A solid, sturdy hunter of elk, bear and other wild animals, the Norwegian Elkhound has a temperament that is dignified, independent and generally, friendly. A hardy silver-grey dog with distinctive saddle markings and medium in size and substance, the Norwegian Elkhound is not only know for its hunting ability but also for its versatility and stamina, which in rugged terrains remains unparalleled.
A Look Back
The Norwegian Elkhound comes down to us through more than six millennia with all his Nordic traits untainted. An ancient breed from Scandinavia, the Elkhound worked as a hunting and guard dog for the Vikings. The dogs tracked, encircled and held game such as bear and moose for the hunter. The breed was not shown until 1877, when the Norwegian Hunters’ Association held its first show.
Right Breed for You?
The Norwegian Elkhound is bold and energetic, an effective guardian yet normally friendly, and does well with children, especially when introduced to them at a young age. The Elkhound is a very people-oriented breed and does not like to be shut away from its family. The breed does requires regular exercise, but does not require elaborate grooming procedures.
If you are considering purchasing a Norwegian Elkhound puppy, learn more here.
© The American Kennel Club, Inc.
The Norwegian Elkhound is a hardy gray
Size, Proportion, Substance
Height at the withers for dogs is 20½ inches, for bitches 19½ inches. Weight for dogs about 55 pounds, for bitches about 48 pounds.
Square in profile and close coupled. Distance from brisket to ground appears to be half the height at the withers. Distance from forechest to rump equals the height at the withers. Bone is substantial, without being coarse.
Head broad at the ears, wedge shaped, strong and dry (without loose
Viewed from the side, the forehead and back of the skull are only slightly arched; the stop not large, yet clearly defined. The muzzle is thickest at the base and, seen from above or from the side, tapers evenly without being pointed. The bridge of the nose is straight, parallel to and about the same length as the skull. Lips are tightly closed and teeth meet in a scissors bite.
Neck, Topline, Body
Neck of medium length, muscular, well set up with a slight arch and with no loose skin on the throat. Topline--The back is straight and strong from its high point at the withers to the root of the tail. The body is short and close-coupled with the rib cage accounting for most of its length. Chest deep and moderately broad; brisket level with points of elbows; and ribs well sprung. Loin short and wide with very little tuck-up. Tail set high, tightly curled, and carried over the centerline of the back. It is thickly and closely haired, without brush. natural and untrimmed.
Shoulders sloping with elbows closely set on. Legs well under body and medium in length; substantial, but not coarse, in bone. Seen from the front, the legs appear straight and parallel. Single dewclaws are normally present. Feet--Paws comparatively small, slightly oval with tightly closed toes and thick pads. Pasterns are strong and only slightly bent. Feet turn neither in nor out.
Moderate angulation at stifle and hock. Thighs are broad and well muscled. Seen from behind, legs are straight, strong and without dewclaws. Feet as in front.
Thick, hard, weather resisting and smooth lying; made up of soft, dense, woolly undercoat and coarse, straight covering hairs. Short and even on head, ears, and front of legs; longest on back of neck, buttocks and underside of tail. The coat is not altered by trimming, clipping or artificial treatment. Trimming of whiskers is optional. In the show ring, presentation in a natural, unaltered condition is essential.
Gray, medium preferred, variations in shade determined by the length of black tips and quantity of guard hairs. Undercoat is clear light silver as are legs, stomach, buttocks, and underside of tail. The gray body color is darkest on the saddle, lighter on the chest, mane and distinctive harness mark (a band of longer guard hairs from shoulder to elbow). The muzzle, ears and tail tip are black. The black of the muzzle shades to lighter gray over the forehead and skull.
Yellow or brown shading, white patches, indistinct or irregular markings, "sooty" coloring on the lower legs and light circles around the eyes are undesirable. Any overall color other than gray as described above, such as red, brown, solid black, white or other solid color, disqualifies.
Normal for an active dog constructed for agility and endurance. At a trot the stride is even and effortless; the back remains level. As the speed of the trot increases, front and rear legs converge equally in straight lines toward a center line beneath the body, so that the pads appear to follow in the same tracks (single track). Front and rear quarters are well balanced in angulation and muscular development.
In temperament, the Norwegian Elkhound is bold and energetic, an effective guardian yet normally friendly, with great dignity and independence of character.
The Norwegian Elkhound is a square and athletic member of the northern dog family. His unique coloring, weather resistant coat and stable disposition make him an ideal multipurpose dog at work or at play.
An overall color other than gray.
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