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Elkhounds - A Companion Dog

Freyja - Female Swedish Elkhound 4 Months

Amber and Clint have Freyja down in Washington and they have been doing a terrific job with her, she is developing into a magnificent young female. She is a great companion to the kids, friendly and smart, yet she is fully able even at her young age to keep a watch out for them and keep the yard free from trespassers, like muskrats. Freyja has a great grampa who was raised shall we say, ole school, he was a beaver hunting, muskrat removing ole boy, handing out scars to Malamutes and Huskies and protecting his turf. He was very much an ancient elkhound, all traits intact, those traits passed through to his son Takoda, down through Freyja's Mother Tora and remain intact in Freyja.

Fearless is the name of the game in breeding Elkhounds. Little baby females that can't protect the young handler who is hanging on the end of the leash are not what the elkhound is about. There is much more to the so called "Breeding Standard" than good looks. The well defined skull, broad muzzle, intent gaze, they are all great to breed for, however if that muzzle doesn't contain the strength to administer a grip that can't be broken, and the neck can't administer a spine snapping shake to a muskrat, looks only are looks. We still breed for the working dog. The dog with the heart of a lion, where you can get a young female exactly like Freyja who will stand her ground, who will protect her territory. Yet all the while be quite possibly the nicest and most personable female in North America.

Let's keep a couple things in perspective, families like Amber and Clint don't call and say, we want a muskrat killing machine. No, they call looking for a great family companion dog for all of them, a nice dog, a dog that is smart, easy to train, nice to be around, yet, let's face it, as parents we all have in the back of our minds safety for our kids and our family. Elkhounds for centuries have provided this. It's instinctive for all of us as parents to think in the back of our minds, and hope that in the most dire circumstances that our dog would stand with and for us. Especially for our kids. Yes, we all know a muskrat is not a dire circumstance, but from a breeders perspective, and from an intelligent dog owners perspective it means a great deal.

As a breeder you need to know that your keeping the old traits intact. You can't say by looking at a dog that they are. You need to know the actions, the real life situational accounts, and if possible the traits need to appear in pups. Especially the protection traits. None of the regurgitated breed standard information that is copied around the web and books and papers talks about, or for that matter most if not all of those who regurgitate that information know the importance of an event like this. You can't train fearless and protection and territorial dominance in 4 months. It's impossible. It only comes from genetics. The genetic make-up of the dog is what pups function on at this stage in life. An older dog could have been trained, but a pup is only acting from instinct. This is what is important for a breeder, and every bit as important for the family that has this event occur.

Clint and Amber have one of the nicest personality wise females in North America, and in my opinion, quite easily one of the very best looking females in the same North American region, on top of that, they have a bonafide Elkhound. A fearless female, willing to engage, with complete ancient instincts intact, this my friends, this is who you want playing in the back yard with the kids on the swings and slide and watching out for them.

We thank Amber and Clint and family for doing such a good job with Freyja and providing her with a fantastic home and life, and for all the great updates, we really appreciate it.

Anyone who has an Elkhound knows how hard it is to get a photo of these guys sitting still

Note: I recently put up in 2016 another great Elkhound Hiking Adventure with a hike we did in the mountains this winter.

When it comes to taking a photo of an Elkhound out in the bush, well, that is a full time endeavour, they just don't stop long enough for me to get the camera out and get a photo, so this particular photo or set I got was particularly rewarding. I had all four of the dogs out West in the Rockies just north of Nordegg Easter weekend 2012. We had been out hiking for quite a few hours to get to this high ridge I wanted to climb up and look around. They as good working Elkhounds had been up this ridge before me, back down, around both sides and had scouted a good couple thousand yards easy each side. We had hiked for a few miles and I was pretty good for at least another twenty with no rest, but they needed a break, so I made camp on this ridge. In a short while here they all came and took positions above me on the last ledge, kind of a game trail of sorts. They could all see for miles up here.

