Norwegian Elkhound German Shepherd Mix (Facts & Pictures)

Norwegian Elkhound German Shepherd mix looking upwards in the woods
Image credit: darksdogs / Instagram

Not all dog breeds can be loyal and affectionate while keeping up with an owner who has an active lifestyle, but a Norwegian Elkhound German Shepherd mix surely can! 

With the beloved German Shepherd Dog and the vigorous yet less popular Norwegian Elkhound as its parents, it’s no surprise that this cross is loved by many.

This article should be able to guide you in answering your questions on this designer breed. Here, you’ll learn all about its appearance, temperament, price, lifespan, places to adopt or buy, and more.

Breed Overview

Height:20 – 26 inches
Weight:48 – 90 pounds
Lifespan:10 – 15 years
Coat Colors:Black, gray, red, silver, tan, and white or bicolor
Temperament:Energetic, protective, loyal, affectionate
Suitable for:Active singles; families with older children; experienced owners

What Is a Norwegian Elkhound German Shepherd Mix? 

German Shepherd Norwegian Elkhound sitting outdoors in the grass smiling
Image credit: darksdogs / Instagram

The Norwegian Elkhound German Shepherd mix is a cross between a purebred Norwegian Elkhound and a German Shepherd Dog (GSD). This cross, also known as the German Elkhound, is as active and protective as its parent breeds. Physique-wise, German Elkhounds bear the same robust build as their parents.

Temperament-wise, as with any other hybrid, the best way to determine the temperament of a Norwegian Elkhound German Shepherd mix is by taking into consideration the characteristics of its parent breeds.

Because both of its parent breeds are naturally energetic, the Norwegian Elkhound German Shepherd mix will make a good pet for families with active lifestyles.

This mixed breed, also known as the Elkhound Shepherd, is very uncommonly heard. Like other mixes, it is also not recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) as an official dog breed.

Norwegian Elkhound German Shepherd Mix Origin and History

Sadly, there is not enough information available regarding the origin of the Norwegian Elkhound German Shepherd mix. Fortunately, we can take a quick look at the histories and origins of its parent breeds.

As the name suggests, Norwegian Elkhounds originated in Norway and are known to be one of the oldest dogs in Europe. 

The AKC categorizes this breed under the hound group, which is a group of dogs used for hunting in ancient times. Because of their hunting skills, Norwegian Elkhounds served as reliable companions to Vikings.

Meanwhile, German Shepherd dogs, or perhaps more familiar to many as GSD, are one of the most adored shepherd breeds in the world. They are classified by the AKC under the herding group.

While the breeds belonging to this group were originally bred to assemble and guard livestock, present-day GSDs are utilized to perform police work as well as protection duties.

Considering these facts, it’s not shocking that German Elkhounds turn out to be defensive and high-energy dogs. Elkhound Shepherds surely take on the best traits from their parent breeds. 

Norwegian Elkhound German Shepherd Mix Appearance

Elkhound Shepherd mix on a blue leash sitting on the grass smiling
Image credit: kodamanandkalliegorl / Instagram

A defining difference between a Norwegian Elkhound and a GSD is their size, so expect that the size of their crossbreed will vary depending on the dominant parent breed.

However, both breeds have thick, two-layered coats, so this is something that you can anticipate in a Norwegian Elkhound German Shepherd mix. 

Their coat colors will be harder to predict, but the usual colors include black, gray, red, silver, tan, and white. It’s also very likely to have a litter with coats that possess a combination of these colors.

The ears of the Norwegian Elkhound are usually pointy, and its muzzle is long. Their eyes are almond-shaped, and their noses can either be brown, tan, or black.

Here is a video to help you get a clearer view of what a Norwegian Elkhound German Shepherd hybrid will look like:

Norwegian elkhound / German shepherd mix introduced to a new apartment

Norwegian Elkhound German Shepherd Mix Size and Weight

A Norwegian Elkhound German Shepherd mix’s height would range from 20 to 26 inches at withers. When it comes to weight, this dog could weigh from 48 pounds to 90 pounds.

GSDs are known to be taller and bigger than Norwegian Elkhounds, but when it comes to their cross, the resulting size is a bit tricky. However, the Elkhound Shepherd usually falls in between the size of its parents.

