Norwegian Elkhound: 21 Facts You Won't Believe!

Norwegian Elkhounds facts are fascinating to read.

The Norwegian Elkhound is one of the oldest dog breeds in the world. The breed dates back to 5000 B.C.E. They were earlier used as hunting dogs to chase big game like bears, wolves, and moose. They hold an intelligent breed standard that is capable of learning on its own. They require training at a young age if they are going to be domesticated. They make great pets since their watchfulness ability is impressive, and they are extremely protective of their owners.

Norwegian Elkhounds tend to shed a lot, and frequently. Their coat is thick, tightly curled, and dense since they were always bred in cold weather and regions from the start. Therefore they require regular brushing and occasional grooming. Trimming is essential from time to time or it will be challenging to keep their tightly curled coat clean.

The Norwegian Elkhound is a highly vocal dog. The breed tends to be aggressive and loud in the presence of danger and unknown people. But they can be properly trained in this area. They can develop friendly relationships with their owners quickly if they are trained right. They are warm, protective, and lovable dogs.    

If you'd like to see more such facts, check out American English coonhound facts and Croatian sheepdog facts.

Norwegian Elkhound

Fact File

What do they prey on?

High-quality dry dog food, fruits, vegetables, eggs

What do they eat?


Average litter size?

5-10 puppies

How much do they weigh?

Males: 50-60 lb (22.7-27.2 kg) Females: 40-50 lb (18.1-22.7 kg)

How long are they?


How tall are they?

Males: 19-21 in (48-54 cm)

Females: 18-20 in ( cm)

What do they look like?

Gray, white, silver

Skin Type


What are their main threats?


What is their conservation status?


Where you'll find them

Colder regions


Finland, Norway, Sweden, USA





Scientific Name

Canis Lupus Familiaris


Hound Group



Norwegian Elkhound Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Norwegian Elkhound?

Norwegian Elkhound is a purebred dog belonging to the hound family. The species is one of the oldest dog breeds. They date back to 5000 B. C. E. In the olden days, they were trained as hunting and working dogs. The qualities of natural athletic aura, loyalty, hard work, dependability, and companionship are still retained in them today. They make excellent working dogs because of their athletic, muscular physique. Norwegian Elkhounds can endure long and hectic labor days. Their strong and sturdy physique enables them to move around in rugged terrains with ease and agility. The double coat can be a black Norwegian Elkhound or a combination coat.

Norwegian Elkhounds are actually a kind of Spitz breed, owing to their pointed muzzle. But they are stockier and burlier than most dogs. They are dogs with high energy levels that can chase, howl and bark for a long time. They could be an excellent source of comfort and companionship to humans.    

What class of animal does a Norwegian Elkhound belong to?

Norwegian Elkhound belongs to the class of mammals and the hound family.

How many Norwegian Elkhounds are there in the world?

Norwegian Elkhounds are endangered in today’s times. There are about 4000 Norwegian Elkhounds left in the world. In the olden days, Norwegian Elkhounds were used for hunting big game bears, wolves, and moose in Norway. Since there is no hunting activity left in the country, the breeds of Norwegian Elkhound have also gone down. That is why the species is endangered.  

Where does a Norwegian Elkhound live?

Norwegian Elkhounds have dense and thick coats that enable them to tolerate the harsh winters of Sweden and Norway. Previously, they lived in the high mountain ranges of Norway where they were primarily used for hunting. That is the reason Norwegian Elkhounds are mostly spotted in colder areas.

They can bear heat as well but care needs to be taken because of their thick coat. Norwegian Elkhounds can get overheated if they are left in hot and humid areas for a long time.

What is a Norwegian Elkhound's habitat?

Norwegian Elkhounds were bred to be used in hunting wild animals. They thrived in the woods and mountains of Norway. But today, Norwegian Elkhounds are domesticated. Therefore they live with their owners. They make excellent pets but they require ample room to exercise and play. They can live in apartments but it has to be ensured that there is adequate room outdoors for them.    

Who do Norwegian Elkhounds live with?

Norwegian Elkhounds lived with humans from the start. They were bred for the purpose of hunting and as working dogs. Even today, they are bred for the purpose of domestication and work. Hence, they do not live in packs or with others from their species.

How long does a Norwegian Elkhound live?

The life span of Norwegian Elkhounds, or Norsk Elghund, ranges from 12-15 years.

How do they reproduce?

Norwegian Elkhounds reproduce like other members of their species. They give birth to a live puppy after the female pooch nourishes and raises them in her uterus.

What is their conservation status?

Norwegian Elkhounds are an endangered species today. Since these dogs were raised only for the purpose of hunting most of the time, their numbers have declined considerably today. Today, there are only around 4,000 Norwegian Elkhound dogs in the world. They are bred as working dogs today and make ideal pet dogs for humans. But they are not widely chosen. Therefore, they are not bred in large numbers.    

Norwegian Elkhounds have a shorter life expectancy due to some serious health concerns. They can live up to 15 years but due to ailments like cancer and heart disease, their life expectancy can be shortened, and they could die sooner.  

Norwegian Elkhound Fun Facts

What do Norwegian Elkhounds look like?

The Norwegian Elkhound dog breed can tolerate cold weather due to their double coat.

The Norwegian Elkhound is a medium-sized hunting dog. It has a wedge-shaped head, short legs, and a square profile. These purebred dogs have an impressively athletic and muscular physique that enables them to toil for long hours in labor.

A Norwegian Elkhound's double coat is thick, dense, and shaggy. They have always been bred in colder regions. The coat helps of this dog breed helps them in surviving the intense cold. The coat of Norwegian Elkhounds could be gray mixed with white and silver. They are also found in other combinations of colors like black and silver, silver and gray, black and gray.  

