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Elkhounds - Hunting - Pets - Guarding

It's quite often we hear comments or get questions from individuals who are inquiring about the pups for a new addition to their family to ask about barking, aggression, guarding and other people.

These dogs have a look about them that for people perhaps new to the breed lends itself to a question of just how dominant are these dogs. It's a very legitimate question, we understand that any dog that can hold a bull Moose at bay in rugged terrain is no slouch, this takes some courage, the barking and dodging is what keep them occupied, so the question is understandable.

Shadow as pup - he always was a beautiful Silver Elkhound Male

Let me put it into a perspective relating the natural instinct of the breed and the long time hunting and guarding background as to the questions. First of all it needs to be known that these dogs will for the most part track completely silent. They are triggered to bark upon sight of the prey, not the scent.

This is why they have excelled for so many generations as a hunting dog, you need a dog to hunt quietly until they see it, then they can begin to circle, bay and hold the animal. This leads directly to the guarding aspects, if there is no threat in real proximity they never bark. This is a dog that will alert its pack through the use of it's deep bark however they never bark for no reason.

All types of northern dogs are dominant, they need to be to survive harsh environments and it's well documented that these dogs have protected the handlers and stock for centuries, so yes they are considered a dominant dog. That doesn't mean they are not great pets, quite the opposite in fact.

Shadow A Young Male at 4 Months From Mia's First Litter Appears Here With Jay - Shadow remembered him instantly - It was so nice of Cathy to call and ask us to meet with them when they came through the area again.

This breed is well known for loyalty, without question, in fact this is very much a close pack breed, meaning they bond very close to the family unit and almost ignore all other individuals. They can individually bond even closer with one person of the family. In our case Mia has a very good bond with our son Jay, if she has her pick of where to go, she would always go with him versus anyone else in our family if a choice was to be presented.

Shadow with Cathy, his handler and owner - this is a perfect example of the bonding, Shadow remembered us, but truly did not want to have much to do with us, he is a one owner dog, he basically wanted to get back to Cathy.

This dog has a loud bark and it does use it to alert you to something new in the territory, or something moving in it's field of range that it has identified as the territory to watch. If nothing is moving or new in the area, they don't bark. I know the types of dogs that bark just to hear themselves, that is not this breed. This is a working dog and if they are barking there is a reason, otherwise they don't.

Old breeds of dogs have undesirable traits bred out of them hundreds of years ago, this breed is most likely over 4000 years old, we couldn't find a thing wrong with them if we tried. The Elkhound today is a very good dog for our times. It is loyal, it is trust worthy and predictable. The temperament of this breed is very stable. Again you don't have ancient breeds that are not stable.

As far as a guarding or watch dogs go, they work very well for that, they are alert, energetic, have all the traits that make a very good watch dog, yet are such a nice dog to be around and have as a companion you truly think of them as a family member. In our opinion this a a very family oriented breed, yet also well suited to an individual as they bond so close. For me personally I always believe the phrase, the faithful hound was first mentioned about the Elkhound.

Swedish Elkhound

Merv - Takoda - Mia look for snow bone

Snow Bone located - now who gets it

Takoda and Mia prepare to take it

Takoda's battle is not easy

Takoda tries an arm bar

Mia joins in to help Takoda

They are successful