American Canine Association


Norwegian Elkhound


Commonly referred to as the "Elkhound", the Norwegian Elkhound is the National dog breed of Norway. Originating over 5,000 years ago, evidence shows that this breed is a decedent of the Pariah Dog and is a Spitz type breed. The Norwegian Elkhound was used to assist Vikings in hunting large animals such as Bear and Boar as well as guarding and protecting these Vikings. Today, this breed excels in hunting, tracking, herding, guarding and agility challenges.


The Norwegian Elkhound is a short and solid built breed and appears much smaller in size than one would think when remembering their use in history. Males typically weigh in 50-60 pounds in weight and measure 19-21 inches in height while females only weigh in 40-55 pounds in weight and measure 18-20 inches in height. This breed has a wedge shaped skull that forms into a scissor bite muzzle, two small, triangular shaped ears that should always stand tall on top of their head and two oval shaped eyes that are available in different shades of brown. Their tail should demonstrate a severe curl and be tightly set on their back, while their short and thick legs lead into an oval shaped paw that is very firm and bulky. The Norwegian Elkhound has a medium length, double layer coat that is extremely thick and weather resistant that is only available in a black, grey and tan combination. All puppies in this breed are typically born solid black and change color as their body and coat grows.


It is extremely important for any potential owner of this breed to understand the history of the Norwegian Elkhound. This breed was bred to bark consistently for the Vikings to keep intruders aware of their existence as well as to alert the Vikings of prey. With that being clearly stated, this breed naturally barks and roams as part of its character. It is possible to train this breed to only bark at certain times, however this takes much time, patience and consistency. The Norwegian Elkhound is a wonderful breed to add to the correct family, as they are fantastic with children of all ages, elderly and generally other dogs. This breed should not be housed with non canine pets and small dogs should be monitored around them. This breed can be difficult to train due to their independence and strong will. However this does not stop this breed from it being loyal, loving, and friendly with humans. Please note this breed can be protective towards strangers and requires an hour daily walk as well as play time outdoors to ensure a healthy well being mentally and physically.


Daily brushing is required for the Norwegian Elkhound and a wooden and metal comb is recommended for this task. Bathe when needed. This breed sheds very heavily during season changes.

Special Notes

Please note that the Norwegian Elkhound requires much physical activity daily. A minimum of an hour walk daily as well as other playtime is required to ensure positive physical and mental behaviors. This breed is prone to skin issues and weight gain. Please fully educate yourself about the Norweigian Elkhound prior to adding one to your family to ensure a life long commitment both physically and financially to your new pup. All dogs originate from wolves (Canis Lupus). Each breed of dog was originally created by mixing different breeds together in an effort to bring forth certain characteristics. Once a breeder has created acceptable “breed characteristics” within their bloodline and these “breed characteristics” have shown to be reliably reproduced in the offspring for three (3) generations, the bloodline may be upgraded from the category of “foundation stock” to “pure-bred”. The same “pure-bred” breed standards vary from different continents, countries, territories, regions, breed clubs, and canine pure-breed registries depending on the goals of their breeders. Dog DNA testing companies can have accurate results for a specific bloodline of a small colony of dogs. However, there are tens of thousands of different bloodlines in the world which have not yet been tested for marker baseline results by Dog DNA testing companies as of 2017. For this reason Dog DNA testing companies do not guarantee the 100% accuracy of their breed lineage results and will also show different marker results for the same pure-bred breed in different continents, countries, territories, regions, breed clubs, and canine pure-breed registries depending on the goals of their breeders.

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