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Takoda - Male Elkhound

Each person should have the opportunity to have a companion dog, a truly loyal friend, a dog like Takoda or his boys

elkhound dogs

Takoda is pictured here with a few of his boys, and a few of his grandsons. There are a lot more however I couldn't get more on the collage, I'll have to do a few more for certain..
This is an impressive collection of big Males. If you have seen a better collection of big fellas, your one lucky rascal, because I sure haven't. These are the premier big boys in Canada, with a couple big USA boys in as well.

One thing about Takoda, he stamps on that awareness, that watchful behaviour, combine that with the recall and personal nature to the handler and you have yourself a truly magnificent big male. All these boys are at the upper end of the size scale, we understand that. Few if any are actually breed standard for Norwegian standards. They pretty much all follow the Swedish type for size, with Loki-Bear and Gryffin the two largest, at 90 and 75 pounds respectively. Pretty much all of them are 58 to 68, terrific males.

All these males are nice boys, social for the most part, some not so friendly with other dogs, but able to be around them. All are watchful, have the old instincts front and center, and all are fearless, anyone of these boys would run any black bear out of camp.

These are the old warriors of times past, few if any breeders in North America still breed the old working dogs, few have the old working lines with all instincts and traits intact. These boys will be the most pack oriented, pack socialized males anywhere, all raised under Takoda's guidance from just weeks old. Most breeders don't have the level of rank adjustment potential as they boys have.

"Takoda, as a mature big Male, Spring Hiking 2012"

The big Grey's like Takoda are some easy moving big fellas. When him and I go out he can go up and down the big hills, covered in snow, many times to my one time up. He has a free easy stride, he covers some serious ground when he is scouting, and he is scouting the entire time we are out, it's his heritage, his instincts, he is old world this boy, he works when we are out.

These big Silvers boys are very hard to find in Canada, in fact there are probably only a handful outside him and his boys, this is the country they love to roam in. We are up quite high here, it's been a fairly tough hike for me, I am getting played out, the snow was still pretty deep up here this time of year, we had crossed that valley of new plantings and came up this side, I had to take a break, Takoda, he had already been up here two times, and had been down and around for me.

This is a remote region, there are no other people out here, we pretty much have hundreds and hundreds of miles we can hike in, pretty cool place for a fact. Below I talk about the Big Grey's, why Takoda has such great pups, the features and qualities of these big boys, and more importantly his abilities. This is the premier big Male Elkhound in Canada, you won't come across too many males in his league, dogs like this, they show up every now and then, you could raise dogs for an entire lifetime and only come across a handful with the capabilities, the skill level, the comprehension and communication abilities of a dog like this.

Communication with your dog is of the utmost importance in these regions, it is critical that your dog can communicate from great distance, that has the instincts to operate independently, yet in tune with you, 95% of the time he is out of sight, yet he knows where I am at all times, he is working always around me. His communication abilities I discuss throughout the site. Enjoy your visit.

elkhound dogs

Takoda is pictured above at 4 years old. He is one of the rare Large Swedish Greys, there are only a handful of these boys in Canada, and as far as I know, all the others are his pups. These big Greys are ancient dogs, they have traveled the Northern regions for many centuries. Your looking at a dog who is very much unchanged from hundreds of years ago.

They are predominately a 1 owner dog, they bond very close with the handler. These are very personable dogs to the handler and "Pack", the immediate family. They are very good natured to the pack, entirely devoted to please and work with the handler. Will wait for hours to spend time. These particular dogs are not as stubborn as the Norsk Gra or Norwegian type Elkhound.
The big Greys are communicators, Takoda excels at this. He can stay in touch with me with his ears and body language way past where I can see him, I need a zoom lens to see him and he still signals me. Hundreds of yards out, he will flash his ears when he clears some bush or makes a clearing to let me know he see's me, and he gives me a minute to signal if I want him to return.
The Swedish Elkhounds are bred for the deeper snow regions, they have the extra inch or two of height and length to cope with this terrain. They are extremely athletic dogs, very fast, agile and powerful. They have been used to pull sleds, carry packs, they love to work, but their primary role of course was hunting and protection. These are the bear hunting dogs, The big greys have been used for many centuries to hunt bear, one of the few breeds selectively bred to hunt this particular animal. They are proficient and extremely skilled at hunting Moose, known throughout the world as a Moose hunting dog.

