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Owning an Elkhound

Prior to choosing a breed to bring into your family, it’s important to learn as much as you can. The name “Elkhound” came from the Norwegian word Elghund which is more properly translated as “Moosedog”. Elghunds were (and are) used to hunt moose in Norway and the traits necessary for this job are evident in the breed. They are independent and require regular outdoor exercise. A fenced yard (secure, tall, and of not an underground fence) is a must. They should not be trusted off leash -- even the most well-trained elkhounds may decide to follow a great scent or a darting rabbit. They have a thick double coat which requires frequent grooming – if you don’t like dog hair on your clothes/furniture/everywhere, then you are not likely to be happy with an elkhound.

Please visit the Norwegian Elkhound Association of America website:
There is a wealth of information on elkhounds (particularly under Breed Information and Breeder Resources). There is also information about adopting rescue elkhounds. Be aware that waitlists for a puppy from a responsible breeder may be long, but it will be worth the wait to add a healthy puppy with a good temperament to your family. Good questions to ask include:
  • What types of health screening do you do on the parents?
  • Are your puppies raised in the house and do they have a chance to interact with people before they go to their new homes?
  • What type of contract to you have (may include health clauses, spay/neuter clauses, etc)?
  • How many litters do you breed each year?
  • Can you provide me with the names of some of your previous puppy buyers as a reference?
  • What vaccinations will my puppy have before I pick him/her up?
  • Will I be able to choose my puppy or will you pick one for me?
  • What is the minimum age that you will release the puppy to me?
  • Do you require a deposit and what is your refund policy?

Answers to many of these questions for Highland puppies are found on our Policies page. No matter which breeder you choose, these questions along with others on the NEAA website are good things to ask. If you don’t get answers, or if the answers do not make you comfortable – beware.