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Two Elkhounds Meet At A Creek

Leif - Male Norwegian Elkhound

Leif - Male Norwegian Elkhound

 Kamia's Pretty Boy Leif - Norwegian Elkhound Stud

I read a description once of an Elkhound by a very respected breeder and she was describing the ability the Elkhound needed to have to do it's job. She was talking about stamina, conformation, toughness and agility. She described the fearless nature and willingness to work, as well as the double coat, so required in harsh climates. She spoke of the top coat how it allowed the Elkhound to hunt and track through very rugged terrain sometimes having to cross partially frozen creeks while keeping up with the Moose.

She went on to talk about all the features of these great dogs and I thought I would use some of that great description memory today as I speak about our program. Many thanks to Patricia Trotter for that description.

Jaegar - Male Norwegian Elkhound

 Kamia's Jaegar - Norwegian Elkhound Stud

That description I read about crossing frozen creeks has kept running through my mind many times over the years since we moved here. We have a creek on our property and the dogs and I we hike down to it a fair bit. It's a fun hike for us and it's always very scenic. I decided to use the creek story to talk about two of our magnificent Elkhound Males, Leif and Jaegar.

The fact that these two boys are now hiking far from their native homeland, both ending up at the same creek all the while taking two very different paths to get here I find truly amazing. Jaegar of course has traveled the rugged working road, all his ancestors have been tough working dogs. You could most likely trace his old ancient heritage right to Erik the Red and the big blacks that arrived with him.

And Leif, years and years, generation after generation of the very best of the Show world, breeders working litter after litter toward what they believe is the ideal Elkhound. For both of them from such absolute opposite ends of the spectrum of raising Elkhounds to be here now at the same place hiking the same creek, bunking out side by side, Wow! 140 years since the first organization meeting of some old hunters in Norway while hashing out the idea for preserving the breed. Well for me, to have two of the very best of both worlds come together and work toward a common goal of further preserving what those old hunters and woodsmen and breeders had in mind in the first place, pretty cool indeed.

 I know I have said it before, but I'll say it again, these my friends, these are Elkhounds!

Jaegar Elkhound Male in Creek in WinterJaegar is 6 years old at the time of this article, he is a stunning big dark working Elkhound Male. He is very well muscled and has a very fast quick way about him. He has explosive power and agility this is all combined with extreme stamina. Every aspect of Jaegar would rival the very best of any Elkhound anywhere in the world, he is an extremely well rounded yet very powerful Elkhound Male.

Jaegar is much heavier than the breed standard due to his muscle and structure, he is always at or very near 70 pounds. Jaegar carries the blood of Swedish lineages as his dad as most of you know is Takoda. All the Elkhound genetics run in Jaegar's veins.

When they first assembled the group of breeders and hunters with the great dogs back in 1877 to discuss the formation of a club, many of the dogs that came that day were exactly like Jaegar. The early dogs that left Norway to various other countries were simply stunning big boys, the power and presence of those early males was really outstanding.

Jaegar is a representative of times gone by in the Elkhound world as the breeders in North America have moved toward the look and style of Leif.  Very few of the old world working breeders such as I exist in North America anymore. The early standards that were drawn up at the time of the Association have been changed and rewritten a few different times and Jaegar would no longer meet the current standards, even though he meets the original perfectly. Jaegar is a flawless example of a pure working Elkhound.

 Leif Elkhound Male in Creek in WinterLeif is a year old at the time of writing this and he is as well a stunning Elkhound Male. Now all of you know I don't have a lot of knowledge about showing a Norwegian Elkhound, I have working Elkhounds. But I do know great Norwegian Elkhounds.

We wanted an outcross male comparable to Jaegar and our top working Elkhounds. I had to go to the very best in the show world to get that and as you can see Leif is the all you can be show lineage Norwegian Elkhound.

There is no doubt about the quality of Leif, anyone anywhere who knows anything about a great dog can see that. If you are familiar with Elkhounds your appreciation for this young male is even greater. Leif has the looks but he also has the genetics.