The coat of the big dark grey's like Takoda are magnificent, this is his everyday attire. He has had three brushings in his life. We brush him in the spring. Period. The outer guard hairs on the Swedish Elkhounds are black tipped, with a longer black tip, also a more even black throughout, not so grey as the Norwegian types. This is a characteristic of the Swedish types along with the cream chest and belly, and lighter throat and lower jaw. The black masks are not normally found in the Swedish types but in the Norwegians. The tail is curled but not wrapped as tight as the Norwegian type. Often times carried slightly to the side as well. The ears should be upright and should have plenty of cover inside for warmth. These are double coat dogs, so handle extreme cold temperatures well.

He has never had his nails clipped, he requires zero maintenance. He is a picture of health. He has ate raw food basically from day one, started out as pup on a beaver his old dad hunted down. We feed raw to all our dogs. Takoda has some incredible jaw strength, he is standing here in the 67 lb range right now, just after breeding season. He normally loses about 9 to 10 lbs during breeding, he just is too busy to eat, and with this past season there were two females here in heat, he had a much longer stretch, he did not get to mate with Tora of course, but still runs and frets and doesn't eat just the same as if he was able to. Normally he spends his time over 70 lbs of muscle. He carries virtually no fat to speak of. Stays lean and muscular year round. He will muscle up now for a month or two while he comes back to his normal weight.

In my opinion there is no better dog for Canadians. Or anyone in Northern climates for that matter. But here in Canada we have exactly what these big fellas live for. All kinds of space and activity, cooler temperatures for the most part, we get deeper snow than many places, there is no end to hiking and wildlife and things for these dogs to do.

elkhound dogs

Takoda is one of the few big Greys raised with full genetic instincts and instinctive actions and behaviours intact. Nothing has been trained out, we have allowed all his natural ability and instinct behaviour to flourish, exactly as it would have 400 or 1000 years ago. He has been in contact with no person other than our pack, and a few trips to the Vet for boosters and regular check ups. I hold him and keep him in line at those examinations, he doesn't want the vet to touch him, nor have anyone come near me, or him of course, they are not wanting to come near him, though, so he needn't worry.

His role is protection and security, he knows it, we let him do his thing. He is the nicest dog we have to us, the most personable guy you could possibly meet, yet be a stranger coming onto his turf and he is a whole different animal. He has a strong heritage for many centuries to protect the handler, the family, the pack from any and all. He has this instinctively. He does this job to perfection.

You go hiking with this breed and you can relax, they know they are to watch out for you, keep constant attention, nothing slips by an Elkhound, they are air scent dogs and they constantly are monitoring all around you. Takoda is a big boy, he is fast moving, likes to range around me, checks in steady, but I know he is going in full circles around me to be sure, nothing comes any direction.

If you happen to be a fox, coyote, or a big feral cat roaming up from the park at night, if you cross into his turf, odds are high you don't go home. He does not take lightly to other animals coming into his turf. A big breeding male is something to see, these dogs for years have been known to be dominant, they don't necessarily tolerate other dogs well.

You don't need to leave all instincts running at full throttle like we do with Takoda, you can socialize this breed to accept people and be very social. All the pups from Takoda are socialized and very nice to be around, easy to take anywhere, yet they all have the ability to watch and pay attention right there, check out all the pages on the pups, Tesla, Kona and Bruin, Shadow and Koda, our daughters Male Jaegar, and others like Nanook, and Loki-Bear. There are some great dogs featured on this site, people have been very kind to us to stay in touch and send in updates on his pups. We are very proud of his dogs and so are the owners, as they know full well as we do they have a very unique and rare, highly sought after dog that has been tested and proven over many generations.

"Takoda, as a young Male Elkhound, wrestles with me for the snow bone"
There are very few Swedish Elkhound Grey males in Canada, Takoda is the prominent Elkhound of this Type. His pups, Loki-Bear, Bosco, Nanook, Loki, Niko, Shadow, Koda and the two big brothers up in MacKenzie, Kona and Bruin are all excellent representations of the quality and outstanding traits that Takoda stamps on his male offspring. Female's from Takoda are just as outstanding, with some of the very best females in Canada currently from Takoda.

