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Norwegian Elkhound

Bold, energetic and fearless (other names: Norsk Elghund, Grahund, Gray Norwegian Elkhound, Small Grey Elk Dog)

Norwegian Elkhound
origin:Norway
life expectancy:12-13 years
classification:Hound
height:46 to 53 cm
weight:18 to 27 kg
exercise: Demandingtraining: Difficultclimate: Coldgrooming: Needs groomingfeeding: Demandingsize: Medium
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History [ edit ]

The Norwegian Elkhound is the most classic of the Spitz-type breeds of dog, and it is considered the national dog of Norway. There are controversial theories about the ancientness of this breed. A skeleton similar to the modern Norwegian Elkhound has been found dating back to 4000 to 5000 B.C. and for many years, the breed was considered one of the oldest dog breeds, but recent DNA analysis suggests, however, that the current standards of this breed were actually a recent developpement, although by natural methods. The Elkhound is a member of the scent hound family and an exceedingly versatile dog which was bred for agility and endurance with great dignity and independence of character. It is being sucessfull used as a retriever and to herd farmyard chickens and ducks. Furthermore, Elkhounds are excellent as sled dogs. The Norwegian Elkhound is one of the few breeds which do not have any doggie odor.
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General Appearance [ edit ]

The Norwegian Elkhound is a a typical northern dog of medium size, square, robust, athletic and well balanced, with the stamina to work all day long.The body is relatively short and and close-coupled, most of the length being in the ribcage. The chest should be deep and relatively broad and the ribs well sprung. The Topline is straight and the loin short and wide with very little tuck-up. The forelegs are straight and the paws are small and tight with thick pads.The wedge-shaped head is broad at the ears, strong and dry, with a defined stop. It is carried on a medium length neck, muscular, well set up and with a slight arch. The skull is only slightly arched.The black muzzle is thickest at the base and tapering slightly but without being pointed. The medium-sized, oval eyes are dark brown and friendly with a friendly, keen and alert expression.The pointed prick ears are black, set high, firm and erect, and very mobile. The tail, thickly and closely haired, is set high, rolled tightly over its back and has a black tip. The double coat is truly weather-proof, the outer coat thick, hard and straight and the undercoat soft, dense and woolly. The hair is longest on back of neck, buttocks and underside of tail and Short and even on head, ears, and front of legs. The color is a distinctive gray, darkest on the saddle, with a lighter undercoat and undersides.
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Temperament [ edit ]

The Norwegian Elkhound is a bold, energetic, fearless, reliable and extremely loyal companion, yet somewhat chary of strangers, but they will greet family members and known friends with enthusiasm. Norwegian Elkhounds are highly intelligent, have a mind of their own, and a deep independent streak, which makes them somewhat resistant to obedience training. Sometimes their resistance is due to the breed´s excellent sense of smell, which may be a distraction during training. This breed is very sensitive and does not tolerate harsh punishment. Training should be firm but gentle and started from puppywood. They are very clean, affectionate and loyal but they tend to roam, again due to their acute sense of smell and their high energy. A relatively high amount of strenuous exercise, at least one hour a day, is advisable, however, they may be kept quite happily in a normal-sized suburban backyard.They are generally tolerant with children and should not be left unsupervised with small or misbehaved children. They should also be properly socialized with other dogs and non-canine pets. Norwegian Elkhounds, when properly trained, make good watchdogs due to their loud barking and their protective instincts of their family.They have an outstanding character and make good companions for active families who have the time to provide the exercise they need and understand their nature.
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Health [ edit ]

The Norwegian Elkhound should be overfed for this breed tends to put on weight quickly. They are prone to pyotraumatic dermatitis, hip dysplasia, pyotraumatic dermatitis, PRA and, sometimes, the Fanconi syndrome.
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Dog trivia [ edit ]

The Norwegian Defense Minister had the power to mobilise all privately owned Elkhounds in case of war
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