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The Norwegian Elkhound, also referred to as Norsk Elghund Gra, is an admired breed of sturdy, moderately sized dog that originated in Scandinavia. It belongs to the hound breed family which is notable for their extraordinary hunting skills magnified by their incomparable scenting ability and tremendous stamina. Norwegian Elkhounds have been bred to hunt animals like elk, moose, and bear. Their weather-proof double coat is typically thick and hard. Its color is gray enhanced with black tips, and a paler undercoat.
Height and Weight
The male members of the Norwegian Elkhound breed normally stand a height of 19 to 21 in at the withers, and weigh 50 to 60 lbs. Bitches, on the other hand, are quite smaller with a common height of 18 to 20 in, and a weight of 40 to 55 lbs.
Norwegian Elkhounds, in general, are bold, alert, and energetic dogs. They are loyal, friendly, and affectionate. Although they can be rather aloof with strangers, the breed tends to be independent, and enthusiastic when greeting its family owners. Norwegian Elkhounds are also docile, trustworthy, and can get along well with children. They generally have an outstanding character, and are tidier than other dogs. The breed makes excellent guard and watch dogs. They love to bark and roam around. Because of their strong hunting instincts, Norwegian Elkhounds are usually not trusted with small, non-canine animals such as rats, hamsters, and guinea pigs. The breed needs a firm yet gentle discipline. Handlers have to be able to display a natural air of authority over them. Proper socialization as well as adequate mental and physical exercise has to be provided to keep them stable-minded.
Norwegian Elkhounds need to be brushed every day. They shed a lot so owners have to prepare for their two massive coat blowouts every year. Bathe these dogs only when absolutely necessary to preserve the sheen of their coat.
Members of the Norwegian Elkhounds are generally healthy. As a matter of fact, they have an average lifespan of 13 to 15 years. Nonetheless, like any other canine, Norwegian Elkhounds are also prone to a few health concerns such as weight gain, hip dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy, renal disorders, thyroid complications, and pyotraumatic dermatitis.
Because the breed is highly energetic, owners have to provide them easy access to open areas. Norwegian Elkhounds are a very hardy pet, and have been originated in cold climates so they would prefer spending some time outdoors during winter. They love to play in the snow. They are moderately active indoors, and will do just fine in apartment-living given that they are adequately exercised.