He has a very storied lineage, let me share a small part of it, starting with every Norwegian Elkhound that has ever won Westminster Best in Hound Group which is only 13 winners since 1930. 11 of them are in his pedigree, and the last 12 are all the same breeder who raised Leif. 

There is definitely more to Leif than meets the eye. His genetic make-up is as good as you can find anywhere in the world. In the North American show world there is a class of point ratings, once you reach a certain point system they award a symbol to the Champions. The highest symbol held by Norwegian Elkhounds is Gold. Only 3 Norwegian Elkhounds have ever attained this symbol. Two of these three are from the same breeder as Leif, with one of those two in his background. The top Norwegian Elkhound and highest point Champion of all Elkhounds is Leifs Grandfather. Go figure.

So out here in the middle of nowhere, a remote region thousands of miles from Norway by a creek that flows down from Phoenix mountain where an old ghosttown is all that remains up there runs this incredible Norwegian Elkhound named Leif. His new buddy, an equally as capable equally as good a dog in all respects, his pal Jaegar runs with him.

Who would have guessed at that meeting 140 years ago, out in the bush some old grizzled hunters and their best dogs getting together to plan something great, some sort of association, some sort of breed and dog preservation ideal that here today so far from that time and place would run these two incredible specimens of Elkhound splendour. Two males who would rival any of the ancient dogs, who carry forward all the very best that those old hunters wanted brought forward, both of them working to preserve and carry forward for generations yet to come those ideals of those old boys who sat around that day with their best dogs, most likely by a creek not much different than the one we sit by here.

Can you believe it? I can hardly believe it myself some days. Who would have guessed? There is no where in North America today you can go where you can find both ends of the Elkhound, the working Elkhound and the Show Elkhound represented in all their glory in as natural a breeding and living/hiking/working environment as what Leif and Jaegar run in. Those old Norsk hunters would be seriously happy seeing these two big boys down at the creek, in full coats, heads up, Moose scent in the air...

This is an example of the early big males that I was discussing. This champion was whelped on January 25th, 1923, almost 90 years before Jaegar but they could be brothers by looking at them.
An Ancient Norwegian Elkhound Male
This ancient big fella is a stunning example of the early big show Norwegian Elkhound males. Even today with almost a century of breeding between them you can see where Leif gets his Pretty Boy Good Looks.
Jaegar and Kai survey the creek
Jaegar and Kai survey the path they wish to take. Both are excellent mountain hiking dogs and handle the terrain with ease.

Leif and Tuva working toward the creek
Leif is a stout young fella, he is showing off to his new mate Tuva that he can plough through just as much snow as Jaegar and do it with a smile. He loves his new home no doubt.
Leif Tuva and Tekla, 3 Amazing Norwegian Elkhounds
Leif can't really believe his luck, he travels to this distant land, snow covered and cold but with this beautiful fresh spring water creek and right beside him are two of the nicest Elkhound females he could find in the world Tekla and Tuva, and they like him. Too Funny!
Up on the bank of the creek stands this magnificent young male pup. He looks down on his brother Jaegar and his buddy Leif. This young fella is a new stud dog for Kamia Kennels, he is a half brother to Jaegar, son of Takoda and Tekla. Another phenomenal representation of the full old world genetic working dog. He tells both Jaegar and Leif every chance he gets, you boys best enjoy your time because soon there will be a new boss on the creek, and my name is MÅNE.
Takoda Premier Elkhound Male
As confident and full of themselves as all three of those boys, Jaegar, Leif and young MÅNE are, they all have respect and admiration and knowledge from instinct and lessons learned to step aside when the big boy himself decides to hike the creek. At the end of the day around these parts doesn't matter if your a 6 year old in your prime muscled in working boy, or pedigree stacked pretty boy from the big city, around here, Takoda still rules and is The Premier Elkhound in North America! Leif and Jaegar, they got some might big paws to fill.