If you’re interested in a Norwegian Elkhound puppy, you need to be prepared for lots of hard work. These fluffy pups are sweet and adorable like all dogs, but getting a dog is a big decision. These dogs can often be more energetic and adventurous than other breeds. So, it’s important to research a breed before bringing them into your life. So, what should you know about a Norwegian Elkhound puppy?
What is a Norwegian Elkhound Puppy?
The Norwegian Elkhound is a fluffy breed in the Spitz family. They may not be one of the most popular dog breeds, but they steal the hearts of almost everyone they meet.
Norwegian Elkhounds are one of the oldest dog breeds in Europe. They traveled with vikings in their early years, and they were kept as guardians and herders. These dogs are capable of guarding farms, herding flocks, hunting, and even fighting bears and wolves that get too close to their territory. They’re considered fearless, friendly, and devoted, which is why they were such desirable working dogs in the past.
This breed got its name after the giant elk, which these dogs were trained to track down. These elks were considered majestic, but dangerous, so Norwegian Elkhounds had to learn to keep a safe distance from the creatures until their humans arrived. Norwegian Elkhounds are also seen in Norse history and mythology. There is even a tale from the 12th century where an Elkhound became king of the land of Throndhjem.
Norwegian Elkhounds are one of the fluffiest dog breeds. Their coats are always a mixture of gray, black, and silver. Their fur is a medium length, but it’s very dense. Even so, these dogs don’t shed excessively, only on occasion. During the fall and spring is when you will notice the most loose fur on your Norwegian Elkhound. Apart from their beautiful coats, they can also be easily recognized by their curly tail and pointy ears. They’re often considered a medium to large breed, weighing 48 to 55 pounds and standing 19 to 21 inches tall.
Since Norwegian Elkhounds were initially bred for so many different tasks, they are incredibly smart and love to be kept busy. They are often friendly and devoted to their family members, but they can have an independent side too. They love to explore and have time to themselves now and then. Like most highly intelligent breeds, they like to be kept busy, which means lots of exercise, training, and playtime is required to keep them happy.
Norwegian Elkhounds consider themselves dominant dogs, so they love to be in charge. They can be wary of new humans and dogs at first, and they will try to guard their territory and loved ones as much as possible. They can sometimes have a stubborn attitude when it comes to training, so patience and consistency is key. If you’re not assertive enough, your Norwegian Elkhound might think they can train you instead.
Norwegian Elkhound Puppy Care Requirements
All puppies are a lot of work, but a Norwegian Elkhound puppy can be especially tricky. On top of the high intelligence and dense coats, they don’t like to sit still. If you care for one of these dogs, they’re sure to keep you on your toes. So, here’s everything you should know before bringing home your new furry friend.
Supplies to Gather
Before bringing any new animal home, you should be prepared in advance. Make sure you have plenty of essential supplies ready beforehand to make the transition go smoothly.
Here are supplies you should have ready in advance:
- Collar, leash, and harness – Despite popular belief, all three of these are essential. Dogs should wear a collar with identification tags throughout the day in case they get lost. However, you should not attach a leash to a collar while walking your dog, no matter how well-behaved they are. Collars pose a choking hazard, so most dog parents use a harness while walking instead. Plus, harnesses make training easier because they help you control your dog. You might not know your dog’s exact harness size right away though, so you might need to wait until they come home to measure them.
- Dog food, food bowl, and water dish – Dogs need to eat, so you should have a space ready for them when mealtime rolls around. Most dog parents have a mat with a food and water bowl on it so their dog knows where to eat their food. Then, choose a high-quality food to serve your dog. If they were being fed a special diet ahead of time, you might want to stick to that, but otherwise, just choose a food that’s high in protein and low in carbs.
- Crate and dog bed – The easiest way to get a dog comfortable in their new surroundings is to provide them with plenty of comfortable places to rest. Most families choose to crate train their dogs because it helps dogs get used to being alone and often makes them more obedient. Even if you don’t have your dog go in their crate often, you should still keep it accessible to them. Crates are supposed to be safe spaces for dogs, so your Norwegian Elkhound can go in it whenever they need some alone time. For this reason, you should never use a crate as a punishment because it will only teach your dog to fear it. Having an additional dog bed or two can give your dog more comfortable places to call their own.
