The Black Norwegian Elkhound is typically a very active canine, sometimes even described as restless, with both a strong work drive and a strong prey drive. While they will relish walks, jogs, and hikes as much as the next dog, they prefer something a little more challenging on a regular basis and can become noisy and destructive if left to their own devices. Fortunately, they enjoy learning new things and are well built for a wide range of activities, giving you and your pooch a variety of fun things to do.
Skijor is a Nordic sport in which a person on skis is pulled by a vehicle, horse, or dog. Dog Skijor was designed for Arctic sled pulling dogs like Huskies, Samoyeds, and Malamutes, but any dog over thirty-five pounds is able to safely participate in this sport. The thick coat of the Black Norwegian Elkhound is perfect for keeping your dog warm and while the Black Norwegian Elkhound may be on the small side for the sport, they are powerful and they love to run. In Scandinavia, dogs like the Norwegian Elkhound are frequently used to pull a type of low slung toboggan know as a pulk.
This childhood classic can be modified to make an entertaining and educational game for your Black Norwegian Elkhound that makes use of their natural tracking ability. While this game is simple in its concept, you hide, the dog seeks, and there is praise and celebration when they find you, it can be made quite complex if there are enough places to hide. This game not only encourages your dog to use and refine their tracking ability, it encourages bonding, and if the hiding places are far enough apart it can even help your pooch to work off some of that extra physical energy they have as well.
This is a great activity for a restless dog like the Black Norwegian Elkhound, one that depends on your dog’s creative thinking skills rather than shaping their behavior. The point of this game is to get your dog to do something “new”. Not only does this diversion help your canine to become a more creative thinker, but it can help to improve your dog’s working memory as well. This works best with the use of a clicker for training, but if you are like me and tend to lose small items like clickers, clicking your tongue or using a verbal marker like “Yes” or “Right” will often work in a pinch.
The Black Norwegian Elkhound is particularly quick and agile, even more so than the grey variety of Norwegian Elkhound and they are likely to excel at running agility courses.
While these dogs were developed with hunting and tracking skills in mind, they are also quite capable herding dogs. If you want to see just how capable your Black Norwegian Elkhound is at herding livestock, there are now facilities available where you can rent out the livestock and the herding field, so your dog can get a taste of the working life.
Black Norwegian Elkhounds have short, strong backs that give them a great deal of extra bounce. Put this to good use by teaching your dog how to jump rope. While treats may be required to help your dog get the idea, once your dog gets going with this activity, they may never want to stop
The Black Norwegian Elkhound is an active dog with a keen mind and like many working breeds, they require a great deal of physical and mental exercise to be at their happiest and healthiest. While this breed is willing to learn just about anything you want it to learn if positive training techniques are used, they can become stubborn and aggressive if heavy-handed techniques are used. Keep your activity with this dog fun, frolicsome, and frequent and both you and your dog will be content.