Norwegian Elkhound German Shepherd Mix: Full Profile, History, and Care

Categorized as German Shepherd Types and Mixes
Norwegian Elkhound German Shepherd

The Norwegian Elkhound German Shepherd dog is a hybrid breed created to have the best traits of both Norwegian Elkhound and German Shepherd. These two popular dog breeds were crossed in order to create a dog with an optimal combination of these traits. But what exactly does this mean? What are some other things you should know about this mix?

In this article, I will provide you with everything you need to know about the Norwegian Elkhound German Shepherd: their history, how they look like, their size, personality, and temperament, as well as all aspects of care for your new dog!

More About This Dog Breed

The Norwegian Elkhound German Shepherd is a dog that has an athletic appearance thanks to their slim-yet-strong-looking body and build. They usually come in a medium gray color accented with black-tipped guard hairs and light silver accents.

The origins of the Norwegian Elkhound German Shepherd dog are heavily influenced by their parent breeds; however, there is no exact date or location where the hybrid was born. One theory is that it was the result of a mating between German Shepherds and Norwegian Elkhounds by breeders who wanted to create a dog that has the hunting skills of the Elkhound and the work ethic of the German Shepherd.

However, some dog experts believe that the creation of this hybrid breed was not intentional. Rather, they say it was an accident due to both breeds having similar characteristics and appearing to be very similar physically.

The History and Development of the Norwegian Elkhound German Shepherd Dog Breed

Although we don’t have a specific date where this dog was first bred, we may be able to learn one or two things from the parent dogs’ history.

German Shepherd History

The German Shepherd was first bred in 1899 by Max von Stephanitz. He wanted to create a working dog that would have intelligence and loyalty like no other to herd livestock and protect them. So he crossbred various working sheepdogs from rural Germany eventually came up with his favorite type.

Then in the same year, the German Shepherd Club of Germany (Verein für Deutsche Schäferhunde) was formed to protect and promote the German Shepherd breed. It is from this organization that the breed got their name.

The German Shepherd Breed Standard was also established in 1907, which describes a dog that is very athletic and muscular, has a keen intellect, is able to work hard for hours on end without getting tired, and possesses high energy levels. Since then, they have only become more popular with time!

If you need a great family dog, then yes, a German Shepherd is definitely one of the best options. This is because they are smart and have an instinct to obey their owners’ every command. Usually, they get along well with children and some smaller pets while being wary of strangers.

Compared to other dogs, they can also be trained relatively easily. Although it will take some effort on your part, you will eventually find that a German Shepherd is a big dog capable of doing many things – from hunting to herding your children to sleeping by your feet at night.

Norwegian Elkhound History

A Norwegian Elkhound was originally bred in Norway in 1877 after the Norwegian Hunters Association held its first dog show, and it is believed that these dogs existed long before then. Furthermore, based on historical records, it is believed that the Norwegian Elkhound has been used in war since at least 500 years ago! Because of their skills when defending and hunting, which makes them an excellent guard dog.

These ancient working dogs are a very intelligent and loyal breed that loves to work hard with their owner. They’re a medium-sized dog with an athletic build who has been known to participate in many outdoor activities such as hunting, herding, and dog sled pulling.

The Norwegian Elkhound German Shepherd is a medium-sized dog with a body that is on the slim side but has a muscular build. Their coloring is usually medium gray, and they have black-tipped guard hairs and light silver accents. Their ear tips and tail tip are usually black as well. Their eyes are normally dark brown, while the forehead usually comes in a lighter gray color.

They also have medium-sized ears which need to be carried up and close to their head, pointing slightly forward with rounded tips towards the top of their skull. Their head is broad and wedge-shaped with a strong muzzle, a defined stop, and a black nose. Their tail is moderate in length and is tightly curled. It has strong bones and a well-muscled body that gives them great speed while running but also makes them agile enough to make sharp turns while doing so.

Key Characteristics of Norwegian Elkhound and German Shepherd Mix

Dog lovers who are interested in getting a Norwegian Elkhound German Shepherd dog should know that there are many defining characteristics of both the parent breeds. Here are some of the key differences:


Their height and weight can vary greatly since there is no breed standard for this Norwegian Elkhound mix. Based on the parent dogs, the Norwegian Elkhound German Shepherd is a medium to large-sized dog that typically weighs around 48 to 90 pounds. Their height usually ranges from 20 to 26 inches at the shoulder.

Size can also vary depending on whether you are talking about a male or female in the Norwegian Elkhound German Shepherd. Female dogs are always smaller than their male counterparts, and this can also be determined based on genetics.

Temparement and Personality

The Norwegian Elkhound German Shepherds are a loyal and intelligent breed that has a zest for life. They are an agile, playful, and active dog who can do everything from hunting to herding your children.

Generally, they are a very friendly dog and tend to get along with all people, other dogs, and even cats. They can be protective of their family or property if need be; however, once they realize you are a friend, they will welcome you with open paws!

Although this dog is usually friendly, they can also have moments where aggression is displayed. Thus dog owners need to understand that this is a very protective breed of dog, and they need to be socialized from an early age to avoid problems later on down the road.

Their temperament is affected by many factors, such as their upbringing, how they were trained, and the experiences they have had in life. Norwegian Elkhound German Shepherd puppies with nice temperaments will be eager to meet new people, and their tails will likely wag after meeting someone. Choose the middle-of-the-road puppy, not the one that’s beating up the other pups or is cowering and scared.

