The Black Norwegian Elkhound (Norsk Elghund Sort) is a modern variant of the Grey Norwegian Elkhound. It is a small Spitz breed and is very rare outside the Nordic countries of Scandinavia. It is bred for the same purpose as the Grey Norwegian Elkhound but is smaller, more agile, and easier to recognize in the snow. Historically, it is a much "younger" breed, first bred in Norway during the early 19th century. It is classified by the FCI as a hunting dog, although it is also used as a watchdog, guarddog and herder. The AKC breed name "Elkhound," comes directly from its original Norwegian name "Elghund," meaning "moose dog." In Norwegian, "elg" refers to the animal English speakers know as a "moose", and "hund" means "dog."
Appearance The Black Norwegian Elkhound is a typical Spitz breed with a short compact body, dark eyes, ears standing straight up, and a curly tail carried over the back. It has a rich coat that does not stand out from the body. This is an all-weather hunting dog and the coat is very important. It must be able to keep out the heavy autumn rain in Scandinavia and endure the cold weather, which it does very well. It has a dense, short, thick, course, double coat and is solid black. A mature dog stands between 40 and 51 centimeters (16"-20") - 47 cm (+3/-4) for males and 44 cm (+3/-4) for females - and weighs between 16 kilograms (35 lb) and 20 kilograms (44 lb).
Temperament The Black Norwegian Elkhound is a very robust and hardy dog: very alert and full of power and pride. It is more strong-minded than the Grey Elkhound. The most recommended training method is one that focuses on motivating the dog; such as clicker training or reward-based training methods. Using punishment or dominance-based methods could negatively impact training with the Black Norwegian Elkhound. It is easy to train, but always needs something to do to be happy. It needs continuous exercise and activity in concert with its superb intelligence to do well. It is an excellent hunting dog and loves to be in the forest.
Hunting The Black Elkhound is used in all types of hunts but excels best in hunting large game such as elk, moose and bear. It is very good at tracking and makes an excellent watch dog. It is a good family dog but can sometimes be a bit contentious in relations with other dogs. The Elkhound has been an important dog for farmers in Scandinavia for hundreds of years.
Grooming Its coat requires frequent brushing.