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Dedicated to Mia

Norwegian Elkhound Female

Mia, Founding Female - Kamia Kennels

I will be dedicating this newsletter to Mia. Mia has past on to the big kennel in the sky. She is watching things now from another vantage point. I have set up a page to share some of the incredible times and experiences we have had over the 10 years with my little pal and best friend, Mia. This my friends, this was an Elkhound.

Click Here To Go To The New Mia Page

Elkhounds On Scent Trail

An Elkhound never forgets a scent! People sometimes ask how to get the dog to hunt - well, it's not super easy, but it's pretty easy. You simply have to identify for it the scent you want it to go after. They are predisposed to find ungulates, particularly Moose, and they know exactly what to do when they get close. But you can have them work on other scents just as easily.

A Moose smells like a Moose, and so does every other Moose.
A Bear smells like a Bear, and so does every other Bear.
A rat smells like a rat, and so does every other rat.

Now the reason I have this photo, and the Moose, Bear and rat illustration is this following story. This particular region I live in is surrounded by miles of wilderness. We have all kinds of game coming through here, it's like a wildlife park. Tons of smells. All kinds.

So, back to the story, around here we have had every fall and throughout the year now, this pack rat problem. These packrats are native to BC, I didn't know anything about them, but they are a disaster for me. They come and the first place they go is under the vehicle and then begin gathering all sorts of insulation out of the hood, chewing wires, taking anything and everything and making nests. My neighbor had to rewire a new Explorer to the tune of 5000.00 and replace massive interior cloth and seating to a nice rv trailer that a family of them moved into.

Well, this packrat he must smell very much like a muskrat, or a porcupine, as the first time my dogs caught wind of this scent they were mad. Ever since then, because they smell like a hated smell, Tora and Takoda, Jaegar, GAEDA, Kamp, they go nuts, they want this thing out of the vehicle. So do I of course. ( side note: my dogs hate porcupines)

Now, here is where I sustain the bulk of the damage, it's to the paint. Thus the reason every vehicle I have is scratched right up. I hate these rodents. I have like 15,000 in paint damage considering all the vehicles, the last straw of course, I left Marlene's new car out one night last summer before we really Knew too much about being absolutely certain to put it away. But one got in there that night, Tora was out of course, well, so much for that paint job. The dogs of course climb all over the vehicle and try to tear it away to get at this thing.

So, when one got in my Bronco, Tora and Takoda climbing all over it, I took the time to get all the dogs, we surrounded it, and basically, I helped them and we swept that stupid thing out from between the gas tank and the body of the truck, Tora grabbed him, Jaegar grabbed him and he was in two parts before I could blink. Everybody had a taste I was certain to be sure of it. Took us a couple hours as he would run along the frame back to the engine, back to the rear, under a fender, but finally we got him out. It was funny at one time, I had the hood open, I told Marlene stand at the front and let me know when he shows back up in the engine bay. I went to the back with the dogs, and I hear this scream. Here he jumped up on the carb, Marlene freaked, the rodent freaked, I bang my head, and all of us race to the front Takoda leaps right into the engine bay, what a gong show.

Another time one was in my trim work making a bloody mess, I turned Takoda and Mia into that and they put an end to that, so every dog knows the smell of this thing. Each time they come around, it's like an alarm goes off.

This wood pile you see I had just a couple days earlier tarped it all in, covered it really nice, tied everything down, I was prepared for the snow. 11 P.M. I was in bed, Takoda starts off, I can tell immediately he is cranky, this is his kill it bark. He is furious. He is down in a pen with Kamp.

Two seconds later Tora starts to bark whine, when she whine/barks something is right in her nose basically, and she wants to hunt, she is in the garage. I grab my light, throw on some clothes and head out. All 10 are freaking out now. Turn Tora out with me first. If you haven't seen a hunting dog find an exact spot with a scent all over the place, let me tell you, it's fascinating. Tora is like watching a super magnet latch onto a piece of steel.

I run down, open all the gates, it's in my new wood pile of all places. Pitch Black Outside. The neighbors are thinking this new guy has to move out, he is so noisy. When my dogs are mad they are loud. So anyway, they are tearing up my new tarps, Tora knows directly below her is where he is. I look in the logs with the light, sure enough there is that little crap head.

Takoda, Tora they are basically lifting right through the tarps so I have to get these tarps off. Middle of the night, can you imagine. I get the tarps untied, and can now begin to move the logs. The critter is running out the end, down a few, then back in, up a few back out, so fast they can't grab him. He runs out goes to my wood shed next, they tear through that, then this old pile of cut off lumber, nails in planks, dogs getting cut, there is so much wood they can't quite grab him before he ducks back in the wood pile. Gee whiz, 3 hours later we finally get his sorry behind out of there, they shred him, I can sleep. Dogs are immediately quiet. Done deal.

So it was a long story to get to my scent story. Once an Elkhound has a scent in it's database of smells that they know you want them to track, they will never forget that smell. And they are working non stop for hours till they do what they set out to do, which is find it. Now, not everything you train them to find do you train them to kill it. But training them to find it is just as accurate killing or not. Most of the time of course it's not killing. But neither here nor there about the end result once they know that is the scent, they have it.

This thing crossed the yard, a scent blew toward Takoda and boom, no stopping him from associating the previous work I had him do to find and eliminate this threat. Same with Tora. All the others helping, however I do need to point out a couple of other things.

Kamp, GAEDA, Tekla and Tuva they are not as in tune to this type of scent tracking, as say, Kai and Kalia. However, if an ungulate, Moose, Deer etc. comes through, they are super serious. The Swedish dogs are just a bit better for hunt/kill missions and intense activity to find and source. Now, granted, Tekla was really getting the hang of it toward the end, I was prompting her, encouraging her to work, calling her over, pointing things out, letting her know I really wanted her to find this thing. She was really getting good, quite great really at the end. Tuva I wasn't making progress with and Kamp is just a little laid back. She is right there, but not as intense as Kai and Tora. Tora is a supreme hunter killer. Her and Takoda they are far superior in that regard. No fault to Tekla and Tuva, Kamp or GAEDA, they are full blood Norway dogs of the most ancient Moose hunting Norway lines alive. They have not been used for centuries on bear as much as the other lines, but were almost always on Moose for the Norway lines.

Now in this first log photo it's the next morning, they are all cruising it over, scent is still all over it, back and forth, up and down. Still very intense action from all dogs. Now I let them cruise and encourage the work. When you want them to find a smell you have to encourage the work when they are on the smell. They take to it like a duck to water of course.

We don't want to kill this little rat, he could live in harmony with us exactly like the Marmots do. We have a family of Marmots who live right beside us, just on the opposite side of the yard. They never come in the vehicles, buildings, no where that causes damage. Now the dogs can see the marmots, they smell like rodents but not the exact smell, so they are very aware, but I say to them, NO. RELAX. They can co-exist with this family of Marmots just fine. No barking, no intense hunting, they can see them a few feet away, nobody is freaking out. I have said to them in the early stages of the Marmots coming, RELAX. NO, RELAX. So, they relax. It's not a scent they focus on.

However, this rat is a major pest, if he stayed out of my seats, my insulation in the hoods, the firewalls, etc. didn't go in the vehicles we could have left him alone, but nope. So you can train an Elkhound easily to identify a particular scent out of millions and get the exact response you want. They smell this thing, it's NUTS, cause I want it found. They know I want it found.

Bear hunting lineages like Takoda have a built in mechanism to trigger in once you have them understand you want that scent found. Takoda can understand pretty much anything I want to tell him, there is basically nothing he can't understand, he is far smarter than me by 100's of times. So when I say to him I don't want him to bother the Robins, or the Deer, or the Marmots, same with Tora, or most of the others, they don't, they understand. But put him on something I want him on, you better keep up.

Squirrels are fair game around here, I have so many of those that they are well, disposable. So if the dogs want to catch one, and can, so be it. However we have rules. They have to hunt those less intense, and hunt quiet. They know. They can hunt quiet. It's tougher for Jaegar, he simply can't hunt them quiet. But almost all the others can. This ability to have them zero in on the particular scent, rather than sight or animal or activity is extremely useful in a yard full of animals of every description.

