Red Heeler vs Black Norwegian Elkhound - Breed Comparison

Red Heeler vs Black Norwegian ElkhoundRed Heeler is originated from Australia but Black Norwegian Elkhound is originated from Norway. Both Red Heeler and Black Norwegian Elkhound are having almost same height. Both Red Heeler and Black Norwegian Elkhound are having almost same weight. Both Red Heeler and Black Norwegian Elkhound has same life span. Both Red Heeler and Black Norwegian Elkhound has almost same litter size. Both Red Heeler and Black Norwegian Elkhound requires Low maintenance.

Basic Information

Herding dogs
Herding dogs
Height Male:
43 - 51 cm
16 - 21 inches
44 - 49 cm
17 - 20 inches
Height Female:
43 - 51 cm
16 - 21 inches
43 - 46 cm
16 - 19 inches
Weight Male:
14 - 16 kg
30 - 36 pounds
16 - 20 kg
35 - 45 pounds
Weight Female:
14 - 16 kg
30 - 36 pounds
16 - 19 kg
35 - 42 pounds
Life Span:
13 - 15 Years
12 - 15 Years
Litter Size:
2 - 8
4 - 6
Medium dog
Medium dog
Other Names:
Australian Cattle Dog, ACD
Norsk Elghund Svart Norsk Elghund Black Black Elkhound Norwegian Moose Dog (black)
Colors Available:
Reddish, Blue-grey
Shortish and dense
Dense, short double coat
Affectionate, Alert, Cheerful, Courageous, Curious, Energetic, Friendly, Independent, Intelligent, Lively, Loving, Loyal, Outgoing, Playful, Protective, Responsive, Social, Stubborn, Territorial
Alert, Curious, Intelligent, Loyal, Stubborn
Low maintenance
Low maintenance
Kids Friendly:
New Owners Friendly:


red heelerKnown also as the Australian Cattle Dog, the Red Heeler is also known as the Blue Heeler. This is a breed of herding dog originally developed in Australia.

These dogs are known for their stamina and resilience with driving cattle over long distances in hot weather and across rough terrain.

It was George Eliott who developed the Red Heeler – crossing native Dingoes with Collies and other herding dogs.

In America, the breed was fully recognised in September 1980.

black norwegian elkhoundThe Black Norwegian Elkhound was first bred in Norway in the early part of the 19th century as a smaller version of the Grey Norwegian Elkhound. The Black version is a Spitz and is very seldom seen anywhere in world but Norway. He is designed for the same job that the Grey Norwegian Elkhound performed. The difference is that the Black Norwegian is smaller, easier to see in the snow and ice of Norway and smaller than the Grey. It is a hunter, a herder, a guard dog and a watch dog. Because of the temperatures in Norway it was very important to have a hunting dog that was able to deal with the cold, the snow and the heavy fall rains in Norway and Scandinavia. The Black Norwegian Elkhound is a powerful and prideful dog. Much more so than the grey, he is independent and strongminded. It is highly intelligent and is one of the most ancient of breeds. He is more durable and more quarrelsome than his cousin the Grey Norwegian Elkhound or the more familiar Swedish Elkhound.

Ancestors of the Black date back to the first days human kind went hunting around 4000-5000BC. There have been skeletons of dogs very much like the Black Norwegian Elkhound found that dated back to that time period. They hunted and guarded for the Vikings and pulled sleds as well. They hunted deer, moose, badger, elk, mountain lions, bears, wolves, lynx, rabbit and reindeer. They are trackers who hold their quarry at bay by barking until the hunter can find them. Today they serve as loved family pets and guard dogs. In a National Emergency the leader of Norway can call up all the privately-owned elkhounds of any kind and assign them to work in a variety of sledding duties. Within the FCI, the Black Norwegian Elkhound is classified as a primitive Nordic hunting dog.


red heeler puppyThe Red Heeler is a medium-sized dog standing at between 43 to 51 cm in height and weighing in the region of 14 – 16 kg.

He is muscular, with a sturdy build. The coat of this robust dog is shortish and thick and quite often you’ll find a white star marking on he forehead. The coat is a blue-grey color or reddish. The tail of this dog is long and the ears are erect.


The Red Heeler has always been a working dog so he is energetic and lively, being independent and strong-willed.

He is super intelligent too and can be easily trained and socialized. He is a dog that simply loves the outdoors and if you don’t live on a farm, he is going to need lots of exercise.

He gets on well with kids and other pets, but children should be taught to respect him and be kind towards him, otherwise he might not tolerate them. He is a loyal, protective dog, wanting to ensure the safety of his human family.

black norwegian elkhound puppyThe Black Norwegian Elkhound is a short compact Spitz with dark eyes and a curly tail. It is the coat that sets this dog apart. It is an all-weather coat suitable for the cold, the snow and the rain of Norway. Ears are pointed and erect while the head is wedged and broad. His head is almost like that of a wolf. Its body is strong and compact. Its coat is coarse, short and double. He has a broad black nose with a straight bridge and with black lips and dark brown oval eyes. His legs and withers are strong boned and powerful with well padded feet to protect it from the freezing temperatures of Scandinavia.

