The Norwegian Buhund or "Norsk Buhund," is a herding dog of the spitz group, and is the farm dog of Norway. Buhunds have the typical spitz characteristics of activity, self-confidence and independence, but are trainable and home-loving with less inclination to hunt than other spitz breeds, having been bred as herding dogs rather than as hunters and draft dogs. These dogs were taken along by the Vikings on their travels and colonising journeys over 1,000 years ago and were the ancestors of the Iceland Dog. They also are said to have influenced the development of the collie breeds.
They love their family and are known for their fondness of children. Although Buhunds do get on very well with children it would be possible for parents to take this too far. Like any breed, they should not be left alone with unsupervised young children who can easily tease, frighten or hurt a dog without realising it.
This breed has also been trained as a hearing dog, and at least one dog was taken through the training course at the RAF Police Dog training school in the United Kingdom. This dog performed protection work and tracking. It was only its lack of size, which reportedly made it unsuitable for this in a practical situation.
Buhunds are often born with double dewclaws on the rear legs; the dewclaws are left on in Norway but are usually removed in Britain and the US.
The breed is a registered American Kennel Club Breed with its own club known as the
Norwegian (Norske) Buhund Club of America.
The Norwegian Buhund Club is the Kennel Club registered breed club promoting the interests of the breed in the UK.
Why their Owners Like Them
Norwegian Buhunds are:-
o a medium sized breed, but they are not a toy dog, and are big enough to be a "real" dog. So, for those with small homes and gardens they are particularly well suited. They are smaller than collies and, for example, Labradors, so they are not too big for anyone in reasonable health to be able to handle them with ease.
o are so good as pets because they have a real desire for human companionship. This in particular makes them an ideal family pet as they are very affectionate.
o are vocal and brave but not aggressive. This is a big asset when walking them in town parks and anywhere that chance encounters with people and other dogs may occur. The Buhund owner can relax that this breed will not normally disrupt a peaceful walk by enjoining another dog in an argument. There may be some noise at times but rarely, if ever, anything like a fight.
Breed Characteristics and Variations
The Norwegian Buhund comes in red, black and sandy brown colours.
They are lightly built, with a short, compact body, fairly smooth-lying coat, erect, pointed ears, and a tail carried curled over the back
The coat is smooth and less abundant than some of the spitz dogs and fairly easily to keep.
Within the spitz group the Buhund is a middle-sized breed and a typical Nordic Spitz dog, and has a lively tail that stands vertical and curls.
They may tend to bark somewhat more readily than most breeds. This probably derives from their herding background when high vocality would be an asset.
The Buhund is the Norwegian variant of the original small spitz dog type, which quite remarkably goes back to the stone age, and in fact is thought to have already in the stone-age have been widely dispersed throughout Scandinavia.
In the ancient Gokstad excavation in Norway, six spitz-like dogs of various sizes were found within a Viking grave dating back to about the year 900. It is clear that the buhund's ancestors were expected to continue to protect the herds of their owners, even after the death of their owner.
Recently Buhunds, together with Norwegian Lundehunds, have been involved in the experimental endeavours of breeders to achieve the recreation of the barking bird-dog of Norrbotten, which had been removed from the list of recognized breeds in1936 by the Swedish Kennel Club. The reason for this was that it was then regarded as extinct. So, one day you may see this breed breeding true again and re-registered.
If you decide that you seek a real dog, in a small package, with a courageous, energetic, and affectionate character the Norwegian Buhund is the dog for you.
You are lucky to have found this web page because the breed is not very well known. Very many of these dogs are simply chosen by people who know somebody who owns one, and they have been delighted with what they have seen.
If the truth be known many just fall in love with the first dog of this breed they get to know, and they decide that they really want the same delightful companionship for themselves. There can be no better recommendation than this!
Steve Evans is a regular contributor of dog breed related articles.
There are more essential details for this dog breed and many others at The Dog Breeds Compendium.