Also by training them by scent work, it's 100 times better when hiking. They are not off on every scent they come across. If I don't give them a go ahead on a scent they are relaxed and easy going. Sure they might chase a squirrel up a tree but a quick command and they are back on the trail with me.

I have an update to go along with this particular story about Lily, up in Whitehorse on the bear rehabilitation program. It's this exact same type of scent work they are doing, getting Lily to focus in on a particular scent, BEAR.

Lily Norwegian Elkhound

Lily - Elkhound Female Bear Dog

Lily, Elkhound Female, Daughter of Tora and Bram

I have received a few great updates from Ramona about Lily. Lily is our pride and joy for sure, she is up working her heart out with Ramona up in Whitehorse. There is an awesome program there, I know I won't explain the program to give it the credit the work deserves but the bottom line is the program is designed to assist the handler to deal with and help move out problem bears from public areas. Bears are prone to returning to campsites and areas where, unfortunately they could cause a conflict when they encounter people. The dogs help the handlers find, and move those bears out of the area, and hopefully, re-educate the bear not to return. Now of course my explanation of the extent of the work is very simplistic, its a whole lot more complicated and intense than I just described, but that's at least an overview. These are such good programs.

Lily comes from the ancient bear lineage on Takoda's side, so she can handle this work and as Ramona will outline below, she can excel. We are very proud of Lily, and so happy for her and Ramona, this is just a great update. Thank you Ramona for sharing with us some the great work your doing with Lily.

"Hi Merv,

Long over due note, but no picture. We've been far too busy for photos. I'll send one along in a bit. First, Lily is doing fantastic. She has been a precious addition to our family. And our bond to her is pretty strong. She is healthy, good teeth, good weight, and beautiful coat. Her eyes carry an amazing variety of expressions.

When she arrived she was a pretty mellow. As she grew and got more comfortable with her environment her interest in play took over and she has been quite the little rascal - chewing this, chewing that. SHE LOVES CHEWING. She can decimate and disintegrate a full leg bone in 12 minutes flat. Around the house, the cats are still unhappy, thought they seem to be adjusting. Weekly, it seems as though Lily has been getting calmer and calmer. Some days I miss the little girl in her and other days I'm glad she is maturing. However, there is still a fair bit of little girl in her no matter what.

Physically, She has long legs but she is a very slight and graceful dog. Slender face. Smaller than the other elkhounds I have seen. I actually like it, as I can pick her up without any issues.

When we first got her I enrolled her in basic puppy obedience. She loved it and it was great for her. She played with the other puppies and had boundless energy. We worked hard on her basic obedience and trying to ensure there wouldn't be issues with resource sharing and polite greet. We have certainly been successful with the basic issues like resource sharing and bite inhibition, but we struggled with simple commands like sitting, staying, down, off, leave it, etc... Then one day, "leave it" came. And with patience, she has been getting all her other commands. Last winter I enrolled her in an introductory scent tracking class. And she struggled. Even kennel training was tough. Part of the reason was that I have been trying to do all of our training using positive reinforcement and reward-based methods, and these methods are much slower. Part of the reason was having a 3-year old daughter that insists on sneaking Lily treats off to the side, and part of the issue was that Lily's focus just wasn't there. I was worried about her focus but gave it some time, as you can never tell when they are so young.

Then, this summer we had two folks from Wind River come up with their Karelians and help us work on some bears. It was amazing to see these Karelians work. And more amazing was to see Lily's instincts kick in. Her focus arrived the minute she smelled her first live bear. And since then, it has been hard to keep her off the scent of a live bear. You can tell this is what she was born to do. I take her out with me on call outs and to set traps and she is focused on the bear scent.

Then last night, we started back up in our basic scent training class again. She did excellent. Much more focused now. A little more mature and hunting instincts arrived. So, with the slower training methods, I know it will be just about giving it time. And with her instincts so strong to do her job, she will excel. She will get a bit more time this fall with the Wind River and the Karelians. And we will keep working at things. As I said, we see changes weekly. We still have to work on leash pulling - but that is what you get with a dog that is instinctive with tracking. I just have to train her to pull when we are actively tracking and to stay beside me when we are not tracking. And we need to work on the timing of barking and controlling barking. Ironically, she is quiet when near a bear and barks at foxes and people (even though she really just wants to play with the people). But that gets better each day too. The only thing I have not tested has been her response to the sound of shotguns. She seems fine around other loud noises so I imagine she will be fine around a shot gun.

One last thing - her guarding instincts are very strong - just like her mama and papa.

Will try to send a photo soon. Hope all is well.


Male Elkhound Two pups

I have an older photo of Lily and her sister Kai, as little pups getting to spend some time with Grampa Takoda before Lily heads North.


I am sorry I have been so busy and not keeping you up to date on Lily. She is doing amazing. we did a lot of odor recognition work over the winter and she is a super star. things get better every day as she gets a little older. Anyhow, thought you might like this photo. We did a few family photos and included Lily in some of them. This is one of my favorites. Isn't she beautiful?

Hope all is well with you."


Male Norwegian Elkhound Ragnar

Ragnar - A terror to the Russian Hedgehogs Ragnar is a son of Tora and Bram

I got this super update from Barbara on Ragnar. I am so proud of Ragnar, he is such a great fella. Ragnar of course has travelled to his Russian home now and is finding some pesky rodents over there as well. He has no problem with them though, he knows what to do. His ancestors on his mothers father's side traveled the great Siberian ranges north of where Ragnar is now for thousands of years, he has made his way back to the distant homeland.

"Hello, Merv,

Change of scenery came easier to Ragnar than I feared. He took the flight across the Atlantic quite well. It was a bit hard for him to get used to living outside 24/7 and being kept apart from people and his favorite friend - the cat, but he soon realized how great it is to live outdoors and being so free. It's not as cold here as it was in Canada plus he has a great house with a section that retains heat even during the coldest nights. He's gained muscle and fat (I fed him up a bit to keep him warm). He is enjoying life near the forest, rolls in the snow a lot and eats tons of it. His coat is better than it's ever been! In addition to regular meals I give him lots of bones with generous pieces of meat on them, and his teeth are in excellent condition. To be honest, he reacts better to local meat than he did to Canadian.

He's become a formidable guard dog. We leave him loose at nights and don't worry about a thing (we've sealed the perimeter so he couldn't climb under the fence). We're still doing training and, even though I'm his biggest critic, I couldn't be prouder of his achievements.

One small problem is lack of communication with other dogs. He's a social boy, but the dogs here are all guard dogs - powerful vicious beasts that are bent on fighting. Thank goodness, they are all behind fences, but Ragnar still wants to meet them when we go for walks. He does get to play with our cats, whom he adores.

He's better off than he's ever been and seeing him like this makes me very happy. This lifestyle suits him perfectly, as I anticipated when I first got him.

Anyway, here are some photos of Ragnar being fat and happy in his new home))))

Male Norwegian Elkhound in Harness

Just wanted to send you some photos of Ragnar with a hedgehog. He declared a war on hedgehogs, because they come to steal his snacks that he hides all around. Neither he nor the hedgehogs suffer injury. It's just a lot of show and noise. The only one who suffers is me, 'cause I have to get up at night and go throw the damn beasties out.

Other than this Ragnar is doing fine. This summer he learned to swim and enjoy it. He used to scream like a human "Ay-ay-ay!" at the sight of water. Now he swims across a deep and wide river and back. Also, he started training. I found a K-9 trainer from our rescue forces. Ragnar is doing exceptionally well. Once he understands what I want from him and the purpose of the action, there is no stopping him. He is an excellent guard dog. My entire family appreciates his working qualities. We all love him very much, he is a very loving and charming dog.

Norwegian Elkhound Swimming

I'd love to hear more about things at the kennel. Wow, we suspected that his disdain for water was somehow genetically wired, but now that you've confirmed it, his achievement seems even greater. Last time I forgot to send you a pic of him jumping into the river. It's from his learning days, so he is jumping the wrong way. It's not the best quality but still funny.

