Showsight Presents the Norwegian Elkhound

Judging The Norwegian Elkhound By Bonnie Turner Norwegian Elkhound

For the purposes of this article we are going to pretend the “Holy Grail” of breeding has been reached. The perfect dog has been bred, he is embodied in a Norwegian Elkhound and he is about to walk into the ring where you are the judge. I am writing this as our eyes would be seeing, our hands would be feeling and our mind evaluating this perfect specimen.

The “Hands-On” exam: Head: Dog possesses a scissors bite and the underjaw is strong. Muzzle and backskull are parallel and even in length. Moderate stop leads to a skull that is not domed. Ears are firm, trian- gular and slightly taller than they are wide at the base. The eye is deeply set. Neck: Good length, nicely arched and powerful and most importantly it is well set on. Front Assembly: You find the desired shoulder layback with equal length of scapula and upper arm which leads your hands to closely set on elbows and then to legs that are at least 50% of height (hoping for 52%) and on down from strong pasterns to tight, oval- shaped paws. Body: Close, flat withers flow into a hard, well-muscled loin. Your hands then come to a high-set tight tail held atop the centerline and curling back under itself. Ribs are well sprung and reach only to the elbow. The length of the rib cage comprises most of the body length with the coupling measured at about three fin- gers width. The square dog has equal measurement from the point of shoulder

(acromion) to the point of pelvis (ischi- um) as it does from withers to ground. Coat : The dog carries a thick, healthy double coat. Your eye tells you that this is a gray to silvery dog with very dis- tinctive markings. Muzzle, ears, tip of tail and saddle are all black. Britches, top side of tail (when over the back), underbelly, legs and harness marks are all clear, light silver. Rear Assembly: You appreciate the dog’s moderate angulation. Your hands run over well muscled second thighs and flow into well-let-down hocks of moderate length. Mentally you drop a plumb line from the base of the dog’s tail which falls straight down to the toes. Evaluating Gait : The dog is the ultimate athlete. He moves around the ring with an air of dignity and purpose. His balanced front and rear demonstrate his agility, power and ability to cover rough ground for hours/days at a time. His topline remains level as he reaches and drives while “off” legs meet in the middle underneath the dog. On the down and back the dog single tracks coming as well as going and stops before you with

Beautiful Elkhound Head Study.

Upon entering the ring: Notice definite Elkhound “type.” You appreciate how the dog moves around the ring at an effortless gait while words from the standard-bold, energetic and great digni- ty come to mind. Exam from the side: The dog has a sub- stantial head (indicative of its sex), arched neck, hard level or slightly slop- ing topline, high set tail with a moder- ately angulated and well muscled rear assembly. Exam from the front : Forelegs are straight and parallel, head comprised of a short broad muzzle, intelligent expres- sion with an almond shaped eye accom- panied by good fill underneath, smaller ears set atop the head with no wrinkles in between.

Very deserving bitch. Notice she is small- er and darker having good leg length, type & balance.

Very deserving bitch. Taller, more silvery bitch having good leg length, type and balance.

178 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE • J UNE 2011

Powered by