Meet the Brave Norwegian Elkhound

  1. Where does the Norwegian Elkhound come from?

Norway. He is one of the oldest European breeds, is a member of the Nordic Spitz family and is the National Dog of Norway.

  1. How did the Norwegian Elkhound get his name?

The name is a direct translation from the original Norwegian name Norsk elghund, which means “Norwegian moose dog.” That’s right, moose, not elk.

  1. What is the Norwegian Elkhound like?

Friendly, confident, dependable, affectionate. Stubborn and independent. Reserved with strangers until properly introduced.

  1. How active is the Norwegian Elkhound?

Very. This is a hunter, tracker and top-performing athlete so frequent, vigorous exercise is a must, as well as interactive games and play.

  1. Is the Norwegian Elkhound good at any dog sports or activities?

Yes. This is a smart and versatile breed. Agility, flyball, carting and herding are all great dog sports to channel the Elkhound’s energy. They are also fine swimmers.

  1. Does the Norwegian Elkhound need a job?

Yes. Elkhounds are versatile and adaptable. Work around their stubborn streak, be inventive, and make them think the job was their idea.

  1. Is the Norwegian Elkhound good for first-time dog owners?

They can be. They are smart but independent, so training will be a challenge. Don’t expect a push-button dog. They are also vocal, so accept that you will have to control that barking tendency from a young age. Here are some tips on controlling a dog bark.

  1. Is the Norwegian Elkhound a good family pet?

The best match would be active owners and families that enjoy exercise and have a fenced yard. This is a strong, boisterous dog breed with a tendency to pull on the leash so exercising by a young child or a senior probably not advised. The Norwegian Elkhound is bred to hunt, so watch the rodents, pet birds and cats. The breed likes to bark so not ideal for renters, or those who are away for long periods of time.

  1. Is the Norwegian Elkhound a good apartment dog?

Typically, no. A large, securely fenced yard is recommended for safe, off-leash exercise. This is a high-energy dog who can become destructive if suitable outlets are not provided.

  1. How easy is it to train a Norwegian Elkhound?

The dog breed is trainable but given his independence, lessons should be short, fun and varied. Mental stimulation is key to prevent boredom. Read out article on basic, or manners training, your dog.

  1. Is the Norwegian Elkhound given to excessive barking?

Yes. This is a typical Nordic Spitz so he will be vocal. You will need to train your Elkhound puppy from an early age that random barking is not acceptable. Barking is often a sign of boredom so keep his environment interesting.

  1. Does the Norwegian Elkhound make a good traveler?

Typically, yes. Get him accustomed to car travel early. Crate training is essential for safe car and air travel, hotel and motel stays, overnight visits to the veterinarian, etc.

  1. Is the Norwegian Elkhound easy to groom?

Yes, in terms of not requiring visits to a professional groomer for trimming. However, the breed has a thick, double coat so there is lots of shedding year-round. Frequent, thorough brushing will remove a lot of that dead hair before it ends up on your floors, carpets, furniture and clothes. In his favor, the Elkhound coat does not carry a doggy smell, and so baths are not frequently needed. Regular care of nails, ears and anal glands is necessary, as with every dog.

  1. How popular is the Norwegian Elkhound?

No. 100 in the American Kennel Club list of most popular breeds in 2021, based on annual registrations. (There are 200 AKC-recognized breeds in all.)


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