Norwegian Buhund is known to please, along with the ability to easily do all jobs. In addition, they are highly affectionate, intelligent, and talkative northern breeds. So without a doubt, Norwegian Buhunds are a perfect fit as family pets.
But that’s not all. Buhunds are highly skilled and also serve as farm dogs and herders. In fact, history reveals that Vikings took them everywhere they went. And even in the grave to guide them to the afterlife.
Sounds crazy, right? So let’s dive in to explore more about the faithful dog of Vikings. And find out if they can be a great companion for you or not.
About the Breed
Norwegian Buhund is a Nordic-spitz-type dog closely related to the Icelandic Sheepdog and Jamthung. Like typical spitz breeds, they have pointed ears, curled tails, and double coats.
However, they have added features of being entertaining and pleasant that are rare among spitz breeds. Buhunds also have a lighter frame and are slightly smaller in size than other spitz types.
If there is one thing God poured 100% into them, it’s the energy. Norwegian Buhund dogs are highly alert, agile, and always full of energy. That’s what you should expect from a herding and farm dog.
And they’re still being used for these purposes in Norway, the origin of the Norwegian Buhund dog. Besides, they can handle tasks varying from hearing assistants to police dogs. So adding to their athletic body, they have a sharp and intuitive mind.
What’s even better? Norwegian Buhunds love to be around humans, including children. They are playful and like cuddling and ramping in the park. So if you hang out a lot, they can be a perfect partner.
But keep in mind, this breed loves staying busy, and leaving them alone for long isn’t an option. They are also prone to barking and shedding hair. So weigh both sides thoroughly before adopting a Norwegian Buhund dog.
History of the Norwegian Buhund
The history of the Norwegian Buhund dog trails back to 900 AD when remains of spitz-type dogs were found in Gokstad Excavation, a huge Viking grave. This shows how much Vikings adore Buhunds as they were used to burying only their cherished things alongside them.
But their name is exactly opposite to their historical role. Even being companions of the greatest explorers, they are now a symbol of hearth and home.
The name Buhund comes from the Norwegian word ‘bu,’ meaning homestead or mountain hut. This depicts their role because Norwegian Buhund dogs serve as farm dogs and herders rather than explorers of the world. Other names included Norsk Buhund and Norwegian Sheepdog.
The Norwegian dog breed wasn’t popular until 1920, when the first Buhund show was organized to rekindle interest in them. Later, the first Norwegian Buhund Club came into existence in 1939 under the name of Norsk Buhund Club.
Finally, the Norwegian Buhund dog was officially recognized in 1996 by United Kennel Club. The Buhund Club of America was formed in 1983 to protect this breed, and then the American Kennel Club also included them as a member of their herding group in 2009.
Norwegian Buhund Terrier Facts
That was a general overview of the Norwegian Buhund dog. Now let’s take a look at some terrier facts about them to get your info right:
As the name suggests, the Norwegian Buhund dog hails from Norway. They are mostly found in the western coastlands there.
They are also found in small numbers in other countries like the US, UK, and Siberia. Overall, it’s not a very popular dog breed and ranks at 170 in the AKC breed popularity list.
Don’t worry; they’ll not leave you untimely as they last for long. The average lifespan of a Norwegian Buhund dog ranges from 13-15 years.
That’s a bit higher than the average life of all the dogs. This is because they are generally a lively breed, and their agility helps them stay in shape.
Their deaths are mainly due to cancer, heart problems, accidents, and old age. They also suffer from hip dysplasia and hereditary contracts during their life.
So when adopting this dog breed, be sure to perform recommended health tests by the National Breed Club, such as hip evaluation and eye tests.
Though unpopular, the Norwegian Buhund is an expensive dog breed. That’s because they are rare in the world and can’t be found easily.
Owning a Norwegian Buhund dog usually comes at a price of almost $2,000 to $2,500. But this price fluctuates depending on your location, the health of the Norwegian Buhund, and its age.
