NORWEGIAN ELGHUND WORLDWIDE www.elghund.info
The eNEWs V O L U M E
INSIDE THIS ISSUE: Dear Lena
A New Life in Swe3 den Adventures in Skijoring
Getting Started in Agility
US Presidential Elghund: Weegie
Britain’s First Hunting Elghund?
Hunting in Ohio, USA
Hunting Wild Pigs Bandhund Style
Olav Wallo: US Elkhound History
CH Ravenstone’s Hattie
I S S U E
S P R I N G
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Elghundipedia? I hope you have enjoyed looking at the NEW site and first newsletter. NEW depends on contributions from all of us to increase content — it can become the Wikipedia of elghunds if we contribute in our areas of expertise. With the publishing of this second issue of the eNEWs, all content from the previous newsletter will be not only archived as a newsletter on the NEW site, but each article will also be moved to its respective location on the website for immediate access
by viewers looking for information on a specific topic. If you have an idea for a regular column or can contribute, please email Andrea at email@example.com. We have added a regular column called “Dear Lena” to respond to all manner of elghund related questions that readers may have. These will be combined into an FAQ (frequently asked questions) section on the NEW website. Thank you to all of you that contributed to this newslet-
ter — we have representation from across the globe. From your editor, Andrea Schokker (Highland)
12 year old littermates Kjell and Bjuda celebrate Spring!
Bjuda van het Hoorngeschal
Kjell van het Hoorngeschal
Submitted by owners, Rob & Renate Leijin, Spijkenisse, Netherlands (breeder A. van Setten)
Dear Lena, Dear Lena,
NEWs is proud to announce a new column that will appear each issue – “Dear Lena”. If you have questions on anything Elghund related, we will find an answer for you. Questions can be about conformation (body type, coat, etc.), training, feeding, or health but should be specific to our lovely breed. Please send your inquiries to the following e-mail address: LetterToLena@aol.com
I have often seen the phrase “open coat” – would you please describe what that means?
Dear Reader, Are we talking Elghunder here? If that is the case, there are several descriptors: A) A coat with too few guard hairs to cover and protect the undercoat especially if the undercoat is exceptionally profuse. Result: wooly, exposed undercoat without sufficient protective covering of guard hairs to keep the
undercoat from getting wet in foul weather - rain or snow. B) Guard hairs that are too soft and even if fairly profuse, they do not offer enough protection to the under coat to keep it from getting wet. Many people like these coats because they are easy to 'shape' while blow drying. It is hard to make a very correct coat 'puff up' with either a blow dryer or a 'volumizing ' product. The guard hairs are also mainly responsible for the overall color impression of the dog. Longer dark tips will make the dog look darker
Open coat lacking guard hairs
but if the undercoat is still a clear, silver color, and the legs, underside of tail, butt and harness mark are clear colored and not sooty, there should be no penalty for a darker body color unfortunately, many open coats show the lighter undercoat and judges think therefore that the lighter overall body color is better.
Correct, untrimmed coat
A New Life in Sweden In Sweden the breed is known as the Norsk Älghund, Grå (Gråhund) but I will refer to it as the Elghund in line with NEW. Introduction For more years than I care to remember, my husband and I have visited Scandinavia from England to learn as much as possible about the breed and observe them at shows. We fell in love with the beauty of Norway and its rugged fjord country from very early on. Each visit for our main annual holiday would be planned in order to cover as much ground as possible and almost every time we were forced to cut short our ambitious plans forgetting how much more time is needed for all journeys than we would calculate in the UK. At other times we came for long weekends by air and planned such visits around a show or event. Despite all these visits in excess of 20 years, we have only really seen a portion of Scandinavia but sampled many areas. We would normally make our annual pilgrimage to Elverum where a festival is held at the Norsk Skogsbruks Museum incorporating a dog show held on Prestøya, an island in the middle of the river situated behind the museum and accessed by a wooden bridge. This is an interesting and exciting event with lots to see apart
from the show. The Elghund entries would normally be very substantial but have tailed off over the years since a rival club over the border in Sweden has been holding a 2-day 2certificate show over the same weekend. During these visits we were lucky to meet up with the man who was affectionately known as ‘the father of Elkhounds’, the late Olav Campbell and were fortunate to have a number of interesting conversations with him. Eventually our love of the country led to the purchase of a house overlooking lake Mjøsa. The house was on a hill overlooking the lake and the picture was ever changing as the weather, light and sky were reflected in the water. Although I spent some extended periods at the house, most visits ranged from long weekends to two or three weeks. Twice I spent several months whilst my new puppy acquisitions from Sweden ‘did their time’ before being eligible to enter the UK under the Pet Passport regulations. These puppies were not Elghunds. They were Västgötaspets (Swedish Vallhunds), a native breed of Sweden, and you could say that they were responsible for the permanent move to Sweden! Thanks to the breeder of these two puppies who put me up (or put up with me!) on many visits and joined
in with my search for the perfect property for humans and their animal companions. The property in Norway was put on the market and in February 2007 contracts were completed and the property situated in the middle of the forest yet only an hour’s drive from Göteborg (Gothenburg) was in our ownership. At the end of that year I made the permanent move. “The van was The First Hurdle – Entering Sweden Since the year 2000 when the pilot Pet Travel Scheme came into being, we had been travelling to the Continent and Scandinavia with dogs and, when staying for a long period at the house in Norway, a couple of cats as well. Fortunately, this meant that our 5 dogs and 5 cats were all in possession of their Pet Passport and therefore eligible to travel. We set off in two vehicles, a high top van carrying two strong car cages containing the cats, and our Voyager contained the dogs. The van was filled with all the dog and cat paraphernalia in order that they would have familiar beds, blankets and, in the case of the cats, their various scratching posts and climbing frames plus supplies of their normal food together with feeding bowls, etc. We drove from Leicester to Harwich and boarded the night (con’d on p.4)
filled with all the dog and cat paraphernalia in order that they would have familiar beds, blankets,” …”plus supplies of their normal food together with feeding bowls, etc.”
A New Life in Sweden (con’d) ferry to cross the channel to the Hoek van Holland. There followed a day’s driving to Kiel in Germany where we again boarded a ferry for the night crossing into Gothenburg followed by the short journey from the port to our new home. I had notified Customs that I would be entering Sweden with 10 animals and officers were waiting for us at the dock. We were asked to park up in a particular position whilst the officers took the opportunity to check our fellow passengers on the ferry. We discovered later that this is something they do from time to time as those passengers having the buffet dinner have access to as much beer and wine as they want and the alcohol limits for driving are very low – even the morning after! Eventually they came over to us and we opened up the doors so that they could see all the dogs and cats and they checked their Passports and microchips. Arriving at our new home, the dogs had a walk, one of many that they had had on their way from the UK of course. We put them in the prepared fenced paddock to further stretch their legs and relax whilst we offloaded the dog and cat equipment from the van. Once this was done we put the cats into their newly prepared plush cattery and they investigated the new surroundings before settling into their familiar beds and the dogs followed the same procedure in the house.
The Second Hurdle – The Language It has always been my intention to learn Swedish and so I enrolled in the Government’s scheme for immigrants called SFI and travelled to the town of Trollhättan, every day. Now, this scheme is for immigrants from all over the World. To my surprise, in the 8 months I was at college, I only met one other English person. However, whilst you can apply to attend classes with SFI because you want to learn the language, immigrants who settle in Sweden and rely on the State for their existence must attend or their Social Security is not forthcoming. Now, here comes the rub as far as I am concerned. The classes were 25-30 strong and groups formed of people from like Countries. The problem, many didn’t want to be there, much less learn anything. Throughout lessons, whenever possible these groups would be chatting nineteen to the dozen in their mother tongue disturbing their classmates who wanted to learn. I was becoming disenchanted with SFI but continued until I became ill. Later I enrolled at the Folkuniversitet in Gothenburg and travelled back and forth every day for two months. I’m not fluent yet but I’m working on it! The Third Hurdle – Registration A few months earlier my friend helped me to complete an application to register our UK kennel name, Naraena, with the Swedish Kennel Club/F.C.I. and the same name with the gov-
erning body for the cats called SVERAK/FIFe. I obtained Export Pedigrees from The Kennel Club and Governing Council of the Cat Fancy respectively and the males of both species, had to have a certificate of entirety from the vet. Armed with these documents I began completing the necessary forms for registration. The Vallhunds only needed a change of address as they were born in Sweden, registered to our address in Norway and shown in the UK on a Kennel Club ATC (authority to compete). In due time the new registration papers arrived. In the meantime, I had joined the local Elghund Club covering the area in which I live and this gives you membership of the ‘mother’ club for the breed called the Svenska Älghundklubb. Here I begin to get on my ‘hobby horse’ as I discovered that my dogs are second-class citizens! Now that’s got you wondering. The hunting fraternity are very much in charge of the Elghund breed in Sweden. The Fourth Hurdle – Showing Hunting and Showing are intertwined. To hunt you must prove that your dog in a true example of the breed, attend dog shows and be awarded a minimum of two second grades (in Norway two first grades are required). Having achieved the required gradings you can take hunting trials with your dog and, if the required points are achieved that dog will become a Hunting Champion.
(In Sweden): “Hunting and Showing are intertwined. To hunt you must prove that your dog in a true example of the breed, attend dog shows and be awarded a minimum of two second grades (in Norway two first grades are required).”
(con’d on p.5)
A New Life in Sweden (con’d) There are two types of Hunting Championships in Sweden, the first being Löshund where the dog works off the leash and the second is Ledhund when the dog works on the leash.
