Norwegian Elkhound Facts:
The Norwegian Elkhound was first bred in Norway during the 1800’s. They are still used today as guard dogs, search and rescue teams, sled dog team members, police dogs and even service animals.
Their loyalty is legendary!
There are several breeds of dog called “elks” but they are not related to the elk. There were two types of these dogs; the native breed or “bronn” and the imported breed or “elk”.
The bryn were smaller than the elk and had shorter legs. They could weigh up to 80 pounds. The elk were larger than the bryn, with longer legs and thicker bones. They weighed between 100-150 pounds.
In Norway there are many different breeds of dogs called “elks”, but they are all related to each other, so it is difficult to tell them apart from one another without knowing their common names. These include the brynn, the brunn, the løvner (short-nosed), the kjærlig (long-nosed) and others.
It is believed that elk were introduced into Norway around 1000 AD. The elk are known to have been hunted to extinction in Norway by 1500 AD.
Elk are usually found in forests and mountains where they live alone or in small packs. They can run at speeds up to 50 mph and can jump over obstacles in their way.
The Norwegian Elkhound is not related to the American Elkhounds, Irish Elkhounds, or Scottish Elkhounds. The names are only coincidentally similar due to the love of hunting elk by the Scandinavians.
The Norwegian Elkhound is not really a hound. It is part of the spitz family, which includes the likes of the Akita, Samoyed, and Siberian Husky.
Norwegian Elkhounds are very friendly. While they are good with children, they can sometimes be a little too rambunctious for them.
They have a double coat and shed heavily twice a year. They are also prone to burrs and tangles.
The Norwegian Elkhound has a lifespan of 10-12 years and weigh anywhere from 30-40 pounds.
They are very reserved with strangers at first, but eventually will warm up to them. They are wary of other dogs as well.
They are not known to be aggressive.
They are a very intelligent breed and want to please their owners. They do very well in obedience.
They are also very agile.
They often make good Therapy dogs for children with behavioral problems. They will play along and let the child be in charge, as long as they are gentle with them.
These dogs are escape artists and will go through any opening to get out, so you must always keep them confined or they will roam freely, maybe not return, and get lost or hit by a car.
Sources & references used in this article:
Glucosuria in Norwegian elkhounds and other breeds during dog shows by R Heiene, H Bjørndal, A Indrebø – Veterinary Record, 2010 – veterinaryrecord.bmj.com
Genetic screening for PRA‐associated mutations in multiple dog breeds shows that PRA is heterogeneous within and between breeds by LM Downs, R Hitti, S Pregnolato… – Veterinary …, 2014 – Wiley Online Library
Genetic analysis of hunting traits in Norwegian elkhounds by M Wetten, T Aasmundstad – … 10th World Congress of Genetics Applied to …, 2014 – asas.org
A novel missense mutation in ADAMTS10 in Norwegian Elkhound primary glaucoma by SJ Ahonen, M Kaukonen, FD Nussdorfer, CD Harman… – PloS one, 2014 – journals.plos.org
Analysis of genetic variation in 28 dog breed populations with 100 microsatellite markers by DN Irion, AL Schaffer, TR Famula… – Journal of …, 2003 – academic.oup.com
Amylase activity is associated with AMY2B copy numbers in dog: implications for dog domestication, diet and diabetes by M Arendt, T Fall, K Lindblad‐Toh, E Axelsson – Animal genetics, 2014 – Wiley Online Library
Sequence analysis of domestic dog mitochondrial DNA for forensic use by P Savolainen, B Rosen, A Holmberg, T Leitner… – Journal of Forensic …, 1997 – astm.org