30-40 lbs
‚ÄčUnited States
Norwegian Elkhound

The Elk-Kee is a hybrid dog that is a cross between a Norwegian Elkhound and a Keeshond. They are medium sized dogs weighing up to around 45 pounds. Common colors are likely to be black, silver, grey, or cream while their coats are likely to be short, thick and smooth. The Elk-Kee is likely to make a good family pet who gets on well with children and who will be fairly easy to train. The Keeshond is more responsive to training but both parent breeds are suitable for first time pet owners so the Elk-Kee is also likely to be. The Elk-Kee will need regular exercise. Both parent breeds shed quite a bit and need to be brushed quite often.

purpose Purpose
history Date of Origin
ancestry Ancestry
Norwegian Elkhound, Keeshond

Elk-Kee Health

Average Size
Male Elk-Kee size stats
Height: 18-21 inches Weight: 35-45 lbs
Female Elk-Kee size stats
Height: 17-20 inches Weight: 30-40 lbs
Major Concerns
  • Patellar Luxation
  • Fanconi Syndrome
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Addison's Disease
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)
Minor Concerns
  • Sebaceous Adenitis
  • Epilepsy
  • Diabetes
  • Von Willebrand's Disease
  • Hypothyroidism
Occasional Diagnoses
  • Cataracts
  • Allergies
Occasional Tests
  • X-Rays
  • MRI
  • CT Scan
  • Physical Examination
  • Urinalysis
  • Complete Blood Work
  • Serum Chemistry
  • Spinal Tap
  • Neurologic Exam
  • Ophthalmic Examination

Elk-Kee Breed History

An Elk-Kee is a hybrid breed made up of a cross between a Keeshond and a Norwegian¬†Elkhound which are the National Dog of Norway and one of the oldest dog breeds dating back¬†around one thousand years to the days of the Vikings. One of the ancient Northern Spitz-type¬†dogs, the Norwegian Elkhound was bred as a hunter and guard dog often used for tracking¬†animals such as moose, elk, bear, mountain lion and rabbit. They would hold the prey at bay by¬†barking until the hunter arrived. They are also prized as sled dogs. The name in Norwegian is¬†Norsk Elghund which means "Norwegian moose dog‚ÄĚ. The breed was recognized by the¬†American Kennel Club in 1913. The Keeshond is also a member of the Spitz, or Nordic, family¬†of dogs and is also referred to as a Dutch Barge Dog. The breed was named after Cornelis¬†(Kees) de Gyselaer who was a Dutch patriot and leader of the rebellion against the House of¬†Orange. When the House of Orange returned to power the breed fell out of favor and all but¬†disappeared. They were rediscovered in 1905 by a Miss Hamilton-Fletcher (later to become¬†Mrs. Wingfield-Digby) and later taken to England. In 1920, Baroness van Hardenbroek travelled¬†to Holland to create more interest in the breed and formed the Nederlandse Keeshond Club in¬†1924. The first American litter of Keeshonds was bred in 1929 by Carl Hinderer and the breed¬†was registered with the American Kennel Club in 1930.

Elk-Kee Breed Appearance

Elk-Kee dogs are medium sized dogs which are made up of a cross between a Keeshond and a Norwegian Elkhound. Common colors are likely to be black, silver, grey, or cream while their coats are likely to be short, thick and smooth. The Norwegian Elkhound has dark brown, oval-shaped eyes and ears set high on the head while the Keeshond is known for its unique facial markings that appear to form spectacles, with a dark line running from the outer corner of each eye toward the ear. Their eyes are dark brown, almond-shaped with black eye rims while their ears are small, dark, triangular, and erect. Both parent breeds have tails that curl over the back so the Elk-Kee is also likely to.