- Toys and treats – Toys and treats are not necessary at first, but you will need them at some point. It’s a good idea to choose a few different toys and treats at first so you can learn your dog’s preferences. Dogs need toys and treats to keep them happy and entertained.
Preparing for a new dog is a lot of work, especially when they’re an active, hard-working dog like a Norwegian Elkhound. Getting a dog should never be a rushed decision, so you should always take your time when preparing for your new family member.
Norwegian Elkhounds have what’s called a double coat. This means that they have a dense under layer of fur and a protective outer layer. Double coats are there to keep dogs warm in the winter and protected from the sun in the summer. For this reason, you cannot cut the fur of a double-coated dog. Shaving their fur could permanently damage it, making it not as protective as it’s supposed to be. Instead, you’ll need to focus on brushing your dog to remove any loose fur and get their shedding under control. It’s recommended that you brush a Norwegian Elkhound at least once a week.
These dogs are generally a clean breed with minimal odor to them. Therefore, they only need baths when absolutely necessary. Usually, they’ll need a good bath if they get dirty during outdoor adventures. But there’s no required timeline for bathing a Norwegian Elkhound. Also, like all dog breeds, you should trim their nails at least once a month and brush their teeth as much as possible. These things can help keep them healthier in the long run.
Not all Norwegian Elkhounds have equal exercise needs. It can greatly vary from dog to dog. Most Norwegian Elkhounds need moderate exercise, but they can be more creative than most breeds. They love going on new adventures, so they may get bored if they have to walk around the same neighborhood every day. So, try to mix up their exercise routines every once in a while by taking them hiking at new locations. Norwegian Elkhounds love the outdoors no matter how cold it is, so they do best with a fenced-in yard to run around in.
Physical exercise alone isn’t enough to suffice for a Norwegian Elkhound. In their early days, these dogs were bred to have many jobs and complete many tasks. So, they prefer a family who can keep their mind busy. Agility courses, puzzle toys, and intense training sessions are all great ways to keep your dog busy. Too much alone time with nothing to interest them could upset them and lead to destructive behaviors.
While larger dogs tend to have more health concerns, Norwegian Elkhounds are considered fairly healthy. The only major health concern they’re prone to is hip dysplasia, which is common for many breeds. Hip dysplasia occurs when a dog’s hip bones don’t develop properly, causing the ball and socket to rub against each other uncomfortably. This can be painful for many dogs, and surgery is often required to correct it. Norwegian Elkhounds often pass away from cancer or heart problems, but those aren’t quite as common.
The best way to ensure that your dog stays healthy is to bring them to the vet for regular checkups. A yearly checkup is recommended, but as your dog enters their senior years, you might want to consider bringing them in twice a year instead. For Norwegian Elkhounds, it’s especially important to get their eyes and hips checked frequently. When you’re at the vet, that’s also the perfect opportunity to address any concerns you have. The sooner you get a health concern checked out, the safer your dog will be.
Where to Find a Norwegian Elkhound Puppy
Norwegian Elkhounds are not one of the most common breeds, so it could be difficult to find a puppy. However, if you’re patient, the perfect dog for you is sure to come along. When searching for a dog, it’s a good idea to always look at shelters and rescues first. They often have puppies looking for a forever home, but of course, you should never overlook the older dogs either. Dogs in shelters have often spent a long time looking for a forever home, and they might not survive if no one adopts them. It might take longer to find what you’re looking for at a shelter, but it’s always worth it.
If you have your heart set on getting one of these puppies from a breeder, make sure you at least do it responsibly. There are lots of untrustworthy people in the dog breeding industry. Many will breed puppies just for money, which means the dogs are often kept in terrible conditions. Always do your research and find a breeder that knows their stuff. They should be able to answer specific questions about the breed and show you the puppy’s parents. If you feel hesitant about a breeder at any point, it’s okay to walk away and look elsewhere. One of the biggest offenders of mistreating dogs is pet stores. Pet stores that sell puppies often work with puppy mills, so they should be avoided at all costs. Therefore, its good to take your time when looking for a new puppy.
A Norwegian Elkhound puppy can be a lot of work, but they can also be very lovable. So, it makes sense that many families would want to welcome these dogs into their homes. If you think you’re ready for a furry family member, make sure you get all the supplies ready ahead of time and take your time when searching for the perfect pup.