The German Shepherd Norwegian Elkhound mix is an interesting one because there is a great deal known about one parent breed and not nearly as much about the other. As such, you may be curious to learn what to expect from this mixed breed. Let’s dive in and find out.
What are the Elementary Qualities of a German Shepherd Elkhound?
- Height: 21.5 – 26 inches
- Weight: 56.5 – 73lbs
- Coat: Double coat
- Level of Affection: High
- Kid-Friendly: Potentially, if socialized properly
- Dog Friendly: Yes, if socialized properly
- Cat Friendly: Yes, if socialized properly
- Preferred Climate: Moderate to cold
- Shedding Levels: High
- Trainability: Moderate to high
- Potential to Bark/Howl: Moderate
Will a Norwegian Elkhound German Shepherd Physically Favor One Breed?
There is no way of predicting how genes will present in a German Shepherd Norwegian Elkhound. This mixed breed may take after either one of their parent breeds or maybe an exact amalgamation of the two. It is also possible for the puppy to have any combination of genes.
Will a German Shepherd Norwegian Elkhound Have Wolf-Like Features?
At a glance, German Shepherds and Norwegian Elkhounds have certain similar features. The Elkhound looks more wolf-like, though, while German Shepherds have a protruding snout and the trademark large, erect ears.
It can be difficult to determine which genes the German Shepherd Elkhound will inherit, as they may look less wolf-like. Instead, their skull shapes may be narrower, with a more defined and prominent snout. The ears are most likely to be pointed and erect as well.
Will a Norwegian Elkhound German Shepherd Be a Medium or Large Mixed Breed?
Norwegian Elkhounds are classified as medium-sized dogs, while German Shepherds fall into the large breed category. The resulting mixed breed will most likely be larger than the Elkhound but smaller than a German Shepherd.
Do All German Shepherd Norwegian Elkhounds Have Double Coats?
Yes, this double coat gene is inherited from both parents, which means that the mixed breed will have one as well. An Elkhound German Shepherd may be very fluffy like a Norwegian Elkhound or have a slimmer profile like a German Shepherd.
German Shepherd Elkhounds may come in shades of medium gray, silver, black, tan, sable, white, and red. They are likely to have darker fur on their face or a mask-like covering of fur around the eyes and snout. Their ears may be a darker shade as well.
What Behavioral Traits Can You Expect from a Norwegian Elkhound German Shepherd?
German Shepherd Elkhounds are true family dogs. They are loyal, affectionate, and have high guarding instincts when it comes to their loved ones. These dogs can be slightly aloof with strangers but will warm up to them after a while. Proper socialization can help your dog overcome any shyness or wariness.
If the pup takes after their German Shepherd parent, the love for their family can be quite extreme. It can even extend to separation anxiety, something you will have to train your dog out of while they are still young.
This is not a breed that can be left alone for too long. They enjoy being around people and may become agitated or destructive when apart from their humans for more than 4 to 6 hours at a time. They do best in homes where there is almost always someone present.
The German Shepherd Elkhound has a strong, confident personality and the parent breeds of this dog have been bred to be independent. Due to this, the mixed breed will have a similarly bold personality and may try to be dominant if you don’t establish your position in the household.
It is important to be wary of German Shepherd Elkhounds around small children. On the one hand, they may be quite good with kids, even protective of them. At the same time, if the Elkhound genes are dominant, these pups can be quite dominant around smaller children.
Always keep a close watch around your child when the dog is around. Make sure they don’t grab at or pull the German Shepherd Elkhound. You should also check that the dog doesn’t herd smaller kids around.
As for other dogs, this mixed breed should get along with them well. This will usually be the case if your dog is socialized with other dogs at a young age. It can also be helpful if your pup is raised in a household with other dogs.
It may be possible for this mixed breed to be cat-friendly as well, as long as they are introduced to cats when they are still young. Be aware that this mixed breed can have a strong prey drive, so you need to make sure that they don’t chase after felines or other smaller animals.
What are the Most Likely Health Concerns with a German Shepherd Norwegian Elkhound?
As a mixed breed, the German Shepherd Elkhound should be healthier than both their parent breeds as there is a lower risk of inheriting common genetic disorders. Despite this, it is important to be aware of certain health conditions that may affect the German Shepherd Elkhound.
How Long Will a Norwegian Elkhound German Shepherd Live For?
The German Shepherd Elkhound can live a relatively long life with an expected lifespan of between 10 and 15 years. With proper care, nutrition, and frequent health check-ups, this mixed breed can enjoy a higher quality of life.
What are the Top Possibilities for Genetic Issues for a German Shepherd Norwegian Elkhound?
Here are some health conditions to watch out for:
- Elbow and hip dysplasia
- Fanconi Syndrome
- Degenerative myelopathy
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy
Take your German Shepherd Elkhound for regular checkups at the vet, even if they aren’t diagnosed with any medical condition. This will allow your vet to stay up-to-date on your dog’s health as well as to catch any disease in its earlier stages.
Monitor your dog’s health closely. If you notice any changes in activity levels, eating habits, mood, or any other element of their lifestyle, make sure to inform your vet immediately. The sooner the issue is identified, the faster it can be treated.
What are the Nutritional Requirements for a German Shepherd Norwegian Elkhound?
It’s difficult to narrow down the best dog food for a mixed breed such as a German Shepherd Elkhound. Your vet may be able to advise you on a good brand for them, especially if your dog has been diagnosed with certain dietary or health issues.
In general, opt for a high-quality dog food that utilizes quality food sources for protein, fats, and especially carbs. Stay away from brands that use fillers, preservatives, or other ingredients that can compromise the nutrient content of the dog food.
