The Elo is an emerging breed of dog, with development beginning in 1987 in Germany. The breed name is trademarked and development has been closely supervised by the Elo Breeding and Research Association. The Elo is notable in that it is primarily selected and bred according to behavioral characteristics and social behavior, with the goal of creating the best family pet.
Bred to a behavioral rather than an appearance standard, the appearance of the Elo can vary from dog to dog, although the breed standard (breed standards describe a breed's external appearance) describes the size as 46–60 cm at the withers, and weighing 22.7–38 kg, with a body that is slightly longer than tall, and a well plumed tail (meaning with lots of long fur) often carried in a curve over the back. The prick ears are furry, wide set, and slightly rounded at the ends. The coat comes in a long (Rauhaar) and medium (Glatthaar) length, both with a dense undercoat, with all colours allowed, with a white with brown, red, black, or gray spots particularly desired.
As with all created breeds, the Elo's small population size results in the risk of Inbreeding and its after-effects of inbreeding depression, and frequent occurrence of hereditary diseases. There is a susceptibility to Distichia, in which corneal damage can occur. Part of the process of accepting a dog for breeding is an eye examination (for prevention of Distichia) and X-rays to avoid breeding dogs with hip dysplasia.
A genetic study has been done in Germany using the Elo, calculating the proportion of genes of the different founder breeds, of the Inbreeding Coefficient and relationship coefficients, and the percentage of stillborn puppies in litters. The study also found that all but 3.5% of the Elo were related to each other. The significant gene percentages of the Elo are 48% Eurasier, 23% Old English Sheepdog, 10% Chow chow. The inbreeding coefficient was found to be 12.04%.