his ancient breed has a documented history going back to 4000 B.C. A Scandinavian breed, she was a companion of the Vikings and was used as both a guard dog and a hunting dog. When hunting, the Elkhound does not kill the bear or other large game but instead finds and tracks it, then holds it until the hunter arrives.

This medium-sized dog stands 19.5 to 20.5 inches tall and weighs 48 to 55 pounds. She is square in profile, with her body being the same length as she is tall at the shoulder. Her head is broad and wedge-shaped, her eyes are dark and medium-sized, and her ears are erect. The chest is deep and the body compact. The tail is tightly curled and carried over the back. The gray coat has a dense undercoat and a coarse, straight outer coat.

This coat requires at least twice weekly brushing during most of the year. However, when the dog sheds (twice a year), daily brushing is needed to get out all of the dead coat.

This breed is moderately active. She will enjoy daily walks, a jog, and a chance to romp in the backyard and hunt for small animals in the woodpile, but she is also willing to relax with you in the house. All exercise should be on leash or within a fenced-in yard, as the breed retains those ancient hunting instincts.

The Norwegian Elkhound Association of America says, "Basic obedience training is the key to a well-adjusted dog." Elkhounds are wonderful companion dogs, but they do need to learn that their owner is their leader. Without leadership, an Elkhound can be inventive about getting into trouble. When dog and owner are in tune with their training, this breed can be great fun.

This breed needs an owner who is willing to follow through with training and who can be a leader. A breed who does best when allowed to be a companion, the Elkhound is not a backyard dog. She can be good with children when raised with them. Health concerns include hip dysplasia, eye problems, and kidney defects.

Breed in Brief

Registries: AKC, UKC, CKC Occupation: Hunter, guardian Size: 19.5 to 20.5 in tall; 48

to 55 lbs Longevity: 11 to 13 years Exercise: Moderate Training: Moderate Grooming: Sheds heavily twice a year

Dog Training Basics

Dog Training Basics

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