The Norwegian Elkhound
Have you ever heard of the Norwegian elk-hound? This dog stands about 52cm high and weighs up to 24kg (52 pounds). Its coat is made up of two layers, an underlying smooth coat and an overlying protective coat. The colors of the Elkhound are grey, white, and black. They also have curled tails, are medium sized and extremely hardy. The Norwegian elkhound is a very ancient breed. It was developed over 6,000 years ago to help Scandinavians hunt big game such as moose and bear. Some remains of the dogs that have been found in Norway have been dated back as far as 4000-5000 BC. Towards the end of the 19th century the breed came to England, and in 1901 The Kennel Club officially recognized it. Norwegian Elkhounds are bred for hunting large game, like wolf, bear, and moose. They have a strong drive, and have been known for going through a plate-glass window when motivated. They also have an inseparable bond with their masters, and are extremely loyal. Their sharp loud bark make them suitable as guard dogs as well. Elkhounds make a good family dog. They are bold, playful, independent, alert, boisterous and protective. The dog is ready for adventure, and is really happy when the adventure takes them outside in cold weather. It needs daily exercise and requires good leash training so they won’t pull you. The dog is friendly with strangers, but may fight with strange dogs. Training them could be a challenge because of their intelligence and deep independent streaks.
Unfortunately, Elkhounds sometimes carry a genetic predisposition to suffer from progressive retinal atrophy, hip dysphasia, renal problems, and cysts. However, overall, they are a hearty breed with few health problems. They are powerful animals, bred to hunt in cold climates, and require plenty of exercise. They are also prone to rapid weight gain, and must never be overfed. They have a lifespan of 10-12 years.
By heritage member Irene Davis
12 years old