“Whilst I would be the first to agree that, as a hunting breed, such ability should not be lost, there are many Countries in which hunting Elg is not a possibility”
There is nothing to stop you showing your dogs in Sweden but you cannot compete for the Certificate unless you are entered in the Jaktklass (hunting class). To qualify for entry in the hunting class the dog must have hunting merits. Furthermore, you cannot claim the title of show champion unless you have attained a hunting championship. There are many rules and this is just a layman’s interpretation of the basics. Maybe you can see why I feel my dogs are secondclass citizens. Whilst I would be the first to agree that, as a hunting breed, such ability should not be lost, there are many Countries in which hunting Elg is not a possibility, England for example. No exception is available for older dogs coming to live in Sweden or, indeed, for people who feel unable to take part in hunting but dearly want to follow their hobby of showing. Also, entry fees are
exactly the same whether you can compete for the certificate or not. I decided that I should find out more about the steps to take in order to help my Elkies on their way in hunting. Reading my local club’s rules I discovered that they should educate dogs and their owners in breed specific activities. I asked how I could be educated about hunting and how to teach my dogs the skills necessary. Back came the answer that there is no education available as it is something handed down from father to son (whoops, there’s another ‘hobby horse’) and I was more or less dismissed. Now, I should mention at this point that many of the people involved in the club are men of mature years and I perceive that they are extremely apprehensive of me. Firstly, I’m a woman and, secondly, I’m English but not yet fluent in Swedish! Whilst all Swedes learn English at school as a matter of course, the less chance you have to use the language the more reluctant you are to try. Of course, there are quite a number of women involved in hunting these days but it is still a male dominated activity.
You only need to watch TV programmes about the subject and you will very rarely see a woman involved! More reading with help from my Swedish friends and I discovered that the first step on the hunting side of things is the Älgspårprov (Elg tracking test). Having summoned up the courage, I blindly made applications for all three dogs. With the editor’s permission, I will tell you all about that next time. Submitted by Wendy Sharman (Naraena)
(Editor’s Note: We look forward to the next installment!)
Adventures in Skijoring
“It is illegal to hunt moose in Alaska with dogs, so skijoring is a way to keep both of us in shape and to give an intelligent dog like Killae a job. ”
I’ve been skijoring for about 20 years, a good 12 of those with a pair of Alaskan Huskies. When my beloved dogs got old and went to the Rainbow Bridge, it took a couple of years before I was ready to get a new dog. In 2004 I got a gray elkhound puppy (Highland Killae). I have read sources that gray elkhounds make good sled dogs and others, including a few from Norway, that they make good IN the sled dogs. Nevertheless, skijoring with Killae during the winter has been quite the adventure. Below I am going to give some tips on how to get started skijoring and some basic training tips. Many of these tips come from the Alaska Skijoring and Pulk Association website (http:// www.alaskaskijoring.org/) of which I am an active member. Also, I am going to interject what has worked for us as Killae’s personality is quite different from my two huskies and from other breeds commonly used for competitive skijoring like pointers and husky-pointer crosses. It is illegal to hunt moose in Alaska with dogs, so skijoring is a way to keep both of us in shape and to give an intelligent dog like Killae a job. And at the end of the day, a tired elkie is a
Photograph by Bud Marschner Lisa and Killae at Race Across the Valley 2009 on ski trails that allow dogs. Killae is anxious to cross the finish line and meet the spectators. happy momma. Probably the most important thing when starting out skijoring is to know how to ski and be somewhat competent and comfortable on your skis. It is important to first practice your ski technique and condition yourself. Most cross-country ski areas offer beginner instruction on classic or skate techniques. It is good to learn technique, balance, and confidence before getting out with your dog. It will definitely make the experience more enjoyable for you as well as your dog. I’ve found also that having good fitting, not necessarily expensive, equipment can also help with technique.
Almost any skis will work for skijoring. Skate skis work well on groomed trails or with fast dogs. I like to use classic skis on narrow un-groomed trails or sometimes to give myself a good workout since I will be slower than my dog. I do not recommend using metaledged skis because of the possibility of serious injury to the dog. For the dog you will need a skijor harness. Elkhounds are short-backed, with a square profile and a standard X-back harness you see on longer-bodied huskies will not fit well. The European Skijor Harness (Guard Harness) fits similar to a standard tracking harness and
Skijoring (con’d) works well for elkhounds. I was also attending the annual Sled Dog Symposium last year in Fairbanks, Alaska, and at the trade fair I purchased a Björkis harness, which is made in Sweden. I really like this harness for skijoring and use this one most of the time. Any type of tracking harness with some padding will work too. I also like to carry booties on cold days of 0oF or colder (-18oC) for Killae in case his paws get cold and if they do, he tends to get very dramatic about it. The skijor belt should be at least three inches wide and most are padded for comfort. Many belts have leg straps that go around the upper thigh to hold the belt in place. A climbing harness will also work. The skijor line which attaches to the belt should be between 7 and 20 feet depending on the number of dogs you have in front of you and what you and your dog are comfortable with. It is good to have bungee material of approximately 15 inches (≈53 cm) or so in length near where the line attaches to the belt to absorb the shock of starting and stopping for both you and your dog(s). Unlike huskies, elkhounds don’t have an innate instinct to pull nor are they built to run and pull with intensity. My Alaskan Huskies never seemed to tire and definitely had the instinct to pull and run. Mushers who run
long-distance races like the Iditarod will run their dogs over 100 miles (161 km) per day. In no way could my elkie do something like this. Pretty much Killae sets the pace and I ski behind to keep up with him. Just like a good bandhund, he keeps a steady tension on the line and a very gentle pull. A hunter would not want to get dragged by their dog if they were tracking a moose or other game during a long day of hunting. That type of behavior would tire both the hunter and their dog. Most skijoring dogs
pull and I know people who skijor with two to three sprint huskies and/or pointers and basically hang on to their skijoring line. I will at least get a workout. Many skijorers and mushers use standard commands to get their dogs to turn right (gee) or left (haw). “Hike”, “Let’s go”, and “okay” are common commands to get your dogs to go forward. “Whoa” is the universally common command to stop and “Easy” is a good command for slowing down. “On By” is commonly used to ask a dog to go
“...Killae sets the pace and I ski behind to keep up with him. Just like a good bandhund, he keeps a steady tension on the line...”
Photograph by Lisa Stuby Killae in harness awaiting a skijoring race (and a cookie for laying down so nicely for a photograph). In this photograph you can see the gear necessary for skijoring.
Skijoring (con’d) straight down the trail where there are choices of direction or to go past something. Many skijorers will ask their dog(s) to “line out”, where they hold the line in front taught. I usually ask Killae to “sit” while I am getting my skis on, etc. instead. What term you use to give your dog a command is not important, as long as you are consistent. For turns, I always say “hey we are going this way” and Killae will give me a glance and go that direction. We do sometimes have our disagreements on which way to go. Once during a three-day race we apparently went past the turnoff. I wanted to go forward, but Killae wanted to turn right and in the end I listened to him and he was right. He has favorite trails and routes and sometimes I let him choose. I started Killae out skijoring by attending a skijoring class and doing a short distance in a fun race. That way Killae could see what it is I wanted him to do and that everyone was smiling and cheering and at the finish line there were yummy cookies. Of course it is VERY important to socialize your dog to be around other dogs and other people. Happily, Killae is a total social butterfly. Especially when starting out, always try to end a skijoring run with the dog wanting to do more. Compared to many former huskies, Killae is much more sensitive to criticism and I do have to be careful of his feelings. I’ve learned that when I fall to be careful about not let-
ting out any explicatives and to be upbeat. I fell once, let out an explicative, and he didn’t want to skijor anymore and wanted to go back to the car. I have Killae trained if a team is coming from behind to jump off of the trail. We often skijor on sprint mushing trails and these dogs are very fast and will often be upon us before I can notice them or react. The other day a small team of German shorthaired pointers came by and Killae, having a few pointer buddies, jumped into the team. I scolded him and now he jumps over for anything, even skiers. So, I’ve learned to be careful with my tone of voice as Killae can really take things to heart for a long time. Praise is important for keeping motivation, especially for an elkhound. It is so important that your dog is having fun. It is also important to know what motivates your dog. I don’t know if this is an elkhound trait, but Killae does get bored, so I have to mix things up, let him select some routes, have cookie breaks (something most competitive skijorers never do), go for a walk or trip to the dog park on some days, etc. One thing I found is that Killae likes running with a buddy and luckily we have a little Siberian husky friend, Bree, he likes to run with. Or, I can go with some friends who are fast skiers. There have been times, for whatever reason, Killae is just not in the mood, but I want to get out and stretch my legs. On those days, especially if I am wearing classic
Photograph by Bud Marschner Wheeee! Killae and I turn a corner during the February 14, 2010 Race Across the Valley. skis, Killae will just run alongside me at a good heel and I’ll talk to him. Pressuring or heaven forbid forcing an elkhound to do anything I’ve found doesn’t work and will have the opposite consequence. Killae and I do fun, noncompetitive skijoring races with our local skijoring club. During February 12-13 2010 we participated in the three-day “Race Across the Valley” which took place at three different locations in and around Fairbanks. Each day we did approximately 4-mile (6.5 km) short courses. We won the “Red Lantern” prize of a bag of his favorite cookies for coming in dead last all three days. If you want to skijor and be competitive, don’t get an elkhound.
“Especially when starting out, always try to end a skijoring run with the dog wanting to do more.”
“Killae does have the instinct to lead and alert me to the presence of moose...he has been good at pointing to moose on the trails...”
I was very proud of Killae as he trotted as fast as his little legs could carry him all three days and really tried to keep up with the longlegged huskies and pointers. Elkhounds also are not the breed of dog that will obey your every command and have to be kept on leash unless in a safe area. So, where there are moose, trapping activity, etc., having Killae securely attached to me is peace of mind. Speaking of moose, before getting into skijoring with Killae, I hadn’t considered what would happen if we encountered a moose. Moose are very large and dangerous animals. I have had some scary encounters with moose in the past and always keep my eyes out for them while on the trails. Especially during spring they seem to get pretty ornery after living through a cold, dark winter with limited food resources. Killae does have the instinct to lead and alert me to the presence of moose. I don’t know how, but he seems to sense my fear of them. I’ve never worked with him or trained him, but he has been good at pointing to moose on the trails and taking me away from them. So far I have not had trouble getting us away from a
Photograph by Bud Marschner A fun afternoon skijoring with our friends Jamie and Bree (Siberian Husky). moose and have found he has been easier to control with moose encounters than my huskies. Of course, Killae has never Submitted by Lisa Stuby, been on a moose hunt and enjoyed the thrill of leading Fairbanks, Alaska his human to one. So, I don’t know if a trained moose hunter would learn the difference between skijoring or hunting in harness. But then again, Killae amazes me with the capability of problem solving.