This overall estimate for the mix factors in the size and weight of both parents, though a lot of factors also come into play for these mixes to reach their maximum size, including proper nutrition and a healthy environment.

Norwegian Elkhound German Shepherd Mix Temperament and Personality

Norwegian Elkhound and German Shepherd mix looking upwards while mouth is open
Image credit: pawtasticadventures / Instagram

Norwegian Elkhounds and GSDs share the qualities of being alert, intelligent, loyal, affectionate, and easy to train. 

Because of this, it’s no surprise that a Norwegian Elkhound German Shepherd mix bears a gentle but watchful nature, which is highly suitable for families who desire warmth and guardianship from a fur buddy.

Their high energy, agility, and constant need to be on their feet also make them perfect companions for walking, running, and other physical exercises.

Although generally eager to make its owner happy, they can be quite headstrong, so it will take more than just a snuggle to keep this pooch on its best behavior.

However, given their parent breeds’ natural instinct to defend, they can be quite uptight with strangers, so make sure you are present when there’s a visitor at home.

In addition, it’s best to remember that while GSDs are highly tolerant of small children, Norwegian Elkhounds are not so good with them. 

For this reason, it might be best to keep an eye out for a Norwegian Elkhound German Shepherd mix’s behavior around children, as they might become a bit aggressive if they feel annoyed by overly playful kids.

In general, though, this hybrid dog will provide you with a loving friend and a dedicated protector if raised properly.

Norwegian Elkhound German Shepherd Mix Lifespan and Health Issues

A cross between a Norwegian Elkhound and a GSD results in a lifespan of 10 to 15 years, which is longer than its GSD parent. This can be significantly reduced depending on the dog’s lifestyle and other unpredictable factors.

If you want to lower the risk of your future Norwegian Elkhound German Shepherd mix encountering potential health problems, here are some commonly observed health-related issues to look out for in this crossbreed:

  • Hip Dysplasia: It’s no surprise that you should be on the lookout for hip dysplasia as it is hugely common among medium to large-sized dogs, like the GSD. Hip dysplasia is a hip deformity that often occurs during the growth stage of large dogs.
  • Autoimmune Thyroiditis: Autoimmune thyroiditis in dogs happens when the thyroid gland is destroyed by an autoimmune process. This may manifest through hypothyroidism, which has symptoms like lethargy, weight gain, obesity, haircoat changes, and more.
  • Eye Issues: Like humans and other animals, dogs also encounter several threats when it comes to their sight. Some of the eye problems that a Norwegian Elkhound German Shepherd mix might suffer from include progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), retinal dysplasia, cataracts, and more. 

While no one can really say how long we’ll have with our canine friends, it’s important to be proactive and attentive to their health needs to give them a good and long life.

To lessen your worry over your pet’s potential health issues, consider requesting a certificate issued by the Canine Health Information Center (CHIC) from your dog’s breeder.

You can also opt to get pet insurance to ensure that they will be given appropriate medical attention when the need arises.

How to Take Care of Your German Shepherd Norwegian Elkhound Mix

German Shepherd Norwegian Elkhound mix with pink dog tag sitting outdoors
Image credit: pawtasticadventures / Instagram

The Norwegian Elkhound German Shepherd mix is undoubtedly a special dog. Because of this, Elkhound Shepherds may also need a special kind of care when it comes to their diet, grooming, and exercise. 

Read along to learn more about taking care of your German Shepherd Norwegian Elkhound mix.

Food and Diet

Because of its size and high energy, a German Elkhound will need high-quality dog food. It would be best to choose a top-quality dry dog food that is specifically intended for large breeds.

This is a good start to establishing nutritional balance and giving them adequate energy. 

Since they will also need foods that are high in protein and calories to build and support their muscles, you may also opt to feed them meats like beef, chicken, and fish. Pet-safe vegetables are also healthy for them.

It’s equally vital that a source of hydration is readily available for a German Elkhound, so remember to always fill their bowl with fresh water. 

Cleaning and Grooming

Like most double-coated breeds, a German Elkhound will also need great attention when it comes to maintaining the good condition of its coat.

A good way to do this is by brushing your pet’s coat regularly, especially during shedding season. This is an important task to guarantee your pet’s comfort and to prevent matting, hair knots, and skin diseases.