Also I wanted to show off his new harness. Since we do a lot of bike riding, I needed to have comfortable tack for him. So we had something custom made. It has a floral embroidering design that suits a Viking and red really goes well with grey. He's not used to it yet but he'll learn to appreciate it.

Also wanted to tell you that Ragnar is eating a lot of fruit and veggies from the garden. Cucumbers, strawberries, peas, even plums and apples, you name it! He especially loves sweet peas and watermelon. I'm surprised his stomach doesn't get upset! Do your dogs eat a lot of fruit and vegetables?

Best wishes,

Karelian Norwegian Elkhound

Desna, his new companion Elkhound female, Bristol, and his new play buddy, a Karelian

I am sharing a photo I got a while back from Tim. Many of you remember Desna, a tremendous young son of Takoda and GAEDA. Desna was the "founding pup for the Desna Training Program", as you might recall he was here for 16 weeks getting some basic training while waiting for his vaccination routines before heading to Alaska. Now what is neat about this photo is that Bristol, she always had some trouble from the Two Karelians, only on is shown here, but they used to give her a hard time. Tim had asked what my thoughts were on how things would be when Desna came.

I mentioned to Tim that the Karelian are well known to be somewhat dog aggressive, but that the old Swedish lineages are exactly the same, but have a very dominant side as well. So I mentioned that it should actually work out well as dominant dogs actually get along well for the most part and if not, they would sort it out. Desna also would be able to when mature to show the two Karelians to the door if push came to shove. I also mentioned that Bristol would have a new lease on life now that she has a young male to assist her. It's one thing for a couple males to give a female some issue, quite another when she has a companion male herself to help out. I know from watching it many times, female Elkhounds can put the hurt on if they should decide too. But, Great News, As Tim has mentioned, he can't believe the difference. the tension is diffused.

As the photo illustrates, they all get along and Desna he knows he is top dog now! Too Funny. Thank you Tim. Also I should mention, just like his Dad, Desna hates porcupines, got quilled twice, but he is cautiously backing off, he is a smart boy.

Norwegian Elkhound Female Nalla

Nalla - A Big Beautiful Female Elkhound - Daughter of GAEDA and Takoda

I received a great update on Nalla. What a magnificent female she is turning out to be. AWESOME! As you might recall, Nalla is from the litter GAEDA and Takoda had last. She was the only female in that litter, her brothers Desna, Sky and Magnus they had quite the time with Nalla as she is a big girl. Cyndi and Neil sent me this awesome photo of her, she is just about sixty pounds in this image, bigger than her mother just about.

We want to Thank Cyndi and Neil for the great home that Nalla has, and for keeping us all posted on this beautiful female.

"Hi Merv,

Just thought I'd give you a little update on Nalla. Summer is coming to an end quickly and it's been a very busy summer for us. Nalla has had to learn to entertain herself a lot more with Neil being busy doing projects around the house and yard and me working in town all the time. She is becoming a lot more independent and no longer needs to be right with us all the time. She is learning lots everyday still and is turning into a great companion. We still have her on pretty much a strictly raw diet of mainly meats and fish and some lightly steamed veggies. We have noticed that she eats a lot of grass and from time to time gets sick and it contains bundles of grass. Do you think she is missing some nutrients or something? Also she had some longer rib bones the other day and then Neil saw her get sick and he found a few chunks of bone in it. Should we not be giving her rib bones? Otherwise she seems totally healthy and happy. She is almost 60 pounds and has a good shiny coat. We hope to start taking her camping with us next year unfortunately she always gets sick in the truck but we'll figure something out. We love her dearly and are so glad we got her. Hope you and all your family are well including all the furry members.

Take care"
Cyndi, Neil and Nalla

Norwegian Elkhound Female Twins

Tekla and Tuva - The Twins, Norwegian Elkhound Females

I finally have a couple individual photos of the twins. Took over a year of hiking, camera along many times, all my photos have both dogs in. These are really beautiful females. If you want to see what a perfect Norwegian Elkhound female is you just have to look at the twins.

Tekla is in my opinion showing to become just a slightly easier going female, Tuva is a bit of a feisty rascal, much like her half sister Kai. Tekla goes with the flow, easy going but can play hard and so on, but content to let Kai or Kalia have a bone if they want it.

Tuva on the other hand drives everyone out of her pen, she doesn't like to be bossed around by Kai or Kalia. Doesn't like to give up her bone, makes it very difficult for them to take it away. Right now they still can, but shortly I doubt they will be doing that.

Tekla however will make a fuss over the deer every night. and it's till I say something, that is the one thing she makes a fuss over. Tuva she doesn't anymore, she knows its fine.

Champion Norwegian Elkhound Female


Both girls are big girls. Tekla is 2 lbs. heavier than Tuva, just more laid back so doesn't burn as much. Both within a few pounds of 50.

Absolutely perfect conformation on both. Just because of her nature Tekla would be chosen first, but not to fault Tuva in anyway. Both are so affectionate and nice to be around. These are very smart females, super nice to work with in the bush.

Neither of these two have had a harness/leash or collar on more than three times in their life. Nice barks, both of them. Deep and not sharp, nice to listen to. They pay attention, they watch what's happening around them, very aware.

When working with me they are focused on where I am at all times, I rarely have to call them. They are always with me. These two are very instinctive in terms of communication. As they are so close themselves, they model what they do with me. I find them extremely easy to work with because of this.

Norwegian Elkhound Female Champion


They are soft natured though. I can't speak too gruff to them, they don't have a thick skin like Tora, the emotions are softer. The would never consider ever being disrespectful, or in anyway do they ever hesitate to listen. Soft natured Elkhounds listen immediately, less wait time for them to complete the command. All my Elkhounds heed my commands, I just have to have more patience with some than say the twins. With Tekla and Tuva, response is pretty much immediate.

Both have some fairly intense gate manners, as they have been born here and raised here, seen very few strangers, and are allowed to flex the gate chains, they get pretty spooky looking all haired up and side by side, back and forth, fast, really fast moving. As they mature a bit more, by the time they hit the two year mark, I would sure be thinking twice before trying to open the gate if they were there on watch. These are full range ancient lineage girls, no quit in them.

I could not be happier with these two, some absolutely beautiful female Norwegian Elkhounds.

Norwegian Elkhound Male Shadow

We Remember Shadow, Son of Takoda and Mia

I can remember well years ago on our very first litter there was a tremendous young male. All Silver. I used to call him Mr. Silver. I really liked this big fella. Cathy had contacted me about getting a male to provide her with companionship and protection. I had picked out Mr. Silver for her, she named him Shadow. Cathy gave him a great home, they were best friends throughout. He was as loyal and faithful as you could ever wish for. True to his heritage he was a one handler male.

Cathy brought Shadow back to see us and visit a few times and he was a stunning big silver male. Son of Takoda and Mia, tall, thick and steady. He would rarely leave Cathy's side throughout the visits. Sure he visited with us, but he had such a bond with her, he knew who his pal was.

Cathy let me know this year that Shadow had past on. Her and her vet were unable to pull Shadow through from what potentially has been determined from what Cathy shared, a potential encounter with some form of toxic poison that damages the liver. A really tough break and our thoughts are with Cathy.

Shadow was such a polite fella, even as a pup, full manners, sat so well so early on, listened so good. I watched Cathy years later with him and he was so attentive to her, what a great bond they had. It is really difficult to lose a great dog, the void is enormous when they leave. Over time though we come to remember all the fun times, the little things we shared, and Cathy is doing the same. She has always stayed in touch, and I will always have an opening for her to get another great Elkhound, we can't replace Shadow, but we can have another develop a true unique bond with her once more.

I want to thank Cathy for the great home and love she gave to Shadow. he could not have gone to a better home.

Shadow - aka Mr. Silver

Kai and Kalia Go Walkabout

Don't get me wrong, I love my location, my home, and all my dogs. But this summer, WOW, I longed for the cool Alberta air. So this part of the update will be a bit all over the map. As I can touch on a wide range of things in one section. First off, it was SO HOT this summer. We hit 49 degrees Celsius, yes, 116. NUTS. Now, the first photo of Ashten and Jaegar is up above the house, you can see it's just timber and mountains in any direction. No openings, just up one mountain, down another. This is brutal hiking in the summer. Hot, dry, hard hard work. Never cools off.

