Hunting trial for elk hounds are organised in the categories of hunting trial for elk hounds, tracking test for elk hounds and bear hunting ability test. The following breeds have the right to participate in hunting trial for elk hounds, specialising in barking at elk:

  • Norwegian Elkhound, grey
  • Hälleforshund
  • East-Siberian Laika
  • Jämthund
  • Karelian Bear Dog
  • West-Siberian Laika
  • Norwegian Elkhound, black
  • Norrbottenspitz
  • Finnish Spitz
  • Swedish White Elkhound
  • Russian-European Laika

In addition to the above-mentioned breeds, Dachshunds and German Spaniels may participate in tracking test for elk hounds. The bear hunting ability test is open to all breeds.

In 2017, 2,591 hunting trials for elk hounds were organised wherein 8,114 performances were completed. There were 12 tracking tests for elk hounds with a total of 12 performances. A total of 75 bear hunting ability tests were organised with as many, 75, performances.

From hunting into a trial

As the elk population grew larger in the 1930s and elk hunting became permissible also for those other than just the nobility, a need also arose to develop a dog for hunting big game in Finland.

However, there were only a few great dogs and they were always not available for breeding, so the rules for the Finnish Kennel Club’s elk trials for Karelian bear dogs were developed to meet this need. The rules were accepted in the annual meeting in Pori on 22 May 1943.

The first Finnish Kennel Club’s elk trials for Karelian bear dogs were organised in 1945 with three participating Karelian Bear Dogs. The elk trial rules were renewed in 1948. According to them, trials may be participated in by all Nordic hunting spitz. In 1956, the name elk trials was changed to elk hunting trials and, in 1960, to hunting trial for elk hounds, which is the name they have today.

International operations

Every other year, Finland, Sweden and Norway take turns organising the Nordic Championships in hunting trial for elk hounds. The trial is organised according to the rules of the country organising the competition. In addition to the trial’s dog-specific results, there is a competition for team results.

There are also annual international hunting trials for elk hounds, where Finnish and Nordic dogs can compete for the CACIT title.

CACIT= international certificate gained in an international trial.

International Elk Hunting Trial Rules