Getting Started in Agility with Your Elghund
Agility organizations: www.cleanrun.com/ Agility clubs & schools: Australia: www.adaa.com.au/links.htm Canada: www.canadasguidetodogs. com/clubs/ UK: www.agilitynet.com/ US: www.cleanrun.com/ U.S. sources for books & DVDs about agility: www.cleanrun.com/ www.dogwise.com/
Although not usually thought of as an “agility breed” Norwegian Elkhounds are agile, athletic dogs that can be very successful at the sport of agility. What they lack in sheer ground speed they make up for in quickness and their ability to make tight turns. They are intelligent, quick learners and are eager to please, especially when given the right motivation. However, as hunting dogs they have been bred to be independent and to work at a distance from their handler. Training a self-reliant breed like the elkhound means you will need to be patient and emphasize teamwork and motivation from the beginning of your training. Foundation training in agility can start when a dog is a puppy, but full agility training (weaving, full height jumping and contacts, etc.) should not be done until the dog’s growth plates have closed and the dog has good muscle development. Twelve months is often used as a guideline, but some individuals take longer. Agility is a physical sport, so make sure your elkhound is in good shape and not overweight. Good structure is important since your dog will be jumping, climbing, and weaving both in practice and in trials.
Be sure to consult with your vet, though be aware that many vets don’t really know what agility is all about. A little patience at this stage will help your progress in the long run, especially since mental maturity is still in the future at one year of age. In many cases, waiting to compete until your elkhound is 2 -3 years old will likely result in a more confident, even performance in the ring by a dog who is ready for the challenges. There is plenty for you to work on with your young elkhound while s/he is growing up. Since most of agility takes place between the obstacles, training “on the flat” (on the ground, between the obstacles) is a great way to get started. Flatwork includes teaching your dog to move with you, turn into and away from you, run to a target, go around a pole/object, do figure 8’s around jump standards, and even to start training a contact performance on boards on the ground. It also gives you the opportunity to work on some basic obedience skills. Stay, come, down, and sit, as well as focus, self-control, and being able to stay near you when off leash are immensely helpful in agility
class and are necessary if you want to compete. Speaking of classes, look for experienced instructors who use positive motivation and are flexible in their training methods. It can be very helpful if they have knowledge about how various breeds learn instead of just an understanding of the fast, self-motivated dogs that are more common in agility. Good instructors know that the key to developing the best possible working relationship is finding the right motivation for each dog, and sometimes for the handler. Instructors are there to train you to train your dog, so you should feel comfortable working with them. We are fortunate that our breed is usually easily motivated by food and enjoys praise. If you don’t have much experience using food as a reward, find an instructor who can teach you how to use it appropriately. Unlike some of the more popular agility breeds, elkhounds usually need more frequent reinforcement, so when they offer the desired behavior be sure to reward it! (con’d pg 7)
Getting Started in Agility (con’d) Of course most elkhounds don’t instinctively work as closely with humans as sports like agility require, so foundation training should amply reward attention and teamwork. Elkhounds can be fairly sensitive when it comes to formal training and don’t always respond to typical training techniques. As trainers, we need to figure out how to direct our independent and intelligent breed. Elkhounds like to problem-solve and want to please, but most don't like to be drilled and often see little point in repeating exercises, so think about what you want to train before you try it out with your dog. Sniffing, running around, running away, and "stubbornness" indicate that your dog is either stressed, bored, or doesn't understand what you want… and that you aren’t clearly rewarding effort/success. Once you start running short sequences, your elkhound may start barking. We all know that barking is part of being an elkhound. It's a good idea to discourage barking while working,
but take care if you try to eliminate it that you don’t sacrifice willingness to work with you in the process. Note the difference between barking while working and barking at you; the former generally isn’t a problem, but the latter should be addressed – most likely by stepping up your handling, communication skills, and your reward schedule. Whether or not you choose to compete, agility can be a lot of fun for you and your elkhound. Training in agility helps build confidence, maintain a dog's physical condition, and make the bond with our dogs even stronger. You will need to be more thoughtful about your training techniques then many of your classmates, but if it you can be patient and persistent it will be worth the effort. We have an energetic breed that thrives on activity and agility is a great outlet that showcases their versatility… and a fun way to spend time with our dogs. Submitted by Chris Mayer Illinois, USA
The US Presidential Elghund: Hoover and Weegie President Hoover, the 31st President of the United States, was elected in 1928 in a landslide election. The son of a Quaker blacksmith, Hoover achieved international success as “The Great Humanitarian” who fed war torn Europe during and after World War I. During his career it is estimated that he fed a billion people in 57 countries. In gratitude from his friends and the people in Norway, Herbert and Lou (his wife) were presented with Weegie a Norwegian Elkhound (Ronnie av Glitre). It was a small but precious token for what President Hoover did for his friends in Norway and Scandinavia during their need after World War I. The Elkhound was called by the Hoovers ‘Weegie’. Various references to Weegie can also be found under Weejie and Weegee.
pression that put millions of his countrymen out of work in the 1930's. He was a president that knew great acclaim for his many acts of reform, and also faced much criticism for these same breaks with tradition. Today however, elkhound owners in the United States are not only very proud of the pedigree links that can trace their dogs back to the great dogs of Norway, but very pleased that Herbert & Lou Hoover helped bring our much‐loved breed to the attention of all Americans.
The Hoover’s were avid animal lovers having at least 9 dogs, including King Tut, a German Shepard who had free roam of the White House grounds. Weegie was so well liked by the Hoovers that apparently at one time they decided to get two more elkhound pups. In 1935, the New Yorker Magazine reported that Mr. & Mrs. Herbert Hoover entered their Norwegian Elkhound “Weegie” in the pet parade held in Palo Alto’s Spring Festival. Regardless of his many achievements, Hoover remains indelibly linked with the Great De-
Some Accomplishments of President Hoover: Added three million acres of national parks. Added 2.3 million acres in national forests. Cut taxes to favor low income Americans. Instituted a massive program of prison reform and established the Federal Bureau of Prisons.
Created the Veterans Administration and doubled veterans' hospital facilities. Reorganized the Bureau of Indian Affairs to protect Native Americans from exploitation. Proposed a federal Department of Education, as well as $50‐a‐month pensions for Americans over 65. Presided over a pioneering White House Conference on Child Health and Protection that lead to numerous child welfare reforms at the state and local level. Hoover was one of only two American presidents to give away his salary (John F. Kennedy being the other). Anonymously donated $25,000 a year to aid victims of the Depression. Raised $500,000 toward the White House Conference on Child Health and Welfare.
Built Camp Rapidan with $120,000 of his own money.
Completing plans to build the Grand Coulee
Mrs. Hoover and Weegie
Dam and to control flooding along the Mississippi. Signed a treaty with Canada to create the St. Lawrence Waterway. Worked out the engineering of the San Francisco Bay Bridge and used RFC funds to build it. Wrote a Children's Charter calling for the protection of the rights of every child regardless of race, color or situation.
The Hoovers and Weegie
Britain’s First Hunting Elkhound? There has been much interest shown in a number of quarters concerning our now historic foray to the wild and sometimes not very hospitable forests of West Värmland for the annual Älgjakt, Moose hunt, Elk hunt or what ever it is called around the world.
David and Gustaf
Gustaf in harness
After months of planning the day had finally arrived and with the Berlingo crammed to the gunnels with everything including the kitchen sink and the odd Christmas present, we set off for Folkestone. After the short journey through the tunnel we were on French soil; our journey took us through Belgium and into Holland with a short break at Dorothee den Hartog of the Dutch Spitz Club (Scandia) and on again to our overnight halt at Deventer. Day Two: saw us leave Holland and progress through Germany via Bremen and Hamburg and arrive at Kiel for the overnight ferry to Göteborg. Loading started at 5pm and we were soon installed in our cabin. The Stena Line ferry is unique in that special cabins are set aside so pets can travel together with there owners, also an exercise deck is provided. We set sail at 7.30pm, exactly on time, but what else would you expect from our Germanic friends. Our
course would take us through the Danish islands and into the Kattegat. After having eaten our evening meal we sat down to watch Swedish television in our cabin. I can recommend this for all insomniacs — we were soon in the land of nod. Day Three: The coastline of Sweden was visible from the porthole. We docked at 9am and within five minutes we were descending the ramp and looking for the red channel to announce our arrival in Sverige. One problem: no red channel, so being good law abiding citizens we found a friendly policeman. With the Swedish speaking half engaging the afore said constable, we informed him that we had a dog on board. His reply was well, “you have come to Sweden before with him haven’t you?” Reply “no”. “Is he chipped? — Yes. Do you have all the right documentation — Yes. OK, have a nice holiday.” So much for the rabies blood test after 120 days of the injection, and the worming within 11 days of entering Sweden. We didn’t argue and were soon travelling northbound along the E6 “motorway”. Just before Uddevala we took the new road across to Vänersborg and picked up
the 45 again travelling north into the county of Dalsland and along the west shoreline of Sweden’s largest lake, Vänern. Between the towns of Åmal and Säffle we turned off west, another hours driving and we had arrived at “Stordalen”, Marianne’s parent’s farm just outside of Arvika in West Värmland. So after 840 miles driving, one train journey and a boat journey, we had finally arrived. Day’s Four, Five and Six were spent taking long walks in the forest that surrounds Stordalen and generally getting Gustaf used to being on a harness with a fifteen meter tracking line. Day Seven and it is Saturday and a big day in the Arvika social calendar. It’s Arvika Marten (Market), an annual event lasting two days which always falls on the weekend before the start of the Moose hunting. Originally it was a celebration at the end of the harvest but now it’s a large market with stalls on every road in town, everyone goes to town and it’s packed. So it was off to town. Gustaf came as well and it was interesting to see the reaction of people at seeing a Gråhund in townit’s not something that they are used to. Some looked wary and left a wide path.