Accessories and Tools
Like other dogs, they need basic equipment like a collar, bowl, leash, and mat. Some special accessories for a Norwegian Buhund dog are a quality brush and comb, as they shed hair a lot. And don’t forget to keep a first aid box.
As it’s an active breed, toys should always be available to keep them engaged. Anything can work, but a Norwegian Buhund dog loves chasing things.
So always store simple balls and dog-specific frisbees in their arsenal. This will help keep them charged and provide physical and mental stimulation.
Norwegian Buhund dogs aren’t a good choice for allergy sufferers as they are not hypoallergenic. They have a shedding season once or twice a year, but they shed a bit all the time.
So get them used to combing when they’re puppies, and develop a habit of combing twice a week. This will help in avoiding excessive shedding and keep Buhunds fit and tidy.
Norwegian Buhund Appearance
Here comes the most appealing feature of a dog breed; the appearance. And the Norwegian Buhund dog nails this characteristic as well. They are medium size, well-muscled dogs with attractive foxy faces.
Overall they are squarely built with characteristics such as a wedge-shaped head, pricked ears, and blaze on the face. Besides that, a Buhund has a tightly curled tail pointed to the center of the back.
So that’s what a Norwegian Buhund dog looks like. Let’s dig deep into the details and find out more about its features.
Though it’s a leggy breed, they are medium-sized dogs or even slightly smaller. The males have a standing height of 17 to 18.5 inches, while females are one inch shorter.
Being an agile and energetic dog, Norwegian Buhund maintains a healthy weight of around 31-40 pounds in males and 26-35 pounds in females.
However, the weight also depends upon the activity level of the individual dog. Without proper physical stimulation, they may not only become difficult to handle but also gain weight and diseases.
Norwegian Buhund dogs possess a thick double coat, with the outer coat being smooth and stiff like a carpet, while the undercoat is soft and dense like a marshmallow. The thick coat protects them against the cold.
The coat is not evenly distributed and varies in length per the requirements. It’s shorter on some parts, like on the front of the legs and the head. While it’s dense around the neck, on the chest, and back of the legs.
The coat of the Norwegian Buhund dog appears either wheaten or black. The wheaten coat comes in various shades, from pale cream to bright orange and even darker, with or without dark-tipped hairs.
Besides, they also have white hairs on the chest, neck, and often on the face. But if the shade is lighter, white will blend with the wheaten color and disappear.
The black coat prominently shows its white markings. These markings come in the form of a ring around the neck, a narrow blaze on the face, and the tip of the tail.
Norwegian Buhund Temperament and Personality Traits
Norwegian Buhunds are purebred dogs, but their characters are a blend of a sheepdog and hunting spitz. They are eager to please their owner like sheepdogs and are strong and athletic like the spitz breeds. So it’s not wrong to say a Norwegian Buhund dog is a jack-of-all-trades.
In the past, they were used by shepherds and farmers for guarding and rescuing their belongings. They were bred for jobs that require decision-making and concentration, such as herding livestock and sheep. So gradually, Norwegian Buhund dogs developed the personality of hard-working and intelligent dogs.
Overall, Norwegian Buhunds are quite bold, agile, and quick-witted dogs, making them great for dog sports.
They can learn anything they set their hands on. In fact, they have a burning desire to learn something new and get annoyed without any responsibility. They require mental stimulation from their owners.
Even though it’s an energized dog breed, they aren’t big enough to be demanding to the house. They only need some free space to let off steam. But they are not suitable for apartments. Why? Let us explain.
Norwegian Buhund is not aggressive but prone to bark with a high pitch sound. Not a yapper, but they tend to bark at suspicious and strange activities.
This habit makes them less suitable for a sound-sensitive environment like an apartment-dwelling family. But here’s a good thing:
Norwegian Buhund dog is a friendly pet and loves spending time with humans. Even after barking, it welcomes visitors by fluttering its tail and making them comfortable. So this is a sweet and gentle breed with a herding nature that makes them perfect watchdogs.