Most people don't get to see large Swedish Gray males in Canada, they are not normally thought of when looking at Elkhounds, people normally associate the Elkhound with the more popular "Norwegian Grey". Both types have a long history, dating back thousands of years, and Takoda brings forward all the qualities that have been sought for centuries.

This is an outstanding male, and you can view his pups throughout this site, see for yourself the quality of his pups, take a look at the consistent traits he passes down, Nika and Kari are an excellent example of consistent genetics. Nika is a full sister to Kari, yet different litters. These are two of the best Swedish females in Canada, they are big dark females, fully balanced, very stable, polite well mannered females.

Takoda, Male Elkhound 2009
Takoda was bred for the deep snow regions. He moves effortlessly through deep snow, his extra size allows him the freedom of motion that gives him the advantage. Old World breeders knew that in the deep snow regions it was easier and safer for the dogs with that extra inch or so of height and length, and so the taller longer cast Elkhound predominately ended up in those areas.

Takoda walks around most days with 70 or so lbs, he goes up and down a few pounds depending on the time of year, breeding cycles etc. but remains pretty constant. He is so active he carries no fat, he carries less condition than the other dogs normally as he is moving and constantly watching and on patrol. In the fall he starts to beef up a bit for winter, packing on a few more pounds. This winter will be exciting as he is coming into his prime this winter.

Takoda and Merv Fall 2010 Bragg Creek, Kananaskis area

Takoda is without question, a one owner dog, he respects and listens to all of us here, but he is my dog, friend and companion. This dog would put his life on the line for mine at any time, no thought of any thing else would occur. He would never leave in the most dire of circumstances, has absolutely no fear of anything and understands his role as a partner and protector with an uncanny comprehension.

To experience a loyal dog in ones life, this is a great thing.

Takoda helping train Tora, BigHorn Summer 2009

It's the perfect match up with Mia and Takoda, Mia basically turns the training, or most of the aspects of training the pups over to Takoda at around the 4-5 week mark, sure they are still nursing and so on, but all the other stuff Takoda takes over. He has been such a blessing with Tora, she is a handful, she is a strong powerful young female, and Takoda has assisted me from day one with her. When I need to train Tora something, I put her and Takoda together, and using him to guide her, she catches on superfast.

He watches and pays attention to me, he is always checking in, making sure we are communicating, he shows this to her, she instinctively knows what he does, she is supposed to do. I can say this much, training a pup with an older well trained dog is dramatically easier. He also is more apt to be playing with the pups and encouraging them to chase and hunt and track down, he will entice them into chasing him, promote the prey drive with them, it's fascinating to watch everyone join in.


Takoda and Tora Winter 2016
Takoda and Tora Winter 2016

Takoda and Tora on watch, high country, BigHorn Region Summer 2009

In times past dogs had a more active role, they played a bigger part in our daily lives in terms of service, versus being just a companion. They needed to be able to hunt, assist in getting the winter food supply, keeping watch over the yard and making sure the yard was safe, and the other stock didn't go for food to coyotes and foxes, wolves and so on. The Elkhound has long been a keeper of the gate, watching that no intruders come through that shouldn't and Takoda has every old world quality present.

He works at our place, he has a serious role, he knows it and takes it to heart. He watches and looks out for everything and anything, nothing slips by him. Elkhounds make terrific watch dogs, he excels at this, and passes this trait down to his pups. Everyone with one of his pups will attest to that.

These are air scent dogs, I have witnessed Takoda many times stand right up on his hind legs, stick his head up high and sniff the air, run in larger circles till he catches the scent again, fascinating to watch. This is a superb dog for hiking in the wilderness regions, they can alert you to danger, long before you could possibly know. It's been said many times by the old hunters that a good Male can air scent for 3 miles. Meaning they can catch a scent of a Moose beginning 3 miles away, follow that closer and closer, determining the location and in the case of really good hunting dogs, already begin to work toward the moving direction so as to get in front and stop the game.

Takoda - Full Grown Male - Winter of 2011

It has been a cold winter this year already, with tons of snow, we are out on a trail hike here in February 8th, 2011, it's cold out, probably been hanging around minus 20 for a about 3 days, going down a bit colder at night. Tora and Mia I leave in the kennel now when we go, they are close to coming in so it's just Takoda and I. My hands get cold pretty fast trying to get a picture out here, and he doesn't stand still for more than a second so it's tough getting any good shots. I am having trouble keeping my batteries charged as well in this cold.

