Do You Really Want To Own A Norwegian Elkhound?
Elkhounds may seem like the ideal pet, but
there are disadvantages! Listed below are areas you need to consider before
you decide to share your life with an Elkhound.
Background: The Norwegian Elkhound is known as the dog of the Vikings.
They are still used today to hunt moose in Norway. As a result, they tend to
have a strong hunting instinct, a lot of energy, and are intellgent. They
are known to be quite stubborn and require a firm owner.
Size: Elkhounds are medium-sized. Males range between 20"-22" at the
shoulder and weigh between 50-55 pounds. Females stand between 19"-21" and
weigh between 40-45 pounds.
Exercise: Elkhounds are very energetic and need to have consistent
exercise daily (at least 20 to 30 minutes twice a day) or they have trouble
adjusting to the calm house pet role expected by most owners.
Shedding: They are a double-coated breed and shed profusely twice a
year. Due to the density of their coats, brushing every other day is to your
advantage. If you want a fastidiously kept house, DON'T GET AN ELKHOUND!
You will always find some dog hair around, especially in rugs, furniture and
on your clothes. On the plus side, they have virtually no "doggie" odor.
Health & Care: Elkhounds are prone to hip dysplasia, eye problems and
occasionally cyst/skin problems. Most breeds have some of the above and some
Elkhounds will never have these, but we feel it is best for you to know the
worst. Feeding one medium-sized dog for a year will cost at least $200.
Veterinary expenses run between $150-$250 a year. Though many expenses get
hidden in the grocery bill (food, dishes, leashes, collars, brushes, shampoos
, toys, etc.), they are there.
Training: Due to Elkhounds stubborn nature, training is a must.
Elkhounds are not known to be naturally obedient. Good behavior can be taught
by attending training classes. A good beginner's course costs about $80.
Watch Dog: Norwegian Elkhounds are excellent watch dogs. They are
very alert and will bark at noises they hear. They are not considered guard
dogs. Once someone enters the home they could very well make friends with the
intruder rather that attack them. But each dog is different.
Time: Elkhounds are very devoted to their family. They need to be with,
around and near humans because they thrive on love and attention. Consider
your lifestyle and household schedule-do you travel a lot, do you work long
hours, are you busy with your children's activities? In other words, do
you have the time to give the love and attention an Elkhound needs???
Printed with permission of V.Sawyer.