The Colors of Elkhounds

by Jen Gehring
An elkhound's curled tail will be light gray underneath and black on top.

An elkhound's curled tail will be light gray underneath and black on top.

Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Regarded for their people-oriented personalities and their loving, friendly nature, Norwegian elkhounds are fierce hunting dogs who possess sturdy coats that allow them to withstand harsh environments and extremely cold temperatures. This double-layer coat consists of a soft, wooly undercoat and a coarse, weather-resistant top coat. The elkhound can appear in a variety of gray tones and a wide range of distinctive colored markings and patterns.

Shades of Gray

Because all elkhound puppies are born black and change color as their coats develop, it is difficult to predict the exact colors and markings an elkhound will have when he reaches adulthood. Typically, an elkhound’s coat will appear in varying shades of gray and silver, with black accents found on the tail, face and ears. An elkhound’s chest and mane may appear a lighter gray while the saddle and sides tend to be darker gray. Because so many color variations are possible for elkhounds, the American Kennel Club set up different registration codes for Norwegian elkhounds, requiring owners to select specific color combinations such as black and gray; black and silver; black, white and silver; and silver, gray and black.

Photo Credits

  • Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images News/Getty Images