Os poderes do elfo doméstico nunca são explicados diretamente em livros ou material JKR.
Mas como nenhum usuário mágico pode aparatar dentro / fora de Hogwarts (ou a caverna de Voldemort) e os elfos podem, pode-se inferir que seu poder NÃO é ensinado originalmente pelos magos.
JK Rowling replies -> He's a house-elf, they've got powers wizards haven't got (but wizards have also got powers that house-elves haven't). (source: JK Rowling's World Book Day Chat, March 4, 2004)
Q: You say that people cannot Apparate or Disapparate within Hogwarts and yet Dobby manages it, why is this?
A: House-elves are different from wizards; they have their own brand of magic, and the ability to appear and disappear within the castle is necessary to them if they are to go about their work unseen, as house-elves traditionally do (Source: http://www.jkrowling.com/textonly/en/faq_view.cfm?id=73 )