Height: Male19-21 inches, Female 18-20 inches
Weight: Male 50-60 pounds, Female 40-55 pounds
Coat Type: Dense, short, thick, coarse and double.
A modern variant of the Grey Norwegian Elkhound, the Black Norwegian Elkhound is a small spitz breed from Norway. The name “elkhound” has been translated from its original Norwegian name “Elghund”, which means “moose dog”. This hunting and guard dog can smell game from over a mile away. It works better in the night than in the day. Though small in size, the breed is a hardy hunter, known for its agility, courage and stamina. It is a hunter at heart and can track for hours under adverse weather conditions and on difficult terrain, without tiring. Apart from hunting, the dog is utilized for other jobs also, such as tracking, herding, watchdog, sledding and agility. To know more about the Black Norwegian Elkhound dog breed, read the article further.
One of the most ancient breeds, the Black Norwegian Elkhound dog has been in existence since the Stone Age. The dog is thousands of years old and has been around ever since man started hunting with slingshots and lived in caves. Originally from Scandinavia, the breed was used as big and small game hunter, for tracking animals like moose, elk, bear, mountain lion, badger, lynx, reindeer, wolf and rabbit. The breed was first exhibited in 1877. It was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1913. The first Elkhound Club was formed in 1923 and the breed was thus, recognized by the British Kennel Club.
The Black Norwegian Elkhound is smaller in structure, as compared to the other Norwegian Elkhounds - Jamthund and Grey Elkhound. A spitz-type dog, it is sturdy, medium-sized, short and squarely built. The dog has a wedge shaped head that broadens between the ears, tapering to the nose, while the skull is nearly flat. With a well-defined stop, the muzzle has a straight, nasal bridge. The black nose and oval-shaped dark brown eyes reflect a keen and intelligent expression. The pigmented lips are black and tightly closed. The jaws are strong, while the teeth meet in a scissors bite. Pricked pointed ears are wide at the base and set high on the head.
The broad and straight loin of the dog is well developed and the medium length neck is covered with tight fitting skin. The belly is slightly tucked up and the thickly coated short tail is curled and carried over the back. With strong straight forearms and muscular lean hindquarters, this breed can sustain all types of weather, from heavy autumn downpour to extremely cold winter, while hunting. The dense coat that lies close to the body is rough, while the head and front of the legs have shorter and smoother hair. Long hair can be seen on the neck, chest, back of the legs and the underside of the tail. The topcoat is coarse and the undercoat is soft and wooly. What give the dog an impressive look are the little white markings on the chest and feet.
An alert, bold, friendly and loyal breed, the Black Norwegian Elkhound is great with family and friends. As it is docile, trustworthy and energetic, it proves to be a good child companion as well. It has a mind of its own, is fairly independent and affectionate with family. The dog needs firm, but gentle discipline. Black Norwegian Elkhound cannot be trusted with non-canine pets like hamsters, pet rats, mice or guinea pigs, but it gets along well with the cats in the family.
The Black Norwegian Elkhound is prone to hip dysplasia, pyotraumatic dermatitis and PRA. Occasionally, Fanconi syndrome can also be seen in the dog. It is advised not to over feed the breed, as it had a tendency to gain weight easily.
The hard, coarse, rough and waterproof coat of the Black Norwegian Elkhound requires proper care and grooming. The coat is pretty easy to groom and should be brushed regularly, especially when the dog is shedding its dense undercoat. The reason for this is that the dead hair tends to cling to the new hair. So, it should be removed with a rubber brush or a wooden comb, with a double row of metal teeth. Bathe the dog only when necessary, to preserve the natural oils in the skin. The Black Norwegian Elkhound does not have the usual smell of dog hair. Its coat is resistant to both water and dirt.