NORWEGIAN ELGHUND WORLDWIDE www.elghund.info
The eNEWs V O L U M E
I S S U E
W I N T E R
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NEW Website Debut! INSIDE THIS ISSUE: Dog Breeders: Sign of the Times
What Old Photos Tell Us
Health Focus: OFA 4
Scottish Ch Show Report
In the News
Welcome to the first issue of the The eNEWs! The newsletter will be published electronically 4 times a year and will be free for download on the NEW website: www.elghund.info. NEW (Norwegian Elghund Worldwide) is a group with the mission of preserving the elghund breed through education and contributions to elkhound health research. There is no political structure (board of directors, officers, etc) and NEW is not a club— the goal is to have an outlet for information. Contributors to the newsletter and website are very welcome!
Articles will typically be debuted in the eNews, then will be moved to the appropriate section of the website for future use as reference materials. The more contributors we have from different backgrounds, the more information NEW can provide. Ads will be included in the The eNEWs for all of your brags. Money from advertising will be placed in a fund for elghund health research. Submission and ad deadlines and rates are on the back page. Publication dates (and deadlines) are firm so that we can get out information in a reliable and timely manner.
Elghund or Elkhound? You may have noticed the choice of using the Norwegian name elghund rather than the typical name used in the United States of elkhound. NEW is based in the US, but is intended to be a worldwide source for information sharing. Since the breed is called elghund in the homeland of Norway, NEW has chosen to use the name elghund. Elghund (moosedog) is also less confusing than “elk-hound” since the breed is known for hunting moose and not elk.
Photo of the Month NSJ(B)Ch Trym owned by Irene Sørum One of the main page features on the website will be the photo of the month. Submit your photo to firstname.lastname@example.org. No show photos for this section, please — just fun elkhound photos.
Animal Welfare and Animal Rights: an important distinction
Animal Welfare Animal Welfare, as defined by the American Veterinary Medical Association, is a human responsibility that encompasses all aspects of animal well-being, including proper housing, management, disease prevention and treatment, responsible care, humane handling, and, when necessary, humane euthansia. Animal welfare proponents: seek to improve the treatment and well-being of animals. believe that humans can interact with animals in entertainment, industry, sport and recreation, and industry, but that the interaction should include provisions for the proper care and management for all animals involved. support self-regulation of animal sports, including rodeo, polo, threeday eventing, FFA competitions, horse racing, field trials and endurance riding. utilize scientific evidence to base animal care and handling guidelines.
Animal Rights Animal rights proponents:
a philosophical view that animals have rights similar or the same as humans
to ban all use of animals by humans
laws and regulations that would prohibit rodeos, horse racing, circuses, hunting, life-saving medical research using animals, raising of livestock for food, petting zoos, marine parks , breeding of purebred pets and any use of animals for industry, entertainment, sport or recreation
believe that violence, misinformation and publicity stunts are valid uses of funding donated to their tax-exempt organizations for the purpose of helping animals
Dog Breeders: Sign of the Times There is no doubt that America has changed in the past decade regarding animal husbandry issues. (No) thanks to Animal Radical (AR) groups like the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), the words "dog breeder" are now another "4-letter word". It has become a sin to "buy from a breeder" rather than "adopt from a shelter". One is considered "mean, cruel and abusive" if a dog is made to live outside. When did this happen? Why have we allowed these Animal Radicals to dictate to us what is "bad"? And yes, we DID allow this to happen every time a donation was made to the HSUS, PETA and their ilk. We DID allow this change in public perception every time we remained silent when a fellow dog breeder was being raked across the coals for breeding their dogs and heaven forbid! For selling their puppies! On a weekly basis, I read story after story of dog breeders living in fear and being harassed. For what, you ask? Simply because they choose to breed their dogs, or they own "more" dogs than anyone could possibly "ever" care for. According to whose judgment or to what standards? Why is it automatically "assumed" that anyone who owns/breeds more than "insert number here" of dogs is "bad"/ neglectful/abusive? (I refuse to use the "P.M" word, though
