Norwegian Elkhound Dog & Puppies


" War Dog of the Vikings "

Breed Origins: Norway ( Date back to Antiquity )
Breed usage: Hunting Dog: Elk ( Moose) bears and mountain lions
Dog Weight: 45 - 55 Pounds
Dog Height: 19.5 to 22 inches to the shoulder
Cost of Puppies: Cost of puppies varies depending on location, breeder and pedigree history


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Information, Facts & Origins of the Norwegian Elkhound - Elk Hound
The Norwegian Elkhound comes from Norway and is a dog of medium size and stocky build. It was bred originally to hunt elk (moose) bears and mountain lions. It's origins can be dated back to antiquity, it was used by the Vikings. It is classified as one of the Hound Dog Group which we go on to describe in detail in the section at the bottom of this page. Name Facts and Dog Names: This dog is often referred to as the Elk Hound and mis-spelt as Norweigian. It was originally known as the Elkhound but this was eventually changed to the Norwegian Elkhound.

Norwegian Elkhound Dog Names

The Norwegian Elkhound - A Scent Hound
The Norwegian Elkhound belongs to the collection of dogs referred to as Scent Hounds, which specialise in following the scent or the smell of its quarry. It wasn’t until the mid 1500's that hounds began to be classified according to their purpose, i.e. sight hounds, scent hounds, etc. Scent Hounds have distinctive characteristics, features and traits which are perfect for their purpose. They have large noses which have deep, open nostrils and their lips are loose and moist, designed to pick up scent particles and follow the trail of an animal. Their ears are long which concentrates the scent on the nose. Their bodies are designed for endurance, an essential asset when following any scent trail. Hunting takes different forms and as man opts for hunting their quarry either on foot or on horseback the scent hounds have been selectively bred to produce small legs, to enable a man to easily follow on foot, or longer legs suited to keep up with a man on horseback. Most scent hounds were used in packs - making a loud, deep baying noise alerting hunters to their location. As a pet the Norwegian Elkhound is intelligent, friendly and reliable.


Information, Facts & History of the Norwegian Elkhound Dog - Elk Hound
The Norwegian Elk hound is also referred to as its Norse name the Norsk Elghund and described as a spitz-type dog. The ancestor of the Norwegian Elkhound is believed to have been the Scandinavian dog called the Torvmosehund which can be traced back over 5000 years to the times of antiquity. It is now known as the dog of the Vikings and it was a loyal companion accompanying its Viking master on land or sea, where the dog was an honoured member of the crew. The dog was a major asset of a Viking performing a variety of tasks such as hunter, guardian, herder and defender. The Norwegian Elkhound was also the War Dog of the Vikings and should his master be killed in battle the dog would also be killed and would be buried with him or accompany him on the famous burning burial ship. The Vikings believed in the Gods Odin and Thor. The kingdom of the Viking Gods was called Valhalla the home of all brave and courageous Vikings. No warrior would be welcome in Valhalla if he came without his earthly possessions and thus, the Viking warrior was buried or cremated with weapons, belongings and his dogs. The custom of sending a person's dogs with them to the afterlife was widespread throughout the Viking World. The Norwegian Elkhound was tough enough to survive the harsh, cold climate of the Norsemen and act as an all-purpose working dog which, amongst their herding and hunting skills, were also used to pull sleds. The usefulness of the Elkhound is recognised by the Norwegian Government and the Norwegian Defence Minister has the power to commandeer all privately owned Elkhounds in times of war. Today they are popular as pets and are still used to hunt elk. The elkhound's job is not to kill the elk, but to locate it and hold it at bay until the hunter can shoot it. The Norwegian Elkhound was first registered by the AKC (American Kennel Club) in 1913.

Description of the Norwegian Elkhound Dog and Puppies - Coat and Colours info
The Norwegian Elkhound's coat is Grey with a Black outer coat. The outer coat is harsh and straight and the under coat is soft & dense. Their coat insulates them from both the cold and the heat.


