Welcome to Elvbend Elkhounds!
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For the most current news at Elvbend, check out our blog at www.elvbendelkhounds.com/blog.
We are a small hobby kennel and dedicated Norwegian Elkhound fanciers. All of our dogs are, first and foremost, our companions and friends, and as such, they share our home with us – they are not kennel dogs! While we are proud of their accomplishments, they are our treasured family members above all else.
We became involved with Elkhounds in 2000, titling our first dog in 2001. We enjoy showing in Conformation, Agility, Rally, and Obedience, and have shown in both AKC and UKC events. We believe in developing our dogs to their fullest potential.
We breed sparingly and very selectively, usually less than one litter per year. Since socialization is vital to a young puppy, and properly raising a litter inside the home takes a great deal of effort, we don’t feel we have the time to breed more often. We breed only if we believe we have the expectation of an exceptional litter that will exemplify the Norwegian Elkhound in structure, temperament, and health. Since we believe that only the best representatives of the breed should be selected as parents, we do require that puppies placed as companions (pets) be spayed or neutered.
We strongly believe in breeding dogs TO THE STANDARD. Form, fit, and function are an integral part of our breeding program. An excellent tutorial about form, fit, and function exists at http://www.elghund.info/pdfs/form_function.pdf.
Our sires and dams are painstakingly selected. Our dams have proven themselves as excellent representatives of the breed through earning their Championships and participating in performance events, such as Rally, Obedience, and Agility. We carefully research health and pedigrees before selecting a sire for our dams. All potential parents are carefully health-screened, including hips OFA’d , eyes CERF’d clear, and appropriate blood and urine panels performed. Since we are responsible for the decision to bring puppies into this world, we believe that it is vital to take every step possible to ensure they live a happy, healthy life.
Our puppies are raised inside our home (they are not raised in barns, kennels, or outbuildings) to provide maximum socialization to the everyday sights and sounds of a household. Because we breed so rarely, our puppies receive extensive handling and care as well as our full and devoted attention. We provide numerous opportunities for socialization, both inside our home and, when they have had their immunizations, outside the home. We believe that puppies benefit from socialization with their littermates and therefore puppies never leave our home before they are 10 weeks old. To minimize stress during this impressionable age, we never ship puppies by air. Our puppies are placed in their new homes with great care, and potential owners are thoroughly screened to ensure that the puppy is placed in an excellent and loving home. A fenced yard is required, and puppies will not be placed in homes where they must live outside, in a kennel, or tied on a line. We prefer that new owners pick their puppy up at our home. Our puppies are sold for the same price, regardless of gender. Our puppies are not inexpensive, as we take considerable time and effort to produce exceptional puppies. A written, signed contract is expected with every puppy.
We are active members of the Norwegian Elkhound Association of America, Northeastern Illinois Norwegian Elkhound Association, Greater Milwaukee Norwegian Elkhound Association, Chicagoland Hound Association, Illinois Federation of Dog Clubs and Owners, and Quad Cities Dog Obedience Club. We proudly support NAIA. We also work in breed rescue, and have fostered a dozen or so Elkhounds, who have since been permanently homed through the national Elkhound rescue network.
Amy was honored to have judged the Futurity and Maturity at the 2010 Norwegian Elkhound National in Midland, MI.
We are proud to have been accepted into the AKC Breeder of Merit program. We feel this program is an honor that recognizes breeders who go above and beyond to ensure the health and soundness of their breeding programs.
The Great Gray Dogs
The Norwegian Elkhound is a strikingly beautiful dog whose personality and loyalty is unsurpassed. He is, however, not the dog for everyone.