Now, Elkhounds if your reading about them for the first time, they are like Geese, they never really let their guard down in the bush, or for that matter anywhere, but out here, for a fact, they are watching, scouting, working. These rascals they know the direction I am heading and they each take an area, some go forward, some go left, some right, and every now and then circle around behind me. Sometimes they are way out, sometimes close in, but all the time, they are clearing the way for me to proceed. They go through, fully scouting for any sign of any danger to me. Every now and then one will "check in", sometimes two, and eventually if I stop long enough, all of them return and "check in".

For long stretches I am hiking alone, I actually know they are around in the bush, but I can't actually see or hear them, every now and then one will just appear, they are like ghosts in heavy timber, once I get to the clearings and clearcuts again I can then catch more sight of them. What's interesting is watching the instincts at work. From high spots I get to see this, using a zoom lens of course, my eyes are not what they use to be, but I can watch them work an area from vantage points, so for me the spring hikes they are really good. Warm out, no deep snow, no leaves and grass yet in the clearings so I can see way further, it is a neat time.

Roughly a month before I had attempted to go to the same ridge, I was prevented due to the snow yet, but we still had a great day. It was about the same time I took the photo but the day was much longer above. Here I am only hiking with Takoda. I get a fair number of calls from folks who want a dog for this activity, and it stands to reason in Western Canada and the North Western USA there is just a ton of this type of hiking. Now, from a breeder standpoint I need to keep old instincts and instinctive behaviour intact. The behaviour I am looking for in a dog out here is the ability to not take off and run away first of all. I am too old to go chasing after a dog. Secondly, I have no desire to get jumped by a cougar, or run smack dab face on into a mother bear with cubs in the spring. I don't worry about the bears in the winter of course, but have no desire to get circled by a pack of wolves either. So I am looking for the Elkhounds who can truly scout and who can return to check in. The other trait that is foremost for me is the ability to handle the threat and take the fight away from me. You can't have a dog that is going to come running back to you with a bear in tow.

Now I read a fair number of stories and recommendations online and in books and magazines about hiking with your dog out here, and quite frankly, 98% of the advice given is useless, in fact downright misleading. All this crap about having your dog on a leash in bear or cougar country, good gracious, that's just plain dangerous. I want my dog out in front, circling around me a couple thousand yards out, not fifteen feet. Both Takoda and I would be knee deep in blood if we were charged by a sow with cubs from 15 feet. He would have to engage, he couldn't evade and fight a running circling battle with me that close. I couldn't retreat, and give the bear the psychological advantage, I would have to stay and hope to goodness him and I can deter her. This is not smart. No, let Takoda find her way out there, let him alert me way before I am in danger. Let him have a chance to move her off safely, where he can retreat and be safe.

The only time an Elkhound is going to engage if the threat is immediate in my face. Otherwise they will evade and move the bear away, and return to me. Now, this is an Elkhound I am talking about, an ancient Elkhound, not just any dog. I am fully of the opinion that if you take a dog into bear country, you better take a bear dog. What's that old saying, don't take a knife to a gun fight.

There are only a few breeds of dogs suited to the work, only a very few breeds bred for centuries for it, and the big Swedish grey's like Takoda are quite possible the preeminent breed for this. I am not discounting the Karelian or the Great Pyrenees, Miramar or a few of the others, but for this work, the scouting and ranging, well the Big Swedish grey's are in my opinion the best. If you were tree planting and doing sheep silvi-culture and needed protection from constant bear and grizzly attacks, then of course the Elkhound is not the dog to take the fight to the grizzly, you need a dozen or so Great Pyrenees,, but scouting work where alerting to the threat and the ability to engage just enough to get me clear, this is the breed.

Now as I stated earlier, as a breeder I need to have confidence in the instincts of the dog, not just have confidence in his confirmation and so called, "good looks", I need to know he has the inherited ability to work. To have the courage, to have the what the old world breeders call, that "Mean". He needs to run toward the mean side. This work is not for the faint of heart dogs, it takes dominant dogs. He needs to be able to deliver a death grip bite if it comes to it, he needs to be able to keep fighting even if wounded. He needs to have that bite instinct and bite strength that will crush bone. All these are not found in good looks, they are found in the genes. I want families to trust in their dog hiking, I most certainly trust in mine.