that is what people are often called when one owns "more dogs"/"breeds more litters" than anyone "should") Dog owners and breeders are being forced to go into hiding in Los Angeles, Louisville, KY, and points in between due to overzealous animal control and dogooder Animal Radical sympathizers. Makes me almost wish we could return to a time when all we had to fear from the 'net was stalkers... Responsible breeders have started removing their addresses, phone numbers and other information that would identify them from their websites. This is a double edged sword: people are forced to do this in an effort to protect themselves, but it makes it even harder for potential puppy buyers. Wonder where those puppy buyers end up going if they can't find a breeder in their area? In today's world with the power of the internet, information is a click away: any information, including where you live, your phone number, aerial photos of YOUR house and property. Information that is readily available to friends and foes alike. Information that the Animal Radicals can easily access and use to find YOU and YOUR dogs. It doesn't matter that your house and dogs and property are immaculately kept. It doesn't matter if all of your ducks are in a row with paperwork about your dogs and breeding program. All it takes is one
whacked out Animal Radical that doesn't like the fact that your "poor doggies" are "forced" to breed, or are kept in a crate, or that they like to play in mud and you haven't had a chance to give them a bath yet. Are we, as a society, truly THAT weak that we have allowed groups such as the HSUS dictate to us what is right or wrong? Remember folks: this is still the United States of America, where the great Constitution and the Bill of Rights guarantee us the RIGHT TO OWN PROPERTY. Too many people have forgotten that fact and are willing to throw away the RIGHTS that many, many soldiers have fought and died for. And for what? Someone "else's" ideas of how many dogs I can own or breed or sell? Or when or whether I should spay/neuter them? The times have changed, and as long as we allow the Animal Radical groups such as the HSUS to dictate to us how we should/should not breed/own, etc, our dogs, it will only get worse. We can change the tide: just stand up and say, "ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!" Submitted by (Elvbend)
What Old Photos Tell Us
How often do you think about the ‘old dogs’ - the dogs that provided the inspiration for the breeders, hunters, and exhibitors in the early days of dogs shows - the late 1800s and early 1900s? The standard written in those early days was a word picture based on the dogs in Norway that had proven themselves as hunters and producers of hunters. The men who wrote the standards worked with these dogs and built the word description of the Norsk Elghund that is little changed to this day - clarified over the years for those less familiar with the working dog but still representing the characteristics that made these dogs so important to their owners lives. Yes, the surviving snapshots of the dogs and bitches that formed the firm foundation of the Norwegian Elkhound breed are grainy, gray, and unposed. But that is the result of photographic technology limitations of that time period. Photo technology has come a long way since then but do the sharp, digital, colorful, photoshopped pictures of today teach us any more than those old black and white snapshots of the dogs that were the blueprint of our breed? A criticism heard with some frequency from some of our own breed fanciers is that the photos of those old dogs are not of the quality that should be included in our
educational programs for judges and the public. Many of these photos are available on the NEAA Web site (www.neaa.net) or in the breed history books by Olav Wallo, “The New Complete Norwegian Elkhound”, and Olav Campbell, “My 60 Years With Norwegian Elghunds”. Take a look. Look past the grainy black and white photo technology and truly SEE the dogs. Look past the working dog coats ungroomed when judged by today’s artificial foo-foo dog trimming and texturizing. Look past the lack of show stance set up and baiting and see that these dogs stood four square without the practiced artifice of a handler’s slight of hand. These are the working ancestors of our dogs now probably some twenty to thirty dog generations behind the dogs of today but still represent the correct essentials of type and structure that our standard describes. All you have to do is look at those photos and see it in light of the standard’s word picture.
You will see “Moderate Angulation” fore and aft. Shoulder blades and upper arms of equal operative length balanced in the rear by femur to tibia equality . You will see Body proportions “square in profile and close coupled.” Height at the withers equal to body length from chest to rump with a short loin giving strength and capable of efficient transmission of propulsive power from the rear to the shock absorbing strength of the front assembly. You will see a balance of the arch of the tail curled over the centerline of the back and the ‘good rising’ of the neck in front finished with a strong, noble head. Submitted by Karen Elvin (Sangrud) Reprinted from the August AKC Gazette
“Take a look. Look past the grainy black and white photo technology and truly SEE the dogs.”