Dog photograph


Dog Health information - potential health problems of the Norwegian Elkhounds
All owners of dogs and puppies are concerned about the health care of their pets and just as with humans dog health issues arise from time to time. Resolving dog health problems, including those of the Norwegian Elkhound, can prove to be costly and it would be wise to consider the benefits of obtaining dog health insurance. Diseases in dogs may occur because of trauma, infection, immune system abnormalities, genetic factors, or degenerative conditions. Common health problems and questions occur in relation to the Bones, Joints, Muscles, Nerves, Ears, Eyes, Teeth and the Mouth. Other, more serious, issues can relate to the Digestive System, Heart & Respiratory Systems, Immune & Blood Systems, Reproduction and Urinary Systems. Potential health problems of the Norwegian Elkhound may be checked via the Dog Symptoms Sorter, but can include:

  • Hip and Elbow Dysplasia (abnormal development of joints referred to as CHD - Canine Hip and Elbow Dysplasia)
  • Dermatitis

Online Encyclopaedia of Common Dog Health Problems
Please click the following link for additional information which we have provided via our:

Online Encyclopaedia of Common Dog Health Problems

This describes the most common canine health problems concisely but simply without using medical jargon. A section on Dog and Puppy Vaccinations is also included offering information on each of the diseases, symptoms and effects for which immunization vaccines are available. Not sure of the name of the dog or puppy illness? A Dog Illness Symptoms Sorter is also featured. The Online Encyclopaedia of Common Dog Health Problems should only be used as an informational guide and when and if any dog or puppies health problems occur it is essential to raise any questions you may have with a Dog Health care professional.

Description of the Norwegian Elkhound Dog and Puppies - Comparative Sizing Pictures & info
The pictures above allow for a useful sizing perspective between an average man (Five feet ten inches) or an average sized woman (Five feet six inches) in comparison to the average sized Norwegian Elkhound dog which we have detailed above. These pictures are extremely important as they provide an immediate and accurate visual representation of the height of an average Norwegian Elkhound compared to the height of a male or female - essential information but unique to this site. Use the pictures to help to estimate the size of this breed of dog to each the various growing stages of children. Use the pictures to provide a guideline to the adult size of Norwegian Elkhound Puppies. The pictures will also prove to be invaluable when comparing the sizes and heights of other dog breeds. The dimensions will vary according to the sex of the dog or puppy. Girl dogs, or bitches, are on average, 2 inches smaller than boy dogs. Another useful piece of information when considering puppies.

Information on Grooming and Care of the Norwegian Elkhound Dog Breed
The Norwegian Elkhound requires a minimum amount of grooming. Regardless of the breeds, a certain amount of grooming and care is necessary to keep dogs and puppies looking at their best. Grooming consists of not only brushing out the coat and bathing but also giving attention to the eyes, teeth, ears, feet and nails. A regular routine also ensures that any potential health problems are identified as quickly as possible, especially important in puppies and older dogs.

Information on the Temperament and Character of the Norwegian Elkhound Dog Breed
Norwegian Elkhound is gentle and devoted to their owner. They are brave, inquisitive, intelligent, independent, reliable, and friendly. Although the Norwegian Elk hound was developed as an active hunting dog it is also obedient. This dog makes a pet providing it is given lots of daily exercise outside in a cold climate. They need firm but not harsh training and make good watchdogs. This dog is extremely vocal and barks a lot.

Living conditions and Exercise Requirements of the Norwegian Elkhound Dog Breed
Norwegian Elkhound dogs and puppies are not well suited to living in the town because they require a substantial amount of exercise and invigorating play. It is well suited to living in cold climates can live outdoors in kennels although it is happiest living with a family.

Norwegian ElkHound - Puppies Info and Names
The Puppies section, accessed via the Site Index, provides detailed information about Choosing the right puppy, Puppy Training, Puppy Care and Puppy Behavior, Growth & Development. We recommend that the following considerations should always be taken into account when choosing Norwegian Elkhound puppies:

  • Budget - Purchasing, training, equipment, medication and feeding costs of the breed
  • Convenience and Grooming time e.g. long or short hair
  • Personal situation - time available and medical conditions such as allergies, asthma or back pain
  • Exercising requirements for the Norweigian Elkhound breed
  • Living Conditions for the breed - suitability for puppies
  • Family - child suitability


Children and Puppies!
The pictures above allow for a useful comparison of sizes providing an accurate portrait of the size of an average Norwegian Elkhound - essential information and unique to this site. It should also be noted that the pictures feature adults. The size of puppies are naturally considerably smaller and the full grown size of the animal can easily be forgotten when confronted with cute puppies! The slogan " A dog isn't just for Christmas - it's for life!" was necessitated by well meaning people buying puppies at the Christmas, unaware of the puppies growth rate. The pictures provided make it extremely clear exactly how small puppies will develop and whether it will suit the life and living conditions of the family.