Health Problems

red heeler dogYour Red Heeler can live to be 15 years of age with good care. Every dog however, can fall prey to some of the many common dog diseases there are, some of which can be -

Musculosceletal Problems:

There are quite a lot of congenital and inherited musculoskeletal disorders in dogs, with some of the more common ones being hip dysplasia and muscular dystrophy for instance.

There are some of these musculosceletal problems which can be fatal. Some of the typical symptoms you’ll see with these problems are difficulty climbing stairs or jumping, loss of muscle mass in the hind limbs, arthritis and lameness.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy:

The retina of the eye is that light-sensitive part and which is part of the central nervous system. With retinal degeneration, the cells decline, leading to impaired vision and sometimes even blindness.

Some symptoms to look out for include dilated pupils, night blindness and the inability to see clearly in bright light. The disease worsens over times with sudden blindness being quite common with older dogs. Your vet will want a thorough history of your dog’s health.

Other dog diseases to be very aware of are cancer, obesity, bloat, hip dysplasia and epilepsy.

black norwegian elkhound dogThe Black Norwegian Elkhound is a strong and hardy dog, though he is susceptible to some of the problems many breeds face. These include issues with luxating patella, optical entropion, hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism, and Fanconi syndrome. The most serious of these is the Fanconi Syndrome which is an abnormal functioning in the tubules of the kidneys. This can be a life-threatening situation.

Caring The Pet


red heeler puppiesThe Red Heeler is an active dog, and apart from walks which will give him the chance to sniff around, he will need lots of other forms of exercise. Rope pulling games he’ll love and running after a ball will please him because it takes him back to days when he used to run around and herd livestock.

If you’re an outdoorsy type of person who loves hiking in the wilds and swimming in rivers, you can count this dog in.


You can look at the Red Heeler as a low maintenance dog. He does shed, but a good brush of the coat twice a week will be excellent for him. If he doesn’t wear his nails down naturally, you will need to trim them. Also, while you are brushing him, check his ears and eyes and inside his mouth to make sure he is clear of all infections.


Red Heelers rely on good food for their resilience and stamina, and for convenience it is good to have commercially manufactured dog food as a backup. The best is home-made food which is easy to prepare and totally uncomplicated.

Simply add into one big pot chicken, brown rice or pasta and spinach, sweet potatoes and carrots. This food can all be chopped up, refrigerated and added warmed up and in small portions to your pet's dry kibble once or twice a week. Simple and tasty, your Red Heeler will love it and thrive on it too.

Ensure there is always a bowl of fresh, cool water within his reach.

black norwegian elkhound puppiesThis is an energetic active dog, or she should be. Feed her high nutritious food twice a day. Do not overfeed.

The most potentially troublesome health issue is Fanconi Syndrome. This kidney disorder can impact the of the body’s absorption of electrolytes, water and nutrients. These nutrients include Sodium, Potassium, Glucose, Phosphate, Amino Acids and Phosphate

The Black Norwegian Elkhound loves to play, and they love to work. Exercise is vital, but it must be one of those two things – play or work. Don’t leave him alone to figure it out for himself or you wont like what this intelligent dog decides to do. She needs a large yard, a long walk daily but jogging with you is even better. Make him heel when on leash or he will think he oversees you. These are roaming dogs who will follow a scent anywhere and ignore your commands for her to come to you. They are better off on a leash unless you are in a dog park or a fenced yard.

The Black Norwegian Elkhound is great at all dog athletics, games and sports such as agility, rally obedience, flyball, tracking, herding.


red heeler dogsWhen you bring a Red Heeler into your home, you must know that you’re never going to have a dull moment. They’re not content to lie around with nothing to do. These popular dogs literally coax you to come out and to be active.

Red Heelers need lots of activities and lots of room, so they aren’t particularly suited to life in the city. Large properties and plenty to do is what they ask for.

Your Red Heeler is going to make a splendid pet, loyal and devoted, the perfect example of man’s best friend.

black norwegian elkhound dogsThis dog was made for families. He loves children and is not a one person dogs. He gets attached to everyone in the family. However, he is smart and stubborn. He loves to join in with whatever the family is doing but he does it to please himself not his owner. He loves, loves, loves to play and has the stamina to do so all day long. He is agile, bold, independent, strong, curious and loyal. His loyalty can be territorial, and he can become protective of his home and his family. This makes him an excellent watchdog until your friends come to visit and he won’t let them in the house. You need a high fence to keep him safe in your own yard and away from strangers and even guests till he gets to know them.He tends to be dominant and aggressive with other dogs. They also have strong hunting instincts.

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