Note: this does not mean I don't leash mine in populated areas or National Parks, but that is a whole different story.

Note: We have a 2016 Swedish Elkhound Litter Planned with Rico and Kalia - check it out.

Lindsay and Torsten

A year or more before Torsten was born Brian and Lindsay contacted us about a getting a new male Elkhound. They have had top quality Elkhounds in the family for years, and had for the least few not had one and wanted to get one again. Brian and Lindsay are a young active couple in Northern Alberta, they wanted a good stout old world Male, a working Elkhound. They came down and we had a great visit, they got to meet our dogs, and really enjoyed the visit with Tora. They spoke for a male and Torsten was selected for them.

Torsten is an outstanding Male, he is a dark big boy, well over 60 lbs at a year, thick and strong. He has a terrific personality, has some of the stubborn traits of Bram and his high energy, yet all the great nature and personable qualities of Tora. He is shown here on a winter hike with Lindsay and Brian and he is an excellent representation of the Bram and Tora mix.

Brian and Lindsay have Torsten in agility training, he is doing terrific, he is very social and well mannered, and is an all around terrific companion. Torsten comes from both sides of ancient lines, his grandfather in Norway on Brams side is a true hunting and show champion. His grandmother on Bram's side is a big old girl, ancient and mean as they say. The big black muzzle and dark mask come out of that lineage. The thick heavy bone and density come out of Tora by way of her mother Mia. The deep chest and endless power come from the Takoda line. This is a really good big boy. He is what most anyone who calls wants in a male. You can look for years to find the old lines, and to find all the traits of the old boys intact as they are in this fella.

I will say this much, I pity the stray out of control dog that comes running up to Lindsay barking and growling, ole Torsten he'll be handing out some manner lessons, quite possibly along with a few new good luck scars.

Thanks to Brian and Lindsay for providing Torsten with the best environment and home, and keeping us posted on his developments, it's always appreciated. Check out a recent Torsten Returns article to see more on this big fella. Awesome Norwegian Elkhound.

The Myth of the Urban Elkhound

We all know they exist, we have all heard stories of the Urban Elkhound, they are rarely seen, some even doubt the existence, but I can attest to the fact they do exist. I have phoot proof! Here is Kamp, finally my boy got me a photo of the elusive Urban elkhound. She is a beauty. Standing up on a trail up in the BC desert above Kamloops. This is a great female and a waiting mate for Jaegar.

You would think it would be easy for me to get a photo of one of these elusive rascals seeing as we have a couple in the family, but no, it's hard even for me to get, but I am thankful once I do. I appreciate everything Jay does for Kamp, he has her so well trained, so nice, such a great personality and manner. Almost too nice if you ask me, but when you are at University, and around tons of people and urban living, you need a good, well mannered, nice dog.

An urban elkhound rarely if ever barks. Causes basically no trouble whatsoever. You hardly know they are there. Yet take them for a hike and bam, you have your self a full range working elkhound, just like that. Jay says that Kamp is the most agile of all our dogs, I believe it. She is much bigger than she looks, she is soon to be larger than Mia, and will be reaching the size of GÆDA right away. Kamp is also from a very good line of dogs, one side is old world, the other top end dogs. We are very proud of her.

I say all the above in good fun, If you think Elkhounds are only for the wilderness and back country, you miss out on one of the best companion urban dogs in the world. In a few weeks even the jet setting high life living big city Jaegar returns home for a visit, another urban elkhound. Some of our best dogs and lot's of the great pups folks have are urban elkhounds. These make great family dogs.

