In this article, we will compare and contrast the Norwegian Elkhound and a German Shepherd so that you can have a full understanding of both of these unique dog breeds. We will address their physical differences as well as their ancestral differences, and we will also discuss their behaviors in case you are considering adopting either of these two breeds. Let’s get started and talk about Norwegian Elkhounds and German Shepherds now!
Comparing Norwegian Elkhound vs German Shepherd
|Norwegian Elkhound||German Shepherd|
|Size||18-21 inches tall; 40-60 pounds||22-27 inches tall; 75-90 pounds|
|Appearance||Sturdy and compact frame with a fluffy, thick coat. Only found in black, white, gray, and silver colors. Erect ears, curled tail, and round face.||Black, white, and brown coat in a coarse and thick appearance; erect and alert ears with long snout and huge paws. Tail is bushy and long, to match their thick coat.|
|Ancestry||One of the oldest dog breeds in Europe, depicted as early as Viking times. Bred for hunting and guard dog purposes.||Originated in Germany for herding and workplace activities such as police and service work.|
|Behavior||Extremely protective and loyal, emitting a loud and threatening bark to anyone they deem untrustworthy. Very extroverted and playful.||Independent and aloof, but incredibly loyal and intelligent; sheds often and may be prone to bouts of separation anxiety. Eager to work and learn a variety of tasks.|
|Lifespan||12-15 years||10-14 years|
Key Differences Between Norwegian Elkhound vs German Shepherd
There are many key differences between Norwegian Elkhounds and German Shepherds. The average German Shepherd is much taller and heavier than the average Norwegian Elkhound. The coat of the Norwegian Elkhound appears much fluffier and fuller than the longer coat of the German Shepherd. Finally, German Shepherds originated in Germany, while Norwegian Elkhounds originated in Europe.
Let’s go over all of these differences in more detail now.
Norwegian Elkhound vs German Shepherd: Size
No matter the gender, German Shepherds grow far larger than Norwegian Elkhounds, both in height and weight. While the Norwegian Elkhound may appear larger given their fluffy coat, the German Shepherd will always weigh more and be taller than the Norwegian Elkhound. But by how much? Let’s look at these figures in more detail now.
The German Shepherd reaches heights of 22-27 inches total, while the Norwegian Elkhound reaches 18-21 inches on average. Additionally, the Norwegian Elkhound only weighs 40-60 pounds depending on gender, and the German Shepherd weighs anywhere from 75-90 pounds. That’s a significant size difference!
Norwegian Elkhound vs German Shepherd: Appearance
You can easily tell the difference between a German Shepherd and a Norwegian Elkhound just by looking at their appearances. The coat of the German Shepherd is longer and more coarse than the soft and fluffy coat of the Norwegian Elkhound. Additionally, the German Shepherd has a very striking snout that is much longer than the snout of the Norwegian Elkhound.
While the Norwegian Elkhound is only found in black, white, and silver markings, the German Shepherd has a very distinct brown and black coat. Additionally, German Shepherds have large and pointed erect ears, while the Norwegian Elkhound has smaller ears in comparison. Finally, the tail of the German Shepherd is straight and fluffy, while the tail of the Norwegian Elkhound is curled.
Norwegian Elkhound vs German Shepherd: Ancestry and Breeding
While it may surprise you, the Norwegian Elkhound is one of the oldest dog breeds to originate in Europe, while the German Shepherd is a much newer dog breed by comparison. There are depictions of the Norwegian Elkhound in drawings of Vikings, while the German Shepherd originated in Germany sometime during the late 1800s.
Additionally, the Norwegian Elkhound was originally bred for hunting and guard dog purposes, while the German Shepherd was bred for herding as well as other types of work such as police and fire. However, both of these dogs make fantastic companion animals as well as working breeds.
Norwegian Elkhound vs German Shepherd: Behavior
There are some behavioral differences between the Norwegian Elkhound and the German Shepherd. For example, the German Shepherd is notoriously aloof and independent, while the Norwegian Elkhound is more extroverted and friendly. However, both of these dogs exhibit protective behaviors over their home and family, often extremely wary of strangers or newcomers.
Additionally, the German Shepherd is eager to work and accomplish a variety of tasks despite their independence, while Norwegian Elkhounds exhibit a certain level of stubbornness due to their high intelligence. Both of these dogs are extremely smart and require adequate stimulation and training, lest they suffer from separation anxiety.
Norwegian Elkhound vs German Shepherd: Lifespan
The final difference between the Norwegian Elkhound and the German Shepherd is their lifespans. The Norwegian Elkhound live slightly longer than the German Shepherd on average, and this is likely due to their size differences. Small dogs live longer than large dogs as a whole, and the Norwegian Elkhound is much smaller than the German Shepherd.
For example, the average German Shepherd lives anywhere from 10 to 14 years, while the average Norwegian Elkhound lives anywhere from twelve to fifteen years. However, both of these breeds are extremely hardy and strong, living long and healthy lives with adequate dietary care.
The photo featured at the top of this post is © BIGANDT.COM/Shutterstock.com
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