Norwegian Elkhound Dog Breed Profile

by Luke Blaise

AKC Group: Hound Group

The Norwegian Elkhound was originally used by the Vikings. It is a breed that has been used for many years in Norway to hunt elk and other large games. It has a silver and gray coat with saddle markings.


The Norwegian elkhound has been around for over 6,000 years with all of his Nordic characteristics untainted. An old dog from Scandinavia, the Elkhound toiled as a guard and hunting breed for the Vikings. The dogs monitored, encircled and trapped game like moose and bear for hunters. The dog wasn't shown till 1877 by the Norwegian Hunter's Association.

Physical Features

The Norwegian Elkhound dog is a sturdy gray colored hunting dog. In features, a normal northern dog of moderate substance and size, square in shape, balanced in proportions and closely coupled.

Height at the withers for dogs is about 20 inches. Weight for the dogs about 55 pounds, and for the bitches about 48 pounds.

The ears are held erect, and the tail is firmly curled over the back. The distinct gray coat is thick and soft lying. As a hunter, the dog has the braveness, speed and strength to keep moose and various large games at bay by dodging attacks and barking. It has the stamina to follow game for long hours in most climates over tough and diverse terrain.


The Norwegian elkhound is attentive, striking, faithful and friendly. However some could be somewhat reserved with unknown people, it'll welcome friends and family it knows with excitement. Docile, reliable and lively, they're great kid buddies.

They've got a superb personality, and are fairly clean as compared to other breeds. Like some other Arctic dogs, this breed has thoughts of its own and it's pretty independent, nonetheless they are caring with their family.

Common Health Problems

Susceptible to hip dysplasia, pyotraumatic dermatitis and PRA. A condition sometimes seen is Fanconi syndrome. Norwegian Elkhounds gain weight easily so don't over feed.

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