Kaia - Female Elkhound End of March 2012

It was with good fun I spoke of the urban elkhound, we all know that there are great elkhounds in every town and city, and Kaia is a prime example of a beautiful female down in Calgary. Dianne and Jayeson have one of the females from the last litter of Tora and Bram, a real showy female. She was showy right from the get go. She is doing really well, Dianne keeps me posted and I truly thank Dianne and Jayeson for such a great home and exciting life and time they share with Kaia. Also, we sure appreciate all the great updates. Females don't come any better than this, can't wait to see more updates. Kaia is a full sister to Freyja above.

"Hi Merv,

Just an update on Kaia - she had her final shots last week and now weighs 22.5 lbs.

Here she is in her favorite park (Bowness). She is a fixture at the park now (she goes everyday) and knows all the city workers as well as the regular visitors. She has a wonderful personality - really affectionate. Although she can be a little trying sometimes!"

Dianne and Jayeson

Mia - Norwegian Elkhound Female

As you all know I am always partial to my big fella Takoda, but make no mistake Mia and I we are buds. She has been helping me keep everyone in line around here for what seems like forever. Lot's of times we forget that she has laid down the foundation for most of the great dogs we feature. Mia is a true powerhouse. She comes on these hikes, she powers through like nothing. Yet she is intelligent, smart, attentive, and don't ever question her fearless nature, that is fact.

Old hockey fans know and respect Wendell Clark, he grew up on a farm not far from where we were raised. Wendell was known as a gentleman and good man, but get in his face on the ice and he would drop the gloves so fast it would make your head spin. Mia is the same nature, get in her face and she is going to hand you a beating. No one messes with her here, they all give her a wide berth.

Mia is one of the old stocky rock ledge Elkhounds, the coastal dogs. Well over a foot wide, low to the ground, as long as they are tall, pure power in a compact package. Efficient, eat very little, carry no fat, all muscle. Prolific as can be. She puts every quality you want in a good dog into her offspring, even a couple traits you sometimes don't want, like that eternal stubbornness and independent nature. If Mia doesn't want to come when I call, if she thinks she is not ready, well she isn't coming over. period. I can just darn well wait. She sits here on the ridge with me, keeping an eye on things while I take a break. Mia is one loyal Elkhound no doubt. A truly amazing female.

Petra - A Beautiful Silver daughter of Mia's

I know this much, when Mia and Takoda stamp on the Silver, they really go Silver. This is a beauty this Petra, she is sleek, she is fast, a deep chest, nice clean stance, great ears and tail set. Big power in the rear, flat back, a very nice female. What you would call a feminine female. David owns Petra, she has had some great care and attention, he lives in Northern Manitoba and there are no end to trails for her to hike down. David has done an incredible job with Petra and we thank him for the great home she has. It's very evident she has been well looked after.

Petra has a great brother, Nanook, the big Silver Male out in BC with Kosmas and Joanna. Petra is a full sister to Kari and Cinnder and Mela. Every dog in this litter were terrific, and Petra is a stunning female.

David has contacted us, he wanted to have a litter with Petra, she is such a nice female he felt it would be great if she could have a litter. I spoke with him and suggested it was a very good idea. We are working out some arrangements to sort out the match up, but seeing as how well Bram matches up with Tora, this would be an outstanding pair as well, as of course Tora is a sister to Petra, just a different litter. We can all see how magnificent the pups are from that genetic combination.

The folks in the east should contact us soon about this litter, David has said he is moving to Winnipeg, so those of you in Manitoba and Ontario, Quebec and Eastern Canada and the USA this is a very good opportunity to get an outstanding Elkhound.

One thing about Petra, she has a natural stance that is truly amazing, a lot of people in the show world work hard to get a female to stand proud, square, attentive, head up, tail up tight, she just does it any ole time, naturally. Good dominant alert females like this they are a pleasure to own and to work with. Always eager to go and do things, watching what's going on, nice to be around.

Petra retained more of the Norwegian standards in confirmation, she is much closer to the standards, and combined with Bram, a Pure old strain Norwegian, the pups will be some very serious Norwegian Elkhounds, great Silver/Black dogs with some black masked rascals going to be showing up for a fact.