Britain’s Hunting Elkhound (con’d) There seems to be a perception that Elkhounds are noisy and not friendly, not surprising if Elkhounds are kept in a kennel for 10 months a year and aren’t socialized. We got some nice compliments about Gustaf from a man who said that he use to own Gråhunds but now hunts with Jämthunds, he said that you will not see a Gråhund with Gustaf’s colour now in Sweden, they use to be but not any longer. Day Eight the day before the start of the Moose hunting and Marianne’s brother Lennart had arranged for Gustaf to undertake a Blod Spår test (Blood Tracking test) which was set up by Per-Inge Andersson a jakt prov judge and a member of the adjacent hunting team Speke. We arrived at Per-Inge’s farm at two o’clock and after introductions it was explained that Per-Inge had set out a track in the forest behind his farm using 3dl of moose blood dripped around an approx 500m track which changed direction four times. It was with some trepidation that we set off into the forest, Gustaf had never had any training at tracking but Marianne’s brother was confident saying that it was instinctive, but I wasn’t convinced. We came across a clearing that had a small area that had been dug over, it was explained that this was the start and blood had been dripped on the floor, Gustaf seemed interested and was sniffing around the area but then a bush took his attention. I
was starting to think this may not have been such a good idea but Per-Inge told me what direction the track started so I got Gustaf going in the right direction. We were up and running initially slowly as we tracked, the judge didn’t say anything so we kept going over rocks and through thicket until the judge said we had finished the first leg. I gave Gustaf a longer line and he picked up the track immediately so off in another direction, we were going much quicker know and in what seemed no time the judge informed me we had completed the second leg. Without stopping we were into the third leg which was completed with equal ease. I was beginning to think this tracking lark was a doddle. The fourth and final leg was much more difficult with the terrain changing: we were going down hill over rocks and it was becoming dangerous for the handler with Gustaf trying to pull me. Two dogs back at the farm started barking and Gustaf stopped to listen but we quickly started tracking again. Suddenly we broke through into a clearing and hanging from a tree was a moose leg. We had completed the course and Gustaf’s prize was the leg. I was in shock, but very proud of Gustaf. Per-Inge’s assessment of the test was that we had started slowly but the second and third legs were very good, the fourth leg he said Gustaf had lost concentration when he stopped for the dogs
Layout of the blood tracking test
Gathering the hunting party barking but he also said it maybe because he was getting tired. He said overall he did very well because we had done a full course where as you should start with a shorter course. He also said that with a bit of training Gustaf would be very good. So Marianne’s brother was right that Elkhounds don’t lose their hunting instinct as you have to go back four generations on Gustaf’s pedigree to find a hunting champion. Day Nine: October 8th 2007 an historic day for British born Elkhounds, it was the start of the Moose hunting season and Gustaf became (I believe?) The first British Elkhound ever to participate in a Moose hunt in Scandinavia. It was 7o’clock and members of the Högvalta jaktförening were gathering
“Suddenly we broke thorugh into a clearing and hanging from a trees was a moose leg. We had completed the course and Gustaf’s prize was the leg.”
Britain’s Hunting Elkhound (con’d) at Stordalen to sign on and have their hunting licenses checked. I also had to have a license even though we were not shooting. Once the paperwork had been completed the team captain (Marianne’s brother) explained what they where allowed to shoot — i.e., 3 adults and as many calves as they will, but it is not as simple as that. You can not shot a cow with a calf unless you shoot the calf first and various other combinations. The quota is strictly adhered to as shooting more will result in a large fine. The Högvalta hunting team shoot on 2500 hectare of land (approx 6250 acres) and only land owners are able to shoot. After everyone had been briefed as to the locations for hunting that day, the shooters draw lots for their positions. Then it was all into the cars and off to the first drive of the day. The shooters were positioned in the woods on the edge of the local shooting range; Gustaf and I were sent with the beaters approx half a mile from the shooters so that everyone was in position before the start at 8 o’clock. The beaters were spaced out and we were put on a track that is a known Älg pass (Moose Trail) it is hoped that Gustaf can flush out the moose and beaters will drive them towards the shooters— that’s the theory. There is activity on the radio and precisely on 8 o’clock I am given the go ahead signal. we start off along the track. It is strange feeling knowing that you are walking towards loaded guns, but Gustaf
is enjoying himself and after 5 minutes we hear a gun shot. We carry on walking until we are in amongst the shooters where we stop for a chat. There is much talking on the radios to find out who had shot; it transpired that the shot had been let off at the shooting ground probably by a member of a rival hunting team to scare away the Moose. Apparently there was a cow and calf that passed within 5 meters of Marianne’s brother but they were not allowed to shoot them, so it was back to Stordalen for breakfast before the second shoot. The second drive was to be held on part of Marianne’s father’s land. We started with us entering the woods but Gustaf had picked up the scent of something and we started going in a different direction. In no time we were standing at a salt stone which the hunting team put in the woods for moose and deer to lick on. We got going again and within 100 meters we had found another salt stone so Gustaf was doing something right. I knew what direction we had to go to catch up with the others but we ended up going through a moss swamp which can be very dangerous as some are like quick sand with no bottom and you can disappear. We finally came out on the field next to the farm house, no moose just a roe deer that had run through. Dinner was next on the agenda with grilled sausages from the barbecue. The third and final drive of the day also turned up
nothing, though we did have a very tired dog and a handler that ached in places I had forgotten I had. Day Ten: Again the team started congregating at Stordalen from about 7 o’clock. Gustaf was going to miss the first drive of the day for my safety rather than his; I knew that the terrain would be rocky and I didn’t fancy being pulled off the rocks. So I joined the beaters. The result was the same as the previous day: a cow and calf that they were unable to shoot, and then it was back to Stordalen for breakfast. Do you see a theme here? Stordalen and food. Second drive of the day and it was a long hike from Stordalen to Mjögsjön, a lake about 3km away. Again Gustaf picked up on a scent which seemed to go in the direction we were going then as we came out at the lake we heard a shot. A younger member had shot at a calf and had missed or wounded it, so all hunting was stopped. The shooters had to return to their positions. The father of the young lad who had shot at the calf had gone home to get his Jämthund so that it could find the calf, I wasn’t to upset he went for his dog rather than use Gustaf as I presumed that his dog was more experienced and it is important to find a hit animal, so we went back to Stordalen. Approximately an hour later Marianne’s father returned followed by her brother and after a few expletives explained that
“Forcing our way through some thicket we came acress the shooters standing around a felled moose and boy was it a big one!”
Britain’s Hunting Elkhound (con’d) the Jämthund had not found anything and could not even pick up the track of the moose from where they had been seen. Apparently he could not find anything the year before, and to make matters worse a few of the hunters said that they should have used the Englishman’s dog. I’m glad I wasn’t there. So after this episode there was no more time to hunt that day. It did appear that there were no signs that the calf had been hit.
Resting up after a long day of hunting
That evening there was a phone call from the Police informing the hunting team that a road traffic accident had occurred involving a moose and as it was on their land they must deal with it. Marianne’s father and I drove to the scene of the accident; there was glass everywhere, a pickup with a smashed windscreen a dented door, another car end on in the ditch and a dead moose also in the ditch. As from nowhere members of the hunting team appeared and the moose had been extracted from the ditch put on the back of a trailer and on its way to back to Stordalen to be butchered long before the Police arrived. It was not much different from here. It had been the
pickup that had hit the moose, but another car that was not involved in the accident had stopped to help. The handbrake on the helping car wasn’t too good and had rolled into the ditch. Back at Stordalen the moose was skinned and hung in the barn, so the first moose that Gustaf saw was a road kill. I was feeling in a mischievous mood and persuaded a few hunters to inform the Jämthund owner the next morning that I had gone out with Gustaf that afternoon and had found the moose that had been shot at, and that was what was hanging in the barn. They thought was a good laugh. Day Eleven: was going to be the last day of moose hunting for that week, so it was now or never. The first drive of the day was in an area that I didn’t know and after being shown on a map where the shooters were, we set off. The sun being to my left I knew I was going in the right direction. It is easy to start going off route even if you think you are going right so keeping the sun to the left saved me from getting lost. We reached the shooters without any moose. Back to Stordalen with the beaters,
and the shooters going back to the shooting grounds they had been on the first morning, but we were going to come from a different direction this time. We started off in a chevron with Gustaf at the head I was beginning to think that we had come all this way for nothing. We had picked up a scent and we were going quicker. Gustaf started to bark — he could obviously either smell or hear something close. I knew that we were very close to the shooters and going in the right direction then suddenly there was a shot, Gustaf howled and barked then another shot. As we crossed a gravel road I could see hoof impressions in the loose dirt but there were more than one set; you could see that what ever had passed over the road had been in a hurry. Forcing our way through some thicket we came across the shooters standing around a felled moose and boy was it a big one! It was a full grown male weighing approximately 450kg with a 10 tagare (tip) set of horns, the second shot that we had heard had also produced fruit as the same shooter had downed a calf as well. Just like waiting for
Britain’s Hunting Elkhound (con’d)
Gustaf with the moose
a bus, you wait for ages than two come along together. We were all very happy and Gustaf had done his job, flushing out the moose into the line of fire of the shooters. Now with the easy bit done the hard part was next; extracting the moose from the wood. The calf was easya leg each and drag. The bull moose was not so easy- it needed two/three men per leg and a rope around the neck. We had to drag it over tree stumps and through a ditch to put it on the trailer to return to Stordalen. Everyone made their way back to Stordalen where both moose had to be skinned and hung in the barn. Its all hands to the pump and it took a surprisingly short time for this to be completed. So there are three carcasses hanging in the barn now and there will be meat for everyone. When the carcasses were being attended to a foreleg was removed and given to Gustaf as his reward. I was unsure what he would do but he picked it up in his mouth and took it straight to the long grass and buried it. It was like watching a totally different dog, not a house pet but a dog that was digging deep into his subconscious and acting on instinct. It was truly amazing to see how easily Gustaf had reverted back in to a hunting
dog in the few days we had been in Sweden. He looked so happy there. Maybe it is an environment that all Elkhounds should live in (...just thought I would throw a bit of controversy into the article). We had completed our hunting for this year and with an invitation from the hunting team to come back next year as they said that Gustaf was Hövalta jaktförengings official dog. Who knows? We all may go for good. Day Twelve: was a day of recuperation, packing and last minute visiting with friends. Day Thirteen: After saying goodbye to everyone and Marianne’s father saying that Gustaf could stay as they had become such good friends, we started on our long journey back to England. Our first port of call was at Wendy Sharman’s vet in Lilla Edet for flea tick and worming and pet passport stamping then a quick visit to Wendy’s house in Uppharad and a very miffed…very very miffed half brother of Gustaf. Sorry Michael but it was 34 years in the making. After leaving Wendy’s it was an hours trip down the 45 to Göteborg for the over night ferry to Kiel.
