Norwegian Elkhound

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The Full Norwegian Elkhound Description

It takes a brave dog to track a moose, and that's what Norwegian Elkhounds did for thousands of years. Over the thousands of years it has existed, the Norwegian Elkhound has looked just as it does now. Nature made him strong and clever, so he could be a good hunter. His thick, soft, gray coat can stand the cold and snow of Norway. And his noble, playful ways have made him a beloved friend

Did you know?

The Norwegian Elkhound is a hunting dog that originated in Norway as early as 5000 B.C.
The Norwegian Elkhound is used to hunt elk, bear, and other wild animals.

So you want to own a Norwegian Elkhound?

The Norwegian Elkhound's coat needs a good brushing once a week and a periodic bath.
The Norwegian Elkhound is bold and energetic.
The Norwegian Elkhound thrives on companionship and will prove to be a lifelong loyal friend.

Indicative Breed Standard

General Appearance

Powerful; compact body; square outline and proud carriage; coat close and abundant but not open; upstanding pointed ears; tail tightly curled over back.


A hardy hunting Spitz with a bold energetic disposition.


Friendly, intelligent and independent without any sign of nervousness.

Head and Skull

Wedge-shaped, comparatively broad between ears; stop, not large, forehead and back of head slightly arched; foreface broad at root (not pinched in), evenly tapering whether seen from above or side, never pointed; bridge of nose straight and approximately the length of forehead; tight-fitting skin on head, no wrinkle.


Not prominent, slightly oval, medium size, dark brown, giving frank, fearless and friendly expression.


Set high, small, firm and erect, pointed and very mobile; slightly taller than width at base; when alert, outer edge should be vertical.


Jaws strong with perfect, regular scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaws.


Medium length, powerful, carrying the head high; a rich ruff on close- fitting skin but no dewlap.


Legs straight with good, not coarse, bone and strong pasterns; shoulders sloping; elbows closely set in.


Powerful; short, strong back; loin short and wide with very little tuck-up; chest deep and broad; well curved ribs; topline straight and level; distance from brisket to ground not less than half the height at withers.


Legs firm, strong and powerful; little but definite bend at stifle and hock; straight when viewed from behind.


Comparatively small, slightly oval; tightly closed, well arched toes with protective hair between thick pads; turning neither in nor out. Nails firm and strong.


Strong, set on high; thickly coated without plume; tightly curled, preferably over the centre line of back.


Demonstrates agility and endurance; stride at the trot even and effortless, back remaining level; as speed of trot increases, front and rear legs converge equally in straight lines towards a centre line beneath body.


Close, abundant, weather resistant; soft, dense, woolly undercoat and coarse, straight outer coat; short and smooth on head and front of legs, slightly longer on back of front legs, longest on neck, back of thighs and tail; not trimmed.


Grey of various shades, with black tips to outer coat; lighter on chest, stomach, legs, underside of tail, buttocks and in a harness mark; ears and foreface dark; a dark line from eye to ear desirable; undercoat pure pale grey. Any pronounced variation from the grey colour, sooty colour on lower legs, spectacles or white markings undesirable.


Ideal height at shoulder: dogs: 52 cms (201/2 ins); bitches: 49 cms (191/2 ins). Weight approximately 23 kgs (51 lbs) and 20 kgs (44 lbs) respectively.

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