In general, they are extroverts and love hanging out, playing, and socializing. They also stay involved in daily chores and hate being left alone.
So if you have the same personality, get yourself a Norwegian Buhund dog and hit the track with your partner.
Norwegian Buhund Health and Care
Norwegian Buhund is a healthy and hardy dog, but no one gets a clean medical bill without some hiccups along the way. So you must put in the effort to keep them in good shape. Here are the things you have to take care of:
Food and Diet
Raising a quality dog demands high-quality dog food. In fact, it’s a must for Norwegian Buhund as they’re energetic dogs. But keep one thing in mind here. Norwegian Buhund is a foodie and can easily become overweight, so remember to limit treats.
Provide them with a balanced diet containing high protein but low carbs and fats. A high proportion of meat in the diet is perfect for Norwegian Buhund dogs. They are slightly allergic to processed food, so avoiding them is better.
Allow them a cheat meal for occasional treats, but it should not exceed the limits. And it would be even better if you choose snacks that increase their health.
Grooming might seem to you as a hectic and time-consuming task. But it actually saves you from preventable hurdles down the road. And what’s even better? It’s a perfect way to strengthen your relationship with your dog.
Unlike other double-coated dogs, Buhunds don’t even demand much effort. They are naturally clean dogs and free of musty smells. You only need to take care of their hair as this dog sheds heavily.
Brushing your dog twice a week and daily during shedding season will be fine. Other than brushing, the checklist should include their ears checked for infections and their nails trimmed regularly, plus regular bathing. And lastly, take care of their dental hygiene.
No matter how much effort you put in, if you don’t adopt a healthy dog, you can’t expect the best. So don’t go for saving money by compromising the dog’s health.
Though responsible breeders perform screening, don’t forget to ask about and validate the health condition. The common health problems Norwegian Buhund dog faces are:
- Hip dysplasia
- Von Willebrand’s disease
So prefer a breeder who has performed all the initial screening. Check out the hip scoring and eye testing to find the best dog.
The initial screening also helps to detect problems early on. Even if the puppy has a disease, you can take the vet in the loop to secure your dog’s future.
Norwegian Buhund Training
Training is a must if you want to make sure your dog is thriving, not just surviving. But training Norwegian Buhunds is not an easy-peasy task. Because of their independent nature, it can be difficult to keep them focused.
So prefer reward-based training instead of just giving commands. Use positive reinforcement and interactive activities to make it fun. And as Norwegian Buhund is a food-motivated breed, having treats in hand will work for you.
Once you engage them in training, it will all be easier for you because Norwegian Buhund is an intelligent, self-confident, and whip-smart breed. Chasing and rescuing are in their genes; all they need is a bit of modification as per the environment.
But there is one aspect they are weak in; confronting strangers. Wait, what? Weren’t they bold and, as I said, extroverts? Of course, they are. But being herding dogs, they often don’t welcome strangers.
To overcome this weakness, make sure they have constant exposure to strange people, strange sights, and even sounds. Regular socialization will make them comfortable and more confident in a strange environment.
Besides training, they also need enough exercise to let off their soaring energy. Being bred as farm dogs, their body is made to work. So they demand vigorous exercise to stay happy, or else they get bored and difficult to handle.
Hanging out in the backyard won’t be enough for them. They are bred for dog sports like tracking, agility, etc. So go out hiking, bicycling, or performing some other activities that can burn off their energy.
Norwegian Buhund is one of the most athletic and intelligent dog breeds. Yet they are highly friendly and love to be around humans. Having lived as herders and hunters, they are highly-energized dogs and demand effort to stimulate them mentally and physically.
So if you love hanging out and are looking for a partner, the Norwegian Buhund is an ideal dog breed. They’ll never decline to go out and can even outsmart you with their agility and never-tiring attitude.