Day Fourteen: We docked at Kiel and disembarked at 9 o’clock. It was going to be a long drive as we were now racing against time since we had to be at Calais within 48 hours of seeing the vet. I had booked a hotel in Ghent, Belgium so a 450 mile drive was lying ahead of us. After numerous stops we finally arrived in Ghent at 6 o’clock. Day Fifteen: Just a two hour drive to Calais, went straight through the pet control and onto the 9.20 am train we arrive at Folkestone at 9 o’clock at we are back in Bushey by 11 o’clock. Now we have had time to reflect on our adventure, it was hard work and a long way to go, but I wouldn’t have changed anything. I know that we are lucky in that Marianne’s family are heavily involved with hunting and I would like to thank them for the opportunity to fulfill an ambition of a life time. It also proved that British Elkhounds can hunt and still have the instinct to do so and I sincerely hope that Barlestone Gustaf’s name will have a place in the annals of British Elkhound history. Submitted by Marianne Poole
Hunting in Ohio, U.S.A. Greeting and Salutations from the hills and hollows of southern Tuscarawas county in Ohio. Another hunting season is in full swing here. The nights have a good chill to them, and if you listen closely you can hear the hounds calling to you: “Come quickly, we have the game treed. Come quickly and see for yourself how well we have done our job. Come quickly so we can show you what the proud descendants of the Viking dogs can do.” I feel fortunate that I can say that the above scene has played out like that time after time for the last twenty some odd years. Some with the elghund and some with our redbones and quite a few nights with both. I coon hunt and squirrel hunt with dogs. For those of you that are not familiar with how you can coon and squirrel hunt with dogs, I'll try and explain. When you first think of coonhunting, long eared, rangy looking dogs that have a bawl mouth is what you think of. I have a couple of those in the kennel right now. BUT you can also use the hardy gray dog that we all love. Here is a list of some of the equipment that you will need: Tracking system which consist of a transmitter (collar that the dog wears) and receiver, light, nylon chaps (would not hunt without them) water
proof boots, compass. You will need a hound that is an independent thinker, with drive and stamina. The reason you want a hound that is an independent thinker is because of the amount of ground that he will have to cover in order to find his quarry. He will be totally on his own, not looking to you for guidance. I have to say this also: Whenever you turn a dog loose to go hunting there is a chance that this is the last time you may see him alive. So many things can happen. Coyotes, cars, coon taking your hound out in the water and drowning him; these are just a few of the things that can happen. Now down to the hunting part. This is going to sound a whole lot easier than it actually is. Drive to your hunting grounds. Get your hound (by hound I mean elghund) out of your vehicle; walk her to the edge of the field or woods. Then reach down and unsnap her from the leash. Then you stand there and wait. What you are waiting for is to hear your dog barking. With the elghund, the barking means that they have the game bayed on the ground or they have the game put up a tree. When season is not in, you go to them. Pet them, praise them, and tell them what a fine job they have done. Then put the lead on them and walk them away from the tree or game, twenty or thirty yards and turn them
loose again. You can also take them back to the vehicle and move to a new woods. If hunting season is in, then you have a choice to make. Harvest the game or leave it to run another day. By the way, if someone tells you that you need to harvest every animal that your dog either trees or bays, you can tell them that they are full of it. This is an old wives tale. What that person is really saying is that they need a better hound. That is the short version of how you coon and squirrel hunt with a dog. Sometimes they have the game fairly close to where you turned loose, and sometimes you will have to go looking for them. I have found them treed as far as two miles or further from where I turned them loose.
“ When I first pulled up to hunt with some fellows around here and Belle jumped out of the truck they got to laughing like a pack of jackals. Saying things like " What are you going to do with little fuzzy there?" But when the night was over she made some bonafide cooners look like young
Belle trees a squirrel
Hunting in Ohio (Conâ€™d) Belle at 8 weeks â€” resting after a hard day of playing Now let me tell you about 'ole Belle. Belle was the first elghund that I had the pleasure of hunting with and for. We (my wife Margit and me) got Belle when she was eight weeks old. A little ball of fur that was full of fire. From day one I knew that I had my hands full. At eight weeks old she was as independent as a hog on ice. She treed her first coon by herself when she was six months old. To this day I can take you to that very tree. When I first pulled up to hunt with some fellows around here and Belle jumped out of the truck they got to laughing like a pack of jackals. Saying things like " What are you going to do with little fuzzy there?" But when the night was over she made some bonafide cooners look like young started dogs. After that hunt everyone just called her fuzzy. One night I turned her loose. She was gone for thirty minutes and then I heard her. I drove down the road to see if I could get closer to her. I couldn't drive any closer. I would hear her then I wouldn't. Things just didn't sound right. When I finally figured out which hollow she was in three hours had passed. I started walking into
her. I walked quite awhile then I could hear her again. She was around twenty yards in front of me, finally after all that walking. She barked twice then shut up. So I headed that way. The next time she barked she was behind me, twenty yards. I turned around and started walking to her. I was a little aggravated that she was playing games with me. The next time she barked she was behind me again. So I turned around, again, this time I whistled. She barked. I thought "ok take little steps in her direction." That is what I did, for ten yards, stopped and whistled. What happened next made me stop real quick. When Belle barked after I whistled she was directly below me... in an old well. One more step and I would have fallen in that well also. The water was about five feet or so from the top of the well. A three-inch thick limb fell into well and was lodged at an angle right at the water level. Belle had her front legs over that limb and her backside was just floating. I was out in the middle of nowhere with ole Belle in the well. I layed down flat on my stomach and started reaching for her. No dice. So I leaned in a little further. No dice again. So I spread myself as far as I could and leaned in from my waist. My fingertips could just barely touch the fur on the back of Belle's neck. I couldn't lean in any further without falling in on top of her. I stretched and grabbed that little bit of fur and pulled. Belle moved a little. Just enough for me to get two
fingers under her collar. I then gave her a good pull up and over to my right out of the well!! I wiggled back from the edge of the well and rolled over. I looked over at her and she was looking at me as if to say, "What took you so long?" Then I looked at my watch. She had been in that well for close to four hours. Thank goodness for that limb that was wedged in there. We both lay beside that well for forty-five minutes. Then walked back to the truck safe and sound. This all took place before I had a tracking system. There are more things that could be told about Belle, my little fuzzy dog. I'll save those for another time. Belle lived to be 15 years old. One heck of a nice hound. One that will always be remembered for her hunting ability, drive, and great personality. I hope that you all have enjoyed this conversation about a hardy gray dog called Belle as much as I have. If you are ever in my neck of the woods stop by for a coon chase. Submitted by Mike Stewart Ohio, USA
Belle trees a coon
Hunting Wild Pigs Bandhund Style
Cali and Steve
Cali with her Wild Pig
Cali knew something was different about this ride in the truck when all around the kennel were rifle cases, rain gear, boots, and coolers. The previous evening she and Steve played "find the pig's foot". Something was odd because Steve used a real pig's foot!!
around, Cali was given the command "Find the Pig". The men began to split up and spread themselves out onto different ridges, meadows, draws, and grass lands in hope the dog would put up some pigs, and one of them might get a good shot.
On the road to the top of Sonoma Mountain she never made a sound. Usually there was the obligatory whine or woof to say "Are we there yet?". Her reward for silence came when the truck pulled over and stopped along side a small stream. Steve opened the door to the kennel, put on her Norwegian hunting harness, and led her outside into a damp, misty, fog shrouded oak and madrone woodland.
Cali worked very light in the harness. She did not pull hard but remained attentive to fresh smells. There were pig, cow, and deer prints all over the ranch. It was obvious there had been lots of activity several days earlier.
Well, we went a third time, and it was very successful. The training paid off as the team got a trophy boar weighing about 225 pounds. In the photos you can see Cali in her imported Norwegian harness. It was fitted out with a small diameter rope which features a woven exterior that prevents weed seeds from collecting in the fabric. It is also silent if it rubs against twigs or branches. The harness size is for the average Grey Norwegian Elghund "Tispeâ€?. The lower fabric is in ballistic nylon while the upper part is leather. The split design allows for easy movement of the front shoulders without putting pressure on the throat or inhibiting breathing.
The leader of the hunt decided to go with Cali and Steve to be sure and look into some hollowed out tree trunks where in years past the pigs sought shelter from wind and rain. Cali nosed up and down many small branches that lay scattered at the entrance to these old bedding areas. She also worked the ground and surrounding grasses to try and age the scent. Her curiosity was intense, steady, and con- Submitted by Steve Hewett stant during the entire California, USA hunt. This hunt was a success in that it built confidence in Cali's abilities to navigate varied terrain and add lots of information into her
"Scent Libraryâ€?. These pictures were taken after three hours in the fields and woods. Notice how clean the Elkhound coat is. The guard hairs shed (pardon the pun) mud, dirt, and assorted grasses and seeds.
Elghund History Reproduced from the AKC Gazette Elkhound Column, February 2010.
“How can learning more about breed history and development from the words of the people who nurtured the Norwegian Elkhound through the 1900’s - two world wars, expansion onto the European and North American continents and the expansion of the sport of dog show exhibition - be harmful to people who want to learn why and how the breed came to its present state on the planet?”