Health Focus: OFA The Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA: www.offa.org) was founded over 40 years ago. The OFA collates and disseminates information concerning orthopedic and genetic diseases of animals.
Severe cases will exhibit bone changes in the joint. As technology continues to develop, 3-D radiographic evaluations will become more commonplace with electronic records the norm.
When elghund breeders refer to OFA, they typically mean a hip xray evaluation. OFA also manages evaluation and databases for elbows, thyroid, and a number of other health related areas. The dogs reported in the normal range include ratings of excellent, good, and fair. Abnormal results are dogs that have been rated as borderline or dysplastic (mild, moderate, severe).
Preliminary x-rays can be done on young dogs, but a dog must be at least 24 months of age to receive an OFA rating. The current hip statistics for elkhounds from OFA are 78.8% normal and 19.6% abnormal. This means that nearly 1 in 5 elkhounds are rated in the borderline or dysplastic category. Keeping in mind that those dog owners taking the time and money for an OFA evaluation are likely to be breeders or those with show/ performance dogs, these numbers are something to ponder. It’s up to our breeders to keep only dogs with healthy hips (verified by x-ray) in the breeding pool. A comparison between OFA and other ratings such as PennHip is a discussion for another day.
As a breeder sending off an OFA xray, it sometimes seems that the process has a touch of randomness to it (at least in terms of guessing the OFA rating). A good x-ray also plays a big role — there are many tales from breeders of the same dog with different rating scores b a sed on d i ff er en t x -ra ys (sometimes varying between an abnormal and normal reading). OFA uses an average from the readings from 3 radiologists to try to reduce the effect of a single bias. Ratings aside, a good hip x-ray is an important part of a breeder’s toolbox. ALL breeding stock should be x-rayed and breeders need to educate themselves about how to interpret x-rays. The OFA site has quite a bit of information, including pictures and sketches of the basis for the various ratings. A tight joint with nearly complete coverage of the ball by the socket is optimal and is needed to acquire the highest ratings. A dysplastic dog will have subluxation with a shallow socket that does not cover the ball well.
OFA Dysplastic (bitch)
The OFA is the standard in the US & Canada — please share your experiences with us from other countries! Submitted by Andrea Schokker (Highland)
Contrary to popular favoring the “frog leg” this pregnant mom tummy) are not more dysplasia.
myth, dogs position (like cooling her prone to hip
OFA GOOD (bitch)
Regular Features We plan to have a regular feature on legislation to keep you up to date in the latest on that front. In addition, we’ll plan to have regular features on training, health, and articles from across the globe. Just email your ideas and articles to email@example.com. We will debut articles in the eNEWS and then prior to publishing the next issue will put the articles from the past issue onto the appropriate location on www.elghund.info.
We want to hear from you! Our new web page/newsletter is intended for Norwegian Elghund owners around the world. We welcome articles about Elghunds in your part of the world.
Elghund Outreach On September 19, 2009, members of the Norwegian Elkhound Association of Minnesota took part in the ‘Responsible Dog Owner’s Day’ gala held at the Washington County Fair Grounds and sponsored by the American Kennel Club and St. Croix Valley Kennel Club. Over thirty clubs and other dog organizations set up booths and met the crowds of interested people who came to see different breeds and ‘talk dogs’ with the representatives of the local area breed clubs.
Alphie in full regalia
Aksel and Kim showing table manners
Giving the public opportunities to see well behaved dogs of different breeds and to talk with those who have experience with the training, care and problems associated with dogs, can be a major positive influence in educating the public and helping people realize that dogs and all pets are not
disposable items but creatures that need our lifelong care and commitment. Carol Slattery, Kim Chisholm, Mallory Golladay and Karen Elvin produced a stellar display for the NEAM including a spectacular set of moose antlers, poster picture of an Elkhound celebrity, a running slide show featuring Norwe-
gian Elkhounds at work and play and breed information hand outs. Of course the booth atmosphere was enhanced by the presence of two five month old puppies, Oscar and Aksel and the dowager princess, Alphie. If you get a chance to participate in such an event in your area, Just DO IT!
