A hardy, medium-sized Spitz-type dog, sturdy, and squarely built with the stamina to hunt all day long for many days at a time. The stand-off double coat has a distinctive gray color. The tail curls tightly over the back. The head is broad and wedge-shaped, with a defined stop. The pointed prick ears are very mobile. The eyes are dark brown and friendly, with a keen expression. The teeth should meet in a scissors bite. The body is relatively short, and most of the length should be in the ribcage. The chest should be deep and relatively wide. The forelegs are straight and parallel to each other. The paws are small and tight with thick pads. The Norwegian Elkhound has no doggy odor.
An ancient breed—a skeleton similar to today's Norwegian Elkhound has been found dating from 4000 to 5000 BC. Historically, the dog was used in Scandinavia as a hunter of big game, especially moose ("Elg" in Norwegian). The dog can scent game from a distance of several kilometers. He tracks the quarry and attracts its attention by barking. Then he holds the animal at bay until the hunter arrives to make the kill. Over the centuries, Elkhounds have also successfully hunted badger, lynx, mountain lion, bear, wolf, reindeer, and even rabbit. The Elkhound is particularly well-suited to badger hunting because he works better at night than in the daytime. In more recent times, the friendly and reliable character of the Elkhound has helped win him a place in many homes as a cherished family pet.
Fearless and friendly; a reliable, energetic, and alert companion for children and a sensible guard. A clean and docile dog with an outstanding character. Affectionate and loyal, engaging and sensitive. Dignified and independent.