So I have to back up a bit for those of you reading this newsletter for the first time, I have spent every day the last two years working to finish my house. I am not fast, but steady. Many of you who have read my news before, and those of you who have came to pick up pups and for a visit know that I have had my hands full. As Dale and Wendy put it when they picked up Tika, a daughter of Tora and Bram, Dale took a look, I had a long way to go at that time, he said " You must like a challenge?". Pretty funny thinking back now. As I have been working I normally have the dogs around, they like to be close by. Well, one afternoon I was finishing something up, we were going to go for a hike after I had a snack, so I stepped in to have a quick bite and left everyone outside. I do it all the time, no big deal. I come out shortly and getting ready to go and can't see Kai and Kalia. It's about 5:30 p.m. I start to call and so on.

Oh they are in trouble those two punks I am thinking, but I am sure they are not far away. Little did I know that I would not be at all mad next time I saw them but so happy. It would be days before I saw them again.

To give you a bit of an image of our location, I am going to share my last two summers effort on the house, as I DID ACTUALLY FINISH THE OUTISDE, YAHOO! But the photos show the mountains on all sides, this of course is the backdrop to this extreme hiking event I had.

View of the Mountains to the East

So that late afternoon, Sunday evening I get Tora and Jaegar and Mia, we start to go out our regular trails. I am calling, not worried, more or less leisure hiking and calling, I am thinking they are close by. We are gone a couple hours no sign, now I am getting worried a bit. We can cover some ground in two hours. I pick up the pace, it's cooling a bit, so we can motor. I am make a bit of a sweep in a half circle to the south and west. I am getting played out, Mia is tired, we head back home.

Next morning I am up early, I begin in earnest to see if I can find a sign. I take Tora and Jaegar. Now, as Note Takoda had damaged his right leg a bit, either squashed it between some logs, twisted it, something, he was limping a quite a bit, so I had to leave him at home this entire event. Most unfortunate. But I was not worried as I had some dogs to pick from that are up to it. My main choice of course was Tora and Jaegar. So I start with them. Now we have scent all over the place from our hikes, so I had to simply guess what direction to start with, and then move in an ever increasing circle, hoping to cross the trail and pick it up somehow. It would be almost impossible, but it was my only chance.

Now Tora I can count on explicitly, she is a machine. She is very easy for me to communicate my direction and ideas with, she is in tune with me. Jaegar of course is really good, but he is faster moving, not wanting to stay right by me exactly, and so I couldn't watch his actions as well. So really had to focus my efforts with Tora, as I need to witness a change in her behavior if she crossed the path, I of course needed to keep up, and stay in eye contact. Keeping a dog in eye contact in this terrain is a brutal task without a lease and you can't hike in this with a leash. So it soon became apparent that Tora would be my mainstay.

We hiked for hours, and it's hot, we are cooking. I head back home. It takes a long time to get out, and a long time to get back of course. I rest up, have some water etc. then take GAEDA and Mia. We go a different direction, calling all the time. We go for a couple hours, but the heat plays these two older girls out fast. They are very game but it's too hot for them.

View of the Mountains to the West, the mountain you can see in the back is where Ashten and Jaegar are sitting in the photo directly above. They are right at the top. That mountain is where Tora and I called from the top for hours. Then Up and Down it.

I head back. I figure I best rest everyone and take the Land Rover and go up some of the logging roads. So I spend a quite a few hours going in all the trails I can get to on the South West side. Again, your not going to see much, but thought I best do it. Nothing. That night I figure I best take Kamp and go as far to the south as I can travel see if she can pick anything up. Nothing.

Tuesday morning Tora and I climb into the Land Rover, Takoda is feeling really bad. He hates to have to stay behind. I feel really bad for him I know he wants to help. I am going to go up by the ski hill and there are tons of trails up that way from the old mine site and I figure maybe if they went that way I might be able to see them traveling a trail or something. This part of the area has some logging over the recent years so there are some areas I can look across and such. Tora and I then after getting up a long trail we hike out on this ridge, way out. It's fairly open on top, I am able to see back for a long ways. We get a long ways out and I am looking back and here is a huge black bear back on our trail. I am thinking crap, I don't have a leash for Tora, I don't need her putting the run on this bear. So anyway, I keep her under the old by me command and we continue out till the trail area is becoming dense. I am calling and calling. No barks, nothing. Start back. I am cautious now, as I know that big black was nearby. Coming toward where I saw him Tora begins to head scent intense, she would like to go but I have to keep her close, she listens good, maybe better than Takoda even, which is a feat in itself, and it is neat to watch her no doubt.

We get back to the Land Rover with no encounter, start traveling back down. I have another trail I want to try, we park. We start hiking down it and are cruising down this trail and Tora is a bit edgy, I am thinking, oh maybe we are on the scent of the two rascals, I am getting excited, then her demeanor changes, I know then it's not a friendly scent. I don't like to continue but at the same time I am thinking I might find the two girls in remains maybe. Not sure if I should stop. Turn back or go ahead, tough question. If Tora was not such a capable female, a full muscle bound scrapping machine, I would have turned around. But Tora is mean, she is a serious piece of work, really intensely muscled in, in strength she is so far beyond all the others, I decide to forge ahead. She can handle what is coming. besides, I can control Tora, we come face to face with something I can at least have her back out with me. Jaegar, that would not be so easy. She would listen under extreme pressure and situations. Her and I have been in bloody messes before. I need to know what is up ahead, I am somewhat expecting the girls maybe in a bad way. We come around a big couple trees look down, nothing. Tora is all over this area. Something crossed through here, I can't find prints, all pine needles and moss, I am no Indian, my tracking skills are useless, it's not friendly though suggests Tora, so I figure we will turn back. One thing I can do is read my dogs body language signs. Sure enough, we are a ways back on our trail, out across a bit of a clear cut, there goes a brown bear. It was him that crossed our path.

This is the North view, its up that direction and over that top where we saw the bears.

We travel back home. I let Tora rest and I take and cruise all the roads I can find in a radius around our place out to about 5 miles. Takes a long time. I was thinking maybe I would see them running down a road, no luck. We had talked to the neighbors, we did phone the vet just in case someone came in with them, they know these two so would let us know. Becky offered to bring her horse up, and quad. I thanked her and told her maybe tomorrow as it was late afternoon.

So about 4 o'clock I load up the old Bronco with some gear, and tell Tora to hop in. The trail I was going to take was an extreme trail, I would need to be going through brush and trails over grown and knew it would be scratching the heck out of the Land Rover, so I was going to take the trusty ole Bronc. That Bronco has seen me through some tough times, nothing better to bring me some luck than that old girl. Takoda is heart broken to stay behind, both him and Jaegar. Tora and I start heading up this old logging trail west of the house. It's an ancient trail but passable. All the time I would stop and call, then move on. towards the top it was getting some steep, Tora couldn't get footing in the back so she claws her way right to the front seat in the passenger side, gets in that and looks at me as if to say, whoa this is steep. We climb way past where Hummers and Tahoes, Toyotas and Jeeps would all have had to stop. Quite possible we even went past where I could have made it with the Land Rover, only Big skidders all chained up go here, this was an extreme rock climbing trail. We finally spin out, nose to the sky. I back it into a rock and we leave it. Tora and I finish the climb on foot. I am at the highest point in a long ways. All directions my voice would carry.

Kai and Kalia - resting up. took them a couple days to catch up on some meals and sleep. They were content to just stay near their kennel. Good to have them back home.

So I call up there till it's getting dark. Kai, Kalia. Kai, Kalia, Over and over. We hate to leave but have to go, Tora and I make our way back down, turn the old Bronco around and make our way down. Stopping lots to call, Kai, Kalia, over and over.

I gain a new appreciation for the conditioning program I have for my dogs, I can say that much. These young girls have done some traveling. I have a new respect for how much ground they could be covering. Tora has opened my eyes to what superior conditioning can accomplish. She has been like a terminator through this all. Ready to go. Tons of stamina. This is a good female.