Carol holding down the fort
Norwegian Elkhound Association of Scotland Championship Show: Critique and Results 17 October, 2009
Our home for 3 days: Not your usual dog show hotel!
“Chairman Drew Littlejohn and wife Susan, the Secretary went out of their way to make us feel at home and shuttled us where we needed to be, showing us excellent hospitality all along the way. This coupled with the excellent stewarding by Ian Lees and Tommy Pringle made my assignment both easy and pleasant.” Margaret K. Mott (Kamgaard)
I would like to first thank the NEAS for their very kind invitation to come and judge their 35th Championship show. Having attended this show four years prior, I knew of their high standard of organization and hospitality and this trip did not disappoint. Chairman Drew Littlejohn and wife Susan, the Secretary went out of their way to make us feel at home and shuttled us where we needed to be, showing us excellent hospitality all along the way. This coupled with the excellent stewarding by Ian Lees and Tommy Pringle made my assignment both easy and pleasant. I was told that the entry was a good one and it seems that overall, Elkhound entries on both sides of the pond are down, due in part (I feel) to many of the older, more established kennels having run their course along with the general state of the economy which keeps us all from doing as many things as we would like. While nobody wants our breed to be ultra popular, we must be vigilant that it does not slip below certain levels with minimal gene pools to draw from. It was pointed out to me later at the dinner that the lack of lower class entries was due to few
puppies whelped in the past year and this is not necessarily a good sign. I felt that the dogs presented to me were of good quality overall with the plusses outweighing the minuses. Most were of good type, although I did find several males to be on the large and cumbersome side and this does detract from what a functioning Elkhound is all about. As on both sides of the pond, fronts are troublesome and there were several youngsters not displaying sufficient keel along with mature specimens being too wide. Individuals with correct shoulder layback and overall balance were rewarded. I was pleased to find that all but one individual presented good bites with no missing premolars. Eye colour was a bit of a mixed bag, running the gamut from beautiful dark black to rather light and roundish in shape which does spoil the typical Elkhound expression. Treasure a good dark eye of proper shape which is well set into the head…they can be lost all too easily. Results & Critiques Yearling Dog (1) 1st – Hunter’s Huistenbosch Eirik - a happy and biggish male
approaching a year and a half. Would not want him to grow any more. Dark masked, his eye colour was lighter than I prefer and his front at this point has some developing to do as he tends to toe out. Movement needs to tighten. Novice Dog (1) 1st – Hunter’s Huistenbosch Eirik - as above Post Graduate Dog (2, 1 ab) 1st – Cree’s Shundelko Shay Given - More mature 3 year old with overall correct outline and proportions. He is quite short coupled and has a beautiful colour and good tail. His front does tend to toe out and his head could use more fill. Minor Limit Dog (2, 1 ab) 1st – McHugh’s Naraena Knut av Conrick - Big dog approaching the limit of acceptable size. At 3 years of age, his head is mature and has good fill and good expression although eyes could be a tad darker. His loin is long and tail could be higher set and both of these give him the impression of being lanky. Slightly cowhocked. Limit Dog (5, 1 ab) 1st – Middleton’s Ithim Agus Suim SHCM - This dog presents a correct and balanced outline and stands foresquare.. (con’d pg 7)
