Norwegian Elkhound

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Welcome to the captivating world of the Norwegian Elkhound! This distinguished breed, originating from Norway, is renowned for its strength, loyalty, and distinctive appearance, making it an ideal companion for those who appreciate a sturdy and dedicated canine friend. 


Bold, Loyal, Independent


19.5-20.5 inches


48-55 pounds

Life Expectancy

12-15 years

Norwegian Elkhound Breed Traits and Characteristics

Understanding the unique traits and characteristics of the Norwegian Elkhound is essential when considering this breed as your potential companion. Here’s a breakdown of crucial attributes that make them unique:


Bold: Norwegian Elkhounds are known for their bravery and determination, traits honed through centuries of hunting.
Loyal: They are intensely loyal to their families and often form deep connections with their human companions.
Independent: While they enjoy family interactions, they maintain a sense of self-reliance.

Social Behavior:

Protective: Norwegian Elkhounds have a protective instinct, making them excellent watchdogs and guardians of their home.
Playful: They enjoy interactive games and activities, bringing joy and excitement to their households.
Sociable: When properly socialized, they can get along well with other pets, making them suitable for multi-pet households.

Family Compatibility:

Good with Children: Norwegian Elkhounds are known for their natural affinity for children, making them excellent family dogs.
Active Families: Thriving in busy households, they enjoy participating in family activities and outings, contributing to the family’s dynamic.

Coat Variations:

Norwegian Elkhounds have a dense double coat that is typically gray with a black-tipped overlay, giving them their distinctive appearance.

male and female norwegian elkhound dogs

Males vs. Females: What to Consider

When contemplating adding a Norwegian Elkhound to your family, understanding the differences between males and females within this breed can be essential in making an informed decision. Both genders of Norwegian Elkhounds possess unique traits and characteristics to take into account:


  • Size: Male Norwegian Elkhounds are typically slightly more extensive, standing at an average height of about 20 to 22 inches at the shoulder and weighing between 55 to 65 pounds.
  • Personality: These males often exhibit confidence and a bold, outgoing nature. They are known for their high spirits, making them excellent companions for active families.
  • Energy Level: Male Norwegian Elkhounds tend to have a slightly higher energy level, making them well-suited for hiking and outdoor adventures. They thrive on physical exercise and mental stimulation.


  • Size: Female Norwegian Elkhounds are typically slightly smaller, with an average height of around 19 to 21 inches and a weight range of 48 to 58 pounds.
  • Personality: Female Norwegian Elkhounds may be more reserved and thoughtful than their male counterparts. They are known for their independence and loyalty, offering a balanced blend of affection and self-reliance.
  • Energy Level: Generally, female Norwegian Elkhounds have a slightly calmer energy level, although they still enjoy outdoor activities and play. They are more likely to appreciate quieter moments indoors.
    It’s important to note that, like with any breed, individual personalities can vary within each gender of Norwegian Elkhound. Each dog’s upbringing, socialization, and unique experiences play a significant role in shaping their behavior. Whether you choose a male or female Norwegian Elkhound, you’ll bring home a loyal and loving companion that fits your family’s dynamics, whether that means an adventurous spirit or a more laid-back demeanor.

norwegian elkhound dog breed picture

Care and Interaction for Your Norwegian Elkhound

To ensure the well-being and happiness of your Norwegian Elkhound, consider the following aspects of care and interaction:
Regular brushing helps maintain their double coat and minimize shedding.
Occasional baths will help keep them clean and fresh.
Pay attention to their ears and keep their nails trimmed.
Provide them with daily exercise, including walks, playtime, and outdoor activities.
Mental stimulation through puzzle toys and training sessions is crucial to engage their sharp minds.
Regular veterinary check-ups, vaccinations, and dental care are vital for their health.
Be aware of breed-specific health concerns and monitor their health accordingly.
By attending to these aspects, you’ll create an environment where your Norwegian Elkhound can thrive, showcasing their bold and loyal nature while maintaining their physical and emotional well-being. Your dedication to their care will be met with enduring loyalty and companionship.

Historical Background of the Norwegian Elkhound

The history of the Norwegian Elkhound is a testament to their enduring connection with their Norwegian heritage:
Originally, Norwegian Elkhounds played a pivotal role in hunting large game in Norway’s dense forests and rugged terrains. Their bravery, tenacity, and loyalty endeared them to hunters and their families, and they became cherished members of households.
Over the centuries, Norwegian Elkhounds transitioned from hunting partners to beloved family pets. Their distinctive appearance and unwavering loyalty have made them an iconic breed in Norwegian culture, a testament to the enduring bond between dogs and their human companions.
Today, Norwegian Elkhounds continue to be valued as both family dogs and working dogs. Their rich history and their steadfast personalities make them a breed worthy of admiration and respect, embodying the enduring bond between dogs and people across generations.


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