The Norwegian Elkhound, also known as the Norsk Elghund (Gra), the Grahund, the Graa Dyrehund, the Dyrehund, the Grey Elkhound, the Grey Norwegian Elkhound, the Grey Elk Dog, the Swedish Grey Dog and the Elkhound, is one of the oldest and most natural of all canine breeds. It is Norway’s grand contribution to dogdom. Everything about this dog – from his compact size, muscular body, robust squareness and dense coat to his fearless temperament, keen intelligence, versatility and adaptability to any tasks or conditions – developed without a preconceived human mold. The Norwegian Elkhound was first recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1913. and became eligible for full registration in 1930, as a member of the Hound Group.
The mature male Elkhound stands 20½ inches at the withers and weighs about 55 pounds; adult bitches stand 19½ inches in height and typically weigh about 48 pounds. Their thick, hard, weather-resistant coat has a soft, wooly undercoat and a coarse, smooth-lying overcoat that requires regular brushing to loosen and remove dead hair. No alteration by trimming, clipping or other artificial treatment is permitted in the show ring. The breed sheds its coat seasonally in great volume. Coat color is preferred in a medium gray, with black tips on the overcoat and a light, clear silver undercoat. The muzzle, ears and tip of the tail are black. Red, brown, solid black, white or any solid color other than described above disqualifies the dog from show competition. Like other Spitz breeds, the Norwegian Elkhound carries its tightly curled tail high over its back.