Showsight Presents the Norwegian Elkhound

THE NORWEGIAN ELKHOUD

KATHY CARTER I live in Colorado, northwest of Denver. I enjoy reading, gardening , zumba and traveling. I’ve had dogs all of my life, several different breeds when I was young. Started showing Elkhounds around 1978, and judging them in 1993 provisionally and approved in 1996. I share my life with husband, son, four Elkhounds and two adopted cats. I worked as a nurse for 35 years, but now just judge and really enjoy it. I’d like to see our Elkhound remain the strong stable natural breed it was meant to be. That’s why we all got into this breed in the first place. Too many breeds have been changed by breeding to fads and what is winning in the group. If we change it too much, it will no longer be the true original Norwegian Elkhound (Elghund). GLENDA HAGGERTY

break and ride quarter horses and train customers to ride horses both for pleasure and 4-H.

1. Your opinion of the current quality of purebred dogs in general and your breed in particular? GH: The current quality of all breeds is very good—if you are only watching the groups at shows. In the classes, I observe many pet quality dogs. In Elkhounds, the quality of bitches at shows is excellent. However, there appears to be a shortage of high-quality males.

2. Describe the breed in three words. KC: Square, agile and medium size.

3. What are your “must have” traits in this breed? KC: Square and close coupled, not long bodied. Proper leg length, at least 50%. A strong straight firm topline, a good foot: small, oval and tight. Thick, harsh weather resistant coat, that is not altered by excessive trimming and artificial substances. Moderate size and bone and balanced. A wedge head with good fill under the eyes, and a good temperament is a must. And a good tail, high- set and curled up tightly over the back. We don’t always get the perfect set or tight curl, but I’ve seen too many low set tails with hardly a curl, where the tail is hanging down on the hip, like an Akita tail. This is a feature that distinguishes the Elkhound from other breeds. 4. Does the big coat make it difficult to evaluate structure? KC: No, one has to feel under the coat to evaluate structure and leg length. 5. How important is gait in the breed? KC: It is important for the job they were bred to do, but it should be an agile, strong gait, and one of endurance, not flying speed. They have to be able to turn quickly and change direction in a moments notice, to get out of the way of the moose, so being agile is important. As is endurance, as they have to be capable of hunting all day through very rough terrain. 6. What’s the most common fault you see when travel- ing around the country? KC: A few temperaments have been questionable, bad feet; often flat and splayed, soft toplines, low tailsets and S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , S EPTEMBER 2018 • 401

I have been breeding and showing Norwegian Elkhounds for 34 years. My first big winner, Jackson, Ch Westwind So Hot of Greyplume CD, had numerous group placements during his years in the ring from 1985 to the late 1990s. With numerous champions and group winners in between, Ch Greyplume Denmar Mon- tego Bay, Teague, won the Norwegian

Elkhound National in 2004. My current male, GCh Ch Grey- plume’s Retrofit, Sage, won best opposite sex at the 2016 Nor- wegian Elkhound National. I live with my husband, Bill, and three Elkhounds: Sage, Daisy and Cher. Together we live on acreage with multiple yards and a six-foot-high, secure fence with numerous shade trees next to the Colorado National Monument in Grand Junction, Colorado. Outside of dogs, I study the Spanish language, practice pilates and yoga and participate in politics while working part-time at a specialty clothing store. KEVIN RICHARD I live in Washington, Pennsylvania, just south of Pitts- burgh. Outside of dogs, I train standard-bred race horses,

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