He doesn't mind a bit, loves to run and moves around fast, if I had my skiis on he would have just yarded me around down here. He is pretty excited these days, he knows something is up, and he doesn't like not being together with Mia, they have been together from day one so he doesn't much like leaving her behind. He instinctively knows there are pups coming, he is on alert to a higher degree these days, not to say he relaxes at any time, but during this stretch he is a moving machine.

He is a free and easy moving big fella now, strong as can be, he see's something and I have the harness on, I better hang on because when he hits the end he just digs in and pulls. He leans right into the harness and gets down and really muscles along. I am letting him pull these days, I have my skijoring harness and set-up, but I still want to make a few changes to my gear, so when we go out now I encourage him to pull all the time when we have the harness on. He loves it.

Takoda - Big Dark Elkhound Male - Fall 2012

It has begun to cool down today, it's late September, there are only 3 of Tora's boys from the last litter to be picked up, and Takoda's litter is here for another couple weeks, but he is ever vigilant when there is pups around. He watches anything that moves, and isn't fooling around if he wants it gone it's gone. He has always been a protective Elkhound, and to watch him work, well that is truly something no doubt.

He has a terrific litter of pups, fearless girls and boys, all Silver/Black except for 1 big Male, he is a dark Black/Silver, he will end up exactly like Takoda, a truly great set of pups. Takoda is running at the 70 lb mark again now, he is packing on a little weight for winter, he is never over conditioned and I have to work to keep him with some extra weight, he is so active just burns it off. He is an exceptional male, he is loyal to a fault, is a one owner dog to the tenth degree, and accepts zero strangers.

Trying to get everyone lined up for a photo - Fall 2010

Before I could get these couple photos I had to get everyone lined up and get them to quit fooling around, Tora and Mia were basically settled in quick but Mela wanted to be over closer to me and she knew that she wouldn't be getting that spot cause Takoda was in this picture, and Tora wasn't about to move, so Mela is trying to move around everyone and get over close without having any issue with those two. Mia, she doesn't care, if Tora or Takoda want to scrap over who gets close, she lets them. Mela is still very young in this photo, basically only 6 months old and so she is still trying hard to do exactly what she thinks I want her to do, all the while keeping an eye on Takoda and Tora.

Takoda, Tora, Mia, and Mela with Merv

Every things good. Mela settled in happy to be close in, Tora she just sits right on Takoda if she pleases, she pushes her weight around with no fear, Mia, she never moved once she sat down, and Takoda, well the minute his head turns toward me he shows a great deal of respect and his ears come down.

Tora and Mela are both full sisters, from different litters, both from Takoda and Mia. Mela has a lot of Takoda that comes through, she is tough like Tora, yet very respectful and polite.

As you can imagine, lining up four dogs standing in front of them is fairly easy, sitting amongst them creates some rivalry and takes a few photos.

Especially if I am giving the command - by me - well to them, that means by me, right by me, if they are not touching me they are not in the right place.


Takoda pictured below in January 2017 with his son Ripley. Tekla and Takoda had a litter of ten in late 2016.

Takoda and son Ripley Elkhound Males

Takoda and Aina on a high mountain hike with me in the fall of 2016
Takoda and his son Jaegar summer of 2016  Two outstanding Elkhound Males
Takoda and his son Jaegar, with Jaegar's son Ranger. Takoda is very proud to help do some training with his grandson, Ranger.
Takoda and Rico - Takoda really enjoyed his time with Rico, the two big Swedish Elkhound males seemed to have a bond. It was like Takoda recognized his kin from centuries past or something. Really neat.
Takoda in the fall of 2016 in tremendous shape, just about to have a new litter with Tekla of ten pups.

Takoda fall of 2016

Takoda in July of 2017

He is still in tremendous shape, looks pretty much identical for the last decade now. Just a month or so shy of his 10th birthday in this photo. He has with him is new Son MANE top right, his daughter Luna walking away, and his granddaughter Kai, top left. Kai has just turned 4 and will be having her second litter of great grand pups for Takoda on 7th of September, 2017

Takoda Elkhound Male approaching 10 years

I have a great article up on our generational Elkhounds talking about the first litter from Kai, our 4th generation of Elkhounds. This photo is spring of 2017.