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Description of Norwegian Elkhound

The Breed History

Six thousand years ago is the estimated timeline given for the origins of this ancient breed, also termed the "Dog of the Vikings". Archeological records show skeletal remains that match the breed in size and constitution dating from between 4000-5000 BC alongside stone weapon remnants. The first breed standard was drawn up in 1877. This is one of the Scandinavian elkhounds (Swedish Elkhound, Norwegian Buhund are others) included in the Spitz dog family. AKC recognition occurred in1913.

Breeding for Function

Working as a chicken and duck herder, a guard dog, hunter for moose, elk, lynx, raccoon, fox and bear and as a sled dog, this was truly a versatile dog. Courageous enough to defend against bear and wolf, but gentle enough to be a companion. Stamina is a hallmark of the breed rather than extreme speed. Their short-coupled stature allows them the agility to hold quarry at bay; avoiding harm while sounding a strong voice for the hunter.

Physical Characteristics

Height at Withers: female 19.5" (49.5 cm), male 20.5" (cm)

Weight: females 48 lb (22 kg), males 55 lb (25 kg)

Coat: They have a distinctive double gray coat. Hairs are straight, and the coat lies smoothly. The overcoat hairs are black-tipped. The undercoat is wooly and dense and silvery shaded as is the underside and legs of the dog. There is a black tip on the tail; ears and muzzle are also black. They undergo twice-yearly shedding and have moderate grooming needs and no doggy odor.

Longevity: 12-13 years

Points of Conformation: These dogs possess heavy bone and well-developed musculature and a compact conformation. The wedge-shaped head is broad and ears are held pricked up. The high-set tail is carried curled over the back. Eyes are medium-sized, oval, and dark brown in color. The stop is clearly defined, skull is broad, and the muzzle tapers. The neck is muscular, of medium length and slightly arched, without throatiness. The thorax is large and deep, and the ribs well sprung. The topline gradually slopes down to the rear. The legs are straight boned, dewclaws are usually left on, and paws are small with a compact oval shape. The gait is smooth and ground covering.

Thanks for description - Animal life club

Photo Gallery of Norwegian Elkhound