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The Norwegian Elkhound is a hardy gray hunting dog. In appearance, a typical northern dog of medium size and substance, square in profile, close coupled and balanced in proportions. The head is broad with prick ears, and the tail is tightly curled and carried over the back. The distinctive gray coat is dense and smooth lying. As a hunter, the Norwegian Elkhound has the courage, agility and stamina to hold moose and other big game at bay by barking and dodging attack, and the endurance to track for long hours in all weather over rough and varied terrain.
Gray, medium preferred, variations in shade determined by the length of black tips and quantity of guard hairs. The muzzle, ears and tail tip are black.
In temperament, the Norwegian Elkhound is bold and energetic, an effective guardian yet normally friendly, with great dignity and independence of character.
The Norwegian Elkhound was domesticated during the late Stone Age, roughly 6000 years ago. From that time to the present, the breed's development has been virtually unaltered by man. The Elkhound is a herder and hunter for thousands of years. The Norwegian Elkhound has hunted various types of big game, but it was most commonly used to hunt moose. Elkhounds are not meant to take down a moose, but rather to sniff out and locate a moose, and then hold it at bay until the hunter could arrive.