It is important to always follow the feeding instructions provided for each food. This ensures that your dog gets the right amount of calories according to its size and activity levels. When in doubt, ask your vet how much your dog should be eating each day.
Some German Shepherds tend to grow quickly within a short time as a puppy. This may be a trait that your German Shepherd Elkhound may inherit as well. This can cause various joint issues later on.
In this case, your vet may prescribe a low-calorie, high-quality dog food to moderate the growth. You should always speak to your diet before making any changes to your diet, however.
Norwegian Elkhounds have a higher propensity than German Shepherds to gain weight. Due to this, it is best to limit treats and snacks and stick to a set number of meals per day. Make sure the snacks and treats are of the same high quality as their dog food.
For How Long Should You Exercise a Norwegian Elkhound German Shepherd?
This mixed breed is usually high-energy and does need quite a bit of exercise. Depending on what parent your pup takes after, your dog may need between an hour to two hours of exercise a day.
For the most part, a long, brisk walk may be enough to work off your dog’s excess energy. Remember to never let your dog off its leash, however, especially around wide-open spaces or wooded areas. Elkhounds tend to roam and this instinct may be strong in your pup as well.
If your dog appears to have lots of energy after your daily walks, it may be time to increase how much exercise they get. Do this in 15-minute increments and monitor your dog closely afterward.
If they still seem to be hyper, they probably need more exercise. If they are calm, you have found the right time stretch. In case your German Shepherd Elkhound is tired after your workouts, you may be overdoing it and need to cut back.
Don’t be afraid to switch things up, either. You can play fetch with your dog and throw a Frisbee around too. You will also find that this mixed breed responds well to swimming and water sports.
What Level of Grooming Does a German Shepherd Norwegian Elkhound Require?
As this mixed breed has a double coat, you can expect a fair amount of shedding. If your pup takes after their German Shepherd parent, you will have to contend with a lot of shedding.
Your dog may also blow their coat a few times a year. At this point, the shedding will increase for a short time. Then, your dog will grow a new coat for the new season.
Despite all this, the grooming techniques for a German Shepherd Elkhound are rather simple. Regular brushing is key here. Normally, brushing your dog three times a week or so should help to keep the shedding under control.
When your German Shepherd Elkhound blows their coat, try to brush them every day. There will be less of a mess around their house.
For the best results, use three different types of brushes. A slicker brush helps to get rid of matting and most of the loose fur. This can be used for each brushing session. An undercoat rake works to get rid of loose hair in the coat closet to the skin – this can be used more occasionally.
A de-shedding brush is a great tool to have during the shedding season. It makes it easier to get rid of large amounts of loose hair in a shorter time.
The German Shepherd Elkhound doesn’t have to be bathed very often. If your pup takes after their Elkhound parent, you will find that their fur is highly resistant to dirt and grit.
As a result, you will only have to bathe a German Shepherd Elkhound every few months or when they have become very dirty. Use a gentle dog shampoo to keep them clean.
Can a Norwegian Elkhound German Shepherd Survive in a Smaller Living Space?
A German Shepherd Elkhound can live in an apartment or a smaller home as long as they get their daily exercise. If you live in a small space, it is important to take your dog out for as long as is necessary or they may begin to exhibit destructive behaviors.
In general, though, these dogs function best in homes where there is a yard. This will allow them to run around several times a day and may not require as much exercise.
You should also be mindful of the fact that these dogs can be quite vocal, particularly when they are left alone. There is a limit to how much you can train your German Shepherd Elkhound out of this habit. It may not be something your apartment neighbors will appreciate.
As for weather and climate, these dogs thrive in moderate or cool to cold climates. They can even be kept outside for short periods when it is snowing.
The German Shepherd Elkhound doesn’t hold up as well in hot weather. When it is warmer, it’s best to keep these dogs indoors and to make sure they are near a fan or air conditioning. Only ever take them out for exercise early in the morning or later in the evening.
Do German Shepherd Norwegian Elkhounds Respond Well to Training?
These dogs are highly trainable. Not only do they take great pleasure in having a job to do, but mental stimulation also makes the German Shepherd Elkhound satisfied.
This dog will also be eager to please its owner. Due to this, giving them positive reinforcement can go a long way in helping commands and lessons stick with your German Shepherd Elkhound. Never use punishment, however.
Also, be aware that these dogs have an independent streak. This is why it’s important to establish yourself or another family member as the dominant personality. Your dog may be more likely to listen to you this way.
Are Norwegian Elkhound German Shepherd Breeders Easy to Find?
No, these breeders aren’t easy to find as this isn’t a very common mixed breed. You may need to search out of state, although it’s best to find such breeders online. Remember to always choose a reputable breeder.
They will do extensive genetic testing on both parents to reduce the likelihood of genetic issues cropping up in the puppies.
Can You Find a German Shepherd Norwegian Elkhound in a Shelter?
It is unlikely to find this dog in a shelter as they are an expensive designer breed. You may want to focus your attention on shelters that only handle German Shepherds or Norwegian Elkhounds to improve your chances.
Here are some frequently asked questions about German Shepherd Norwegian Elkhounds:
Are German Shepherd Norwegian Elkhounds Good Family Dogs?
These dogs are loving and loyal and even protective of their family. They may not always be the best choice for households with very small children, though.
Will a Norwegian Elkhound German Shepherd Be a Big Dog?
These dogs may be as large as German Shepherds, but it is also likely that they will only be slightly bigger than the medium-sized Elkhound.
Are German Shepherds and Norwegian Elkhounds a Good Mix?
Both these breeds have some excellent traits that they can pass on to their puppies. As such, it is a good mix to have.
We hope you learned something new about the unique and interesting German Shepherd Norwegian Elkhound. Now that you know what to expect from this mixed breed, you can determine whether they will be the right addition to your family.