Black Norwegian Elkhound

The Black Norwegian Elkhound is a primitive, Spitz-type dog breed that originated in Norway at the beginning of the 19th century. It had many purposes such as hunting, guarding, and herding. Its original name in their native language is Norsk Elghund Svart, and they are created for the same purpose as the Grey Norwegian Elkhound.

The Black Norwegian Elkhound is a smaller and more agile breed that is a lot easier to spot in tall snow. These fearless little dogs specialized in hunting moose, elk, and even bear. This active dog breed will enjoy spending time outdoors and if you are a type of person that likes the same stuff, this might be a breed for you.

Black Norwegian Elkhound Height


17-19 in (43-49 cm)

Black Norwegian Elkhound Weight


35–44 lb (16–20 kg)

Black Norwegian Elkhound Origin



Black Norwegian Elkhound Life Expectancy

Life Expectancy:

12-15 years

Breed History

This is an ancient dog breed that was used for hunting and guarding purposes from the beginning. They were able to hunt both small and large animals with good efficiency. These dogs have a great sense of smell and that ability provides them to follow a track for miles. At the beginning of the 1950s, these dogs nearly went extinct but because of a few breed enthusiasts, they were able to keep the breed alive.

Today this is still a fairly rare dog breed in the world.

Dog Breed Characteristics

Energy Level
Grooming Needs
Exercise Needs
Kid Friendly
Dog Friendly
General Health

The characteristics of the Black Norwegian Elkhound are similar to those of its Grey Elkhound cousin. This is a Nordic dog breed and that means it has fox-like features. It has a square built and small, pointed, and upright ears that are fully covered with fur to prevent frostbite.

The Black Norwegian Elkhound is a medium-sized, strong, and muscular dog that is built for tough working conditions. They are extremely resilient and have a thick double coat. Their outer coat is longer and rougher while their undercoat is thick, wooly, and close to their skin. It is such a good insulator that these dogs love spending time outside even in extremely low temperatures.

Black Norwegian Elkhound

Black Norwegian Elkhound standards


  • Group 5 Spitz and primitive types. Section 2 Nordic Hunting Dogs.
  • Working trial in Nordic countries
  • height - males 18-19 in (46-49 cm), females 17-18 in (43-46 cm)
  • date of acceptance - 10/7/1965


The breed is not recognized by the AKC


Black Norwegian Elkhound dogs have a thick coat that requires regular care to keep these dogs looking good. This is a dog breed that sheds and by regular brushing, you will keep the amount of hair under control.

Brush their teeth at least three times a week to prevent tartar buildup and infections. Make sure you use products that are made especially for dogs as human products could potentially harm them. Trim their nails if they don’t wear them down naturally. A good indication is if you can hear them clicking on the floor while they walk. Clean their ears and check for signs of redness or infections. Use a cotton cloth and never insert anything in their ear canal. You can always check with your Vet about the products you should use and the proper technique.

Black Norwegian Elkhound temperament

The Black Norwegian Elkhound might be bred as a hunting breed, but it is also an excellent family companion. These dogs have loads of energy that need to be productively spent each day so they will be happy to go on any kind of adventure with you. They have great stamina and can walk, jog, or run for miles and miles without getting tired or bored. Keep in mind that these dogs have a thick, double coat so avoid doing too many activities during the warmer time of the day.

The Black Norwegian Elkhound is extremely affectionate and full of love for its family. They have a natural distrust towards strangers so they will make great watchdogs who will alert you about anything out of the ordinary. These dogs usually get along great with kids of their own family but are not the best choice for households with other, smaller pets.

Black Norwegian Elkhound

Black Norwegian Elkhound training and socialization

The Black Norwegian Elkhound is a hunting breed that needs proper training and socialization as soon as possible. These dogs can easily get distracted and start pursuing fast objects or animals and to prevent that, they need to be properly socialized and familiar with different situations. Expose your Black Norwegian Elkhound puppy to different situations, objects, people, and other dogs as soon as possible, and make sure that your new puppy develops into a well-behaved and stable dog.

No matter how well trained your dog is, it might never be completely trusted around smaller animals. This breed has a strong prey drive and should always have supervision when interacting with other pets. When training them, use positive reinforcement methods and soon you will see great results with your Black Norwegian Elkhound training efforts.

Health problems

The Black Norwegian Elkhound is generally considered a healthy breed, but they are prone to some health issues and concerns like any other dog breed. These dogs have an average lifespan of 12-15 years. 

When getting any breed, the breeder must show you health tests that they have done for their breeding dogs. Dogs must be adequately tested because taking a chance and hoping that the puppy’s parents are healthy is a risk no one should ever take. Only healthy dogs should be bred because that is the only way to assure that bloodlines will remain healthy and without any problems. Health problems associated with this breed are;

  • Hypothyroidism - A health problem caused by the hyperproduction of hormones from the thyroid gland.
  • Glaucoma
  • Hip dysplasia - Genetic problem affecting hips resulting from an improperly formed hip joint.
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy - Group of diseases that affect the retina and cause it to deteriorate over time.
  • Obesity - The Black Norwegian Elkhound is prone to gaining weight if they are not properly exercised.
  • Allergies - these dogs are prone to have allergic reactions to specific foods, products, or medications.


This dog breed is not for everyone and we advise you that you make your research before you go after Black Norwegian Elkhound. You will need to dedicate your time and energy to training and socialization if you want to end up with a dog you can control. When you decide to search for Black Norwegian Elkhound breeders, always buy a dog from a responsible and official breeder. By doing so, you can be sure that you will get the best possible dog because a good breeder takes good care of their breeding dogs and their puppies. If you have any questions or doubts any good breeder will welcome your questions because they also want their puppies to go into a good home.

Black Norwegian Elkhound is still a rare dog breed and if you are interested in getting one of these dogs you must be prepared that you will be put on the waiting list.

World Dog Finder team


Updated at16.05.2021.