Our Elkhounds originate in Scandinavia where they hunt Elk (Moose), the size of a horse with really wicked antlers. They do not attack the Elk themselves, but hold it at bay by barking (oh yes, they can bark at home as well - you must control this!) and distracting the attention of the Elk while it tries to sweep this irritating dog away with its antlers. The barking not only annoys the Elk, but also allows the hunter to locate the confrontation so that he can stalk and shoot the Elk. The tracking and the hunt may take many hours and cover many miles, so hunter and Elkhound must be fit.
At home they tend to conserve their energies and are an easy dog to live with.
Of course, we have no Elk in the UK and no hunting takes place. However, in Scandinavia it is still very much part of the life of many people.
The general appearance of the Elkhound is of a strong and square-shaped dog with a proud bearing. Its coat is a double one in shades of grey and is very weatherproof, lying flat to the dog. Its ears are pointed and its tail is curled tightly over its back. Its temperament is generally one of friendliness and independence without signs of nervousness. The size for dogs is around 52cm and weight is 23kgs, whilst bitches are slightly smaller and lighter.
An Elkhound is generally fond of children and copes well with them, considering them to be part of its family and worthy of respect like the rest of the household. It's Spitz/hunting dog independence is tempered by it's attachment to people, it likes to be included in all it's family does.
They are very intelligent and learn good and bad things quickly. They need to see what is in it for them when asked to do things, and will then be most co-operative, but will not be bullied into anything.
Generally a healthy breed, and in order that they remain that way all breeding stock should be hip scored, eye tested to monitor for any possible emerging conditions, and either be DNA tested or Hereditarily clear for the eye disease prcd-PRA.
Kidney function should be checked before breeding to monitor for possible kidney problems.