If you would like to know more about this potential litter please contact us.

Nola, right, and her new pal a young Male Elkhound

As most of you know, little Nola, on the right had some tough times at birth, she has the heart of two mountain lions though and battled her way through. Her new little pal there beside her, he also had a rough go of things, these two rascals, they are the spirit of the Elkhound. The Elkhound has a huge will to live and thrive, these two, they are a huge testament to that nature.

Linda and Darryl live down Montana way, and Nola and her new pal are keeping an eye on the ranch, Linda has raised Elkhounds for many years, is a first rate trainer, yet in all her years she hasn't seen as nice a personality and likeable easy going, smart female such as Nola. She also comments often as to how sharp and alert Nola is, always watching and letting her and Darryl know, something is in the territory. She is amazed all these abilities are in the same package to such a high degree.

One thing I know for sure, whether she had help or didn't have any help, ole Nola would have kept the chickens safe, and now with her buddy, it's nothing but bad news for the foxes and coyotes roaming Northern Montana that's for sure. I'll keep you posted on the exploits of these two rascals, and a huge thanks to Linda and Darryl, these little guys have it made.

Nola, demonstrating early command training - it's super windy I apologize about that wind noise

I sometimes am amazed at the abilities of elkhound pups, the comprehension level, the willingness to work, the instinctive behaviour to respond to the handler. This video is an astounding demonstration of a young female elkhound Pup, Nola, who is working with me on some command training. Now, yes I have worked with Nola from the day she was born, but she is still only weeks old in the video, you will see her follow commands much better than two year old dogs. No treats used in our training, just old fashioned good girl reward and encouragement.

This is a highly intelligent female, all our dogs are smart as can be, but for one reason or another Nola was very sharp, and her willingness to work with me was sometimes unbelievable. It's cold out the day I took this, the wind was howling, always is this time of year, and it was practically blowing her over. Still, she still came right along, I was doing "by me and also come here" training, notice how she even sits when she gets to me. Hard to believe.

You would be hard pressed to ever find a puppy training video where the pup demonstrates this level of comprehension, let alone this level of commitment, the distraction level with the wind and smells and so on for a young pup are so overpowering most times, but Nola, she is a star. No doubt. Linda is continuing the training with Nola, and Nola will be one of the best trained Elkhounds you'll ever come across.

Kage, (larger pup) Loki (smaller pup) and Kona

George sent me a great update just in time for the newsletter on Kage. Last while Kage has a new playmate, another young Elkhound, Loki. Kage has been having a pretty good time with Kona, the old retriever, however Kona has lost his vision, so he gets a little tired of all the fun Kage tries to have with him, so George thoughtfully got another pal , Loki. This is a great thing to see, the two young fellas can look after Kona, and Kona can impart some wisdom to these two young fellas as well. Everybody wins in this scenario, multiple dogs always live longer, so everyone benefits.

"Hi Merv,
Just a short update here to let you know that Kage is still alive and well. No run ins with wild animals and farm machinery, tho he does tempt fate by running around the tractor while it's in motion..
At 4 months plus now, his weight is at 31.2 lbs as of this morning. The gain in weight was only 0.2 lbs, vs prior weigh ins it was averaging out to 1 lb/week. Jackie is worried that he isn't being fed enough food? We are giving him still raw meat hamburger of either beef, chicken, pork mixed in with yams or sweet potato for fiber. He seems to like the yams mixed in...

...We got ourselves a playmate for Kage, a Norwegian Elkhound, born Jan 25th 2012..so about a month younger and 13 lbs lighter than Kage. We called him Loki, Norse mythological name for mischievous, trikster etc...and that he is...good soul mate for Kage, as they can keep up to each other, Kona, the blind retriever was getting rather tired of Kage's playfulness...."

Thanks for the great update George, you and Jackie are doing a terrific job with those guys, a good looking bunch keep us posted.