Upon meeting potential breeders, always ask to meet at least one of the dog’s parents. You should also have an opportunity to visit the home environment so you can see how the puppies are raised and how they interact with both people and other animals. Be careful with breeders who are unwilling to let you meet a puppy’s parents or let you see where the puppies are kept.

Coat and Grooming

Norwegian Elkhound German Shepherd comes in a variety of colors. They can be solid black, gray, white, silver, and tan.

Both parent breeds have a thick, double coat, so you can expect the same thing from this mixed breed. Providing your Norwegian Elkhound German Shepherd does come with a double coat; know that they shed twice a year heavily when their coats grow in and out.

This is why it’s wise to brush your dog every day to keep the shedding to a minimum and have them professionally groomed every 3-4 months or so to keep your home from being covered in dog hair.

As for their bathing needs, this dog does not need to be bathed more than once a month. Bathing them too often can strip their natural oils from their skin, which will leave the coat dry and dull, so you should only get them wet if they’re very dirty and have gotten into something like a mud puddle or some other mess that needs to be cleaned up right away.

Trim nails when they start to get too long. Also, be careful about their ears. Their ears should be cleaned and checked ideally once a week for redness or bad odor. Using cotton balls, clean the inside of the ears and wipe away any excess dirt.

As you groom, check for sores, rashes, or signs of infection such as redness, tenderness, or inflammation on the skin, in the nose, mouth, and eyes, and on the feet.

Feeding Guide

Nutrition is essential to your dog’s overall health, growth, and longevity. However, this mixed breed should be monitored closely because they are prone to weight gain when not fed properly.

Feeding this dog can be tricky; you’ve got to make sure they are not getting too much or too little. If they don’t get enough food, they will likely be malnourished and run the risk of becoming sick; however, if you give them too much food, they will become overweight and prone to health issues.

The amount of calories depends on the size of your dog. It may also depend on whether you have a male or female, but either way, most Norwegian Elkhound German Shepherds need about 25 to 30 calories per pound per day to maintain their ideal weight.

When it comes to choosing the best dog food for your Norwegian Elkhound German Shepherd, you need to get high-quality dog food tailored to their needs or do some research into what’s best for them. The good news is that there are a lot of resources out there on the best dog food for medium to large dog breeds like Norwegian Elkhound German Shepherd mixes.


There are many known health problems that come with this dog mix. One of the most common conditions is hip dysplasia. This condition is something they share with their parent dogs. This condition can be painful and make it difficult for your dog to walk properly.

It is imperative that you feed your dog food formulated for larger dogs as well as monitor their weight because this can minimize the impact of joint disease.

If you notice any difficulties with the way your dog is moving or are noticing that they seem to be struggling a lot more than usual, then it’s important you take them to the vet for a checkup.

In addition to hip dysplasia, you also need to watch out for elbow dysplasia, allergies, digestive problems, renal problems, progressive retinal atrophy, degenerative myelopathy, progressive retinal atrophy, thyroid problems, and osteochondritis.

Training and Exercise Needs

Descending from both famous hunting and herding dogs, Norwegian Elkhound German Shepherd mixes have a lot of energy and endurance. They require daily exercise not only because they need to expel their energy but also to keep them from getting bored. If they have nothing to occupy their time, they will likely find something like digging or chewing on furniture.

Most breeders recommend at least one hour of exercise a day, but if you can’t do that, 30 minutes of exercise per day should be sufficient.

There are many different ways to exercise your dog, from digging, fetching balls, rolling in leaves and sticks, going on walks as a family or with other pets. When taking your dog for an exercise session outside of the home, you must keep them on a leash and always be careful about potential dangers. You don’t want to lose track of your dog if they decide to chase something like a squirrel.

They are well known for being intelligent dogs and will be able to learn how to listen to commands quickly. Crate training and house training are two basic training that you would want to begin with.

Keep in mind they are barkers, so take that into consideration when you are going to adopt them. You may want to reconsider your decision if you live in an apartment complex or a neighborhood with a lot of close-by neighbors. If you do decide to get this dog, make it your priority to train them “quiet” command.

Children And Other Pets

If they are well-socialized and have had plenty of exposure to kids, Norwegian Elkhound German Shepherd mixes have no problem getting along with children. However, it is imperative that you keep an eye on them at all times to make sure they don’t accidentally hurt your child. As with every dog, you should teach your children how to approach and interact with dogs in a safe way.

When it comes to other pets, they will be perfectly fine with other dogs and pets long as they are introduced when they’re very young. However, introducing an adult Norwegian Elkhound German Shepherd is another story as it can possess its own challenge.

Is Norwegian Elkhound German Shepherd The Right Dog For Me?

Norwegian Elkhound German Shepherds are perfect for experienced owners who can handle the challenges of owning a large and active breed. However, if you are a first-time owner, you might want to consider getting a dog that’s easier to train and care for.

If you decide to get this dog, make sure you’re prepared for the costs of owning a large breed before getting one. Also, consider whether you can commit to the exercise, grooming, and feeding needs.

Thank you for reading this article. I hope you found it helpful and useful as you raise and train your German Shepherd.

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By Andrew Garf

Andrew Garf has loved dogs, especially German Shepherds, since he was 10 years old. Though he also loves burgers, training dogs is his real passion. That's why he created the website - to help dog owners learn how to properly train, care for, and bond with their German Shepherd dogs.