Showsight Presents the Norwegian Elkhound

(to evade attack) all stem from the topline as well. All of these attributes just scream athlete. The dog’s very sur- vival has always been determined by his athleticism, intelligence and ability to think on the run. Coat: Thick and harsh to resist snow, ice and freezing rivers and lakes. The outer coat keeps them warm and not wet enough to freeze, while the downy undercoat (that you find all over the floors and in your food) keeps them protected. Forequarter and Hindquarters: Paws small and oval to travel easily over rough or icy terrain. Imagine a dog with large and or open toes trying to cover rough terrain with such feet. Length of leg should be 50% (I, perhaps, like a little more-52%) of the dog’s height. Please, please note that the ribcage does not hang down below the elbows, both should meet in the same spot; heavy bodied and/or short-legged dogs cannot make it as hunters. In Norway, there is a great deal of woods, under- brush, water and fallen trees, which will hamper the speed and progress of the shorter legged heavy-bodied would-be hunters. The rear should have moderate angulation providing the abil- ity to leap and spin avoiding antlers and hooves. Temperament: He is bold, energetic and will sure let you know when UPS has arrived at your door. The Elkhound hunts far ahead of the hunter and must make his own decisions about how he will proceed. For this reason, as an independent thinker, he is not the

“star” of the performance world. He is far from stupid and learns quickly, but in training class and subsequent competitions, his general feeling is, “Been there, done that my dear owner. So how dumb are you for needing to do this over and over?” Some comply out of love of the partnership, some just love the energy they get to expend but all Elkhounds are smart, sensitive to their people, loyal and happy. If asked to advise breeders and judg- es as to the paramount information on which to base their selections I would list the following: Above all select the athlete who pos- sesses good headpiece for scenting abil- ity, small ears that won’t freeze, arch of

neck and excellent layback with good return of upper arm, length of leg, hard level topline, long rib and short cou- pling and high-set tail with ample rear angulation. His appearance must say, “I am the dog who can, despite harsh ele- ments, long distance and rough terrain, follow and contain the game.” Judges, please keep in mind when judging the Hound Group, the Elk- hound looks like no other dog in his group. When considering your place- ments; evaluate your Elkhound on how well he fits his standard as a sound, energetic athlete. An extensive familiar- ity with this breed will hopefully have you considering them equally with the other more popular/safer breeds.

406 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , S EPTEMBER 2018

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