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Athletic Ability - Strength Of The Elkhound

I hope everyone could enjoy the companionship and adventure you can have with a great Kamia Elkhound!

Takoda and Jaegar

Takoda is pictured here with his son Jaegar Summer 2016. Both of these boys are superbly conditioned, some of the smoothest freest moving big fella's you'll ever see. These boys can cover some ground, and do rough and rugged terrain like few other dogs in the world.

The Elkhound is one of the most robust hiking dogs on the planet, and if it's winter conditions, virtually no other dogs can do rugged like this breed. These are remote terrain dogs, not real runners like a husky, but have the length and depth to do hours upon hours of tough trails.

What I want to speak to today is what I am going to call or say it's about is the stamina, ease of movement and the capacity for strength.

Kalia and ToraI wanted to share some of my experiences over the years in rugged terrain, and what I consider to be very important traits in breeding selection.

See the two female Elkhounds, Kalia and Tora to the left in that image. I have that online in a story on the adventure site and folks have emailed asking what they are looking at so intently.

This is very unique, as they are watching Takoda scale the mountain, no trail, straight up, dead of winter, in deep deep powder.

You see, Kalia, Tora and I we couldn't make it up that way, so we went way around the back of the mountain and came up a much easier slope. The two females of course tons of power, but they would rather travel in the snowshoe track in really deep powder. Takoda Athletic Elkhound MaleTakoda on the other hand, he is a machine. Now he chose his own route and is coming basically straight up. He had been cruising around down quite a ways, we were a long ways up, and he decided to catch up, he came straight up.

Now snow at this altitude is very deep, most of it 3 feet, so he rarely touches ground. It's loose powder up to his shoulder, and he is sinking in to that level.

Doesn't phase him a bit. He is an extremely athletic male. Granted, it's not easy, it was a super struggle for him.

Takoda Athletic Elkhound MaleYou can see here he is working hard, a step ahead is really not a step ahead as he is sliding back half a step. We are sitting up above waiting and watching, roughly 4500 feet high at this point.

I am not looking to go further, I am exhausted. We have been hiking for quite a few hours already to get up here. We left the house, cleared all the lower timber trails and hadn't been up this way before this season. So I didn't know exactly how tough the conditions would be here.

Takoda Athletic Elkhound MaleNow breeders talk about the confirmation, the style, the size of the dog, all those things. I hope I can share a bit more on some of the finer points of what a breeder should be striving for in the great dogs. For me, an easy moving dog is the key. The dog has to have an easy way about him, not constrained, not tight. They should be real light easy moving, fluid and functional.

An easy moving dog should be able turn and have a lightning fast way about them if excited. It's hard to explain but it is easy to spot once you see a free easy moving dog versus a tight constrained dog.

Takoda Athletic Elkhound MaleYou need a flexibility in movement. An extreme strength in the joints and tendons. You need big lean muscle power. And you need massive lung capacity. A very deep chest to allow for air movement.

Don't forget that the ribs need to be long enough that the organs can move to allow for the air. The heart has to be HUGE so that the blood flow to carry the oxygen is cruising, major league through the body. Absolutely don't forget that the blood flow to the feet is what keeps them warm digging up a mountain like this.

Here is another thing, you need great feet. Great feet are crucial. They have to be sized correct, not too big, not too small. Tough feet.

Athletic Ability Transferred GeneticallyHere is the other crucial aspect of selection,  a breeder needs to see the working traits in working conditions, or he is simply guessing that what he is doing is right. I want to see these guys in the conditions they were bred for. Not just think they should be doing good. I want to see it, experience it, know it.

One of the main reasons I love this new home is my ability to work the dogs in the rugged areas where we live. So, as a breeder of course, these traits I speak of, they need to be transferred genetically, or you just have a one of dog.

So I sit here, same trail, same tough conditions, even more snow with Jaegar, Kai and Tora. Traits totally transferred genetically!

Athletic Ability Transferred GeneticallyTora a daughter of Takoda, Jaegar a Son, Kai a granddaughter, as she is a daughter of Tora. So go figure. These three are thinking this is like a walk in the park. Nothing to it. These my friends these are true working Elkhounds.

The traits like athletics ability, these are totally transferrable.  I had a chance the last while to have some of Jaegars boys around. I recently had Bane and Havoc here for the Desna program. It was readily apparent that the free easy movement comes through Jaegar just as smoothly as it does through Tora. Either or. Both transfer it.

The big fella down below is Ranger, one of the great young pups from Kamp and Jaegar he stayed for a bit longer with me as well. I had some time to run him with the big boys. No doubt about it, a very nice easy moving young rascal. Awesome stance, great build, tough as nails and only weeks old. I had him hiking and he was a little machine. Too funny to watch, no kidding.

So yep, pretty happy about our program for sure. I am confident that folks are going to be getting a really great pup, no matter which pair they end up from, no doubt about it. 

."Three generations of big athletic males, Takoda, his son Jaegar, and Jaegar's son Ranger"

Athletic Ability 3 Generations of Elkhound Males


The photos below are more of the Elkhounds on the rugged and remote terrain we travel.

Ashten is on a hike with Jaegar in Revelstoke, August 2016 - 7200 ft

Ashten and Jaegar Revelstoke 7200 feet

Jaegar checks out the Alpine Meadow before they continue - air scent males like Jaegar know if a bear is near or not

Jaegar checks the alpine meadow for bear


Tekla, on a hike with me looking down at where we are going.

11,000 steps Tekla looking down

Tekla and Tuva Spring Mountain Hike 2016 - Both Muscled In!
8 Elkhounds Lean and Mean Spring 2016

Tuva in extreme rock conditions, no problem for her, mountain hiking Norwegian Elkhound female. Kalia and Tekla Elkhound Females are like snow ploughs on deep snow bush trails.
It sometimes is a little hard to change course going downhill in deep powder, as you can see.