We get back to the house, it's late. I go to bed I am pretty beat, feeling really bad for the young girls. They are really great young females, very polite, nice to be around. I am worried for them, wolves, bears, cougars, I know they can motor and can handle themselves, but still they are young. Most likely getting pretty hungry too. tough to sleep, but I rest. I get up early, go out, and who do I see. Here are those two young beauties laying by their pen.

They come burning over, I am so happy to see them, they are so happy, I let everyone out, big reunion. Big Fun Time. I get them some food, all is good. I'll share another time how they are today, as they came back as different females than when they left, they are adult dogs now. They don't venture out now, whatever they found out there, it wasn't as green as it was here. So much for that old saying. Lots for me to learn and share about this yet, but another time.

So I am not 100% certain how they found their way home, most likely instinct, but I like to think it was Tora and I who laid a trail they could follow back, or maybe they heard us, no matter, they found the way home, that is what counts.

Check out the happy faces on these boys, what a great set of photos

The Murray Boys and Gunnar

I am smiling like crazy every time Teri and Jeff send me an update on Connor and Quinton and their escapades they have with Gunnar. There is no doubt these boys are happy all the time, but you can just tell they love that Gunnar. Makes it all the better to burn around and play when you have a great dog, an ancient Elkhound no less.

The fun they have and the times they are sharing with Gunnar they will have those times with them the rest of their lives. Lots of things will set you up to be a great person, but having a great dog to care for, work with, train and develop those are all very good things for young fellas to do and have the responsibility that goes with that. This dog loves those boys, you can see he is so at home with them. Gunnar has the perfect nature for young handlers, he has good energy, yet would be so in tune to the energy and style of the boys to go up when they want, to relax when they do.

Elkhounds are some of the oldest family dogs in the world, dating back thousands of years. This particular lineage, its a very old line. A very, very good line of family dogs.

Thanks to the Murray family for keeping us posted, we love these updates. What a great life you are giving that Gunnar, he has it made!

"Hi Merv,

Just wanted to give you a quick Gunnar update. He's growing and playing and loving life. He lives outside and only wants in at bedtime it seems. He loves sticks (aka fallen trees) and drags them all around the back yard.

He's still going for group walks during the work week and he's loving it. He's off-leash like the other dogs now and is ruling the roost.

He's a happy furball and full of love. He loves the boys and they love him. He's my baby though. Jeff was deployed for the last 7 months so he saw a huge difference when he got home last Sunday. I wasn't sure how Gunnar would respond...but when we got home and he saw Jeff he was CRYING!!! It was sooo cute!

I've attached some pictures for you of Gunnar.


Teri, Jeff, Connor, Quinton & Gunnar"

Tala - Elkhound Female - Full Sister to Kai and Lily - Daughter of Tora and Bram

Anna sent me a great update on Tala. If you all remember, Tala is from the last litter of Tora and Bram. Tala was and is of course, one of the outstanding daughters that was produced from that pairing. Now I have to apologize because I received more photos from Anna but for some reason I couldn't get them to enlarge at all. I know we will be hearing more from Anna and I will keep you posted on Tala.

Hi Merv,

Tala is doing well, and as always, doing a great job with chasing 4-legged intruders( except for neighbor dogs) off the property and away from the house. It was just a short, few weeks ago when she treed a young black bear, and doing so with a wagging tail...

She is keeping fit and maintaining a good weight at 49lbs. Within the past year, her dominant and stubborn nature has become increasingly apparent, although she is still very responsive and for the most part, eager to obey.

I have included some recent photos of Tala, so please enjoy!

Anna & Tala

Norwegian Elkhound Breeding Females

Kamp and GAEDA - Breeding Females Kamia Kennels

I know the folks waiting for a pup are going out of their minds. It's been a long wait. I expected Kamp, GAEDA, Kai all to cycle this summer. However, it was not to be. The temperature soared, the dry conditions, the instincts of the dogs must have kicked in and not one of them cycled. They both just cycled recently. I am positive the dogs are able to tell when conditions are not optimum, and quite frankly once the fires started burning all around us, I was some happy not to have little pups that I would have had to move.

Now I am not saying I had it bad, of course the folks around me over toward Westbridge that lost entire homes and all the folks directly south through all that Northern Washington area, they had it bad. Our thoughts are with them.. That was a massive fire, each night I would drive to a lookout, I had the trailer backed up to the garage, kennels loaded, gear on. I was ready to load them and go. I didn't know where, as the road west was closed some, fire at Rock Creek had that shut down, couldn't go south of course, east it was coming up Paulson Pass, so I really wasn't sure.

Many of you might not know but the Stickpin Kettle Valley Complex fire was just below us. For weeks on end the smoke just came right up the hill directly to the yard. It was so intense. Big ash and black soot everywhere. Numerous times a day I would soak all the pens down, the dogs were just covered in soot and eyes watering, noses running, what a nightmare for them. We had black soot all over everything for weeks.

I know Mia took it hard. She developed some lung conditions, she just couldn't deal with the heat, the smoke, the soot. I kept her in with us, but still you have to go out, it's just as hot inside, down in the trees it was cooler, but not cool by any stretch. No where could we escape the smoke. My Dad lives 18 hours away and he was getting smoked out from this fire. I was getting pretty worried a few days there when the wind was shifting. They called an alert meeting in town, we went in.

The Rock Creek fire traveled north to Westbridge in roughly 3 to 4 hours, 12 to 14 miles, about 4 miles an hour. This fire south of us was 30,000 to 40,000 acres, massive in comparison, and only 11 to 12 miles south, so about the same distance. I thought oh no. I would be in a bind if that turned up toward us. I hadn't done any fire safety of course, never had time, just got here, I hadn't even considered it. I mean take a look around, two hundred foot trees all around my house, old wood piles all over the place, and I have just completed the siding with real Western Cedar Shakes. Hand oiled Douglas Fir deck railings, wood trim everywhere, wood walkways. Talk about living in a powderkeg. Good Gracious. No wonder the neighbors think the New Guy, he might be just a little crazy.

Nordic - Elkhound Male, Son of Bram and Kamp At 1 year

Cassidy is excellent at sending me updates on Nordic. I thoroughly enjoy hearing what that big fella has been up to. Of course, I have his sisters, Tekla and Tuva here with me. That big Gunnar up above is his brother as well. This young fella is a mirror of his dad, Bram. Nordic is a stunning young male. I want to thank Cassidy for keeping us posted on Nordic, and for the great home he has, we sure appreciate hearing from you and watching him develop.

"Hello Merv

I thought you might enjoy a picture of Nordic on his first birthday. It's hard to believe a year has past already. He is really coming along nicely. He has developed one bad habit in that he likes to jump my fence. I guess he feels the grass is greener on the other side. He is very smart but he does have a stubborn side and when he gets out the two aren't a good mix. Despite this, he has been a delightful addition. He is not a constant barker which is nice. If he does bark, it's because he is alerting me something is out there. For awhile in June it was a toad that came out of the bushes.

He was introduced to a couple of Percheron horses awhile back and he wasn't sure what to make of them but by the end of the afternoon he just sat back an watched. I'm hoping by next spring his training will allow me to take him out on trail rides. Right now his "come" command is too sporadic.

I have been working with a dog trainer and he is coming along nicely. He knows to sit and lay down. While he does know how to come in a training environment, it's when he gets excited he seems to forget what he's learned. With Fraser Lake being a small town, people have noticed how much better he his behaving.

He has been really good around kids. My oldest nephew who is 8 just fell in love with him. He does jump on occasion but he is very patient with kids. While I always make sure either myself or my mom is around him with kids I know I can trust him not to hurt them unprovoked.

I've had many compliments on beautiful he is. And few folks even get the breed right. I've been asked if he is a shepherd, Keeshond, husky, and akita. The local catholic priest used to have a Keeshond so whenever I walk by the church, father James has to come say hello.

