The Norwegian Elkhound is an exceedingly versatile dog developed as a companion to the Vikings, guardian, herder and hunter. Their compactness, robustness, and stamina evolved from the need to have a hunter, where endurance rather than speed was called for. Originally used to hunt elk, the Norwegian Elkhound would alert the hunter to the presence of the quarry by whimpering and then pursuing the elk. Bouncing like a rubber ball, they would jump nimbly in and out of reach of the antlers and forefeet, and their high pitched voice directed the hunter to the scene.


A medium sized grey dog, the Norwegian Elkhound is square in profile with a broad skull, prick ears and a tail which is curled tightly over the back. The coat is dense and smooth lying.

Average Lifespan

12 – 14 years


The Norwegian Elkhound makes an ideal companion for adults and older children. They are lively and energetic with a friendly disposition, intelligent, quick to learn, trustworthy, sensitive, and have an ability to adapt to any circumstance.

Exercise/ Training

Training Norwegian Elkhounds can be challenging due to their independent nature. However if taught properly, they are obedient and understand the importance of a command. They can make good agility and tracking dogs.

Heatlh concerns

Norwegian Elkhounds are prone to weight gain so avoid overfeeding. For the latest research in breed-related problems in Norwegian Elkhounds visit the University of Sydney’s LIDA (Listing of Inherited Disordrs in Animals) website.