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Norwegian Elkhounds are an old breed that dates back to the Stone Ages in Scandinavia.
They are beautiful dogs of medium size, with a curled tail, and strong lines. Bred for hunting, they have amazing stamina and speed.
Being they evolved in colder climates, they have a thick double coat, and shouldn’t be considered as a warm-climate pet unless you keep their hair cut short.
Another feature that makes many owners happy is that they don’t give off “doggy odor”.
Elkhounds are usually 18-22 inches tall and generally weigh between 40-55 lbs. Pound for pound, they are one of the fiercest dogs in existence and make good guard dogs for homes and businesses.
One drawback, however, is that they bark a lot, so if noise is a problem, you may want to pass on this breed.
The Elkhound is friendly and fiercely loyal. These are great characteristics in a dog. But the downside of this is that you must properly socialize the animal when a pup, both around humans and other dogs.
The key is to help your buddy to learn early to associate his and your presence among other people and dogs as a good thing – not a situation requiring his or her defenses.
Like almost all breeds developed for hunting, they have a strong independent streak. They are a little resistant to training, so you will have to be patient and firm (but never mean!) Give lots of praise and rewards when the dog exhibits the exact behavior you are training.
They require lots of exercise space to run in, so they are generally not good condo or apartment dwellers. A large yard and active owner work the best.
Their breeding as hunters make them want to take off after “enticing” odors, so always walk them with a leash until you KNOW you have 100% verbal control over the dog.
Overall a Norwegian Elkhound is an excellent dog for a pet. They make great pets for active people, or perfect watch dogs for those with protection needs.