Showsight Presents the Norwegian Elkhound

Norwegian Elkhound

History ~ Gray Elkhound of Norway

By Dr. Nina P. Ross

In 1899, a group of Norwegian hunters and sportsmen established the Norsk Dyrehundklub and began to formulate the breed standard for the Elkhound. It was completed in 1906 and was revised several times, the latest in 1950. A current revision is underway. The club name was changed in 1949 to the Norsk Elghundklub. Bamse, owned by Arne Omsted, was one of the first Elkhounds to be exhibited in Norway. The first Gray Elkhound champion in Norway was Sara, bred by Ole Blegeberg, and whelped in 1912. She earned her title

ue to aim for the preservation of the natural beauty of the Gray Elkhound,

the United States. He f inished in 1926, soon after the Elkhound was admitted to regular classes from the miscellaneous class. Early Elkhound kennels in America were Vindsval, Stonewall, Pitch Road, Narvikwood, Bjorn-Lass, and Stonylea. Elkhound temperament is best described as bold, energetic, and friend- ly, a necessary combination if it is to be effective as a hunter, a guardian, and a companion. Although it is independent and a bit aloof, the Elkhound is good-

English Ch. Llychlyn Morgan

its innate intelligence and rugged- ness in an on-going effort to retain it as a comrade, a guardian and a hunter, much like its ancestors that f irst roamed the frigid terrain of Scandinavia. Three Elkhounds were imported from Norway to the U. S. in 1913. Koik, Bimba, and Laila, owned by Gottlieb Lechner of Idaho, became the f irst three Elkhounds to be regis- tered by the American Kennel Club. Eleven were registered between 1914 – 1921, twelve were imported from Norway between 1923 – 1930, eighty-

A correct bitch

Ch. Crafdal Tryg’nThor’s Tufsen

in 1916. Glitre kennels became one of Norway’s most notable kennels. Other kennels contributing to the preserva- tion of the Gray Elkhound included Elgstolen, Fjeldheim, Gjetemyra, Homanskogen, Kalagerasen, Lifjell, Skromtefjell, Sokomdal, Stavsetras, Suteras, Tortasen, and Vardetoppen. Kennels in Norway during the period 1930 – 1960 were considered large if they had three or four bitches. Today, they seldom exceed two bitches. The main objective is to supply hunting dogs for themselves and their hunter friends. Kennel owners in Norway who are breeder-judges have judged Elkhounds at specialties and point shows in America. Several of the older kennels are still in existence in Norway. These breeders, as well as successful long- t ime breeders of Norwegian Elkhounds in many countries, contin-

natured, willing to obey its master, calm, self-assured, highly intelligent, easily handled in the show ring, and eager to go hunting. Far-seeing eyes and a keen sense of smell stimulate its hunting instinct, even though the prey may be a rabbit or squirrel in the back- yard. Many owners in the U.S. do not

have opportu- nities to hunt with their dogs, but the E l k h o u n d proves itself as a trusted and i n t e l l i g e n t c o m p a n i o n , content with a gentle pat on the head when it has pleased its master. ■

Ch. Vin-Melca’s Vickssen

nine were registered in 1934, and one hundred f ifty in 1935. The Norwegian Elkhound Association of America (NEAA), orga- nized in 1934, was approved by the AKC in 1936. Ch. Grimm of Lifjell, a Norwegian impor t, was the f irst Elkhound to f inish a championship in

Dr. Nina P. Ross

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

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