Age comparison between the Norwegian Elkhound Dog Breed and a Human
Age comparisons between dogs and humans are always a matter of debate - we hope that the following information clarifies the situation. After the first year of life, a dog is equivalent to sixteen human years. After two years, they are equivalent to a 24 year old, at three years a 30 year old, and each year after, add 5 human years to determine a dog's age.

Life Expectancy of the Norwegian Elkhound Dog Breed
The life expectancy for this particular breed is between 10 – 12 years.

Hound Dog Breed Information
As implied by its name the Hound has been bred to chase a quarry by sight or smell, or a combination of both senses. Sighthounds have exceptional eyesight, combined with the speed and stamina necessary to catch the intended prey once seen, typical examples being the Greyhound and the Whippet. Hounds which rely strongly on the sense of smell to follow the trail of a prey, such as the Bloodhound, quite literally follow their noses, speed and eyesight is of less importance.
Characteristics and features have been introduced and strengthened by breeding from animals who already demonstrated the desired traits. Breeding for appearance was only introduced in the 19th Century. Before this time dogs and puppies were bred to increase useful abilities and traits helpful for the duties they were intended for.  Thus, the various hound breeds were initially introduced to help man according to specific requirements such as:

  • Hunting and running down small quarry
  • Flushing out and Driving game
  • Vermin Hunting
  • Guard duties
  • Tracking

In this day and age only a few hounds still undertake these tasks, but nevertheless, they still harbour the skills and characteristics that made the original Norweigian Elkhound dog breeding program successful.

The Hound Breed Group of dogs differ in that some hunt by scent and others by sight. Many hounds are kept in packs, in outdoor kennels. Any dogs and puppies belonging to the Hound breeds require a significant amount of exercise as they have high stamina levels suitable for hunting quarry. There are some breeds in this group who make a distinctive ' baying ' sound - invaluable information should be considering puppies. The pictures above allow for a useful size comparison providing an accurate portrait of the size of an average Norwegian Elkhound dog - essential information but unique to this site. 

More Info & History about the Spitz Dog Group
Spitz dogs are characterized by a wolf-like appearance with a high carried tail which in the canine world normally signals dominant status. The term Spitz translates as Sharp Point and refers to the pointed muzzle which is characteristic of the breed. Most of the Spitz-type breeds were developed thousands of years ago in the colder northern parts of Europe, Asia, and North America. As the Spitz travelled to other countries, it was given a new title reflecting its new country. The following dogs, which are included in the Spitz breeds, have also been featured on this web site and can be accessed via the Dog Breeds ABC List at the bottom of this page.

Spitz Breeds also Featured on this Website

Alaskan Husky
Alaskan Klee Kai
Alaskan Malamute
American Eskimo
Canadian Eskimo Dog
Chinese Foo Dog
Chow Chow
Finnish Spitz
German Spitz
Japanese Spitz
Norwegian Elkhound
Shiba Inu
Siberian Husky

Norwegian Elkhound Dog Breed

Examples of other Breeds within the Hound Dog Group 
The Hound group of dogs includes the Norweigian Elkhound and all of the following breeds:
Afghans, Foxhounds, Basenjis, Bassets, Beagles, Black and Tan Coonhounds, Bloodhounds, Borzoi, Dachshunds, English Foxhounds, Greyhounds, Harriers, Irish Wolfhounds, Norwegian Elkhounds, Otterhounds, Petit Basset Griffon Vendeens, American Fox hounds, Rhodesian Ridgebacks, Salukis, Scottish Deerhounds and Whippets. Pictures and information about all of the above Hound Dog breeds, together with all other dog groups, may be found on this website via the following links:


Dog Breeds - ABC List

Dog Names & Breeds Site Index

Hound Dog Breeds  

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