Are you looking for a medium-sized dog that is confident, fearless, and a wonderful companion? We are sure you would have a lovely time with the Black Norwegian Elkhound dog breed!

These dogs are the only partners you need in crime, for cuddling or adventurous treks! This all-rounder breed has won the hearts of millions just by their skills and persona. So, let’s learn more about Black Norwegian Elkhounds to check whether or not you both are a match!


Height19-21 inches
Weight48-55 lbs
Life span12-15 years
Exercise needs30 minutes to 1 hour daily
TemperamentShy, Confident, Bark a lot
GroomingHigh maintenance

Origin of the Black Norwegian Elkhound

The Norsk Elghund Sort dog breed, commonly known as the Black Norwegian Elkhound dog breed, is known for its versatility. These dogs have existed for thousands of years, making them an ancient breed. In those times, hunters needed a trustworthy companion to assist and work with them. That is where our heroes made a place in the hearts of hunters, as these dogs not only helped with them holding big games but tracking as well. 

Black Norwegian Elkhounds survived the harsh climate of Nordic terrains and adapted themselves to the needs of the era. Sooner or later, these dogs were also recognized for their endurance and agility, which is when they started working as guard dogs and watchdogs. Unfortunately, these dogs are pretty rare to find, but you can definitely find them in their native Norway. 

Appearance of the Black Norwegian Elkhound

1. Size and body

The Black Norwegian Elkhound dog breed is 19-21 inches tall and weighs around 48- 55 pounds. Generally, males are slightly larger than females. Talking about their bodies, these dogs are well-muscled and have agile walks. Their body stature is well-proportioned, and they can be pretty nice guard dogs. 

2. Coat

As their name suggests, the Black Norwegian Elkhound has a solid black coat that is built to protect them. They have a thick double coat that shields them from harsh weather conditions. Although the coat is short and shiny, it is very dense and super warm inside. 

3. Other features

One of the most distinctive and fascinating features of the Black Norwegian Elkhound dog breed is their ears! They are triangular-shaped and are always erect! So with their ears up, broad chest, and head up in the sky- these confident dogs look very intimidating walking on the streets. 

Personality and Temperament

The personality of a particular dog breed is what sets it apart from other dogs. Similarly, the Black Norwegian Elkhound dog breed has distinctive temperament and personality traits, such as:

1. Hyperalert

This dog breed is known for its alertness! They always have their ears up for any little noise. This trait has much to do with their guarding instincts and history as working dogs. If you adopt the Black Norwegian Elkhound dog breed, you are also getting yourself a bodyguard who will always protect you. 

2. Reserved with strangers

Even though Black Norwegian Elkhounds are pretty confident, they can be standoffish with strangers. Again, it is because they are very territorial and protective of their people and families. However, this behavior can become problematic if it ignites negative actions in your dog toward strangers, like biting, barking, humping, etc. Such behavioral concerns can always be fixed with proper socialization training.

3. Playful

Another personality trait of the Black Norwegian Elkhound dog breed is their friendly and playful nature. Once these dogs are familiar with people around them and develop full trust, they are one of the best companions for a party! They are affectionate towards family members and can especially make deep emotional bonds with children!

4. Courageous

Last but not least, Black Norwegian Elkhounds fear nothing! Even if a giant dog challenges them to fight, these little lads will not back off. They are confident, and their independent thinking also gives them a boost and power to fight. Also, this kind of behavior can translate to stubbornness, which you will have to deal with!

Do not be shocked when these Elkhounds sniff your guests from head to toe before letting them enter—these dogs have serious trust issues!
a Black Norwegian Elkhound in the snow

Grooming Needs of the Black Norwegian Elkhound

The Black Norwegian Elkhound dog breed may look all cute and cuddly in their thick double coat, but that is what makes them a high-maintenance dog as well! Here are all their grooming needs you need to know about:

1. Brushing

As they have a double coat, these dogs shed like crazy! You will often find loose hair here and there on your couch or in your favorite pullovers. To avoid this, you should brush them every single day!! If you can, we even advise brushing them twice a day sometimes. Brushing will help you to remove the loose hair, detangle and reduce shedding. 

