It’s quite obvious based on the name of the breed that the Norwegian Elkhound originated in Norway. What is interesting and surprising is what they were originally bred to do. This dog is not a big dog. Depending on gender it can stand between 19.5 and 20.5 inches tall and weigh between 48 and 55 pounds. However, despite their size, they were used to hunt large game, including moose, bear and elk. They were successful at this job because with their thick coats they were able to stand the sub zero temperatures and deep snow, and they were also able to navigate through rough terrain like forests and mountains. They were not expected to kill the game, but keep it at bay until the hunter could do so.
The breed inevitably came to the United States and was finally recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1930. It resides in the Hound Group. Today, the Norwegian Elkhound is often found as a companion animal for families. They bring a sense of security to this role as they are protective dogs who will be leery of other animals. However, they are also very playful and fun-loving dogs.
Families in colder climates are the best fit for this breed, as their double coat still provides them extreme warmth that would be detrimental in warm weather. They are still very active dogs as well, and need a good jog, a very long walk, or stimulating play session a day to remain happy and healthy. All exercise should be regulated to make sure the dog does not overheat. Again, exercising in the cooler hours of the day is a good idea.
The most common health conditions associated with this breed are hip dysplasia, the malformation of the hip joint; hot spots, an infection of the skin that can spontaneously appear; and kidney disease, the improper function of the kidneys. Many owners of Norwegian Elkhounds opt to invest in pet insurance to help offset any costs they incur treating their dogs for these conditions and more. If all health conditions are properly treated and the dog is taken care of in other ways, they are known to live to be between ten and 12 years old.
Heather Rey is a pet lover and internet journalist that strives to provide the best care possible for her pets. For pet-related information, visit this pet insurance site.