27 Questions То Consider Before Getting A Norwegian Elkhound
By Sviat Oleksiv | Updated on September 25, 2021
Despite their name, Norwegian Elkhounds are neither hounds nor were they ever used to hunt elk. Instead, these dogs are pack hunters, similar to their wolf ancestors. And, instead of elk, they were bred and domesticated to hunt moose. The reason for the misunderstanding is that _Elghund _in Norwegian simply means “moose dog”.
With the linguistics out of the way, the more important question is whether this Norwegian dog is right for you? Are Norwegian Elkhounds good family pets? Are they social, playful, and affectionate, or are they as threatening as they look? We’ll cover those and the rest of the 27 questions to consider before getting a Norwegian Elkhound below.
1. Do Norwegian Elkhounds make good pets?
Much like other spitz breeds such as the Husky or the Pomeranian, Norwegian Elkhounds make for fantastic family dogs. Bred to be social, affectionate, and playful, these dogs are a joy to be around and raise. As a hunting breed, they’ve been bred to work together with people and to view us as a part of their pack.
2. Are Norwegian Elkhounds smart dogs?
Norwegian Elkhounds boast an impressive intelligence that often expresses itself through their humor and trickster personality. These are dogs that love to play (and win!) games and enjoy being challenged as well as challenging you too. Their social nature means that they prefer playing games with you rather than with puzzle toys, however.
3. Is a Norwegian Elkhound a good first dog or is it difficult to train?
These dogs have an independent streak that’s very common in highly intelligent breeds. This means that they can be somewhat challenging to train, unless tempt them with some treats or another reward. This can be somewhat challenging for an unprepared first-time owner but if you read up on obedience training you shouldn’t have any problems.
4. Do Norwegian Elkhounds talk?
Like Huskies, Norwegian Elkhounds are quite “talkative”. This comes from their nature as pack hunters which necessitated communication with other pack members. Plus, these dogs are more than smart enough to realize that people also communicate through speech so they too try to imitate human speech through barking, whining, howling, and other sounds.
5. Are Norwegian Elkhounds affectionate?
This is a highly social and affectionate breed. The only thing that gets in the way of an Elkhound’s affectionate nature is its high energy and playfulness. So, if your Elkhound doesn’t want to come cuddle on the couch, it’s not because it doesn’t love you but just because it needs to expel some energy first.
6. Is the Norwegian Elkhound breed good with children?
You’d think that a large, wolf-like, and hunting breed isn’t suitable for children, but Norwegian Elkhounds have proved excellent with kids. Their pack instincts easily and safely extend to the smallest members of the family and Elkhounds make for gentle and careful companions to kids.
Still, due to their size alone, it’s recommended to always supervise them closely in case of any knocks, falls, or other accidents.
7. Do Norwegian Elkhounds get along with other dogs?
This breed doesn’t seem to have any inherent aggression toward other canines. On the contrary, they are used to living with large packs and having other dogs around them. So, as long as both dogs are socialized and introduced properly (or raised together) everything should be just fine.
8. Can I have a cat with my Norwegian Elkhound?
Unlike actual hound breeds who have a very strong prey instinct toward small animals, Elkhounds’ prey drive is only focused on big game. So, surprising or not, Elkhounds do get along with cats quite well. Of course, proper socialization, introduction, and initial supervision are still a must, but that’s always the case with cats and dogs.
9. Are Norwegian Elkhounds aggressive toward strangers?
Norwegian Elkhounds don’t really have an especially pronounced aggression or even suspicion toward strangers. These dogs are social pack hunters, not watch or guard dogs. So, as long as you haven’t made your dog especially antisocial, it should feel perfectly fine around new people.
10. Do Elkhounds bark a lot?
A big part of the Elkhound’s “talkative” nature is its habit of barking. This can be done for many reasons – territorial instincts, fear, excitement, boredom, and so on. If you don’t want your dog to bark too much, obedience training and anti-bark training are a good idea. Aside from that, just accept this as a part of the dog’s vocabulary.
11. Do Norwegian Elkhounds howl?
Like Huskies and other spitz breeds, the Norwegian Elkhound loves to howl. This is a remnant of its wolf ancestry as well as a generally good way to communicate in the open tundra where this dog has lived for thousands of years.
Teaching a spitz dog not to howl can be challenging but it’s not impossible. Still, if you live in an apartment, such a loud dog is generally ill-advised unless you really hate your neighbors.
12. How much exercise does a Norwegian Elkhound need?
As you’d expect, the Elkhounds is a highly energetic breed. Not quite the marathon runner that the Husky is, the Elkhound still needs a minimum of two vigorous 30-60 minute walks a day. This doesn’t just mean walking around the block, however.