Kobe Elkhound Male and Owner Henry

"Hi Merv,
The 2 months have gone by fast; Kobe has delighted us, tested us, and won the hearts of every one. I forgot how wonderful it is to watch a new puppy grow up. Within the first week he settled in right away with out any real issues. He plays and romps around non stop full tilt then power naps for about an hour then back at it again. He has his box of chew toys and favorite tennis balls that he plays with non stop. He gets fresh bones every day as well as his deer antler which he loves to chew on. House training, truck rides, people visits, all have been great.

He knows most of his commands, but sometimes chooses to be selective on how “he” responds to them. There is always something more interesting to smell/ look at or investigate somewhere other then where I want him to go. We’re both working on this one. He knows both whistle and voice commands for the basics stuff.

At the start he’s was not really a big eater or fast eater, he takes his time. He is fussy at times as to what he will eat. We feed raw, rotating between chicken (his favorite), beef, fish (least favorite), wild meat and Orijen. He loves his blue berries, apples and carrots, this we feed to him daily and as treats.

His sight tracking and scent tracking is coming along good; it’s great watching a young dog really explore and develop. It’s so great to watch him intensely work at a scent or track then he get’s distracted by leaves blow by in front of him or geese flying over head. Moments later he’s back to ziz zag all over the place to figure out what he was doing before. He is very observant, not much gets by him either. Over head or on the ground, he seams to have a sense of what going on around him.

He loves being in the bush or mountains. You can see right away that he belongs out there. He moves effortlessly through the bush over logs and up hills, checking out every smell, track, and bush. Stopping, listening then moving ahead ever so silently. He checks in with me quite often with a quick look, and if I change direction I give him a soft whistle and he’s adjusts right away. I do not let him off leash as yet but use a 30ft long lead. He follows very well in real heavy timber or bush and never once has he got tangles up in the trees. When the country opens up he’s up front and at the end of the lead.

I have to stop and remind my self that he’s only 3 1/2 months old and at times he seems to know what he is doing and not just running around like a goofy puppy. I am extremely fortunate and have to thank you Merv, for Kobe is truly the wonderful dog for me and I can not wait to get home every day to spend time with him.

As you know getting a good picture of a elkhound puppy is quite the task, as Kobe is not one for standing still very long. Attached is a set of pictures from the time we got him to now. Enjoy.

Henry and Elena

I am very pleased to get updates and this particular update was really great, it had like 20 photos, all terrific. I will try to get more of them up so you can see them. Kobe is a super male Elkhound, he is putting Torsten, Ryker and Konig on alert, he is coming, you older brothers better be minding your ps and qs. Bram and Tora create some of the best males I have ever saw. A big thanks to Henry and Elena, young Kobe has it made.

Tesla and Matthew, torn ligament

When I got this update I was concerned and relieved, young Telsa, a male out in BC at a great home was burning around and on the ice underneath some how his footing slide, causing him to collide and damage his ligament. Eric and Julia provide a terrific home for Tesla, but accidents happen to everyone and this situation can occur, what is the hard part with an Elkhound is having them try to remain still to heal, good luck with that.

Now Tesla, he is a stunning male, he is the Black / Silver pattern you get from Takoda / Mia, same as Kari and Nika, Cinnder and a few of the others, the Black / Silver Swedish dogs are some of the best looking most striking of all Elkhounds. They are highly intelligent these dogs, and for some reason, this particular genetic lineage is a bit mischievous as well, you can just tell those two young fellas have something planned for sure.

This lineage is also one of the very best for families, although you better hope the kids toys aren't on the floor, as Tesla would think what's theirs, well isn't that his too? And don't try to keep any laces with ends on them, forget that, these guys are surgical.

At the very same time while they are one of the best family dogs, the outstanding trait that all Takoda's offspring carry through is the intense desire to protect and watch, especially around bears, Julia has mentioned many times while they visit her mothers, out in an area that has frequent bear visits, Tesla is a very vocal, constant watching machine and is entirely competent at his young age to let them know they had recent bear activity.