Thanks again,

Take care,

Tuula - Elkhound Female, Daughter of GAEDA and Jaegar

The care and love that Nira, Shashi and Anjana all give to Tuula is awesome. She is so well cared for. They keep me posted on her developments, antics, her fun times regularly. I sure do appreciate seeing the young pups develop over time and see how they grow and turn into beautiful mature Elkhounds. This silver beauty is a daughter of GAEDA and Jaegar. She is down east in Toronto and is having a blast down there. She has a great life. A lovely female. Keep us posted Nira, and drop a note and photo anytime. Love to hear from you.

"Hi Merv,

Hope everything is going well with you. Tuula is going to be 2 yrs very soon.

She is doing great and a good walker. This pictures were taken last week.

Take care.

Norwegian Elkhound Female Cypress

Cypress - Female Elkhound - Daughter of Tora and Bram - Deep Sea Fishing

Well, I get some awesome updates no doubt about that. The lives our pups have is nothing short of fantastic. But this Cypress, wow, she has a spectacular life doesn't she. Look at her, out on the coast, right in her element. Her Grand Mother Mia was a coastal Elkhound, as Ken clearly stats, some things are in the DNA. I have put all the great photos and update up on the adventure site, so please click on over to the whole update set of images Ken sent. Ken, Thank You for sending us her great time she is having, and for the really neat life she leads out there. Please stay in touch.

You Can Visit The Adventure Site Here

Here is what Ken had to say.

"An Elkhound who doesn’t like water unless she learns how to fish. We couldn’t keep her away from the ocean once the pinks came in to spawn. She doesn’t take fish from the creek but actually goes out into the deep to catch fish while schooling before they spawn. I know who would think this but I think it is in their DNA. The 500 lb bear she has been chasing and sparing with came to watch her but that’s all. We retreated when the bear came down but Cypress just ignored the bear with the only thing that was important and that’s fishing. Go figure. Anyway I thought this might be interesting for you. All the best. Ken"

Odin, Male Elkhound - Son of Bram and Kamp

I get a regular update from Trish to keep me posted on this big rascal, Odin. As you can tell he is a black faced big fella out of Bram and Kamp, he is a brother to those two above, Gunnar and Nordic. Trish has mentioned he is a star at the 4H kennel club with her daughter, and I believe that. His Grandfathers on both sides have won a lot of shows and so he does come by it naturally, but it takes a good handler to bring out the best. And he obviously has that covered if they are winning consistently. I want to thank Trish for keeping us all updated with news on the big fella, we look forward to hearing more again soon.

"Hello Merv, thought I would send you an update on Odin. He remains to be the sweetest boy. He still snuggles into the crook of your shoulder as he did as a pup. Vet says he's healthy and strong. He's stubborn and we are still working on his recall training. He is the star of my daughter's 4H kennel club and they have won 2 awards this year. He had a little accident that resulted in 21 stitches from between his toes, through his pad and up to his Achilles. He got too excited jumping around for his herring and kiwi breakfast and caught it somehow on his food bowl partition in his kennel. He's healing up nicely but only because he's sanctioned to the smaller part of his dog run so he is some what limited to running and jumping. We are looking forward to spring pup so he can have a girlfriend(not to breed as he will be fixed by then). Speak to u after Christmas about that. Hope u, your family and pups are doing well."

Norwegian Elkhound Female Kai

Kai - Elkhound Female - Bigger Doesn't Mean Better

Norwegian Elkhound breeders for centuries have worked to preserve a dog so well suited to its role and and tasks, that deviations from a fairly consistent set of standards meant losing some efficiency. Perhaps in ways not always readily apparent in today's working dog environment. I like the dogs to be the upper limits of the standards for the most part, personal preference really. However today i will speak to a female that is the Ultimate in every considered aspect of an Elkhound female, including the optimum size, which is height length, weight. Depth of chest, reach all things. Every aspect.

Kai just happens to be my smallest dog, and my biggest dog in one. Quite a statement really, almost an impossibility. But let me explain. Size does not dictate the dominance, the courage, or even the intelligence. The instinctive ability to perform a task that the dog was inherently bred for does require a few size parameters, but the manner in which those tasks are carried out mentally do not require a set size.

I'll try to lay out a few examples. Kai can out jump anyone here. Is that because she is stronger, longer, or taller, or lighter. No, it's because she has the optimum power to weight. Kai can out accelerate everyone here. Can she leave them all in a long run, no, but for her work environment it's all short bursts of speed, so she excels. The only area the much longer and taller dogs have an advantage is really deep snow. No advantage at all in almost her entire environmental atmosphere/ surroundings that she was bred for.

Norwegian Elkhound Female Kai

Kai Just over 2 Years

Kai can get by and maintain condition on less food than all the others, yet has the most energy, go figure. Again, the breed standards are designed for the ideal Elkhound. On that can be fed and maintained easily. I could feed three Kai to one Takoda. Kai has the perfect balance of easy keeper, and high metabolic rate. She can perform to the highest degree of efficiency with the most energy and keep optimum flesh and body fat to do all the required rebreeding and aspects of cold weather temperance. A skinny dog is of no value in the cold, a fat dog, no value in the heat. It has to maintain a balance for both. A female needs to be able to convert food more efficiently than males that is a given, but Kai is extremely efficient.

Mentally she is superior to all the others. Her size has nothing to do with the ability to control and dominate, and put the others in place if need be. She will if pushed, take a strip off anyone here, she does not push her luck with the males, but does keep her composure around Jaegar. She will not let her confidence obscure her vision of her place in the pack, so never questions Takoda. But is so intense and confident that the much larger females have to give way. One would immediately think being outweighed by close to a 1/3 in some cases would deter this confidence, but it has nothing to do with it.

Now there is much more to an optimum Elkhound than size, efficiency in movement, care and maintenance, dominance and courage. An Elkhound has for centuries been bred to be a hunting dog. This has been a focus of the breed from the very early stages. The Elkhound is a hunting dog extraordinaire. There are other hunting dogs, although none as ancient with as focused a role as the Elkhound. The Elkhound is the Premier Hunting Dog in the Entire World.

3 Norwegian Elkhound Females

3 Generations of Hunting Elkhound Females

Hunting lineages have instinctive traits deep in the DNA. They are passed down generation to generation. Breeders can selectively "Breed Out" these traits over time. Roughly ten generations and you could radically remove almost all of the instinctive hunting abilities and be left with a dog that looks perfect, but can't hunt. Rapid changes in genetics can also impair the transfer of instincts. Breeding constantly young females, with young males, and holding back pups from young females to quickly promote a lineage can leave traits behind.

Selecting females from older females, slows the genetic changes down, keep traits more intact. Selecting females from females that have the traits intact and from males with the traits intact, ensures they stay put. The photo to the left is Mia, the Grandmother, Tora, Kai's mother, and Kai. 3 Generations of Intact Instinctive Trait Elkhound Females.

Selecting an Elkhound to be the optimum Elkhound needs to take into account all the inherent instinctive traits of the dog as well as the looks and confirmation. Thus the reason that in the old countries the dog still has to hunt, and excel at hunting to be considered a champion in the show ring. Looks are one thing, instinctive behavior another. They need to both be in the same dog.

This female your looking at here is quite easily the most "Instinctively Intact Breeding Female Elkhound In North America", keep in mind I said Breeding female, as I know every female we produce has every instinctive ability intact. I would also bet a serious amount of money on this: I would suggest that she is not easily, but still with great certainty to be the closest female to the breed standard in form and function. Combine those two aspects into one and you have the perfect Elkhound.

Ashten and Jaegar

This is a great photo of Ashten and Jaegar out on a hike at Jamieson creek area outside Kamloops. Jaegar has moved up with her now as she has a spot for him for a while. She had been missing him in that other location, but now they can spend time together. Elkhound males are a great companion for young ladies, they are manageable, easy going for the most part, social and yet very protective and robust if required.

Jaegar of course is our breeding Male here at Kamia, he is going to be seeing a lot more work in the very near future as the twins, and Kalia, are perfect match-ups for him. I haven't decided who is with who just yet, but for sure one litter with all three Jaegar will have.