When it comes to bathing this crossbreed, it’s not recommended to bathe them so often because it can interfere with the production of the natural skin oils that are needed for a shiny, healthy coat.

If you do bathe them, make sure to have more patience, as their double coat can make them quite heavy and harder to manage. Otherwise, they are able to pretty much maintain cleanliness and groom themselves.

There is also no need to regularly trim their coat, but it is obviously vital to cultivate good hygiene for your pet by routinely trimming their nails and keeping their ears and teeth clean.

Training and Exercise

While they learn fast because of their high intelligence, Elkhound Shepherds can be strong-willed, so they need to know at a young age that their improper behaviors will not be tolerated.

When training them to establish adherent behavior, it’s important to use positive reinforcement and high-value rewards using treats as well as verbal approval.

It’s also helpful to expose them to socialization early on, which according to the American Veterinary Medical Association, should commence between 3 and 14 weeks of puppyhood.

This would be especially helpful in raising a German Elkhound, whose parent breeds are both vigilant and slightly wary of strangers by nature.

With regards to exercise, it would be ideal for a German Shepherd Norwegian Elkhound mix to have a pet owner who enjoys being on the move, as they have lots of energy to release.

It’s best to allot an hour of daily exercise for your pet, which can range from activities like walking, jogging, or even hiking. This would significantly prevent your dog from turning to disastrous attempts to burn energy.

How Much Does a German Shepherd Norwegian Elkhound Mix Cost? Puppy Prices & Expenses

Depending on certain factors, such as the breeder’s reputation and the pup’s age, location, size, coat, and color, the price of a Norwegian Elkhound German Shepherd mix can range between $500 and $5,000.

The price of the German Elkhound may also be influenced by the cost of its German Shepherd and Norwegian Elkhound parent, which can reach $3,500 depending on the breeder.

On top of the price of a Norwegian Elkhound German Shepherd mix, here are other expenses associated with owning one:

Type of ExpenseCost
Food and Treats$70 – $150
Bowls$10 – $40
Toys$30 – $100
Beds$40 – $300
Collars and Leashes$15 – $50
Crates and Carriers$50 – $500
Grooming Essentials$50 – $250
Initial Vet Visits$100 – $500
Initial Vaccine Shots$50 – $300
Deworming, Flea, and Tick Medications$40 – $300
Neutering or Spaying$50 – $500
Microchipping$40 – $60
Dog License$10 – $20
Other Essentials$20 – $80
Total Initial Cost$505 – $3,150

Bear in mind that this is merely a guide and can significantly change depending on the needs of your pet. Hopefully, though, it gives you better insight into how much you should prepare for your future dog.

Places to Find Norwegian Elkhound German Shepherd Mix Puppies for Sale and Adoption

German Shepherd Norwegian Elkhound puppy with perky ears front profile
Image credit: kodamanandkalliegorl / Instagram

If you’re now convinced that you want a Norwegian Elkhound German Shepherd mix, the next thing you need to do is find a trusted breeder that can provide you with a pup in good condition.

This can come with challenges, given the prevalence of puppy mills and irresponsible breeders, so make sure to conduct extensive research if you decide to buy this hybrid dog breed.

Below is a list of breeders where you may find a Norwegian Elkhound German Shepherd mix:

  • Greenfield Puppies – If you’re looking for an established source to find good breeders, a trusted platform to go to is Greenfield Puppies. They have been operating for over a decade and take pride in advertising high-quality breeders to help puppies find their forever homes, and you might just find your very own German Elkhound here.
  • NextDayPets – Next Day Pets, located in Annapolis, Maryland, offers breeders, advertisers, and rescuers a medium to post their dogs on the website and connect them to potential fur parents. Aside from its BreedMatch feature, it also has a community-driven forum, resource materials, and lots of dog media submitted by its users, which can help you find your potential German Elkhound.
  • Lancaster Puppies – This pet database also provides a platform for puppies on sale to reach their future homes. It primarily advertises hundreds of puppies in Pennsylvania and nearby states. Filtering may also be done based on size, gender, registration, location, and price, which makes searching for the German Elkhound easier.

Adoption is also a great alternative to buying a pet. It can help save a dog’s life while also saving you money.