All the best to Tesla, and a big thanks to Julia, Eric and family for giving Tesla everything he needs to recover and be back on the trails.

GÆDA - Elkhound Female

This is a photo of GÆDA on the Easter Weekend 2012. She is really doing well. The workouts have helped her muscle in a bit, although I doubt she will ever get near the other girls, her makeup just isn't the same. She has more stamina though now after some heavy hiking and battling with Tora and Mia. I can see she still has her tongue out though at the end of the hikes, pretty much played out, but better and better each time.

She is a social girl, a little shy, she must have had a bit of a scenario in early life, but no matter, she is handling things great around here. She is a slower eater though, so I have to feed her in a pen by herself, Tora would simply assist her you know. One thing even though GÆDA and Tora are much the same size, there is huge noticeable differences in jaw strength. GÆDA is much closer to Mia in jaw strength, Tora is way stronger. GÆDA is a springy light on her feet girl, another year of conditioning and she will really be able to hike and cover some really rough terrain.

Her coat is just blowing out now, a good month or more behind the others. She will really look nice this summer, clean and sleek. She has some great manners, recalls really well in the bush, doesn't head out to far without checking in, perhaps a bit further than I would prefer, but she is consistent, so that's good enough for me. She likes to play with Tora and Mia, and Takoda to a degree, although she is not used to the rough level at which they play, although no dog would be, even Jaegar when he comes home, he is slammed on the ground so many times in such a short stretch he can't comprehend how it keeps happening. So I sure don't blame GÆDA for keeping a bit of distance during the main play time.

All in all, she is a great female. Her litter with Takoda will be really something. I can't wait, it is a fun time right now.

Finn and Barney, fast friends

I got a nice update from Norma and Steve, it was to let me know Finn had made fast friends with Barney out on the West Coast. Lot's of families call and sometimes wonder how the dominant Elkhound fits in with other dogs, and pretty much it's never an issue at all, as is illustrated here. Finn he came in, made friends and proceeded to take all the bones and keep them, no problem or worries.

When Norma let me know, I though perhaps she misquoted, so I confirmed that , she said no Finn just goes and gets the bones and that is the end of that, he was a bone stealing rascal here as well. I have recollections of him sneaking in, all calm and collected on Takoda to get a few for his collection, so I guess he took that with him.

Young Finn is a son of Tora and Bram, a very easy going personable, nice demeanour Male. Norma flew down to Calgary to pick Finn up, and he has been living the high life on the West Coast getting his fill of Salmon ever since. We extend our gratitude to Norma and Steve for such a great home, and hats off to Barney for sharing his great spot in the world with his new buddy, Finn.

Tora, right back in condition

My deepfreeze went completely empty when Tora was nursing and just after, she ate like a wolf, most days at the main stretch of heavy milk production a whole big chicken, farm raised organic and then some each day. She has regained all her muscle and condition now and is in great shape. She really likes to have GEADA around to play with, although GEADA doesn't get to rambunctious with Tora.

Tora has some serious stamina, it's quite intense, no doubt. It is very rare and some really awful terrain with mega snow before Takoda puts any distance between him and her, she leaves the other two behind and stays with him. She is a serious backup for him, if he had a score to settle, any dog that strayed in where Takoda was going to run him out, that poor dog would feel a wealth of pain on his side when Tora hit him, that is for sure.

She loses most of her outer guard hair right after she has weaned off the pups, this gives a person a chance to see the development and jaw structure, chest and front leg muscle. It's dogs like this that traveled with the Vikings, thick, really powerful intense, yet very personable and willing to work Elkhounds. Looking at some of the new litter photos coming back in, Freyja, Kage, Kaia, Kobe and others, wow. Tora and Bram have outdone themselves once again.

We are very proud of Tora, she is a truly amazing and outstanding female. Raising sixteen pups in a 12 month window and looking this great and in such fantastic shape so soon after, this my friends, is what old World elkhound females are all about.