Norwegian Elkhound Male with Horses

This is our most versatile Elkhound, he can be rough and tumble in the mountains, or at home with the horses, or go for a walk downtown. Ride in a cab, take the plane, he is Mr. GQ. He can do it all. This is a very powerful male, has explosive power, is a big boy, runs 70 plus pounds of solid muscle, on a long ride with the horses he is side by side with them. Unless of course they decide to race back to the barn, of course then the horses will leave some distance, but he is never far behind. The great thing about riding with a big male, or any Elkhound, but especially a big male in cougar and bear country is they scout around and ahead at all times. I am way happier having Jaegar accompany Ashten on her trail rides as he doesn't miss anything, and can easily handle what ever situation could be encountered.

Jaegar has the awesome Silver/Black color combination. Goes dark black in the winter, lightens up in summer to a very nice Silver/black. He carries color through to his pups. He has the black way down, a stunning male. We are very proud of him. We have an upcoming litter of pups from GAEDA and Jaegar I am excited about. They will be spectacular. GAEDA is a great match up for him.

Two Norwegian Elkhound females

Elkhound Female Sisters - Teeka and Nikeeta

It's coming up to something like 5 years ago John and Denise contacted me about getting a young female Elkhound pup. They had previously had an Elkhound female and she had been a great companion and after she passed on they wanted another. They have two of Tora's pups, the older of the two is Teeka. She is pretty much a splitting image of Tora. Teeka is an awesome female, solid and steady, can hold her ground yet is as pleasant and kind as you could possibly imagine. John and Denise have 3 cats, and both females love those cats.

These are lovely females. Raised in an Urban setting, they are very polite females, well suited to life in the big city. However John gets out on the trails around Calgary every day, it's full of country trails. and he goes to the west country a lot with them hiking and cruising the back country. They are a very versatile pair.

Now I know that Nikeeta the younger female, she has a bit of a wild side to her. She is prone to giving John and Denise a little bit of trouble now and then. She is a rascal sometimes off leash. Not wanting to immediately return when called, can be cause for some grief when your out in the back country hiking, that is for sure. So John is still doing some off-leash in depth training with her.

Nikeeta is a beautiful powerful young female. Just a little taller and longer than her older sister. She is a fast moving high energy female. Elkhounds can have a tendency to be a wee bit stubborn sometimes, especially the Norway lineages. And With Granma Mia on one side, and Bram and his entire lineage Norway on the other side, there is no doubt that these two girls could have a bit of the old Norway Stubbornness no doubt. I have experienced that myself a bit at times, I know what John sometimes is finding. Patience is a great thing with young Elkhounds.

Teeka Norwegian Elkhound

These two girls couldn't have a more understanding and loving home, John and Denise provide these two with the greatest life. Tons of care and compassion, lots of great hiking and burning around, and a nice quiet home life that is safe and secure. We sure want to Thank John and Denise for keeping us posted on these two beauties.

I am going to be putting more of the awesome photos John sent up on the Adventure site, so you can read and see a lot more on these girls over there as well. Keep us posted John, thank you.

"Hello Merv

Hope that all is well with you and your family. Things here are going good and I am able to get out with Teeka and Nikeeta several hours a day. Are they ever getting strong, its a workout for me when they spot some wild critters in the woods. I have to hang on to the leashes or who knows where they might end up. Case in point, Nikeeta managed to slip under the fence at the off leash area again and entered the native reserve. She could be heard barking in the distance as she pursued some deer. By the time Teeka and I were able to get on the other side of the fence Nikeeta was long gone. After an hour of tromping through the bush, a grey streak ran past Teeka and I. It was Nikeeta checking on us, only to look over her shoulder, as if to say, see you later, I have got more things chase. She was gone in a flash. This happened again in about another hour, what a rascal that Nikeeta is, although I probably had some other names for her at that point. Continuing our efforts to capture the elusive Nikeeta I was getting concerned about losing daylight and coyotes or worse that could come upon Nikeeta before we do. Thoughts of her not seeing her second birthday started to cross my mind. Another hour and a half and another flyby by Nikeeta. This time I dropped on all fours and pretended to dig, This got her attention as she is never one to want miss out on a possible treasure. Nabbed the escape artist and hugged her tight. Her free ranging times since then are severely limited and I am glad to say that Nikeeta has safely made it to her second birthday.

Norwegian Elkhound Female Nikeeta

About the middle of September I was returning from BC and took Teeka and Nikeeta on a short hike to a small waterfall in the Crowsnest Pass area. I have attached some photos of the hike and I hope you enjoy them. I might have to send the photos in two batches.

Love our Elkhounds and thanks again for providing us such a beautiful pair of girls.


John and Denise"

Janine and her Elkhound Female, Maya

I get some great updates from Janine and Stefan who have Maya up in northern BC. May is a full sister to Tekla and Tuva, and she has one other sister Lylli. There were four great females from that litter of Kamp and Bram. These females are all amazing Norwegian Elkhounds. All of these females are closely matched in size, looks, ability. These are some of the best in North America and Maya is a beauty, no doubt. Janine is an intuitive handler, learning her young dogs capabilities and enhancing her strengths as you will read below. She is providing an awesome life and environment for Maya, we really appreciate the great care and attention they give Maya. Janine sent me a great update on that GPS system and I will have that on the adventure site, along with more of the great photos of Maya. Thank you Janine and Stefan, please keep us posted on this stunning young female.

Hello there Merv

It is great to hear from you. Happy birthday to all the elkhounds for yesterday. Maya had a great day with our neighbors' children bringing her the ball that she always tries to chew up in their yard, as her birthday present. As well as her best friend visiting her, the goldendoodle Louis.

Maya has been doing so well and we are just so thrilled to have her in our lives. Last time we corresponded, Maya had started to exhibit some behaviors of adolescence with some stubborn streaks and becoming a bit of a handful with her recall. Stef and I have had many a day of long discussions as to what strategy to use to curb these new behaviors, but I am glad to say that although things are not perfect yet, she seems to be improving again. Your advice to just stick with it and she will get through this phase has been a lifeline and I'm really optimistic that it may already be happening.

It is quite funny how she is far better at her recall in a new area (for example when we go camping), but chooses to do whatever she likes sometimes when we are out walking in our local community forest. I think she knows it so well that she associates the area with relaxation, bouncing about and squirrel-hunting rather than doing her job of scouting and ranging. We have acquired a dog hunting GPS system (you'll see the orange collar in some of the photos), that helps us to keep an eye on her at all times when out and off leash. It is pretty great - it can track her up to 5km away (not that she ever goes that far) and it can say if she is moving or staying put in one place, as well as helping us not to repeat commands if she is already coming back. It has been a big help especially when camping or going for remote hikes.

I have enrolled her in agility classes and she is so bright and energetic that she is doing very well at it. Unfortunately, the agility course is surrounded by horse pens and rabbits all over, so she finds it hard to focus on the agility when she cannot understand why I'm not interested in her getting us a fresh rabbit for dinner!

Despite these adolescent challenges, she remains the most amazing dog I have ever met. She is always on duty, alerting us to any new activity around the house. She is fearless and brave on hikes and camping. She is so respectful and personable. She is gentle around children and smaller dogs, but will play as rough as you want when running around the yard. This dog lives to do things with us and is a pleasure to take anywhere we go. You can tell that all she wants is to please us and that when she gets older and can tune out some of the other distractions, she will be able to focus consistently on us again and will be the most stable, dependable dog.

Without knowing us very well, Merv, you have exceeded our biggest expectations in providing us with a great companion and most wonderful dog. We are so curious how things are going with the proposed litter for Takoda and Kamp and keeping our fingers crossed that everything works out and we might be in the running for a male puppy. We believe that a puppy from this litter would be such a great addition for us. Do you perhaps have any news yet?

Looking forward to the newsletter and hearing from you soon!

