AKC Dog Breeds: Norwegian Buhund

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Herding Group
Height 16-19 inches  Weight 26-40 pounds Color black, wheaten in any shade

The Norwegian Buhund is a herding dog. It is a typical northern breed, a little under medium size and squarely built, with a tightly curled tail carried over the back. In the year 900 during the Gokstad Norway excavation a Viking grave was excavated and the skeletal remains of six dogs were found. These remains are representative of modern day Buhunds. Vikings were buried with their most valuable possessions and their dogs were responsible for the herding of cattle and sheep and protecting of farms. The dogs were expected to continue these duties in the afterlife. It has been mentioned that the Vikings took the dogs on their many journeys on sea and on land. However, the more refined Buhunds that are seen today were raised on the coasts of Norway. There they herded sheep and guarded farms. Considered to be the easiest of the Spitz-type dogs to train, the Norwegian Buhund does well in socialization and obedience training. They are intelligent, quick to learn, and eager to please.

General Appearance

The Norwegian Buhund is a typical spitz dog of medium size, lightly built, with a short, compact body, erect, pointed ears, and a tail carried curled over the back.  The coat is usually wheaten or biscuit, ranging from light to yellowish red.  Black and wolf-sable Buhunds are also known.  The Norwegian Buhund is a double coat breed. The outer coat is smooth, hard, short, and thick. The under coat is dense, soft, and woolly in texture. The coat on the chest, back of legs, and around the neck is longer in length.   The feet are small, oval shaped, and webbed. The lips should be black and tightly closed. The teeth should meet in a scissors bite, with complete dentition.


The Norwegian Buhund is a highly cheerful and active breed. They do not tire easily and require extensive exercise on a daily basis. The Norwegian Buhund needs to expel its energy and become destructive and ill-mannered if ignored or made to stay still frequently. In conjunction with their high level of activity and energy, they are also extremely lovable and are known for their love of children. However, due to their high level of energy and need for intensive training, Norwegian Buhunds should always be supervised, especially around children and the elderly. This breed loves to cuddle and give kisses to their masters and families. They form strong bonds with their owners and therefore are natural watch dogs. This can result in aloof behavior and wariness around strangers. However, the Norwegian Buhund is highly intelligent. They are communicative and brave, but rarely will snap or bite without provocation. However, not all dogs of this breed are steady; they are sometimes found to be nervous dogs. They can even have a suspicious nature about them. New owners may find this problematic, since the Norwegian Buhund may bark at each new alarming noise or movement.

The Norwegian Buhund breed is a seasonal heavy shedder.Regular brushing of the coat with a firm bristle brush is recommended. The Norwegian Buhund has a short very easy care coat that does not tangle or mat when the dog sheds. Bathing should only be done when necessary. They are naturally clean dogs and are basically odorless even when wet. The toenails of the dog should be trimmed regularly.

Health Problems and Life Expectancy
The Norwegian Buhund is relatively healthy with low occurrences of hip dysplasia and eye problems. The life expectancy of the Norwegian Buhund is around 13-15 years.

Activity Level

This is a very active breed that needs to be exercised every day, with a long, brisk walk or jog. Norwegian Buhund's are not recommended for apartment living. They require an inordinate amount of physical exercise and mental stimulation. They do best with a large securely fenced yard or a rural setting with a job to do. They thrive on family play sessions. The Norwegian Buhund excels in agility trials, obedience, police work, herding, and tracking.


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