The Elkhound is one of the oldest hunting dogs. They have a fine sense of scent, capable of smelling game from over a mile away, and were around at the time of cave men.
They are a strong and sturdy medium-sized spitz-style dog. Their double coat is thick and hard and comes in grey with black tips. They have a black muzzle, ears and tip of the tail too.
The name Elkhound is translated from a Norwegian word meaning "Moose Dog" and originally they were a hunting dog used for tracking and hunting a range of animals including moose, elk, bear and mountain lion. Their working method was to hold prey and bark until the hunter arrived so they are inclined to be insistently vocal in trying to get attention.
They can be difficult to obedience train but are friendly, loving and loyal to their family. They are usually fine with children and other dogs but may be wary of strangers and possibly not trustworthy around other animals. Although active indoors they can take a lot of outdoor exercise too but are happy with less if need be.
They need regular brushing and combing and shed heavily at certain times of the year. A special brush is needed at shedding time as the old hair clings to the new but their coat is easy to keep clean. They are prone to hip dysplasia, some skin problems and PRA.