Yours sincerely
Janine and Stefan

large Norwegian Elkhound Male

Finn - Elkhound Male

I remember this young rascal from when he was a pup, he was a bone stealing rascal, confident as could be. Go right under Takoda and grab one. I thought, oh Mr. you better be careful. He wasn't worried. Norma has raised Finn out on the coast and he is magnificent. She has provided and Awesome life for Mr. Finn. Norma contacted me a while back and let me know some things had changed in her life and she was going to be putting Finn in a new home. I know this would have been a very tough thing, and I commend her on her courage and caring nature for Finn. Norma found a great home for Finn, at the McGrath home. Donna emailed me this photo of Finn at his new home and he is doing well. He settled in really well and they just love him.

We sure want to Thank Norma for always staying in touch and keeping us posted on Finn. It has been a pleasure always hearing about his life. And it's neat that Donna will stay in touch as well and keep us posted on this big fella. This is a magnificent big Male Elkhound.
Finn is a Grandson of Takoda, and on this particular page of the newsletter he is a full brother to Ragnar, Kai, Lily, Tala, Teeka and Nikeeta, and Cypress.
Finn is a half brother to Tekla and Tuva, Maya, Odin and Nordic, as well as Gunnar.
He is a nephew of Jaegar.
Son of Tora and Bram.
Grandson of Mia.

Powerful Norwegian Elkhound Female

Tora - Premier Elkhound Female, Kamia Kennels

Its clearly evident the impact on the Canadian Elkhounds that Mia had, simply by looking at the pups she had, and of course through Mia, came Tora. Tora is standing here on a hike with me, she can fit Jaegar's harness tighter than he can. It would take a 250lb dog of an extreme large breed to have a wider chest and back. There would be few bull Mastiffs who could rival her bite strength. In terms of sheer power only 150 pound plus Pit Bulls could match her strength. Yet with all this comes the intelligence, the kindness, the compassion that only an Elkhound can possess.

You can see from directly below, the image of little Takoda and Mia, that the traits pass through, and with that stunning photo of Finn right above you can see these characteristics are easily identifiable.
For us, it's a glorious time, the traits of Mia, Tora, Takoda, combined with the traits of Kamp and Bram are going to yield exactly another Finn, another Maya, another Kai.

Combining Jaegar, the brother of Tora with Tekla, and or Tuva gives almost the exact same genetic make-up as Finn, who his father of course is the father of Tekla and Tuva. The awesome traits that Mia and Tora have passed to Kai, combined with all the great traits of Bram. So the pups from Kai, well they will be splitting images of Finn and those of Gunnar, Maya, and or Cypress and Tala.

The one trait that Tora has gained from Mia that is so important for versatile dogs in a wide range of settings is mental stability. A calm, steady unshakeable dog can handle 100's of times more stressful situations, more difficult environments than unstable dogs. Breeders need to focus on all instinctive traits, muscling, agility, but a very important and KEY TRAIT is the mental stability. They learn better, are kinder, yet still protective, handle all tasks easier, learn from mistakes, are far superior dogs all around. Every dog we raise has this stability. Both Tora and her brother Jaegar are prime examples.

So its easy to see from this newsletter and all the amazing dogs why we are excited about the future, while we look back at the past. And Tora, well she is like a Bruce Springsteen hit, I Found Living Proof!

Takoda - Premier Elkhound Male, Kamia Kennels

I felt bad for Takoda this first snow of the season. For his entire life he has been going on the first snow each season, and every trip/hike during the season with his best pal and mate, Mia. This season it was just him and I. know he felt lonesome same as me. I was distinctly aware of how we both seemed to be missing something, checking around, then realize, it was Mia we were looking for. It wasn't the same that was for sure. We both needed a few weeks to adjust to her not coming along, that's a fact. I know we both haven't even yet fully adjusted.

The first image of a little Takoda and Mia gives you the amazing communication and personal attention this dog gives me. Take a look at his eyes, he is looking right at me. Then, years later the one directly below, same stance, same look. He has been acutely tuned to where I am and what I am doing his entire life. He can read body language like, well, it's unbelievable. He seems to know what I am thinking if you know what I mean. He is an extremely personable and intuitive dog.

All our hikes, or the bulk of our hikes these days are timber country. We are rarely out in the open where we can see any real distance. The only times are at the tops of ridges and clear cut areas. It is a massive benefit to have a dog of this caliber in this type of terrain. He is like a ghost really, he comes and goes out of sight, always moving in and out of where I can see him, he is silent and fluid. He has a real easy way about him. Almost effortless would be a good way to describe his movement.

Elkhound Breeding male

Many is the time I will be moving along and figure, oh I wonder where he is at, I am just about to call and something tells me turn, and I do and sure enough way off he is standing and looking at me. It's like he knew I was going to be looking for him about then and he shows up. Once he makes eye contact if I don't signal him, he will then continue his ranging. He will check in again, same way same style. Sometimes close, sometimes far, always, and I mean always happy to see me. Always gives me just the right amount of time to signal or not.

Jaegar put a ton of pressure on him this summer. Both Takoda and I know Jaegar's time has come, yet it's not an easy situation. So having Jaegar go to Kamloops was a blessing for sure, and then he can just come and visit when the females are cycling. This allows Takoda to relax and run the place as he wishes without interference all the time. It's MUCH QUIETER. The first day Jaegar was gone with Ashten, and for three days in a row, one of the young females got a quick lesson each morning that the goofy behavior and goofy jumping around was at an end. Jaegar he promotes this type of play, Takoda he doesn't tolerate it. They jump up around his head and boom, he runs them down. They are flat out not moving in seconds. They don't do it again. Tuva was first, Kalia, then Kai. Tekla is more laid back, she was watching, she paid attention.

Swedish Elkhound Breeding Male

All the females are at ease, there is a calmness with only one male here. We all miss Jaegar though, so that's a tough thing as well, but Ashten and him come down here regularly so we have a great time when he comes, but just overall it's much easier on both males, and the females.

Takoda is as precise as ever though, it was him that got that little crap head in the wood pile. I was happy about that, it was fitting. He alerted me first, it should be him. It will be a lot of years yet before any of these dogs get the jump on alerting me that something is out of place around here before Takoda, that is fact. None of the dogs possess the extreme skill level he has in that area, there are few in the world who would have his ability.

I had snow on my cap, I hung it up and came in. Shortly after I come in I hear Takoda. Something is bugging him big time. I go out right away, here he can hear the drip, drip drip of the snow melting, and it was falling on a plastic bag behind the freezer. He knew this was way out of place, not normal. Wow. I move the hat and bag, all good. Back to normal. Sounds, smells, sights, totally aware of them all.

For Takoda it's been a big loss this season, he spent basically every minute with Mia by his side, I know he misses her, we both do. We have a good lookout point on our trail where she liked to sit and look around, we put her there. Takoda and I we make sure to pass by it every day, we both stop, relax for a bit, seems to calm us both. He was a great pal to Mia, as she was to him.

Till Later,

Elkhounds On Scent I want them On Intense

Marmots Standing On Wood and Field, Dogs Relaxed - I want them left alone You can easily have your Elkhounds relax and keep an eye on things, but not chase everything. Takoda is just walking back up toward the house, he was down to check them out, thus the reason they are standing up. Big whistles from the Marmots don't bother the dogs.

Elkhound Tora Totally At Ease With Deer Right In Her Face - The Deer can graze I enjoy them It would not matter to the Elkhound what type of animal was in the yard, if you want them calm and to watch it, they would be calm. However they have an instinctive ability to know the difference in animals that are also calm, and those that are not. You could have an Elkhound live right around bears, as long as they did not threaten, the Elkhound would be relaxed. It's not just deer, or marmots, any animal. The advantage to an Elkhound over almost all other breeds is they are fearless instinctively. They never react out of fear. A fearless mentally stable dog is a huge advantage in the wilderness.

Elkhounds Takoda and Tora

Squirrels are Fair Game, Just Not To Be Intense - If they can catch them, they can have them, but they can't drive me crazy with noise. They have to hunt quiet.

3 Norwegian Elkhounds

Jaegar, Kamp and Kai check out a scent on the trail. It's at these times you can encourage or not. If you happen to know it's a scent you want to follow now would be the time. You would of course have to have some visible indication of what the scent is most likely though. A track, droppings, etc. Unless you have a pretty good nose.