Dear Readers, forgive me if this column revisits a favorite topic of mine - Our Breed History- but so often new owners of Norwegian Elkhounds ask us old timers about why and how the breed came to be what it is today, that a review of the resources available to us all seems to be in order. In a previous column, the value of studying the photos of the famous breed founding dogs was discussed. Let’s now look at the written resources from those who translated their observations and experiences with the working hunting dogs of Norway into the breed standards that we use today to evaluate our dogs. Early interpretations of the breed standard for Norwegian Elkhounds were written by Norwegians Carl Omsted and Harold Platou both avid hunters who guided the development of the breed in the first half of the twentieth century when the idea of dog shows was secondary to the value of the dogs as hunters and family providers. The foundation of
breed information was strengthened by the interpretations of the standard added by hunter-breeders including T. Hemsen, Olav Campbell, Olav Wallo, Jesper Hallingby, Johnny Aarflot, Kitty Heffer and Gerd Berbom. While many of their commentaries are written in Norwegian, translations can be found and their words flesh out the bare bones description provided by the standard. Adding their ideas to our word picture of the ideal dog developed for the purpose of hunting big game in rugged, forested terrain can guide us as breeders and judges who evaluate the
dogs presented to them by breeders. Some of today’s exhibitors who lack the knowledge of the breed history and who are unacquainted with the wisdom of the breed pioneers, have argued that only the words of the standard should be used as a basis for educating judges, breeders and exhibitors. They state that studying interpretations of the standard will cause students of the breed to lose focus. How can learning more about breed history and development from the words of the people who nurtured the Norwegian Elkhound through the 1900’s - two world wars, expansion onto the
Elghund History (con’d) European and North American continents and the expansion of the sport of dog show exhibition - be harmful to people who want to learn why and how the breed came to its present state on the planet? Fortunately there are resources for those who chose to take a broader approach to educating themselves. The standard texts in English are of course the books of Olav Wallo, “The New Complete Norwegian Elkhound” ; and Olav Campbell, “My Sixty Years with Norwegian Elghunds”. The internet also gives us new resources for learning about our dogs. The website of the Norwegian Elkhound Association of America at www.neaa.net informs us of activities of the Association , competition statistics and offers the in depth breed health survey. A new web site with an international flavor and informative current and historic articles is offered by N.E.W.Norwegian Elghunds Worldwide at www.elghund.info/news. Make 2010 the year you treat yourself to expanding your own knowledge of the Norwegian Elkhound. Conversations with each other will ever so much more interesting Submitted by Karen Elvin (Sangrud)
(Editor’s Note: Thank you, Karen for the reference to NEW in the article!)
Olav Wallo: The Norwegian Elkhound in America This article is from the Olav Wallo archive files circa the 1950’s. When the Elkhound first came to America is not definitely known, but the earliest record of the breed in this country apparently is the registration of three Elkhounds in the 1913 American Kennel Club Stud Book: Koik, (Rap II ex Bibbi) whelped March 1909, gray Bimba, (Bamse ex Bibi), whelped June 1910, gray Laila, (Hay ex Binna), whelped July 1910, gray These three imports (bred by O. Hykket, Carl Olmstead, and B. Larsen respectively, all of Oslo, Norway) were owned by Gottlieb Lechner, Weiser, and Idaho. The offspring of these dogs were widely distributed. Some of them went to R. D. Williams, Lexington, Kentucky, who mated them with his own dogs. In his Rookwood Kennels were Norseman, Trondhjem, Svelikin, and others. His stock was acquired by Walter Channing and Bayard Boyesen, both pioneers in Elkhound breeding in America. About 1914, Mrs. William Farquhar, Hempstead, Long Island, raised a litter sired by Mich Mich. Registrations were indeed few; in fact, only twenty-two Elkhounds were registered in the decade following 1912. The Norwegian Bear Dog, Lady Hilda, won first in the Open
Class at Los Angeles in 1913. And the Norwegian Elkhound, Mich Mich, won first in the Open Class at Mineola in 1914. Three years later Gretchen won at the same show. But it was not until 1924 at Westminster that the American public obtained its first impression of the breed, when imported Ch. Grimm of Lifjell, 385780 (Smik ex Lova) was placed fourth in the Miscellaneous Class. At the next two Westminster shows when the Elkhound was exhibited in its own breed classification, Grimm was Best of Breed. This dog and his litter sister, Baldra of Lifjell, 385779, were imported in 1934 by Walter Channing (Brixton Kennels), Dover, Massachusetts. Shortly afterward Baldra had a fine litter sire by Bamse. In 1924 the imports started to arrive. Bayard Boyesen (Vindsval Kennels),Winchester, New Hampshire, imported five Elkhounds from Norway: Ch. Heika av Glitre (dog), 427257 (Dyre av Glitre ex Gaupa av Glitre) Heia (bitch), 430887 (Fin ex Bella II) Bringe av Glitre (bitch), 438477 (Jack ex Senny II) Lydi (bitch), 430888 (Gubben ex Heia) Rugg (dog) 328476 (Smik ex Lova) Heika, carrying fifty percent of
the blood of that famous Norwegian bitch, Senny II, sired five champions, among which were Ch. Vaaben av Vindsval, 840759, and Ch. Vakker av Vindsval, 876081. Best of Breed at Westminster four years in succession, Heika was of ideal type, powerful and compact, with wedge-shaped head, straight short back, and perfect tail carriage. Heia, a massive bitch of tremendous bone and substance, was credited with six bears in one winter. Line bred to Skagnae’s Bamse, she whelped eight puppies by Fin soon after her arrival in this country. Bringe, a daughter of Senny II, was winner of the “Prize of Honor” for 1921. Rugg, a son of that grand old hunter, Smik, was famous in the show ring as well as in big-game hunting in Norway. Baruse, 448514, a brother of Rugg, was imported in 1925 by Walter W. Bagge, Des Plaines, Illinois.
Olav Wallo (con’d) Then there was Finna, 467389, in whelp to Tas, brought over by Leon F. Whitney of dog breeding and feeding fame. On the West Coast, William H. and Cecelia Maxwell, Lakeside, Washington, who imported Senny V, 646103, from Norway, raised and sold many Elkhounds. The first import from England on record was Bon Bjerke, 649806, who came across the Atlantic in 1928. The following year W. F. Holmes of England sent over the first of many Elkhounds bearing the “of the Holm” suffix, Oscar of the Holm, 700962, by Finnegutten. These imports greatly improved the native breeding stock. In addition to those breeders already mentioned there were J. W. Essex, Seattle, Washington; Mrs. Lucas Combs, Lexington, Kentucky; John R. Brainerd, Enfield, Massachusetts; and Winsor Gale, Weston, Massachusetts. The first import from Scotland was Ch. Vingo of Inverailort, 742889, bred by Mrs. C. H. J. Cameron-Head. He sired more than a score of fine Elkhounds, including five Kettle Cove champions, three of which were from imported Goro of the Fjiords. Vingo, by FinnegutTHE
ten, was the first Elkhound to win Best of Breed at Morris and Essex (1933) and Westminster (1932). The good-headed, imported Ch. Binne av Glitre, 747169, repeated the feat and so did imported Ch. Bjonn, 852513. Bjonn, who sired two Lindvangen champions in 1935, had a well proportioned body and excellent tail but is reported to have had a rather narrow skull. From Canada came Bringe av Solskin, A-261159, and from Sweden came Rapp av Gra, A-280725, owned by George H. Earle III, then Governor of Pennsylvania. It was said of Rapp, who was Best of Winners at Westminster in 1938, that he had good substance but that his tail was not tightly curled. Elkhounds were associated with other famous people. For instance, imported Ronnie of Glitre (Skrub av Glitre ex Bringe II av Glitre), bred by T. Hemsen, Norway, was owned by President Hoover. An Elkhound from the Glitre Kennels was a gift to the President from the people of Norway, a small but precious token of what he did for his friends over there in their hour of need. The President transferred one of his Elkhounds, Belleau of Elglia, to Com-
mander C. E. Rosendahl, of the Akron, which was with the fleet in the Pacific. Another Elkhound fancier was the King of Sweden, who owned Ch. Pang. Then, too, there was Lady Halifax, who was the wife of the British ambassador to Washington and the first President of the British Elkhound Society. That famous Alaskan musher, Arthur Walden, owned Elkhounds. He said that pound for pound they would out pull any other dogs, provided that the snow was not too deep for the Elkhound’s short legs. A Maine race driver stated that his best dog was an Elkhound fifteen pounds lighter than the others. The versatility of the breed is further emphasized by the fact that it can serve equally well when hunting small game like pheasants of big game like bear. A dog of Boyesen’s breeding was credited with 72 cougars in two seasons of hunting in Washington. in fact the Elkhound is ideally suited for this work, because he is the result of hundreds of generations of selective breeding by Mother Nature herself. It is not only as a hunter, but also as a guard and house dog that this inhabitant of
Olav Wallo (con’d) the North endears himself to his owners. An appropriate slogan appeared in Dog World, April 1928, as an advertisement of the Norsk Deerhound, “The Great Family Utility Dog of Today.” The Norwegian Elkhound Association of America began informally about 1930. Four years later there were four breeder members and nine other members. Total membership the next year was twenty-five, including an honorary member, none other than Johnny Aarflot, the noted Norwegian breeder of Elkhounds. On May 25, 1935, the Association adopted the British breed standard for the Norwegian Elkhound, which was superseded on November 12, 1935 by the official standard of Norway. The latter was translated into English by Aarflot. Some of the first officers of the Association were: Bayard Boyesen, W. Scott Cluett, Rex Cole, Amory Coolidge, Bradley Martin, A. Wells Peck, Lawrence Litchfield, Jrs., and Thomas H. White. Many of the early Norwegian pedigrees of Elkhounds are somewhat confusing in that there were no less than eight Frams, twenty Fins, Six Finns, and goodness knows how many Bamses. Evidently the bloodlines of Skrub av Glitre, THE