Scottish Championship (continued) He has a tight body overall and well– muscled loin. His head has the correct proportions when viewed from overhead, however from the side, he has a very abrupt stop creating too much of a rounded look to the backskull with slightly rounded eyes. Movement was good and he has a beautiful silver colour. 2nd – Gilbert’s Barlestone Ingolf Another dog which stood foresquare with good colour, but this individual did not possess the hardness of body of the first dog. His front was on the wide side and head was not masculine enough although he has a good eye of dark colour. 3rd – Cree’s Ravenstone Toast Master Open Dog (5) 1st – Middleton’s Ch & Ir Ch. Kestos I Spy At Graythor JW,SHCM A very “standard” dog who at age 6 is in the absolute height of maturity. He was presented in beautiful hard condition and (like his sire!) never lets his handler down. He inadvertently stepped on a tack on the down and back, but after removal and a few rubs, he was back to his old self. I love his tight coat and black eyes. To be critical, I would want for his front not to move as wide as it does and for his feet to be better. RCC and Reserve Best in Show. 2nd – Maun’s Bowerhinton Bear Necessity - Pushed the first dog in this class very hard. I felt that overall his coat and colour were better than the victor but his loin is not as short and he gives the appearance of being rather long cast in body. He was one of the few dogs who stood with his feet well under him in the right places. Nice head and muzzle. He needs time to mature into his frame but time is on
his side. 3rd – Nichols’s Ch Barlestone JanIvar Veteran Dog (5, 1 ab) 1st – McHugh’s Ch. Kinderhorn Dain of Conrick, JW SJCM - Another “standard” dog built very much from the same mould as the RCC dog. This dog was presented in very hard condition for a Veteran. Solid body, excellent coupling, good rear with drive, colour, coat and lovely dark eyes. He had without a doubt one of the best front assemblies on the day and came at me clean as a whistle. This was the “winning factor” in awarding him the Dog CC, Best in Show, and Best Veteran in Show.
McHugh’s Ch. Kinderhorn Dain of Conrick JW SJCM Best in Show, Dog CC, Best Veteran in Show
2nd – Gilbert’s Hynord Smarty Pants - This dog presents an overall nice picture from the side and has an excellent colour. Wide in front and a bit plain of face, he could do with a little more bone to balance him completely. 3rd – Gray’s Barbelka Dziarski Minor Puppy Bitch (2, 1 ab) 1st – Gray’s Grasilva Gwendoline Mary - A happy, happy youngster who really enjoyed her day out. As the classes went on, she just kept on bubbling away! She has a nice overall outline, moved well for her age, and has a lovely colour and proper flat coat along with beautiful dark eyes. Currently she is a tad high in the rear, but I suspect that this will change as it is not uncommon for this “growing pain” to be present at her age. I will watch her career with interest. Best Puppy in Show.
Middleton’s Ch & Jr Ch. Kesto’s I Spy at Graythor JW SJCM Reserve Best in Show, RCC (con’d pg 8)
Scottish Championship (continued) Puppy Bitch (2) 1st – Gray’s Grasilva Gwendoline Mary - as above 2nd – Punnett’s Barbelka Ozdobh Another nice puppy overall, however longer cast in body and not as much bone as #1. Good ears and head, dark eye, flat coat and good colour. Junior Bitch (3) 1st – Barganska’s Barbelka Nowinka - An overall nice bitch presenting a lovely outline. Good coat and colour. Ears could be smaller. I find her steep in shoulder and this caused her to have front action which became erratic at times. Tends to toe out as well. 2nd – Maun and Stirling’s Bowerhinton Black Magic - Slightly smaller bitch than the first bitch, but within acceptable limits. Good in both coat and colour and likewise she can toe out at times and I feel could use more bend of stifle and bone. She is currently slightly high in rear, but hopefully this will change as she matures. 3rd – Punnett’s Barbelka Ozdobh Yearling Bitch (1) 1st – Barganska’s Barbelka Nowinka - as above Post Graduate Bitch (5, 2 ab) 1st – Hudson’s Kestos Night Sky at Norderhove - A very nice yearling who was being a handful for her owner/handler! Slightly smaller than the #2 bitch, she has lovely overall type-- tight body, flat-lying coat, black eyes. Colour and contrast are excellent. Very clean mover both coming and going. Needs some time to settle, but could be an asset to any kennel. 2nd – Hoffman and Joyner’s Albaelk Promise To A Lady - Slightly larger bitch, but overall much the same type as the #1 bitch. Good coat, colour and bone. Larger ears set