A true Northern breed, the Elkhound is an independent thinker and is sometimes labeled as “stubborn”. The extremely intelligent Elkhound is probably not the dog for you if you are looking for unquestioning obedience. Fully capable of excelling in performance events – there are MACH, OTCH, RAE, and TDX Elkhounds – his independent nature can make him a challenge to train. Besides being a Northern breed, the Elkhound is also a hunting dog and as such, his hunting instincts often interfere with training. Generally “soft” towards corrections, the Elkhound can be fully trained using gentle methods, positive reinforcement, and patience. Lots of patience. Since the Elkhounds was bred as a hunting dog, he is also a creative thinker and problem-solver. He is easily bored by repetitive training, and requires a trainer with patience and creativity. Traditional “pop and jerk” leash training will likely frustrate the Elkhound. Puppy owners are encouraged to enroll their Elkhounds in obedience classes in which positive training methods are used.
With his large head, bear-like appearance, and resounding bark, the Elkhound gives the impression of an excellent guard dog. However, while he is likely to bark to alert, he is equally likely to smother the intruder with love and show him where the family silver is kept. A watchdog, yes. A guard dog, no.
The Elkhound was bred to hunt moose and to hold the moose at bay until his human hunting companion arrives. As such, he has a very loud and imperative bark, which he uses at will. The Elkhound is not a quiet dog and will require bark training so as to not annoy the neighbors.
Bred to hunt at a trot or gallop for miles and miles, the Elkhound is an agile, active dog that requires a good deal of exercise in order to be the docile house pet most people desire. Additionally, as with most Northern breeds, the Elkhound is prone to excessive weight gain if adequate exercise and proper nutrition is not provided.
A securely fenced area is a must for the Elkhound. His superior air-scenting ability enables him to track quite well, and without secure fencing, he is likely to leave the yard in his quest for game, oblivious to the dangers outside the yard. The Elkhound can also be a troublesome digger, further enhancing the need for a well-built, secure exercise area.
While he has a reputation of being a generally healthy breed, the Elkhound can be prone to some health problems, including hip dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy, glaucoma, liver and kidney problems, and sebaceous cysts. Responsible Elkhound breeders have their breeding stock tested for health problems and do not use affected dogs in their breeding programs. It is very important that you check with the breeder to make sure their breeding stock has been tested. If your breeder tells you that testing isn’t necessary, then you should find another breeder. Your breeder should be happy to provide you with proof of health testing.
The Elkhound’s double coat requires little maintenance; however, he will “blow” coat profusely twice a year, leaving tumbleweeds of hair throughout the house, and does shed throughout the year. Weekly brushing is necessary, with daily brushing required during the semi-annual “blowing” of coat. If you’re a finicky housekeeper, the Elkhound is probably not the breed for you. Remarkably free of “doggy odor,” the Elkhound does not require frequent bathing; however, the occasional bath will keep him looking and feeling good. Other than that, routine nail and teeth maintenance round out the grooming requirements for the Elkhound.
Hardy enough to live outdoors, your Elkhound will prefer to live in the house with his people. A deeply loyal and affectionate breed, the Elkhound thrives on human attention, and suffers without it.
The Elkhound tends to see himself as co-existing with humans – equal partners, rather than “owner” and “dog.” Without proper training, the Elkhound can become the boss and master of the house. However, with appropriate training, kindness, and love, you and your Elkhound can achieve a deep, satisfying, and loyal relationship.
For more information on the Elkhound, visit the Norwegian Elkhound Association of America’s website at www.neaa.net.
Amy & Jody Peterson
Northwestern IL, USA
To contact us: (e-mail preferred)
This website is owned in its entirety by Elvbend Elkhounds. No portion of this site may be used or reproduced without the express written permission of Elvbend. Photos are credited by photographer. Photos not showing photo credits were taken by Elvbend.
We don’t have any puppies available right now. We recently did a breeding (late May 2014) and are awaiting signs of pregnancy. Please contact us for more information. We may also know of other breeders who are expecting or currently have puppies. We only do an average of one breeding annually. Please exercise great caution in your search for a Norwegian Elkhound puppy and make sure you research your breeder thoroughly. Your breeder should be doing basic health testing on the parents and should want to interview YOU! Remember, a puppy is a commitment that could last 15 years or more, so make sure you are getting a healthy, well-bred pup.