Burmann, and Bjonn were much sought after. At least a dozen progeny of Skrub were imported, of which three became American champions. Eight imports were sired by Burmann and ten by Bjonn. No less than 119 Elkhounds were imported prior to 1940, the high annual importation being twenty dogs in 1933. This, of course, provided a great variety of type and bloodlines for the foundation stock in America. All of the four imports sired by the English dog Krans finished their American championships: Flink of the Holm, Patsy of the Holm, Marko of the Holm, and Fourwinds Brighde. Flink is credited with three Balmacaan champions in one litter from Patsy. George A. Cluett’s Marko sired three Halfred champions from Thomas H. White’s imported Norwegian Champion Saga av Elglia. Saga herself was the dam of six champions. She had acquired fourteen points toward and American championship when she was lost. The famous English sire, Fourwents Frodi, owned by Miss F. J. Essdaile, was represented in the United States by several Fourwents Champions. The Green Meadow Kennels
of W. Scott Cluett and his sisters, Edith and Florence, were situated in the picturesque Green Mountains at Williamstown, Massachusetts. In the late thirties they housed two dozen Elkhounds, including the following seven champions: Ch. Brodd II av Elglia (dog) Ch. Fourwents Brighde (bitch) Ch. Jerv av Elglia (dog) Ch Marka of the Holm (bitch) Ch Marko of the Holm (dog) Ch. Martin of the Hollow (dog) Ch. Sonja av Vindsval (bitch) All were imported except Sonja,. Brodd II and his brother Jerv had moosehunting records in Norway. Brodd II was Best of Breed three times as Westminster and thrice at Morris and Essex. Although he was not a large dog (19 inches at the shoulder), he was very stylish and well proportioned. Apparently he did not sire any champions. Perhaps the greatest producing sire in American Elkhound history was Ch. Martin of the Hollow, bred by Mrs. L.F.G. Powys-Lybbe, England. He produced ten champions, a record for the breed. They were from
Olav Wallo (con’d) seven bitches. Robert P. Koenig, Zionsville, Indiana, bred his Viki of Halfred and his Paal’s Girl of Lindvangen to Martin, which accounted for five Kongsberg champions. From the latter mating came Ch. Olaf av Kongsberg, who was almost as good a producer as his sire; according to the record, Olaf sired nine champions. Not far behind, with eight champions, was Olaf’s half brother Rolf of Lindvangen, bred by Priscilla S. Litchfield, New Canaan, Connecticut. Another son of Martin was Joseph W. Beatman’s Ch. Green Meadow Marco Polo. The Balmacaan Kennels and the Green Meadow Kennels imported two of Martin’s sons from England which became American champions. From this discussion it is evident that Ch. Martin of the Hollow was a prepotent sire and that the foundation stock of the Elkhound in American was greatly influenced by his bloodlines. He was described as a very good, dark-eyed dog with a nice body and feet, a little long, and carrying a bit of brush on his tail. Oliver F. Holden, Chester, Connecticut, imported a number of Elglia dogs from J. Aarflot, Norway. Wade Stevenson brought over Ch. Stavsetras Lars, from Charles Stavseth, Norway. About the same time the Bradley Martins, Westburg, new York, purchased dogs in England and Norway for their Thistleton Kennels, the name of
which was later changed to Balmacaan. As early as 1927, Lawrence Litchfield, Jr., New Canaan, Connecticut, his wife, and his daughters became interested in the breed. He served as Secretary and then as President of the Norwegian Elkhound Association of America for many years. Later he became VicePresident of Alcoa and moved to Pittsburgh. As a breed judge at shows his services have been much in demand. His Lindvangen suffix figures in the pedigrees of more than twenty champions, the best known of which are: Ch. Rolf of Lindvangen (dog) Ch. Paal’s Son av Lindvangen (dog) Ch. Leif of Lindvangen (dog) Ch. Hanna of Lindvangen (bitch) Ch. Linda of Lindvangen (bitch) Ch. Helga of Lindvangen (bitch) Ch. Lova of Lindvangen (bitch) Ch. Thor of Lindvangen (dog) The Kettle Cove Kennels of Amory Coolidge, Magnolia, Massachusetts, supplied breeding stock to many of the kennels starting in the thirties. Among them were the Romsdahl Kennels of Miss Alice O’Connell, Minneapolis, Minnesota. From Ch. Kettle Cove Cora came her Ch. Ragnhilde av Romsdal, the first Elkhound to obtain the CD title in an obedience trial. A kennelmate,
Ch. Rurig av Romsdal CD completed his bench championship in four consecutive shows within nine days and at less than one year of age. Ragnhilde was the dam of four champions, including Miriam Phillips’ and Dorothy Pile’s Ch. Tronheim of Joywood; Ch. Raerta av Romsdal and her Ch. Popover of Stonewall. After judging the Elkhounds at the 1940 Morris and Essex chow, Bayard Boyesen said, “There is in all breeds of animals an undefinable quality that marks out the great from the excellent of merely correct. Ch. Binne av Skromtefjell fairly teems with this quality. It might be said that her tail could be more central and that her hind gait could be a bit wider; but this bitch combines in rare degree perfect type and exquisite finish with the most solid substance.” He is also credited with saying, “The Elkhound is a dog without extremes.” Boyesen had to retire from the dog game because of a heart
Olav Wallo (con’d) ailment, and his Vindsval Kennels, a landmark for twenty years, were dispersed. He died August 7, 1944.Other kennels that were discontinued permanently or temporarily during the war were : Kettle Cove, Green Meadow, Balmacaan, Thistleton, and Seven League. Robert P. Koenig of Kongsberg fame, who became a major in the A.A.F., sold Ch. Olaf av Kongsberg and Ch. Marcia av Kongsberg to Floyd R. and J. Blanch Harding, South Bend, Indiana, who have maintained the strain that started with imported Ch. Martin of the Hollow and imported Ch. Marko of the Hollow. They are the breeders of Ch. Olaf av Kongsberg III. Joseph W. Beatman, later an enthusiastic Secretary of The Norwegian Elkhound Association of America, supervised the training of dogs for the Coast Guard. At first Elkhounds were accepted as Dogs for Defense and some were sent to the Canal Zone, but later only bigger dogs were enlisted. In the postwar period, specialty clubs have been formed in various parts of the Country. We now have the Norwegian Elkhound Association of America, New Jersey, Michigan, Midwest, Minnesota, Puget Sound, Western States and Southern California. Included in their memberships are many new owners and breeders. That there is considerable interest in the breed is evident from the fact that 3,534 Elkhounds were exhibited at 722 shows in the five
years after the war. Active in Norwegian Elkhound circles from 1932 to 1951 were Mr. and Mrs. Thomas H. White, Cleveland Heights, Ohio. White imported in 1936 that famous Norwegian Champion Saga av Elglia, which had thrice won the coveted “prize of Honor” of the Norsk Kennel Klub. This bitch, who possessed a strong hear, heavy bone, tight tail, and beautiful light gray color, was a good producer and is credited with the following six champions: Ch. Brodd av Elglia (dog) Ch Brodd II av Elglia (dog) Ch. Dukka of Halfred (bitch) Ch. Jerv av Elglia (dog) Ch Kari of Halfred (bitch) Ch. Raggan of Halfred (dog) Because White was also interested in the Elkhound as a hunter, he shipped one of his breeding to a Government hunter in Montana; this dog was used for hunting mountain lion in a Grantland Rice “Sportlight.” Another of White’s Halfred dogs at seventeen years of age was donated to Cornell Research Department for feeding experiments on old age dogs. Of latest mention is his English import, Ch. Fourwents Rugg av Aalesund. In his capacity as Secretary of the parent club, Mr. White did much to promote the Elkhound. It was a great shock to the fancy when his private plane crashed in the Potomac River on October 26, 1951, carrying him, his wife, and his daughterin-law to their untimely deaths.
They were on their way to have luncheon with General George Marshall, who had just been given an Elkhound puppy named “Nato” by the high school children of Norway in appreciation for his part in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. A. Wells and Catherine R. Peck, Litchfield, Connecticut, of the internationally know women’s stores, Peck and Peck, imported Ch. Fourwents Paal from England in 1937 to head their Westview Kennels. This splendid dog sired five champions: Ch. Lisa of Pitch Road (bitch) Ch. Paal’s Son of Lindvangen (dog) Ch. Signe of Pitch Road (bitch) Ch. Westview Kit (dog) Ch. Westview Nikolai (dog) Other top dogs imported by the Pecks are: Ch. Carro of Ardmere (dog), Ch. Fourwents Jorga (bitch), Fourwents Jurn (dog), and Ch. Kolltorpets Paff (dog). In 1941 they changed their kennel name to Pitch Road, which today is probably one of the largest Elkhound
Olav Wallo (con’d) breeding establishments in America. They own five champions. Carro, who was voted the outstanding Elkhound for 1951, sired seven champions. He is a big fellow with a very short back, deep chest, and good head. He is now retired to the position of house dog, where his marvelous disposition is much appreciated. Another present-day judge and breeder who started with Elkhounds in the thirties is George G. Brooks, Jr. (Vastene Kennels), Scranton, Pennsylvania. He judge the breed twice at Westminster and once at Morris and Essex. During 1951 and 1952 he was President of the Norwegian Elkhound Association of America. His best known dogs are Ch. Christian of Northway, and Christian of Vadstena II. The latter, who sired four champions, was killed by an automobile at twelve years of age. One of his offspring was Ch. Bjorn Ringessen of Stonewall (dog), sire of five champions, owned by Dr. Margaret Ascher (Ringstead Kennels), Forestville, Connecticut, a veterinary by profession. On her return from a European trip, she brought back Sorvangens Sonja (bitch) which she obtained from Reidar Stomme in Norway. THE