too much to the sides. Dark, but round eyes. 3rd – Cree’s Shundelko Shannikka at Kobeyashi Minor Limit Bitch (6, 4ab) 1st – Hudson’s Kestos Night Sky at Norderhove - as above 2nd – Datta’s Cakirjo Moonlight Shadow - Nice bitch who pushed #1 very hard. Short coupled, sound mover, good bone. Larger ears not as well set and lighter eyes than the first bitch. Rear not as strong as the first bitch. Limit Bitch (7, 1 ab) 1st – Barganska’s Barbelka Nowinka —as above 2nd – Hoffman and Joyner’s Albaelk Bonny Lassie - Very nice silver bitch with a good outline and good movement from the side. Good balance with excellent coat, colour and texture. A little slight on bone and her rear let her down. 3rd – Brewin’s Graythor Norwegian Star at Liondyke
Veteran Bitch (5,2ab) Two lovely littermates here, both looking very well for 11+ years of age. 1st – Taylor’s Barlestone Quilla At Fabelmor - Good sized bitch in excellent condition for her age. Good coat and colour. She just looked a picture and showed her heart out for her owner. She was placed over her more famous sister by virtue of her excellent bone and overall package. Reserve CC 2nd – Nichols’s Ch. Barlestone Qualiti - A lot of depth of quality here in this bitch with many of the same attributes as her sister. Splitting hairs here… ears larger and not the bone and substance of the #1 bitch. 3rd – Murphy’s Ch. Shundelko Anoushka
Of the BIS: “ He had without a doubt one of the best front assemblies on the day and came at me clean as a whistle.”
Submitted by Margaret K. Mott (Kamgaard) (additional pictures on pg 9-10)
Open Bitch (10, 2 ab) 1st – Lee’s Ch. Barlestone Naomie - This bitch is very much a “complete package”.. good sized, moved well, in excellent coat with good colour and texture. Every inch a “show girl!” who gave her all for her handler. If I were to change anything, I would wish for a less abrupt stop to give her head a more pleasing outline. Her plusses far outweigh this one minus and thus she was awarded the Bitch CC. 2nd – Nichols’s Barlestone Johanna - This bitch is built along similar lines as the #1 bitch above, though slighter in build. Moved well. Well presented and in excellent coat and colour as well. Likewise I would like her stop to be less pronounced. 3rd – Cowper’s Bowerhinton Bright N Breeze of Rothenborg, JW
Lee’s Ch. Barlestone Naomie Bitch CC
Scottish Championship Photos
Best in Show
Reserve Best in Show
Reserve Bitch CC
Scottish Championship Photos (con’d)
Some of the beautiful challenge trophies
Gorgeous scenery everywhere you look In the ring with Post Graduate Bitch class winner, Hudson’s Kestos Night Sky at Norderhove
The Norwegian Elkhound Association of Scotland Dinner
In the News: Rita Munson from the Independent Record, Helena, Montana
“I like their (elghunds) independent nature, which makes me work a little harder. You have to remember what that dog was bred to do…”
As well known as she is by people around Helena, Rita Munson probably maintains an even higher profile among the Queen City’s canine community. Munson, 63, estimates she’s taught obedience to more than 3,000 dogs and their owners over the past two decades. So the next time you see a dog heeling compliantly at its owner’s side, even as the tandem passes another dog on the sidewalk, there’s a decent chance that owner and that dog learned to walk tall and straight in a concrete room at the Lewis and Clark County Fairgrounds, under the ever watchful eye and occasionally stern voice of Munson.
