The Norwegian Elkhound is one of the oldest breed of dogs, with archeological remains attesting to its existence as far back as 6000 years ago. It had a variety of jobs in its native snow-covered Norway, including herding, guarding and hunting small and very large game. The Norwegian Elkhound recognized by the American Kennel Club, the United Kennel Club, the Canadian Kennel Club and the Kennel Club of Great Britain is the Grey Norwegian Elkhound; this breed is born black, but after several weeks its coat becomes a grayish color with varying shades of black and light silver along parts of its body. Importantly, any base, or overall, color other than gray constitutes grounds for disqualification according to these Kennel clubs. [...]
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? [...]
Dogs are very much like children and need to be educated about how to behave properly and what behaviors are unacceptable. If a puppy isn't trained, then problem behaviors will persist into adulthood and worsen. Not only will the behaviors themselves increase in frequency, but an adult dog's actions can be much more dangerous than the actions of a small puppy. One of the dog behaviors that can get out of hand if not curtailed early on is biting.
No dog behavior is inherently "bad." Dog behavior is the result of both the natural forces that shaped wolf pack behavior and the selective breeding humans performed in order to create breeds suitable for specific jobs. [...]
If you're thinking about adding a canine companion to your household, you need to seriously consider that bringing home a dog is not the same thing as bringing home a cute stuffed animal. You will be responsible for a living creature's mental and physical well-being. Besides grooming the dog and making sure it gets enough love and activity, you must provide it with the proper diet. And grabbing a bag of the cheapest kibble (or even the most expensive) at the supermarket simply won't cut it. Just as each person is unique, so each dog is unique, with different metabolic characteristics and dietary requirements; what is the right amount of a particular vitamin for one breed could actually be toxic for another breed. There are also many different forms of minerals, and different breeds assimilate different forms better than others. Ignoring dietary requirements could lead your dog to suffer allergies, skin problems and intestinal disorders, among other things. [...]
Due to poor breeding, many dogs unfortunately suffer from a number of hereditary diseases. Thankfully, the Norwegian Elkhound is not among the breeds that suffer from the largest number of health problems. There is increasing evidence that Elkhounds tend to suffer from a variety of eye problems, such as progressive retinal atrophy (common in a number of dog breeds), lens luxation and glaucoma. Norwegian Elkhound owners should constantly monitor their dogs for changes in behavior or strange behavior that could indicate the onset of any of these issues; it's also a good idea to have your Elkhound's eyes checked regularly by a veterinarian so as to catch these problems early if they do indeed pop up in your dog. [...]
The Norwegian Elkhound was bred to be an extremely versatile dog, used as a hunter, herder, sled dog and guardian. They were bred to be hardy dogs, able to withstand hours of strenuous work in extremely cold and harsh conditions. Not only were they bred to be hardy, but they needed to be bold, courageous and also extremely intelligent, as their prey was often many times larger than themselves and very dangerous; indeed, Elkhounds were used to hunt and guard against moose, bear, and even wolves. Because hunting these animals was so dangerous and required strategy, Elkhounds were also bred to be extremely loyal to their humans, considering their humans as integral members of the pack. It's partly thanks to this inbred loyalty that Norwegian Elkhounds make such good watchdogs. [...]
The Norwegian Elkhound's name in English derives from the dog's original name, Elghund; "Elg", however, actually means "Moose", while "Hund" actually means "Dog"; the Elkhound, therefore, is a Moosedog and was originally bred to hunt these enormous animals in its native Norway. Thankfully, the dog also gained popularity in the show ring and was introduced to the rest of the world. This ascension into the limelight, though, did not lead to a decline in the breed's hunting characteristics in favor of its show qualities. In Northern countries, especially Norway, the dog is still used to do what it was bred to do: hunt moose. [...]
Hot spots are medically known as acute moist dermatitis; essentially, these spots are reddened, localized bacterial skin infections, common in many species of dogs. The bacterial infection is not what triggers the creation of a hot spot, however. A simple persistent skin irritation that causes itching is what gets hot spots going; a dog will chew or simply lick the irritated area constantly as long as the itching persists, and this will lead to skin damage. Once the skin is damaged, bacteria can easily move in and infect the area. Some of the most common causes of the initial skin irritation are fleas or other parasites, allergies, burrs, lack of grooming and heat; some dogs are so sensitive, though, that even something as simple as a certain type of shampoo may initiate irritation. Some experts actually believe that the underlying cause of the majority of hot spots is merely an increase in the humidity and overall temperature of the skin; add any of the above factors and the irritation simply gets worse. [...]
As mentioned previously, purebred dogs are often shown in what are called conformation events. These are the dog shows that you often see on television; what many people may not know is that the dogs are not competing against one another in these events. Instead, the dogs are each being judged against their particular breed's "standard" or "ideal dog"; this "ideal dog" has never actually existed, or at least the judges don't have any one single live dog in mind when observing the candidates. This "ideal" is what the breed is supposed to strive towards achieving, the characteristics of the perfect dog to fulfill the job description for which the breed was created. The dog that most closely resembles the standard for its breed is the dog that wins in the show ring. [...]
Stone implements and bones were found in Viste Caves, Jaeren, in Western Norway that date back to between 4000 and 5000 BC, older than the first pharaoh of Ancient Egypt and the start of construction at Stonehenge. Along with these remains, archeologists found the skeletons of at least four dogs. Two of them have been classified as of Elkhound-like origin, making some consider the Elkhound among the oldest of dog breeds. There has been some controversy regarding this belief, however, as many experts say genetic and skeletal evidence suggest that modern Elkhounds are "recreations" of older types of dogs. [...]
The Norwegian Elkhound is one breed of the hound group that is very different in appearance than the other dogs within the group. In addition the Norwegian Elkhound also has a non-typical type of personality for a hound, however there are definitely traits and instincts that make this smaller sized, northern type of dog a perfect match for the group as a whole.
Overall the Norwegian Elkhound is a true spitz type dog complete with a fox-like face, pricked erect ears and the high tail carried in a full curl over the back. [...]