2. Bathing

Unlike other dogs who can skip bathing sessions for 2-4 months, the Black Norwegian Elkhounds cannot! These dogs require a bath every month, but not more than that. You should use dog supplies like dog-friendly shampoo, soap, and conditioner to keep the coat healthy. Also, it is essential to know that bathing too frequently can rip off the dog’s natural oils and cause infections. 

3. Cleaning and hygiene

Apart from brushing and bathing, overall hygiene is essential as well. This includes cleaning your dog’s paws, ear wax, and eye boogers. Along with this, you should also trim your dog’s nails, as long nails trap dirt and bacteria. And not to forget!! You should always keep an eye on your dog’s oral health by taking them for regular dental checkups. 

Exercise and Training Needs

The Black Norwegian Elkhound dog breed is an easy one to train if the correct methods are used! It goes without saying that you should never use any harsh training methods while training your dog. Keep in mind that these dogs require at least 30 minutes to an hour of training every day! It can be as basic as taking them on a walk because you would be surprised to know that taking your dog on a walk has several health benefits that help with digestion, urinary health, weight reduction, strong muscles, etc. (article). 

Keeping that in mind, here is a training guide for your doggo:

1. Early socialization

As we know, Black Norwegian Elkhounds are shy and reserved with strangers, and this dog behavior can translate into perceiving new faces as a threat. This can lead to excessive barking, biting for no reason, or low confidence. So, to avoid all this, you should give your dog early socialization training. This will help Elkhounds to adapt to unfamiliar faces and places well in their adulthood without going through an identity crisis.

2. Patience and consistency

Another very important thing you should keep in mind is to be patient in your approach. The Black Norwegian Elkhound dog breed may look robust and have an “I don’t care what you say!” kinda personality, but they are very soft at heart. Be it while training any dog, you should never use harsh training methods or pull on their leash too hard to force them. This will eventually cause separation anxiety, demotivate your dog, and even trigger destructive behaviors. 

3. Everyday essentials

Lastly, some activities should be part of your doggo’s everyday training routine. This is very important to keep your dog disciplined and consistent. So, where do we start from? Well, for the easy ones, you can start with walking sessions, teaching them dog basic obedience and leash training. Once your dog understands the commands better and knows the basics of things, you can enroll them in interactive games. This can include agility training. There are some exercises that you should follow every day when training Black Norwegian Elkhounds.  

Final Thoughts

Our final thoughts on the Black Norwegian Elkhound dog breed are that if you are looking for a guard dog who is not aggressive and super affectionate with kids, this breed is the one for you! However, if you are a first-time dog owner, unfortunately, these dogs might not fit you. It is because these dogs have demands, whether it is for their grooming or training!  

As a newbie to the doggo world, you should look for easy breeds that do not require rigorous training or too much grooming, such as Bichon Frisé, Affenpinscher, Beagle, etc.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Norwegian Elkhounds noisy?

Yes! The Black Norwegian Elkhounds can be noisy and super vocal dogs. This is one of the primary qualities that makes them excellent guard dogs, as they can wake up the whole neighborhood if they catch a thief. You may also find them barking and howling to express. If you want less barking breeds, you can adopt Azawakh or Basenji.

Are Norwegian Elkhounds good with strangers?

The Black Norwegian Elkhound is reserved and shy with strangers as their natural instinct is to be alert and doubt every other person passing by. However, with proper socialization, you can help them learn to fit into social settings.

What are the health problems with Elkhounds?

 If you want to adopt the Black Norwegian Elkhound dog breed, there are some common health problems they are prone to that you should know about! This includes renal diseases, or even familial renal disease, and diabetes (1,2). This is why you should take your dog on regular medical checkups and vet visits.

Can Norwegian Elkhounds be aggressive?

The Black Norwegian Elkhound dog breed is not known for being aggressive, but they can definitely be intimidating. It cannot be said about all individuals, as temperament can vary from dog to dog. However, if your dog shows aggression issues, it is probably due to behavioral problems or territorial issues.

Are Norwegian Elkhounds hypoallergenic?

Unfortunately, no! The Black Norwegian Elkhound dog breed is not hypoallergenic. It means that these dogs do not do well with people or pets with sensitivities. These furry buddies can spread allergens through their danders, urine, and saliva. So, if you or anyone in your family (including small pets like hamsters) are sensitive to allergens, Elkhounds might not be the one!

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