NORWEGIAN ELKHOUND DOG

Take home an ancient Viking relic, the Norwegian Elkhound is a brave hunter and hard with the Stone Age fossils in its origins. 
A resistant hunter, gray, the Norwegian Elkhound is a classic Nordic with its erect, wedge shaped head, tail strongly curled, thick winter coat, and intelligent expression. The ideal Elkhound male stand at 47 cm and the female 44; it weighs 27 kg, the female 3.5 kg less. It is square on profile and compact with good bone structure. The head is wide, the ears without loose skin; the eyes are very dark brown and not protruding; the ears are high inserted and firm, very expressive; stop clearly perceptible; the muzzle narrows without being pointy. The neck is medium length, without dewlap; the back straight; the chest deep and moderate width; the tail high inserted, strongly curled and carried over the back but not dropping sideways. The fore and hind legs, balanced in angulations and growth, easing an agile and resistant movement. The coat is thick and weather resistant, flat on the body, with a soft and woolly undercoat. Colors: gray and black. The most popular color for the Elkhound is grayish; the black tips in the hair determine the gray’s darkness; muzzle, ears and the tip of the tail are black. A spotted coloring is undesirable, and any other color (as red, brown, black or solid white) disqualifies. The FCI has two different standards, one for grayish and another one for black. Americans have a single standard and black is not admitted.
 
WHO IS IT RIGHT FOR
Elkhound people are the most committed fans to their breed. There is plenty of mysticism around the breed, since the Elkhound seems so balanced, with personality, obedient and playful. Since it is a breed with plenty of energy, it is not recommendable for elderly people or lazy people. Its mind and appearance are sharp, and it is an excellent guardian, making use of its strong bark. The Elkhound learns quickly and gives its partner little challenge: it should be rewarded often and will continue responding positively.
 
DEVELOPMENT
The size of the litters and the puppies’ weigh varies a lot in this breed, and usually there is correlation amongst them. The average weight is 390 g, although it can be only 140 g. The dewclaw should be removed during the first week. There can be white spots in the chest and on the feet; assuming that they are small, they should disappear when the coat acquires its typical gray color, which begins after few weeks. The Elkhound reaches sexual maturity between six months and the year, although complete maturity until after 18 or 14 months for the female, and no less than 30 months for the male. The young plush haired Elkhound needs more brushing when the adult coat emerges, as well as during the seasonal sheddings.
 
HEALTH
A happy and socialized Elkhound puppy is the best choice. Breeders spend many hours socializing the puppies, as well as testing their specimens for considerable eye problems before breeding them. 
 
Hair care makes or breaks the Elkhound. It is a healthy breed by nature, with few hereditary problems and very resistant to diseases. However, proper diet and regular brushing is essential to keep it healthy. Hair care is simple although it requires time, since it needs abundant brushing and daily combing. Skin problems are frequent in the elkhound, and many of them can reduce with proper care. Humid dermatitis is common. As well as seborrhea, although it has more relation to the diet than coat care, also subcutaneous cysts occur. As for diet, the Elkhound has a peculiar metabolism, with a highly efficient digestive system. This results in better absorption and making the most of the nutrients. Diet should be adapted accordingly, and many times vitamin and mineral supplements are recommended. The owner should follow the breeder/veterinarian’s advice in this aspect to avoid potential complications. More serious, although less frequent, are retinal progressive atrophy and kidney disease. Glaucoma and a degenerative process can affect the Elkhound’s sight; this dysplasia causes night blindness in a six week puppy, keeping its day sight for two or three years. Your possible breeder should examine these problems.
 
The Elkhound is adaptable and playful, although it prefers active owners that live in the country. An apartment tenant with a 9 to 5 work routines are not the ideal owners for the Elkhound.