It means jogging, playing fetch in the dog park, going on hikes, and so on. You should also add a couple more hours of playtime at home or in the yard too. Without that, your Elkhound will likely start gaining weight, becoming bored and lethargic, as well as slowly developing other health problems.
13. Are Norwegian Elkhounds good apartment dogs or do they need a yard?
These dogs can live in apartments provided that you give them enough exercise in the dog park each day. You’d also have to teach them not to howl in the middle of the night or when you’re out at work. But, ideally, you’d have a house with a large and well-fenced yard for this dog to run and play in.
14. What type of coat do Norwegian Elkhounds have?
Like other spitz breeds, the Elkhound has a fluffy double-layered coat, designed to keep this dog warm in the harshest cold weather.
- Can Norwegian Elkhounds live in hot weather?
They can but they’d rather not. These dogs can feel fine in moderate climates but if you live in a tropical or subtropical area your dog will need air conditioning almost non-stop. You also won’t be able to walk your dog during most of the day – only in the early morning and after dark.
16. Can I shave my Norwegian Elkhound?
The gorgeous upper layer can be trimmed in whatever haircut you prefer but the undercoat should never be shaved – the Elkhounds relies on it for thermal regulation in warm as well as in cold weather.
17. Do Norwegian Elkhounds shed a lot?
Elkhounds are quite the shedders, yes. Like other double-coated spitz breeds, these dogs shed especially much during the spring and fall season. If you don’t want your house full of wolf hair, you’d do well to groom your Elkhound very well. Or – just get a dog that doesn’t shed as much.
18. Is it difficult to groom a Norwegian Elkhound?
Brushing your dog’s coat a couple of a few times a week is a must as is a regular monthly bath. Aside from that, grooming an Elkhound isn’t that much more different from grooming another dog. Nail clipping, ear and eye cleaning, and toothbrushing are also recommended. If you don’t want to get overwhelmed with hair in the spring and fall, visiting a professional groomer twice a year is a good idea.
19. Are Norwegian Elkhounds hypoallergenic?
Not at all. No dog really is hypoallergenic but the Elkhound isn’t even close to anything of the sort.
20. What colors do Norwegian Elkhounds come in?
These wolf-like dogs have medium grey and black hair, neatly accented with streaks of light silver.
21. How big do Norwegian Elkhound dogs get?
Adult Elkhounds are typically about 19 to 20 inches tall at the shoulder (48 to 51 cm). As for weight, females grow up to 48 pounds (22 kg) and males – up to 55 pounds (25 kg), unless you’ve allowed them to get overweight.
22. Are Norwegian Elkhounds good off leash?
While Elkhounds are good with strangers and don’t have a strong prey drive toward small animals, it’s usually best to keep them leashed when outside. Well-fenced dog parks are of course not a problem, but otherwise, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
23. How long do Norwegian Elkhounds live?
This healthy and purebred dog has an awesome lifespan of 12 to 15 years on average. This is awesome for such a dog, especially considering that it’s just an average – with good care and a bit of luck your Elkhound can live well beyond 15 years.
24. Are Norwegian Elkhounds healthy dogs?
As this breed isn’t overly popular (), it hasn’t been subjected to overbreeding and inbreeding. The result – it’s a very healthy dog! The few and not-too-likely health issues you should watch out for include:
Getting your pup with a health certificate from a reputable breeder is a great way to avoid most risks. The rest is a matter of good diet, regular exercise, and routine vet visits.
25. Are Norwegian Elkhounds endangered?
If you’re having trouble finding an Elkhound, that’s because these dogs are genuinely endangered and rarely bred. The mandatory spaying and neutering policies in Norway, together with the low interest in the breed, and the various legislation that further limits breeding have made these dogs at risk of disappearing.
26. Do Norwegian Elkhounds like to swim?
Every dog can learn to love swimming when used to it from early on and the Elkhound is no exception. Despite being a northern breed, this dog loves swimming and is pretty good at it.
27. How much does a Norwegian Elkhound puppy cost?
Depending on what breeder you find, a Norwegian Elkhound can cost anywhere between $1,500 and $6,000. Suffice it to say that the upper limit is quite steep but that’s what happens when a dog becomes so rare it’s outright endangered.
As you can see, the Norwegian Elkhound breed is a truly special and gorgeous dog. Much like other northern spitz breeds like the Husky, these dogs are still closely related to their wolf ancestors but they’ve also been domesticated enough to be excellent family pets. These dogs are highly energetic and playful, very smart and funny, and extremely affectionate and empathetic toward their two-legged pack members. This is definitely one underappreciated dog breed that we’d love to see more of.