- Pets and Animals
Norwegian Elkhounds Are Great Pets
What's An Elkhound?
Norwegian Elkhounds are fantastic pets, but they have some qualities and behaviors that you should research before you add one to your family. I wouldn't trade mine for the world, but sometimes she's a lot of work! Elkhounds are a medium breed dog who shed like crazy! If you don't like furry pets and don't want to worry about controlling shedding, this dog is not for you! They also bark a lot and tend to pull when going for walks. I bet if you have a Norwegian Elkhound you've tried using a Gently Leader! They are very gentle and sweet and truly want to please their family.
Abbey The Elkhound
My dog Abbey is a seven year old Norwegian Elkhound. She is a great companion and I can't imagine life without her. In 2005 I decided I wanted to adopt a puppy, but when I researched the process I realized that adoption was not going to be an option for me. Since I was renting my apartment it was going to be difficult for me to get all of the paperwork I needed in order to be approved for adoption. I had done a lot of research on dog breeds and I knew exactly what I wanted. I wanted a nonshedding small to medium sized dog. I desperately wanted a puppy and I happened upon Norwegian Elkhound puppies. I fell in love with the curly tailed beauties immediately. They were everything I didn't want in a dog and I bought one anyway. Abbey is probably the furriest shedding dog I have ever encountered, but her gentle demeanor and unconditional love and loyalty make the daily shedding and vacuuming worth it.
About The Breed
What's An Elkhound All About?
Norwegian Elkhounds are originally from Scandinavia. They were bred as hunting dogs and guard dogs. These dogs make ideal hunting dogs because they are mid-sized and have a lot of stamina. The key to their success as hunting dogs is their bark. Norwegian Elkhounds have a fierce bark. When hunting they circle their intended target which was originally elk and bear. They would bark at the animals and eventually get them cornered. This gave the hunter an easy target to shoot at.
Elkhounds are typically black and gray with some color variation. They are a medium breed that typically weighs 46-55 pounds. They have beautiful markings and a curly tail. Their undercoat is very thick and they shed a lot. Daily brushing is recommended. Their coat is waterproof which ideal in hunting situations. These dogs are typically very friendly and get along well with children. They love to go for walks and partake in family activities. Elkhounds can get very focused on things, especially if they catch an interesting scent. I do not recomment that you ever trust a Norwegian Elkhound off it's leash unless you feel very comfortable with their training.
Guides to Elkhounds and other fun things
If you're going to own an Elkhound, you should probably learn as much as you can about the breed. This book should help.
This book is full of information about the Norwegian Elkhound breed.
How I Care For My Elkhound
Like any pet, Abbey needs a lot of care and attention. Like I mentioned before, she is a very furry girl. I have to constantly brush her in order to keep her shedding under control. I also have a hard time walking her. This could be due to my lack of training in this area, but I've resorted to using a gently leader when I walk her. A gentle leader is often mistaken for a muzzle, but it's really nothing like a muzzle. It goes around her muzzle and clips around her neck. The leash attaches under her mouth. This makes it nearly impossible for her to pull me when I take her out. Abbey is a very loyal dog and she desperately wants to please me. She was very easily house broken and trained (aside from pulling during walks). She is very ashamed of herself if she disappoints me or has an accident. I give her reassurance and let her know how much I love her.
Abbey's Favorite Toys
Here are a few things that make my Elkhound a happy girl.