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Knowing whether Norwegian elkhounds are hunting dogs can be an important piece of information for a potential new owner interested in this breed. 

These highly intelligent dogs with an appealing appearance are one of the most prized primitive breeds.  

Norwegian  elkhounds are outdoorsy dogs who love the freedom of exploring new places such as going on nature trails. 

Are Norwegian Elkhounds Hunting Dogs?

As the name implies, Norwegian elkhounds, are dogs that are native to Norway, and yes, Norwegian elkhounds are hunting dogs. 

Despite their name though, Norwegian Elkhounds were in reality selectively bred for hunting down moose rather than elk.

The confusion mainly generates due to the fact that, the majestic Alces alces is known as a moose in North America, while in Europe it's known as elk.

These dogs' hunting style consisted of tracking these animals' scent trail, and upon spotting them, it was their job to keep them at bay by barking and dodging attack until the huntsmen arrived.

This wasn't an easy tasks. Moose are very large animals and keeping them at bay required great courage. On top of this, a certain amount of endurance was needed to track the scent trail for long hours in all weather conditions and over rough terrain. 

Bouncy as Rubber Balls

Norwegian elkhounds have been described as being capable of jumping nimbly in and out when avoiding the horns and forefeet of the powerful moose.

To avoid the lightning strikes of the moose, the Norwegian elkhound is expected to must be capable of jumping instantly in any direction.

This ability has been compared to the dog "bouncing like a rubber ball" when struck by elk hooves. To succeed as "moose dogs" Norwegian elkhounds must therefore have strong determination and courage to hold a moose at bay in this manner for over an hour. 

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Fast to Sound the Alarm

The Norwegian Elkhound is highly vocal. This makes sense if we think of their past history as hunters. 

Indeed, when used for hunting moose, their vocalizations turned helpful to draw the prey's attention and signal their location to the hunter. 

This breed is equipped with a high-pitched, piercing voice that can turn troublesome in tight-knit neighborhoods, especially when they're left along in the yard. 

However, they make good watch dogs considering their keen senses and quickness to sound the alarm. 

What Prospective Owners Need to Know

Norwegian Elkhounds are a strikingly beautiful breed, but they can be a handful when it comes to temperament and training. 

As hunters, these dogs are equipped with a keen sense of smell and have lots of endurance and stamina. This means you'll need to exercise them and provide them with mental stimulation. Fail to do that though, and you may have a dog bouncing off the walls, barking and chewing up things.

As hunters in Norway, these dogs are equipped with a dense double coat. This translates in lots of shedding. 

Due to their hunting history, Norwegian elkhounds may not be suitable in homes with cats and small pets. 

They also aren't not suitable for apartment life. 

When it comes to children, these loyal, affectionate dogs may be better suited for homes with older children, but they are still capable of being great pets for families with young children. Supervision is always a must. 

Although Norwegian Elkhounds are large, independent hunting dogs, they can also make great family pets.

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