Norwegian Elkhound At a Glance
Country of Origin:
AKC (Hound); ANKC (Hounds); CKC (Hounds); FCI (Spitz and Primitive); KC (Hound); UKC (Northern)
Medium. Weight: Males 50.5–55 lbs; Females 44–48 lbs Height: Males 20.5 inches; Females 19.5 inches
Thick and double-coated.
Gray of various shades
13 to 15 years
Cold Weather Tolerance
Hot Weather Tolerance
Did You Know?
Elkhounds are believed to have traveled with Vikings.
Norwegian Elkhound Overview
The Elkhound is probably one of the most well-known and popular breeds of the Scandinavian Spitz-type dogs. The breed has been nearly unchanged for thousands of years, with remains of almost identical dogs found dating back to 5000 BCE. The breed is multipurpose working as a hunter, guardian, sled-dog, and family friend.
Norwegian Elkhound Characteristics
The Elkhound features a plush double coat that comes in various shades of gray. The fluffy coat and curled tail give him a sweet, friendly appearance, while his upright ears and long face give him the look of an intelligent guardian. The breed is popular throughout Scandinavia and continues to hold top positions in popularity throughout the world.
Norwegian Elkhound Temperament
Elkhounds are known as even-tempered, alert and intelligent dogs. They make great family companions and are friendly but still fearless enough to take charge and protect the family as needed. However, their even temper keeps them from overdoing things, making them able to easily distinguish friends and family. They may be standoffish with strangers but are loyal and loving to their family unit.
Norwegian Elkhound Care
The Elkhound lives on average 13 to 15 years, slightly above average for breeds his size. He does have some health concerns including Fanconi syndrome (kidney disease), hypothyroidism, infundibular keratinizing acanthoma (cancer of the hair follicles) and progressive retinal atrophy. Proper Veterinary care and treatment is key to a long life.
Norwegian Elkhound Coat
Regular brushing and combing will help remove dead hairs and reduce shedding in the plush double coat of the Elkhound. Another thing to watch out for in the breed is Infundibular Keratinizing Acanthoma or cancer of the hair follicles. This can cause hair loss all over the body and affects the double coat.
Norwegian Elkhound Training
Reward-based training will help keep the independent Elkhound on track. Several short sessions throughout the day will help to keep his attention and keep him from getting bored and making his own games.
Norwegian Elkhound Activity
This breed does best with lots of activity. Long walks, sled pulling events, canine sports, and frequent outings are needed to keep the Elkhound in top shape both mentally and physically.