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The Swedish Elkhound looks very much like a wolf, and with good reason. Genetic studies tell us that the Swedish Elkhound, along with several other Nordic dogs, such as the Norwegian Elkhound, the Lapphunds, and the Lapponian Herder were all created with some degree of hybridization of male dogs to female wolves. They are prone to developing dominance issues with other dogs, and the best way to counteract this tendency is to ensure that they have proper socialization. While dog parks often seem like a good way dog to interact with other dogs, it is not a controlled environment, and there may be uncontrolled and poorly socialized dogs, as well as additional opportunities for the spread of germs. Walking together in a pack is a more natural experience for dogs, and although there may be an adjustment period, it is beneficial for most. If handled properly it is particularly beneficial for canines that are already showing fearful, reactive, or dominant behaviors.
Hiking is a great way to get some exercise while getting out and enjoying the sights and sounds of nature, but it is always more enjoyable with a partner. Swedish Elkhounds were developed to hunt elk and other large game through the wilderness, so they tend to be adventurous dogs who love the outdoors. These dogs have a great deal of stamina and are generally sure-footed and alert hiking companions. It is important to keep them on their lead, however, as these intelligent and independent canines also have an extremely high prey drive, and may find chasing after deer or rabbits irresistible. Hiking itself is not expensive, although ensuring that you have the appropriate gear can increase the cost first time out.
Swedish Elkhounds are typically easy to train dogs that get along well with children, but sometimes they need a little guidance on how to behave around them. The classic playground game of Red Light, Green Light can be modified to help teach your dog to control themselves in the presence of children in a way that is fun and intriguing for both the child and the pup. This game also involves the child in the dog’s training in a way that is fun for both of them, but still an effective tool for teaching the pup impulse control and proper manners. This should be played only with children mature enough to follow the rules of the game themselves, usually no earlier than four to six years of age.