From paintings by Louis Agassiz Fuertes
The Norwegian elkhound is one of the wolfy-looking dogs from which the
shepherd dogs of middle Europe have been evolved, and is probably a
more dependable dog than any of them, having been bred for the
specific uses of hunting big game, and left free of the refinements and
stultifications demanded by the more effete market, which is
largely dependent on the whims of wealth and caprice.
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The Norwegian Elkhound Makeup
The elkhound, in short, looks like a small, stocky, wide-faced
German shepherd dog, standing about 22 inches instead of 26 or 27,
but wearing the same strong, rough working coat of grizzled buff and brown, or wolf colors.
He is a rare dog in the United States, but in northern Europe plays an
important part in the life of the people of the mountainous and wooded country.
He is used to some extent as a carrying and draft animal,
but is unsurpassed in the rough and tumble of the hunt for such
and is so keen of nose and so tractable that he can easily be
trained to the more subtle arts of hunting the capercailzie and black grouse.
The only one the artist ever saw was the single specimen shown in the
Westminster show of 1918, and no dog in the whole show made him more envious of his owner.
For what Mark Twain characterized as “the purposes of a dog” this strong,
friendly, and primitive-looking animal seemed a most perfect creature.
He was alert, bright, and self-reliant, but willing to extend a reserved welcome to a new acquaintance.