The Norwegian Elkhound
Elkhounds are the national dog of Norway and the particular
breed we see here in the UK are known in Scandinavia as 'Norwegian Elkhound
grey' because there is also a black elkhound and a white elkhound. They are
completely different breeds; but all are used as hunting dogs in Scandinavia.
Elkhounds do not hunt in packs and they do not drag their
prey down and kill it. Instead they are used to track and hold their quarry
(usually a moose) until the hunter catches up and shoots it.
The Elkhound tracks his prey in total silence and only
starts to bark when he is holding the animal at bay. The barking is to attract
the hunter to his whereabouts in the dense forests. Once the quarry is shot,
the elkhound returns to the hunter knowing his job is done.
Elkhounds will bark to get your attention and being people friendly dogs, they prefer to be constantly with you, rather than being shut outside on their own. In such cases, do not be surprised if your elkhound barks non-stop until you go and let him in. To ignore this barking will most ikely land you in trouble with your neighbours. They must be taught from an early age not to bark excessively if you are to have a socially acceptable companion. They will bark when someone knocks the door and this is fine, providing they are taught to stop when asked to do so. At such times a firm, consistent command may be needed to overcome their strong willed character.
The elkhound is a very natural and unspoilt breed and they make very good companions for active families, and are normally inherently good with children, enjoying joining in their games and sharing any biscuits and treats that may be on offer.
Please note that dogs of any breed and small children should never be left alone and unsupervised.