Jaegar, Swedish Elkhound Male

All kidding aside, nice boy, good fella, urban elkhound, whatever a person would like to comment on, I can say this much, I wouldn't be sneaking up on Ashten when old Jaegar is on watch and around, which he is at all times. This is one well mannered fella, but he is no slouch ole Jaegar, these big Black / Silver Swedish boys have a long history, going back many thousands of years of looking after the handler, and taking the task serious like.

At the same time, you can have a big fella like this in a small apartment, or small area, and as long as you have tons of walking trails and exercise for them, they thrive. They need activity, but they also are a low key dog, they can relax when in a home. But, get them outside and they are there to work and burn off some steam, so be prepared to take them for some good walks for sure, play games you name it.

We are very proud of Ashten and the job she has done with Jaegar, she has put him into every possible situation you could imagine having an Elkhound, or for that matter any dog go into. She is a world class handler yes, and that gives her a distinct advantage, however anyone can have the Elkhound do what Jaegar does.

Jaegar can go any where, is always stable, he is calm and relaxed, but watchful. He has his instincts alive and functioning, there is hardly a scenario you could come up with that he hasn't handled with ease.

Big Swedish Males are few and far between in North America, Jaegar is probably the very upper end of those here, and his brothers are the others, of which they all compare equally. We are going to use Jaegar in our program and as you know, Kamp is going to have the first litter with Jaegar. Fortunately our pups are spoken for lots of times well in advance, sometimes two years or so for these big Swedish offspring, so you can speak anytime for a pup, and as they are getting spoken for already, don't hesitate, as personally there is probably not a better pair of dogs in North America than those two.

At the end of this month Jaegar comes home for a visit this summer, this time around, Takoda will probably need some assistance from Tora to get this boy in line, no more will Jaegar be just "listening to his Dad" kind of thing. He is a big boy now, and big dominant Males, turf protecting, high intensity males, both intact getting to know each other again and find the the so called, "rank order" is well shall we say, I am picking out my new gloves this weekend.

No, it will be fine, sure some fireworks, but there isn't one of them who doesn't know who the boss really is, and she, Marlene my wife unfortunately won't be around that weekend, so I'll have to do the best I can. Jaegar is catching a flight out of Toronto toward month end. Ashten is wrapping up and heading out just a few day later. Congratulations to her, we are very proud of her, four years of University, all done, way to go Ashten.

4 Elkhounds, Tora, Takoda, GÆDA and Mia, Kamia Kennels Elkhounds

I have enjoyed creating this newsletter, it's been tons of fun getting the photos and updates from everyone, and for that I thank all of you. I look forward to seeing more soon and hearing more exploits. It's great for everyone to see how the pups develop and grow and I sure do appreciate the feedback.

We had a great time as well getting our photos, taking our hikes, I am always complaining about the workouts, that maybe somebody else could do that part, but hey, that's the way she goes. Besides, Takoda and I can't fit on my scale now, what would happen if I quite working out with the dogs?

No, things are great, a photo like this one, out in the west country, nice spring day, dogs all relaxing, who could ask for more.

Thanks again to everyone for the updates, we'll be in touch.

Merv Carlson
Kamia Kennels

Elkhound Conditioning Program going well

It was a super day out on Saturday, April 14th, 2012, sure some snow and so forth, but still pretty warm. So the dogs and I were doing some conditioning work and I took the camera. Now I have been working to get GÆDA muscled in a bit, she was a little shy on muscle compared to where I like it to be so I have been beefing her up a bit. Let's face it nobody runs the muscle like Tora and Mia, nor has anywhere near the stamina of Takoda, they rarely get the work, unless they are Inuvik sled dogs of course. Now to fully condition an Elkhound, it takes some serious workouts, I prefer the winter of course, it's just easier to find tough going. This particular area we go for conditioning has a ton of snow yet, is heavy brush and deep ravines. The dogs have to really work to cruise in here. I put them in this heavy going for a few hours regularly. Now, the worst part of this whole scenario, is of course, where they go, so must I. Go figure who thought this plan up.