The Norwegian Elkhound is one of the ancient Northern Spitz-type breed of dog and is the National Dog of Norway. The Elkhound has served as a hunter, guardian, herder, and defender. In a land of subzero temperatures, deep snow, thick forests, and rugged mountains, only the hardiest of the breeds could evolve to perform the variety of jobs at which the Elkhound excels. It’s known for its courage in tracking and hunting moose and other large game, such as bear or wolf. The Norwegian Elkhound was first presented at a dog exhibition in Norway in 1877.
The AKC breed name “Norwegian Elkhound” is a direct translation from its original Norwegian name “Norsk Elghund,” meaning “Norwegian moose dog.” The breed’s goal in the hunt is to independently track down and hold the moose at bay — jumping in and out toward the moose, distracting its attention, while signaling to the hunters by barking very loudly — until the hunter who follows the sound can arrive to shoot it. The dog will only bark while the moose is stationary, but it can also slowly drive the moose towards shooters lying in wait. The Norwegian Elkhound is also used on a leash; in this mode of hunting the dog shows the hunter the direction to the moose, but keeps quiet.
The dog stands about 49 to 52 Cm. Bitches 49 cm, and males 52 cm. (19 1/4″ and 20 1/2 “) and weighs up to 24 kg (52 lbs). Its grey, white, and black coat is made up of two layers: an underlying dense smooth coat ranging from black at the muzzle, ears, and tip of its tail; to silvery grey on its legs, tail, and underbody; and an overlying black-tipped protective guard coat. An ideal Elkhound has a tightly curled tail, as the dog shown in the photograph on this page. The Elkhound is a medium-sized dog and extremely hardy temperament
Norwegian Elkhounds are bred for hunting large game, such as wolf, bear and moose. Although the breed is strong and hardy, the dogs typically have an inseparable bond with their masters and are very loyal. All Elkhounds have a sharp loud bark which makes them suitable as watchdogs. Norwegian Elkhounds are loyal to their “pack” and make excellent family dogs given proper attention. It is bold, playful, independent, alert, extremely intelligent, and, at times, a bit boisterous. They rank 36th in Stanley Coren’s The Intelligence of Dogs, being of above average working/obedience intelligence. This is a dog ready for adventure and is happiest if that adventure takes place outdoors in cold weather. It needs daily exercise, lest it become frustrated or even destructive. It is an exceptionally friendly breed. If untrained, it tends to pull when on leash. This dog needs attention for it to understand its place within the family (or the pack), else it may develop social problems and feel neglected. This is a very proud and noble breed that can easily have its feelings hurt if its owner deserts his or her allegiance or duty. An inevitable bond will develop between the dog’s family, master, or pack, and if there is disloyalty, the dog will definitely feel it and be hurt. Although each dog is an individual, they generally are very gentle and get along great with children. They are happiest when they feel that they are part of the family.
The Norwegian Elkhound is an ancient breed. Remains of dogs remarkably similar to the modern Elkhound have been found in grave sites such as the Viste Cave in Jæren, Norway, where they were dated as far back as 4000–5000 BC. Archaeological excavations in Scandinavia suggest this breed existed and was domesticated in the Stone age. At the end of the 19th century the breed came to England, and in 1901 the The Kennel Club officially recognized it.
Information courtesy: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norwegian_Elkhound
For information about Vigeland Kennels’ Elkhounds email Sheila at: firstname.lastname@example.org