Norwegian Elkhound Association of America

What To Look For in a Breeder

Buy your Elkhound puppy from a responsible and well-respected breeder. This cannot be stressed enough. Responsible breeders are concerned with the betterment of the Norwegian Elkhound. To begin with, breeders carefully select breeding stock to emphasize desirable attributes and minimize faults in their puppies. For example, they work on breeding out hereditary diseases such as hip dysplasia, blindness and renal disease.

You should look for breeders who are knowledgeable about the Norwegian Elkhound and have time to properly socialize their puppies. Begin by making arrangements to contact and visit as many qualified breeders as possible. Once you select a breeder, screen the breeder. Examine the premises to make sure the Elkhounds appear well cared for. Ask to see at least one of the parents (the dam or the sire) of your puppy. Are the Elkhounds friendly and outgoing or do they shy away? Elkhound puppies should be clean, well fed, lively and friendly without any visible signs of illness. Also ask the breeder about any health certifications they have on their breeding stock (OFA, CERF, for example) and if they provide any health guarantees with the puppy.

The responsible breeder will be screening you too, looking for the best home for each puppy. For example, do you have a fenced yard? Why did you select a Norwegian Elkhound? Have you owned a dog before? The breeder will ask many questions to ensure you will be a responsible pet owner.

Your new Elkhound puppy will be a member of your family for his lifetime so you'll want to make a wise investment. Most breeders expect a call, especially if the dog has a crisis at any stage in its life, so they can help you understand and cope with problems. Ask several breeders about the cost of a puppy to get an estimate of the market rate.