Dr. Ascher donated one of her dogs to Seeing Eye, Inc., as a guide to a blind young woman. She was the breeder of Ch. Bjorgulf Sigurdssen (dog) a great show dog with 9 Group wins and 19 Group placings, owned by Joseph W. Beatman of New York City. The late Evelyn Beatman and Bjorgulf made a lovely exhibit in the show ring, because she was an excellent handler and the dog was a beautiful mover. Other Elkhounds to win Best in the Hound Group prior to 1951 include Ch. Binne av Glitre, Ch. Stavetras Lars, Ch. Thor av Lindvangen, Ch. Tronheim of Joywood, Ch. Vingo of Inverailort, Ch. Gard of Pitch Road, Ch. Thorwald of Kongsberg, Ch. Torfinn av Runefjell, Ch Bjorn Ringessen of Stonewall, Ch. Sigurd av Roughtacres, Ch. Dyre Vaa Trim, Ch. Fraboo, Ch. Gray Rock av Pomfret, Kari’s Bena, Rugg av Runefjell, and Ch. Trond III. One of the foremost winners today is Ch. Trond III, by Ch. Boreas av Eidsvold out of Betze of Elk Acre, whelped April 30, 1948. He has at least sixteen Best in Group wins to his credit and is owned by Norman T. Fuhlrodt, Des Moines, Iowa. Another prominent dog, Ch. Tari’s Haakon CD, a son of
imported Ch. Fourwents Rugg av Aalesund, is owned by Florence H. Palmer (Torvallen Kennels), Solon, Ohio. He went Best of Breed at Westminster three years in succession, at the Chicago International twice, and at Morris and Essex once. His sister, Ch. Tari’s Binnie finished her championship easily. The present Secretary of the parent club is Harold T. Schnurer, of CarolynSchnurer women’s sports clothes fame. He imported Ch. Greta of the Holm, from W. F. Holms, England. His well-know Elkhounds are Ch. Mr. Peck of Pitch Road and Ch. Mrs. Peck of Flag Point. Susan D. Phillips took three of her Pomfret dogs to Morris and Essex in 1950, where they were awarded Best of Breed, Best of Winners, Winners Dog, Reserve Winners Dog and Winners Bitch. Mrs. H. H. Smertenko bred a fine litter of Nordkyn dogs by Ch. Carro of Ardmere. Ch. Solv Prins Narvikwood av Skromtefjell was purchased by Francis L. Wood (Narvikwood Kennels), Bath, New York, from Sven Mjaerum, Norway. Other imports from Norway were Ch. Gaupa av
Olav Wallo (con’d) Tallo (bitch), and Ch. Skrub II av Skromtefjell (dog), brought over by L. J. Yttergaard (Avogaard Kennels), Fallbrook, California, in 1951. Yttergaard, who was born in Norway, spent many years at sea as a master mariner and then retired. When he was read to get a dog there was no questions about the breed; it had to be the National Dog of his native land. Not long afterward, Marth M. Durmer imported Ch Rugg (dog) and Gro av Tallo (bitch) from Norway. This foreign blood, if rightly used, could improve the presentday American strains. Between 1938 and 1955, seventy-eight Elkhounds were awarded the CD (Companion Dog) degree in obedience. Ten obtained CDX (Companion Dog Excellent) but only two received US (Utility Dog). Mrs. Adele G. Koopman, Newton Highland, Massachusetts had four dogs with CD titles, including Ch. Oleff and Ch. Fourwents Moln. A Dog World Award of Canine Distinction was presented to sixteen-year-old Patricia Vincent, Norfolk, Virginia, when her Ch. Ulf’s Madam Helga won her CD degree in three trials (198 Norfolk, 196 Hampton, and 195 ½ Baltimore) in 1952. THE
Dr. R. A. Allen, Adrian, Michigan, received a similar award when is Eric av Upsala won a CD in three shows (197 Jackson, 198 ½ Detroit, and 196 Toledo) in 1954. Eight Romar dogs in the kennels of Robert A. and Margot M. Kemph, Novato, California, have obedience titles and six have bench championships. Another western breeder interested in obedience work is Mrs. Borger O. Lien (Northgate Kennels), Seattle, Washington. One of her Elkhounds established somewhat of a record in another category when she had a litter of fourteen puppies, Mr. and Mrs. Wendell Hatch, also of Seattle, own Ch. Borgny av Runefjell CD, who won the degree in three shows. Miriam Phillips (Joywood Kennels), Wayzata, Minnesota, owns several obedience trial winners, including Ch. Tronheim of Joywood and Jens of Joywood. Her dogs are also good hunters, for they caught so much game (mink and raccoons) that she had to buy a State hunting license. Among those who have obedience trial dogs, one finds represented such Elkhound kennels as Dal-Gard, Willow Springs, Narvikwood, Gra-
Val, Pomfret, Dyre Vaa, Offy, and the Roughacres. The Kviltorp Kennels of Mrs. Robert J. Stuwe, Centerline, Michigan, were named after her father’s home in Trondheim, Norway, high up on a hill overlooking the city. The Stuwes, who bred Pomeranians in the 1930’s, now have Elkhounds, Ch. Martin av Kviltorp and Ch. Torvald av Kviltorp. Barbara Thayer Hall, of Stonewall fame, has owned Elkhounds since 1934. Of the dozen Stonewall champions, the greatest was probably Ch. Boreas of Stonewall, who died in 1954 at fifteen years of age. He was a large, majestic, medium gray dog with a marvelous disposition, and was noted for being a good produced, the sire of four champions. About 1941, Mrs. Thayer showed some red Elkhounds at Westminster. The Thorslands, of Ithaca, New York, imported several Elkhounds, including Camla of Ardmere from Scotland; Ch. Listuas Bamsi from Norway; and Ch. Skall-Trixi from Sweden. Trixi was the dam of four Dyre Vaa champions. Mrs. Nellie B. Wood Hilsmier, Fort Wayne, Indiana, first owned Chows, but now
Olav Wallo (con’d) is well known for fifteen Borzoi and Elkhound champions in her Woodhill Kennels. Her Ch. Nordic av Woodhill and Ch. Vika av Woodhill were the first international champion Elkhounds. Mrs. Hilsmier also owns a sister to Cika, Ch. Ola av Zimmies, who holds the record as the producing dam of ten champions: Ch. Aasta av Woodhill (bitch) Ch. Cinda av Woodhill (bitch) Ch. Dorn av Woodhill (dog) Ch. Fraboo (dog) Ch. Haakan of Woodhill (dog) Ch. Kaaran of Woodhill (bitch) Ch Lief of Woodhill (dog) Ch. Linda av Woodhill (bitch) Ch. Noke av Woodhill (dog) Ch. Woody of Woodhill (dog) Seven of those listed above were from the half brother and sister matings of Ola to Nordic and the other three were from the mating of Ola to her grandson, Ch. Rugg av Woodhill. These dogs are line bred to the English import Ch. Martin of the Hollow through Ch. Olaf av Kongsberg and Ch. Marcia av Kongsbert. Luther M. Tollefsrud (Rokheim Kennels), Minneapolis, Minnesota, a director of the parent club, started with Elkhounds in 1948. He obtained Ch. Rokk av Runefjell (Trygg av Skromtefjell ex Ch. Stella) from Olav Wallo, and Ch. Precilla av Jarlsberg (Ch. Steig av Jarlsberg ex Runa
av Jarlsberg) from Earl Brunsvold. Both dogs, which were imported inutero, won top honors at the Minnesota specialty shows in 1954 and 1955. Rokk finished his championship at the Chicago International Show in 1953. This chapter would not be complete if it did not include a paragraph about the Runefjell Kennels. As a young man in Norway, Olav Wallo was first lured by the charm of the Elkhound as a companion at home and on the hunt. So it is only natural that a dog of this breed now represents to him a little bit of the homeland with its fjords, mountains, and forests. Upon his return from a visit to Norway in 1946, Olav brought back Ch. Stella, in whelp to Trygg av Skromtefjell. In 1951 he imported Ch. Fjeldheims Tito, the only selected stud dog to come out of Norway in recent years. Tito, who is well recognized for his hunting ability, also has impressive show wins. In 1949 he won top honor prized offered by the Norsk Elghundklub and by the Norsk Kennel Klub. Tito finished his American championship in three five-point shows. J. Aarflot had this to say about Tito when he judge him at Morris and Essex in 1951: “Fjeldheims Tito has the best and shortest back of all the Elkhounds I have seen at this show. He is on the small side, but is of very good type. He
moves very well and is a very square dog. His head is a good one for his size and he has excellent eyes and ears. His coat is good and his tail is perfect.” By crossing the bloodlines of Ch. Tito with those of Ch. Stella, Wallo has produced the following champions: Ch. Borghild av Runefjell (bitch) Ch. Borgny av Runefjell (bitch) Ch. Fjeldheim Tito II av Runefjell (dog) Ch. Ringbu av Runefjell (dog) Ch. Rokk av Runefjell (dog) Ch. Sigred av Runefjell (bitch) Ch. Solveig av Runefjell (bitch) Ch. Fanarok av Runefjell (dog) Ch. Freia av Runefjell (bitch) Ch. Isabell av Runefjell (bitch) Tito, Sigred, Borghill, and Tito II finished their championships in three five-point shows, which is a remarkable record. As a token of his outstanding work with the Elkhounds, Wallo was presented a “Diplom” from the Norsk Elghundklub on April 29, 1950, by Consul General Sigveland. Reproduced with permission from the Olav Wallo archive files circa the 1950’s.
Remembering… Ch Ravenstone Hattie My parents, Fred and Doris Pickup had already had several Norwegian Elkhounds and owned the well known Ch Llychlyn Callan, sire of 9 Champions when they bought Hattie (known as Heidi). Fred went to see the litter and immediately picked out Hattie who had been earmarked by the breeder for herself. Realizing that Fred would probably show her more than she would, she agreed to let her go. Making it very clear on the journey home that she needed to “go” right now, this tiny 8 week old puppy started the way she meant to go on and ruled the Pickup household with a paw of iron. Hattie adored showing and was always first to the car when the show bags came out. She simply sparkled in the ring, rarely putting a foot wrong. She was one of the few dogs that would stack herself immediately and totally naturally. The Norderhove kennel is not a big one, all the dogs being first and foremost, pets, house dogs and family. Hattie was bred only once to their own Ch Llychlyn Callan. From that litter of 11; from which 9 survived, she produced 2 Champions and 3 CC winners which produced Cham-
pions themselves. I vividly remember Heidi going out to potty then rushing back in, jumping on the sofa and with one heave producing her first pup. She totally shunned the whelping box. We kept and campaigned her daughter Ch Vanja of Norderhove. Hattie won her first CC in 1981 at the age of 13 months and within 2 years had taken the breed record. She proceeded to win 44 CCs (20 with BOB), and 27 Res CCs; her final CC coming at the age of 8 years. One BIS all breeds, 2 Hound Groups and 1 Res Hound Group. She was a finalist for the Pedigree Petfoods Contest of Champions and appeared on TV in the Animal Road Show.
Ch Ravenstone Hattie aka “Heidi” (1980– 1992) However, more often she could be seen, happily covered in mud hunting rabbits and mice as she and her owners trudged up the Pennine Hills. Diana Hudson (Norderhove)
Heidi’s show ring accomplishments: UK Elkhound Breed Record Holder (both sexes) 1982-2009 44 CCs, 27 res CCs, BIS All Breeds Southern Counties Ch Show 1982. Hound Group winner Birmingham National 1986 Res Hound Group Border Union 1982 Res BIS Norwegian Elkhound Club of GB Ch Show1981 Res BIS Elkhound Association of Scotland Ch Show 1981 BIS Elkhound Association of Scotland Ch Show 1982 Res BIS Elkhound Association of Scotland Ch Show 1987 Finalist Contest of Champions 1982
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