Norwegian Elkhound Dog Breed Information - All About Dogs

Norwegian Elkhound

Norwegian Elkhound



The Norwegian Elkhound is considered to be The National Dog of Norway. This is an ancient, Spitz-type breed of dog. For centuries, Norwegian Elkhounds have served as hunters, shepherds and watchdogs. Moreover, this breed is known for its ability to hunt large game, such as bear, moose, reindeers and wolf. The Norwegian Elkhound was officially recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1913.

Height: 19.5-20.5 inches  Weight: 48-55 pounds  Lifespan: 12-15 years


The Norwegian Elkhound is a sturdy, powerfully looking dog of medium size. He has a short, squarely built body and a wolf-like face. Comparable Breeds: Keeshond.


The Norwegian Elkhound is a sensitive, affectionate and loyal breed. He is very friendly with familiar people but cold and very cautious with strangers. Hence, the Norwegian Elkhound will bark obsessively to warn the rest of the family about the arrival of unexpected guests or any kind of suspicious sounds. Even though they are generally trustworthy and genuinely attentive to children, Elkhounds should not be left alone without supervision. This breed tends to be very aggressive toward dogs of the same sex, and it does not get along with cats or other small pets.

Coat / Care:

The Norwegian Elkhound is covered with a two-layered, waterproof coat. The outer layer is straight, relatively rigid and rather thick, protecting the dog perfectly from adverse weather conditions. Beneath it is a dense, soft and fluffy undercoat. This breed sheds seasonally and very intensely. In order to minimize the hair loss, the Norwegian Elkhound needs weekly brushing and combing, using a special comb. Special attention is required during the shedding season. Since Norwegian Elkhounds tend to clean themselves, they should be subjected to bathing only in case of urgent need. Moreover, like other Arctic dogs, they do not have the usual doggie smell.

Health Problems:

The Norwegian Elkhound is generally healthy dog breed, but like all breeds, they can be prone to Sebaceous Cyst, Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) and Hip Dysplasia. Since the Norwegian Elkhound is prone to obesity, it is very important to monitor the food portions. Due to its origin, this breed prefers cool climate. The Norwegian Elkhound has a life expectancy of 12 to 15 years.

Weight / Height

The male Norwegian Elkhound dog breed’s height is around 20 – 20.5 inches and weighs around 50 and 55 pounds. Female Norwegian Elkhound dogs can reach a size from 19.5 – 20 inches and weighs between 48 and 55 pounds.


The Norwegian Elkhound requires early socialization and the general course of obedience. This is a very intelligent breed, always willing to please its master. However, the Norwegian Elkhound is fairly independent, so he needs a dominant trainer who is able to establish his own rules. Do not use harsh or heavy-handed methods. In fact, education should be based on firmness, fairness and consistency.


Norwegian Elkhounds are not suitable for living in an apartment. These dogs need a significant amount of physical activity and mental stimulation. Also, since this breed likes to roam, it thrives best in a large, well- fenced yard. The Norwegian Elkhound needs at least an hour of strenuous exercising. He is a great companion for all kinds of family activities, including biking, hiking or jogging. Dogs of this breed have proven themselves in agility, they make excellent guard dogs and are used for transportation of goods.

Photo credit: szm.graham/Flickr

You May Also Like

About the Author: Wizzard