Norwegian Elkhounds were bred to endure the harsh cold and snowy climates of Nordic countries. Farmers and hunters needed dogs that were able to deal with strenuous activity through the often subzero temperatures that so characterized the Scandinavian area. Once the Norwegian Elkhound gained popularity, however, it was transported throughout the world, and oftentimes to places whose climatic characteristics proved to be the opposite of those under which the breed was created. Indeed, nowadays you can find Norwegian Elkhounds in such diverse places as the southern US and in Australia. How does the breed handle the heat? Should Elkhounds only be kept in snowy, cold countries?
Let's look at the second question first. There are quite a number of dog breeds with thick coats, that were bred in various cold regions on the planet as sled dogs, hunters or herders. Most of these types of dogs have a double coat; the outer coat is somewhat hard and resists dirt and water, while the undercoat is soft, wooly, and dense and protects from cold weather and the harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun. While these dogs are happiest in cold climates, they do not have to be confined to cold countries; in other words, to own a Norwegian Elkhound you don't have to move to Norway.
So if you live in Florida, how can you make sure your Norwegian Elkhound is happy during hot times? First of all, you're going to have to have your dog "acclimate" to warm weather. This means that you need to restrict his activity and his time outdoors when the weather starts getting hotter until he is used to the heat. Even then, you should not let your Norwegian Elkhound engage in any kind of strenuous activities during the hottest months of the year and should actually not keep him outside for extended periods of time. If you live in an area that's hot pretty much all year round, acclimation occurs when you first bring your dog home. You should NOT shave your dog, as its coat is essential for protecting it from the elements and from sunburn. The dog has its own built-in mechanism for getting rid of excessive fur and will shed a great deal before it starts getting hot. In any case, the Norwegian Elkhound's coat does not cause heat problems if the dog is properly monitored and cared for during hot days.
Obviously, you're going to have to provide your dog with a constant, clean source of drinking water and when outside, you should always provide some sort of shade from the sun; the ideal would be allowing the dog to come inside to cool off. If outdoors without shade, an Elkhound will dig a hole to expose the earth that is cool beneath the surface; he will curl up in this hole to cool himself off. If you see this happening, you know your dog is too hot and you should bring him inside. Do not ignore your dog with the excuse of not allowing him to exercise in the heat; play with your dog or take him on walks during the early morning or after the sun sets. Lastly, never, ever keep your Elkhound, or any other dog, closed in a confined space with poor ventilation.