They are actually a kind of Spitz because of their small muzzle, but they are a lot bigger than other Spitz types. A Norwegian Elkhound dog breed has curved tails and upright and pointed ears.

How cute are they?

The purebred species of Norwegian Elkhound dog breed or Norsk Elghund have physically endearing features. They have pointed ears and a small muzzle that makes them cute and adorable. The young Norwegian Elkhound puppies are much cuter than the fully grown ones. The ears of an elkhound puppy are not pointed and tend to fall on the frontal side.

Norwegian Elkhound breeds come in multiple classic pooch shades of gray, silver, and black. They have large, dark brown eyes and curved tails.

How do they communicate?

Like other members of the species, A Norwegian Elkhound's communication is done through barking. The dog breed has a high tendency to bark. They are extremely hyper and active dogs who communicate with their owners aggressively and desperately due to their high energy level. With proper training, they can be taught to communicate more clearly with their owners.

Norwegian Elkhounds could bark aggressively if they sense danger in the vicinity or in the presence of strangers. These qualities make Norwegian Elkhounds excellent watchdogs or security dogs.

How big is a Norwegian Elkhound?

Norwegian Elkhounds are medium to large hunting dogs used by Norwegian hunters. They can grow up to be as tall as 20 in (50.8 cm). They are slightly shorter than German Shepherds. Their weight is less than German Shepherds too. A German Shepherd's weight is up to 95-100 lb (43.1-45.4 kg), whereas Norwegian Elkhounds could weigh half of that.

How fast can a Norwegian Elkhound run?

Norwegian Elkhounds can run at an impressive pace because of their ancestral hunting abilities. They are excellent chasers. Therefore they are bred as working dogs and watchdogs.

How much does a Norwegian Elkhound weigh?

Norwegian Elkhounds can weigh in the range of 40-60 lb (18.1-27.2 kg). They weigh less than the Standard German Shepherd but their heights are almost the same. Norwegian Elkhounds have athletic and muscular bodies, but they are lean if given the right exercise. The dog breed has strong and short hind legs that enable them to run faster.

What are the male and female names of the species?

There are no different terms for males and females in the breeds of Norwegian Elkhound.

What would you call a baby Norwegian Elkhound?

The babies of Norwegian Elkhound are called puppies, much like other breeds. There are no different terms for the puppy of Norwegian Elkhounds.

What do they eat?

Norwegian Elkhounds used to hunt and prey on wolves, bears, and moose. They are carnivore canines that have superior sensory abilities. Today, they are bred as watchdogs and working dogs. Norwegian Elkhounds can be fed with three to four cups of high-quality dry dog food to maintain their lean stature, strength, and bodyweight. They can also be fed raw chicken.

However, they should not be fed chocolates or human food without the proper guidance of a veterinary doctor.  

Are they slobbery?

Norwegian Elkhounds do not tend to drool frequently.

Would they make a good pet?

As a breed, the Norwegian Elkhound makes an excellent pet dog. They are smart, alert, vigilant, bold, and courageous. Their hunting and preying instincts are still instilled in them. They are alert at the time of danger or in the presence of strangers. They are watchful and protective, which makes them excellent security dogs. Norwegian Elkhounds tend to bark aggressively if they sense irregular activities. They are always protective of their owners.

Norwegian Elkhound is a low-maintenance dog breed. Apart from routine health checkups, basic coat brushing, and grooming, they do not have any special requirements that are essential to breed and raise them.  

Norwegian Elkhounds are protective, warm, comforting, and loyal. They do require attention and a lot of playtime for daily exercise, but they can be an excellent source of comfort when you are blue.  

Did you know...

The Norwegian Elkhound is the national dog of Norway.

Norwegian Elkhounds are known to develop loyal and inseparable bonds with their masters.

Norwegian Elkhounds are prone to weight gain. So they should not be overfed. Their diets must be checked with vets or other dog breeding experts.

Norwegian Elkhounds are known by other names too. They are Elkhound, Norwegian Moose Dog, Gray Norwegian Elkhound, Small Gray Elk Dog, Harmaa Norjanhirvikoira, Norsk Elghund.

Characteristics and health issues

Norwegian Elkhounds are kid-friendly as well as family-friendly. They can be stubborn at times, but they have a calm temperament. But it has to be ensured that they are within fenced boundaries when they are outdoors. The reason for the same is since their hunting instincts are high, they could mistake any animal for a threat and chase them. So it is necessary to leash them when they are around unknown people and animals. They have a calm and composed disposition until provoked or threatened.

Norwegian Elkhounds could face health issues like hypothyroidism and hip dysplasia. They also have the common hormonal disorder found in dogs in which their thyroid glands do not produce enough of the thyroid hormone. Fanconi syndrome, skin cysts, and eye conditions, including progressive retinal atrophy, are common. Their life expectancies could get shortened by illnesses and health problems like heart disease or cancer.

Getting your own Norwegian Elkhound

A Norwegian Elkhound puppy could be available for around $20,000, and KCI-registered pups of Norwegian Elkhound could cost amounts starting from $25,000. Show-quality Norwegian Elkhounds start from $35,000 and could be as expensive as $60,000.

Norwegian Elkhounds are easily trainable. Their training must be started at a young age. It makes them socially warmer towards people. Norwegian Elkhounds are smart dogs and have the ability to think and learn on their own. Hence they require mental exercises as well. Pet owners must ensure they get enough time and adequate outdoor room to daily exercise and play daily. They are not apartment dogs. They will tend to get restless if they are confined and leashed for longer periods of time.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these Irish Wolfhound facts and bulldog facts for kids.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our hound dog coloring pages.



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