Norwegian Elkhounds are large dogs with an elegant appearance. Although they are working dogs, they are also devoted, loyal, and friendly family companions. Here are a few facts about Norwegian Elkhounds:
1. They Are One of the Oldest European Dog Breeds
The Norwegian Elkhound hails from Norway and originated there several thousands of years ago. They often make appearances in Norse folk tales and legends.
Their ancestry has been traced back as far as 4-5000 BC. This makes them one of the oldest European dog breeds and one of the oldest dog breeds in the world.
2. Norwegian Elkhounds Were Multipurpose Working Dogs
Norwegian Elkhounds are a working dog breed. Although they were bred specifically to hunt big game, they could also work in a variety of capacities. Throughout history, they were commonly found hunting, sailing, working on farms, etc.
On farms, Elkhounds could protect property and livestock and also herd them. These dogs could also be found hauling goods to market and assisting their owners on hunts. They were prized hunting dogs for their abilities to track, trail, and then hold large game. They could even be found sailing and working on Viking ships!
In modern times, they can still be found as hunting dogs and working on farms. They are also a great fit for training as service dogs and tend to excel in search and rescue work as well. As one of the dog breeds that love winter, they’re a great fit for search and rescue in cold, icy, or wintry conditions.
3. They Took Some Time to Reach the Rest of the World
Despite their long history and ancient ancestry, they were rare outside of Norway. It wasn’t until the 19th century when the Norwegian Elkhound started to show up in England.
The official kennel club of the United Kingdom, the Kennel Club, recognized the Norwegian Elkhound in 1901. In 1913, the American Kennel Club recognized the breed and categorized in the Hound Group.
4. Norwegian Elkhounds Are Also Great Companions
The Norwegian Elkhound may be a working dog that needs a job to do and is serious while working, but they do have a playful side. They tend to make a fantastic family companion and tend to loving, friendly, and playful when they’re not “on a job”.
These dogs tend to get along well with both children and other dogs. Their high prey drive can make smaller pets in the household difficult if they weren’t raised together. They are initially wary and reserved around strangers, but tend to warm up once introduced as long as they have been properly socialized.
5. They Technically Should be Called “Moosehounds” in the U.S.
Although this dog breed is called an Elkhound or Norwegian Elkhound in the United States, the name didn’t technically translate correctly. The breed’s original name was “Norsk Elghund”.
But, the animal that Europeans call an elk is what Americans would call a moose. In America, moose and elk are two different animals. Because of this, the technically correct translation of “Elghund” for America is “moose dog” or “moosehound” and not “elkhound”.
These are only a few facts about the Norwegian Elkhound. If this seems like the right dog breed for you, learn more about them, and then check out the available Norwegian Elkhound puppies. Who knows? You could end up finding your new best friend!