Rita Munson (Glacier Valley)
“I think what I really like is the dogs that come in that are really green,” Munson said in an interview at her Helena Valley home last week. “Even the dogs that are the worst, that are the hardest, I like to watch those dogs improve, and I like to watch the owners be happy that they’re making that improvement.” A typical obedience class includes 20 dogs, which might sound like a lot, but that’s how Munson likes it. “I enjoy a large class because I enjoy the interaction that it causes the other dogs to have to learn around,” she said. “A small class to me gets kind of
boring. There’s just not enough going on. I like to see them be busy, I like them to be distracted, and I like them to have an issue.” And if the problem is with another dog in class, those two dogs will be spending a lot of time next to each other, until each can do so without acting up. “If they have an issue with a particular dog, then I would rather have that happen in class where I can help the owner than have it happen someplace else where everyone falls apart because they don’t know what to do,” Munson said. “These two dogs don’t have to be friends, they have to learn to just get along. I don’t care if they ever like each other, but they can not be aggressive to each other.” She’s taught dozens of Bears, at least as many Mollys, and once taught a dog owned by a hunter — at the insistence of the fellow’s hunting buddies. Munson laughs at the memory of the man’s tuition being paid in a fistful of small bills after his pals took up a collection to train him and his dog. For all the obedience training she’s taught, Munson’s favorite breed is one that tends toward independence. She currently owns five Norwegian elkhounds, and says knowing what a dog is bred for is important
when determining whether it will be a good fit for a family. “I like their independent nature, which makes me work a little harder,” she said of her elkhounds. “You have to remember what that dog was bred to do, because that can be the problems that you’ll deal with. This dog is bred to be turned out in the forest and hunt moose. And when it finds the moose, it’s to keep barking and agitate the moose so that the hunter can hear where they’re at. Which means they can have a barking nature. It also means that they don’t particularly want to work with you, because they’ve been taught to go off on their own and work. I like the challenge of taking that dog and finding a way that will make him work for me without having him shut down.”
Taken from the full article written by John Harrington. For the full text and video go to the news link at www.elghund.info.
Recovering Game using Elghunds Norwegian Elkhounds are bred to hunt large game, mainly Elg (moose) in Norway. Opportunities for elkhounds to hunt big game in North America are limited. It is not legal to hunt moose with dogs. Dogs are used to hunt white-tailed deer in some states, mainly in some southeastern states of the U.S. though it’s unlikely an elkhound would be considered for this task as other hound breeds are more popular and well-suited to driving deer.
Tukka and Cindy start off
First sign of the blood trail
It is legal in some areas to hunt bear with dogs and elkhounds have traditionally been used for bear hunting in Scandinavian countries but again, in the U.S. the more traditional hounds for this type of hunting are typically Plott Hounds, Blueticks, Treeing Walkers and similar breeds released in small packs to pursue the bear. Elkhounds were bred to hunt independently. Unfortunately their use for hunting in the U.S. and Canada is so limited that most never do hunt though some have been used for small game. And any elkhound owner knows that their dog would gladly pursue a rabbit, squirrel or even birds given the chance. I’ve heard first hand accounts of elkhounds being superb squirrel hunting dogs. Yes, it is their instinct to hunt but how can we involve them in our hunting practices for large game? One way is through bloodtrailing or tracking wounded
game. Many states and some Canadian provinces and territories do allow the pursuit of a wounded animal using a dog and elkhounds are well-suited for this. (Regulations vary so be sure to check in your area if you are going to do this). Elkhounds typically air scent before they ground scent and are often seen on their toes, neck stretched, nose in the air facing into the breeze, reading the scent carried there. They will ground scent and can be trained to be wonderful trackers using their keen sense of smell. John Jeanneney in his book Tracking Dogs for Finding Wounded Deer credits elkhounds with being a good choice for tracking wounded bear. He says, “On a bear trail it would be good to have a dog ahead that wind scents extremely well and also uses his eyes and ears to locate the bear before I crawl too close”. We have used both of our current elkhounds to blood trail big game, mainly deer. However, Tukka (CH Normark Tukka of Wolfridge, RN) once had the opportunity to track a wounded black bear. Even though the track was 18 hours old, she was able to extend the search well beyond what the hunters thought had been the end. Unfortunately the bear was not mortally wounded and escaped across a river, leaving Tukka standing on the bank whining. She was not ready to give up.
