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Norwegian Elkhound
Characteristics, History, and Health

Norwegian Elkhound

The Norwegian Elkhound is a robust and hardy dog breed with a history that dates back thousands of years. The breed's origins are deeply rooted in Norway, where they were used as hunting dogs for large game, such as elk (hence the name), bear, and other wild animals.They were also shipmates of the Vikings, and remains of Norwegian Elkhounds dating back 5000 years have been found with Viking remains and weapons. The breed is known to be ancient, with archaeological evidence showing that similar dogs lived in Scandinavia since the Stone Age. Norwegian Elkhounds were not just hunting companions but were also used as guard dogs and herders.

Main Info
Alternate Names
Norsk Elghund, Grey Norwegian Elkhound
Life Expectancy
12-15 years
Average Male Height
20.5 inches
Average Female Height
19.5 inches
Average Male Weight
55 pounds
Average Female Weight
48 pounds
Coat Length
Coat Type
Coat Colors
Black & Gray, Black & Silver, Black White & Silver, Gray & Black, Gray Black & Silver, Silver & Black, SIlver Gray & Black
Coat Pattern

Genetic Predispositions and Health

Norwegian Elkhounds can be prone to eye conditions such as primary open angle glaucoma and progressive rod-cone degeneration. They can also be susceptible to pyotraumatic dermatitis (also known as hot spots). They may suffer from Lundehund Syndrome, hyperuricosuria, degenerative myelopathy, and chondrodysplasia.

Personality and Behavior

Norwegian Elkhounds are known for their friendly and outgoing nature. They are highly intelligent and quick learners, although sometimes they can be a bit stubborn. The breed is known for being good with children and typically gets along well with other dogs. However, because of their hunting origins, they do have a prey drive and may chase after smaller animals. This breed requires plenty of physical and mental stimulation to stay happy and healthy.

Fun Facts

Norwegian Elkhounds have a unique way of tracking their quarry. Unlike most hounds who track by scent on the ground, Elkhounds track by scent in the air.

The breed has a strong voice and used to use its bark to help hunters locate them in the hunting field.

Norwegian Elkhounds were considered to be the "Dog of the Vikings." This breed is often recognized for its stamina, loyalty, and courage.

The breed was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1930.