If you wish to adopt a Norwegian Elkhound Shepherd mix, here are some sites that you can check out:

  • Canine Pet Rescue – This non-profit rescue organization is committed to rescuing GSD dogs and their mixes from high-kill animal shelters in the southern part of the United States. You might want to scroll through their list of dogs available for adoption to see if they have a German Elkhound.
  • German Shepherd Dog Rescue of Georgia – The GSDRGA does not have a rescue facility and instead utilizes temporary foster homes provided by its volunteers for their rescued GSDs and their mixes. Before you can adopt from them, you need to answer an application form and go through a screening, so make sure you are prepared for this.
  • Dogs Hope German Shepherd & All Breed Rescue – Established in 2000, this rescue from Ohio caters to German Shepherds, their mixes, and all other breeds that need care. They are very critical of the profile of the adopters to ensure that their rescued dogs end up in the right homes.

For more resources on rescue efforts that can possibly house a Norwegian Elkhound German Shepherd mix for adoption, you may contact the breeders of its parent breeds who are associated with the AKC.

Pros and Cons of Owning an Elkhound Shepherd

As with other breeds, it’s normal to have advantages and disadvantages when it comes to owning an Elkhound Shepherd. This is why it’s crucial to be informed and to manage expectations before getting this crossbreed.

Here are some pros of having an Elkhound Shepherd as a pet:

  • Long life span: Elkhound Shepherds are expected to live up to 15 years, which is considerably long for a dog. You’ll make lots of great memories with this breed, provided that you meet its needs.
  • Brave and alert: An Elkhound Shepherd’s watchful nature will assure you that it will always be ready to defend you and your family. 
  • Energetic and active: This hybrid will not shy away from physical activity. If you aim for a healthier lifestyle but have not been successful in finding a workout buddy, an Elkhound Shepherd might be helpful.

Meanwhile, here are some cons to take note of when owning an Elkhound Shepherd:

  • Prone to aggression: It will be unfortunate to own this crossbreed if they are not properly trained from a young age. This is why it’s vital to keep them in line to prevent any hostility to other animals and humans.
  • Barking: Because its parent breeds are both vigilant, this hybrid’s intense alertness may manifest through constant barking, which can be problematic for households with babies and neighbors who prefer a silent environment.
  • Expensive: Be sure you are prepared for the cost of owning this mix because it requires a considerable amount of money, including the costs needed to keep it healthy.

While these are worthy of thinking over, remember that these pros and cons can worsen or improve depending on how someone takes care of his pet.

Frequently Asked Questions

Elkhound Shepherd mix basking in the sun looking sideways
Image credit: pawtasticadventures / Instagram

Are Elkhound Shepherd Mixes Good Dogs?

Elkhound Shepherd mixes are good dogs and can give you both loyalty and guardianship. Though they can be wary of unfamiliar people, training and exposing them to socialization will make this behavior manageable.

Do Norwegian Elkhound German Shepherd Mixes Shed?

Because this crossbreed is double-coated, it is more likely that you’ll find dog hair everywhere during shedding season. One good way to minimize this is by frequent and proper brushing.

Are Norwegian Elkhound German Shepherd Mixes Hypoallergenic?

Both Norwegian Elkhounds and GSDs are not hypoallergenic dogs, so it’s safe to assume that their crossbreed will not be one as well. Those who suffer from allergies should think twice before getting them as pets.

Do Norwegian Elkhound German Shepherd Mixes Bark a Lot?

This hybrid came from lineages that are naturally raised to be cautious, so it’s normal for them to be moderate to highly vocal as well. It’s best to train them, if possible, to avoid excessive barking.

Final Thoughts

Overall, the Norwegian Elkhound German Shepherd mix is a dutiful and caring dog that will fit right in with families who are seasoned dog owners, especially those who have older children.

This crossbreed will fill your life with action and can be demanding to raise, but you will surely be compensated with loyalty and affection in the long run.

You might have to exert more effort than usual to find a cross between a Norwegian Elkhound and a German Shepherd dog, but if you do succeed, don’t forget to train them early on to keep them on their best behavior.

Can you now confidently say that you want to own a Norwegian Elkhound German Shepherd mix? Tell us what you think about the German Elkhound in the comments below!

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