Eye Color Possibilities
brown Elk-Kee eyes
Nose Color Possibilities
black Elk-Kee nose
Coat Color Possibilities
black Elk-Kee coat
silver Elk-Kee coat
gray Elk-Kee coat
cream Elk-Kee coat
Coat Length
Short Medium Long
Coat Density
coat density
Sparse Normal Dense
Coat Texture
coat texture
Elk-Kee straight coat texture
Straight Wiry Wavy Curly Corded

Elk-Kee Breed Maintenance

An Elk-Kee will need regular grooming to keep looking good which will include brushing around three times a week. Both parent breeds shed quite frequently so the Elk-Kee is also likely to. The coats of both parent breeds tend to be naturally clean and they don’t have a doggy smell so don’t have to be bathed often. Neither of the parent breeds is hypoallergenic so a Elk-Kee is also unlikely to be. Try to brush your pet’s teeth two to three times a week to prevent any dental problems forming. Check the ears regularly and wipe them clean with damp cotton wool. Check the nails regularly and get them clipped if they get too long.

Brushes for Elk-Kee
Slicker Brush
Slicker Brush
Nail Clipper
Nail Clipper
Brushing Frequency
fur daily fur weekly fur monthly
Elk-Kee requires weekly brushing
Daily Weekly Monthly

Elk-Kee Temperament

Elk-Kees are likely to make great family pets, and are very good with children, like both parent breeds. They will be intelligent dogs but will need firm training to make sure they acknowledge you as leader of the pack. Keeshonds are independent and make good watchdogs but love to be part of the family and its activities, much like the Norwegian Elkhound who does not like to be left out. They are very loyal and can be quite possessive of their families. Keeshonds will probably be a bit easier to train than a Norwegian Elkhound so it will depend on which parent breed the Elk-Kee most takes after as to how easy it will be to train, but as with all breeds, patience and positive reinforcement are the best ways to go. Both parent breeds will need to be physically and mentally stimulated as they are energetic dogs. The Norwegian Elkhound is friendly with strangers but can be aggressive to other dogs so early socialization is important while the Keeshond is a bit wary of strangers but gets on with other dogs.

Elk-Kee Activity Requirements

The Elk-Kee is likely to need regular exercise to keep fit, happy as both parent breeds are energetic dogs. The Norwegian Elkhound particularly enjoys quite, strenuous activity. They can be exercised around an hour a day by going for walks or playing but will also love going for a run. They do need to be on a leash as they tend to roam and may take off after an interesting scent. A Keeshond also needs daily exercise and will enjoy a walk or run. They also enjoy water so a trip to the beach will be an option. They are known to spin in circles when they are feeling energetic - usually a sign it is time for some play time or a walk.Both parent breeds tend to tolerate the cold more than the heat. The ideal home would be a house with an enclosed yard but the Elk-Kee would do fine in an apartment provided they were exercised daily.

Activity Level
low activity medium activity high activity
Low Medium High
Rec. Walk Mileage Per Week
12 miles
walk mileage
Minutes of Activity Per Day
60 minutes
activity minutes

Elk-Kee Food Consumption

Cups Per Day
3 cups
cup per day cost cup per day cost cup per day cost
Daily Cost
$1.20 - $1.40
food bowls daily cost
Monthly Cost
$34.00 - $45.00
food bag monthly cost

Elk-Kee Owner Experiences

2 Years
2 People
Having an elk-kee is amazing if you are an outdoors person yourself! My dog Silas and I run on the daily and during the summers we hike in the smoky mountains. He’s Extremely smart and protective. By far one of the most beautiful breeds I have seen. They are the perfect companions!
4 years, 5 months ago
Animal Expert Question Icon
Question - New pet

It's more of a compatibility/ behavior question & concern. But are Male Elk-Kee puppies/ dogs compatible with a 2-year old Male (Gray) Norwegian Elkhound.? My current N. Elkhound has been the only dog in our household. What would or should I expect from this match-up, etc.?

Absolutely, this could be a good match. Be sure to pick a pup from a reputable breeder that has been we socialised. Take introduction slowly and ensure they both have their own resources and plenty of space. Pups can be hyper and boisterous so the older dog will need a safe space they can chill alone.
3 years, 4 months ago
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