By Avatar photoShiloh Nevada Last updated: 18th October 2022

Norwegian Elkhound


Avatar photo Shiloh Nevada
Last updated: 18th October 2022

The brave, wolfish-faced, energetic, loyal but obstinate Norwegian Elkhound is a purebred dog with a medium, square-shaped build, having a wedge-shaped, broad head ending in a defined stop, having pointed ears, tightly curled tail, and eyes full of friendly expressions. This ancient Northern Spitz breed makes a herding, hunting, defender and guardian dog, that gets its name for its popularity of hunting down elks (moose), and even wolves and bears.

Norwegian Elkhound Pictures

Quick Information

Other NamesNorsk Elghund, Harmaa norjanhirvikoira, Gray Norwegian Elkhound, Grå Norsk Elghund, Small Grey Elk Dog, Norwegian Moose Dog
CoatDense, wooly, thick
ColorWhite, black, silver, gray
Breed TypePurebred
Group (of Breed)Hound, hunting dog
Lifespan10 to 12 years
Weight/Size48 to 55 pounds
Height19 to 21 inches
SheddingSeasonal, heavy
TemperamentBrave, friendly, loyal, playful, independent, protective, social, stubborn
Good with ChildYes
Litter Size7-14 puppies
Country of OriginNorway

Norwegian Elkhound Video


This breed can historically be traced back to almost a thousand years, since the time when a similar-featured dog was used by Vikings for guarding and hunting. It is also not absurd to trace this breed to 5000 BC after archeologists found skeletal remains of dogs having a close resemblance to the Norwegian elkhound. During hunting, these dogs would mostly prance and jump in front of the elk (or its prey) to divert its attention and draw the attention of the master, until the master would reach the spot and hunt down the prey.


The popular, much sought-after mixes of this purebred are:

  • Norwegian Elkhound and German Shepherd mix
  • Norwegian Elkhound and Husky mix
  • Norwegian Elkhound and Lab mix

Temperament and Behavior

These reliable, fearless, extremely dedicated dogs combine qualities of the spitz and the hounds, searching for fun and adventure outdoors, barking frequently, although friendly with strangers, family members and children. These territorial Arctic dogs love cool climate and by tendency tend to prey upon smaller pets as also possessing a feeling for co-existing with its owner, rather than under him, and would make a natural guard and watch dog. Apartment life is good if they get enough exercise.



Thriving on strenuous activities, these dogs need vigorous exercise including playing, walking and jogging, however, do not forget taking the lead to become the ‘leader’ of its pack. Take them out running with your bicycle, but better if leashed since they might pick up an interesting smell near the woods and vanish ignoring you or your call.


Use a wooden comb with a double-row metal-teeth brush while brushing their hair thoroughly (especially to remove dead hairs clinging to the new ones during shedding seasons). Bathe when really urgent.

Health Problems

Some diseases common to this Arctic purebred are obesity, hip dysplasia, pyotraumatic dermatitis, PRA and Fanconi syndrome.


Teach them to socialize, especially be strict to limit its barks if you find it’s barking excessively or being provoked at the very sight of smaller animals or other dogs, for which, puppyhood is the best time to teach. Give these stubborn, independent-natured dogs a consistent but firm training, as you set the rules clearly.


The Norwegian elkhound tends to over-eat and gain weight, for which reason, keep an eye on what you give, and what/how much it eats. This active breed will need more of the vitamin B complex than other dogs. You can also seek the help of the breeder or the veterinarian. In general, 2 to 2 ½ cups of high-quality dry food daily, divided into two meals, is recommended. Opt for a high-quality dry dog food especially created for such breeds.

Interesting Facts

  • The Norwegian Elkhound is the National Dog of Norway.
  • In 1877, this breed became a breed of interest after the Norwegian Hunters Association held its first dog show.
  • The 31st President of the United States, Herbert Hoover, had a pet Norwegian Elkhound named Weejie.

2 responses to “Norwegian Elkhound”

  1. Sandy Castle says:

    I have a one year plus elkhound/pug mix. Do they calm down as they get older? I Love her, but she’s on the go 24/7 and wears me out. Thank you, sandu

  2. Hi Guys,
    just to let you know the Elkhound pups and the two Elkhounds with me playing with the snow bone are Kamia Kennels Elkhounds. You can view a great deal about those dogs at and our new adventure site, . Thank you, Merv Carlson

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