Norwegian Elkhound Information

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(Norsk Elghund Gra) (Norsk Elghund Sort) The Norwegian Elkhound is an arctic breed with many wolf like characteristics.  Starting off is this breed’s large round and long rectangular muzzle.  On their large head are two small round eyes that are bright and full of expression.  Sitting on top of their head are two huge bat-like ears.  A thick furry neck leads to their broad shoulders and a deep chest.  Round, very small feet sit at the bottom of medium length muscular legs.  On their back is their tail which is curled up into a ball and looks similar to many other spitz breeds’ tails.  A thick double-coat covers their body and is extremely fluffy especially on their tail and neck.  Their coat color does not vary because they have one standard color which is a gray top coat with a light under-coat and many black markings.

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The Norwegian Elkhound is an arctic breed with many wolf like characteristics. It has a large, round, long muzzle. It's eyes are small, round and bright with expression. Its ears are bat- like. Its head sits upon a thick, furry neck that leads to broad shoulders and a deep chest. Its legs are medium in length and very muscular. Its feet are small. Its tail is curled to the point that it curves back upon itself. It resembles the tail of a Spitz. A thick double coat covers its body. Its coat is very soft and fluffy. This breed comes in one standard color which is a gray top coat, lighter undercoat and many black marketings patching the body of the dog.

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The Norwegian Elkhound is a sweet and loving dog with a sometimes stubborn nature.  Family members and people they know will get lots of love and affection.  However, strangers will be completely ignored.  This breed commonly works with other dogs so they are usually friendly with them.  Some Norwegian Elkhounds are aggressive towards same-sex dogs.  With small pets, the dogs should be tested because some Norwegian Elkhounds do fine with small animals while others don’t.  Like Siberian Huskies or Alaskan Malamutes, this breed is very independent and hard to train but can be trained if the owner is tough but still sweet.  One major problem this breed has is that it will often bark nonstop sometimes.

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18 – 21 inches
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40 – 60 pounds
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General Health

The Norwegian Elkhound has several diseases that are common, including pyotraumatic dermatitis, hip dysplasia, PRA, and Fanconi syndrome.  This breed is also prone to obesity and their food intake should be watched carefully.  This is a fairly long living breed with a 12-15 year life expectancy.

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Norwegian Elkhounds have been around since at least 5000 BC.  They were first used in area of Norway and Sweden to help humans hunt big game.  They later became adept at hunting smaller game, such as badgers, too.  Because of their intelligence, Norwegian Elkhounds are able to pull sleds, go to war for Norway, and even provide companionship to their family.  The breed was first shown in 1877 and was recognized by the AKC in 1930.

Norwegian Elkhounds were imported to the us in the early 1900's. They are protective and are sometimes used as home protection dogs.

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Grooming a dog with this much hair may seem like a challenge but their coat really is simple to groom.  Brushing should be done a couple times a week but while the breed is shedding it should be done once a day.  Even though a lot of brushing is needed, rarely any bathing is needed because it removes natural oils which are important.  They have a wonderful coat which is resistant to dirt and water plus they never have a bad smell like many dogs do.  Exercise is essential for an arctic breed because of their strong working background.  They should get intense exercise everyday, usually involving running.

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Ideal Environment

The Norwegian Elkhound loves its family and friends and usually does well with all animals.  However strangers will not be greeted in a friendly way, just ignored.  This breed is not good for owners with little time for exercise or training.  Apartment life is okay for this breed, but exercise is still required or this dog will be uncontrollable and bored.  The Norwegian Elkhound is great for people who do not want a smelly dog but not good for people who dislike lots of fur on their clothes and furniture.

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Dog Training!

If you're having problems training your dog or getting control, you should read our review of Adam will do whatever it takes to help you whip your dog into shape. I've used them to help with my Great Dane as well as help friends train their dogs. It's the first place I go to help answer users Questions. Many training issues are too extensive to answer in this forum, which is why I refer a lot of the load to his site. Update: I've been using and recommending DogProblems for three years now. I, as well as my users, value the techniques we've learned. I get weekly emails from users who have become better owners from the information they received.

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Norwegian Elkhound Q&A

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How is this dog with cats???

we have had three elkhounds over twenty years, with our first we had a cat he was fine but would try and chase cats outside. Our female is fine with all cats even if we visit friends with cats. Our last dog was not keen at all but at the time we did not have a cat so this was not a problem. The breed like to hunt so will chase a cat if it moves but with careful introduction there will not be a problem, but each dog is different.


won't eat, my NE went to the vet 3 times in @ 2weeks can't find any thing wrong with her .Please help she hasn't ate in 3 days

Have they done any blood work? What were the results?


My elkhound is prone to sebaceous cysts. anyone have a treatment idea or similar problem?

This is a common condition with elkhounds and frequently causes little problem. They can become large and rupture, and sometimes become infected. Keeping the skin clean with regular bathing can help their frequency by keeping down the bacteria, dead skin cells, dirt and oils that can collect on the skin surface and clog the pores. Many people use topical diluted tea tree oil on the skin, be VERY careful to avoid eyes, mucous membranes or any open wounds. Often the contents can be expressed like a pimple, though this can be a bit painful for the dog especially if the area is inflamed. Ultimately, they can be easily removed with minor surgery. Hope this is helpful, Graafin G. Leeuwenburg Graafin Norwegian Elkhounds


Hey, Can someone please tell me what the ideal weight for a 7 month old male Elkhound is? I had my dog weighed and he's 22kg! Is he very overweight? Can't find much online to help me!

I'm not an expert, but I too have a 7 month old Norwegian elkhound. Mine weighs 20.5 kgs and is not overweight, so I'd say yours is probably at a good weight for his age. Check out my puppy's pictures at and see if you think yours is much larger than mine. I think that my puppy tends to be on the lean side for his breed.

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