Grey Norwegian Elkhound

Norsk Elghund Grä, Grey Elkhound

The Grey Norwegian Elkhound can be suitable for everyone, as long as the master is willing to accept the dog as he really is, i.e. in his truly Nordic nature. Like any good self-respecting Nordic dog, he is a predator, sometimes disobedient, very gentle but independent, and loves digging holes. The master can train him and make him an excellent companion, but the dog will still keep his independent and "Nordic" nature, and will always remain true to himself.

Height 49 to 52 cm
Weight 20 to 25 kg
Life expectancy 12 to 15 years
Hair Loss High
Excercise Need High
Home country Norway

Quick Overview of the Grey Norwegian Elkhound


  • Affectionate and calm
  • Independent, but good player
  • Sometimes disobedient
  • Protective and dominant


  • Short and stocky body
  • Abundant and very thick dress
  • Rough and thick coat
  • Small pointed ears


  • Robust breed
  • Can be affected by hip dysplasia
  • Generally healthy

Temperament of the Grey Norwegian Elkhound

Affectionate, calm, independent and a good player, he is sometimes stubborn and somewhat disobedient. Protective and dominant, he is an excellent guardian but is also very sociable.

He is compatible with everyone and likes children. His education and socialization must be undertaken early and appropriately.

Tireless hunter and confirmed predator, this pack dog works tirelessly with steady, overflowing energy.

When hunting, he is inexhaustible and with the family too. He can play with the little ones non-stop, without ever getting tired.

This sympathetic and courageous companion is a very special specimen. Like all good hunters and predators, he doesn't give up easily.

He barks a lot, and even if he does not hunt, he tends to use his voice to attract his master's attention when he feels the need to do so.

He is independent and has good guarding skills. He is not really aggressive but remains a predator at heart and if a prey comes along, he will relentlessly pursue it.

However, he is relatively gentle with humans, even small ones, as long as they know how to respect him.

He doesn't really like abrupt movements and hates brutality. He is very affectionate, but should not be harassed. He has to decide when he wants attention.

He can become an excellent companion dog, but must be trained very early. He tends to be stubborn and sometimes tempted by disobedience.

His education must therefore be firm and uncompromising. The master must impose himself as leader of the pack while respecting his animal.

A large garden would be an ideal place for the Grey Norwegian Elkhound, but he has the annoying habit of digging holes everywhere. He can live indoors as well as outdoors without any problems.

chien d'élan norvégien gris personnalité

Breed Appearance

grey Norwegian Elkhound

His physique is that of a typical Spitz. His body is short and his silhouette stocky.

His height is slightly below average. His compact and short gait, with an abundant and very thick coat, is very pleasant and shows his great vitality.


Between 49 and 52 cm (19.29 to 20.47 inches) for the male
Between 49 and 52 cm (19.29 to 20.47 inches) for the female


Between 20 and 25 kg (44.09 to 55.12 pounds) for the male
Between 20 and 25 kg (44.09 to 55.12 pounds) for the female


His coat color is gray in all shades of gray, with hairs at the darker ends.

On the belly, chest, limbs and under the tail, the hair is a slightly lighter shade.


His rough and thick coat is abundant. Of medium length, it also has a very soft undercoat.


His head is domed and has a well defined stop. His eyes, with a frank and friendly expression, are generally dark brown.

His small, pointed ears are mobile and erect. His nose is black. His short tail does not deviate at all and is well curled over the back like most Nordic dogs.

According to the FCI breeds nomenclature, this breed belongs to group 5, section 2 and is #242

Characteristics of the Grey Norwegian Elkhound

Does this dog suit your lifestyle?

Every dog breed has its own characteristics. However, the actual character of a dog can vary from one to another within the same breed.

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Life in an apartment
Good first dog
Tolerates solitude
Tolerates cold weather
Tolerates hot weather
Friendly with children
Friendly with strangers
Friendly with other animals
Hair loss
Drooling level
Easy to care for
Robust health
Easy to train
Tendency to bark
Tendency to nibble
Instinct to hunt
Adventurous spirit
Energy level
Level of intensity
Need for exercise

Health of the Grey Norwegian Elkhound

The breed is robust and no pathology is directly related to it. A few specimens are sometimes affected by hip dysplasia but this is not the majority of the breed.

Generally, the dog enjoys excellent health. His life expectancy is also appreciable.


In spite of his thick and abundant fleece, his maintenance is relatively easy. A good, regular and energetic brushing is more than enough. No other special care is necessary.

History of this breed

Originally from Norway, as his name suggests, the Grey Norwegian Elkhound has very ancient origins.

He would even have accompanied the Vikings at the time on their expeditions to hunt moose, but also to hunt wolves.

Discoveries dating back to the Stone Age show the existence of similar dogs that lived among the lakes and rivers in the region of the great Norwegian forests, commonly known as the Taiga.

There are two varieties of Norwegian Elkhounds, the grey and black.

During the 19th century, both the United States and England were successively conquered by this breed. He was officially recognized in 1877.

The Gray Norwegian Elkhound is more popular than his black counterpart, in Norway as elsewhere in Europe.

This elk hunting dog is also used to hunt deer, wolves and stags but also as search, herding, therapy and companion dog.

He is a wonderful combination of several functions. In Norway today, he is still used to hunt moose but also to pull sleighs, while in France he is more often used as a show or companion dog.

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