Kia (Peer Gynt Power to Surprise, RN) and Tukka have both tracked wounded deer. Most of these tracks were less than 100 yards as the deer were well-hit. These short tracks with certain success are perfect for training the young elkhound. They have also had opportunities to demonstrate their almost unbelievable ability to detect even the tiniest traces of blood and have quickly led us to blood trails that we were unable to locate ourselves. I was once nearly dragged 40 yards through the brush by an excited dog that had gotten the scent of blood or animal only to discover a half eaten mouse laying on the forest floor! Talk about the proverbial “needle in a haystack”; this should give some idea of just how capable an elkhound is when its job is to find blood or downed animal. Training begins when the pup is young by laying tracks using blood saved from previously harvested animals but simply giving them opportunities to track a fresh killed deer will aid in their development. The dog must also learn not to pursue deer that are not wounded and that the dog has not been asked to track. The aforementioned book by John Jeanneney is recommended reading for anyone who desires to track wounded deer with a dog. The sturdy and capable elkhound can be an (con’d pg 11)
Recovering Game (continued) effective tracker of wounded game. Its desire and natural ability to hunt make it an excellent companion in hunting situations. Difficult terrain is not a deterrent to elkhounds which are well-suited through good breeding to hunt all day with solid footing over rough ground in thick forests even climbing steep, rocky outcroppings. It can manage in cold, wet conditions typical during hunting seasons in the north thanks to the double-thick, weather resistant coat. I hunted with beagles for many years and so I am familiar with pursuing wild game with dogs. To watch a dog work is fascinating and their excitement is contagious. The same is true with blood-trailing using elkhounds. When they know they are going to work, they become very excited and they stick to the task at hand with determination. It thrills me to have found a way to include my elkhounds in my hunting and though dreams of hunting moose with them will have to remain just dreams, Iâ€™m very happy that we have found a way to let them use their natural-born abilities to aid in the recovery of big game.
Finding the deer
For more information on training and tracking to recover wounded game: www.born-to-track.com/john.htm www.unitedbloodtrackers.org www.deersearch.org
Submitted by Cindy Gustafson
Kia investigates the deer
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Happy Holidays from the Kamgaard Norwegian Elkhounds
Hereâ€™s wishing all the best to the staff of NEW. May your efforts bring about international learning, understanding and sharing of information about the breed we hold so dear. To our friends around the world we wish good health, wealth, prosperity and peace in the New Year. Maggie and Sally www.kamgaard.com
News Flash! Group 3, Lake Shore KC November 21 under Judge Francine Schwartz
CH. Sangrud Ice Skipâ€™s Storm
(CH. Sangrud Bauslerke Ice Skip x CH. Sangrud Tobyâ€™s Bella Bella) Owner: Dawn Meldahl 2008 National Specialty Veteran Dog Class Winner
Sangrud Norsk Elghunds Est. 1946 Four generations of family stewardship Twenty four generations of Elghunds Karen Elvin 651-433-4666 firstname.lastname@example.org
Kristin Wehking 608-655-1354 email@example.com
The next generations:
Sangrud Norsk Elghunds Est. 1946 Four generations of family stewardship Twenty four generations of Elghunds Karen Elvin 651-433-4666 firstname.lastname@example.org
Kristin Wehking 608-655-1354 email@example.com
Happy Holidays from Highland!
the lone Highland Pharaoh Hound!
Highland Norwegian Elkhounds Andrea Schokker, Steve Graham, and Aidan Graham Duluth, Minnesota firstname.lastname@example.org
Aging like a fine wine... Multi SBIS CH Skyemarâ€™s Storm Warning
SPECIALTY BEST IN SHOW Two years in a row NEAM Specialty, October 2008 & 2009 (currently 11 years old)
Mother of these winners/title holders : All-breed Best in Show Specialty Best in Show Six AKC champions Number one Elkhound (all-breeds) FIRST Elkhound Champion Tracker (only one to date) Agility MX, MXJ, National Specialty High in Trial Obedience (CD) Rally (RA) Versatility Skijoring And continuing the excellence through her grand children and great-grand children.
Owned by Andrea Schokker (Highland) Bred by Skye & Mary Masson (SkyeMar)
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