­ whether seen from above or from the side – but not pointed; bridge of the nose straight, jaw strong with lips tightly closed.

Tail. Set high, tightly curled over the back but not carried on either side; hair thick and close.

Feet. Compact, oval in shape and not turned outwards; toes tightly closed; toenails firm and strong.