Norwegian Buhund Farm Dog

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History of the Norwegian Buhund

information from

The name Buhund is derived from the Norwegian word ‘bu’ which means farm, homestead or mountain hut, where the shepherd lived while looking after his herd in the summer.  The Buhund was used as an all purpose farm and herding dog, as well as a watch dog.  The Buhund is still used for their original purpose in Norway and can often be seen on remote farms.

The Norwegian Buhund is a typical Spitz type dog with prick ears and a curled tail.   Dogs similar to the Buhund were found in a Viking grave in Norway from about the year 900 a.d.  In the Gokstad excavation in Norway, where a Viking grave was opened, skeletons from six dogs of various sizes were found.  They would be the representatives of modern-day Buhunds.

It is documented that these dogs traveled with Vikings both by sea and land.  The modern Buhund that we see today was developed on the western coastlands of Norway.

The first Buhund show was held at Jaeren, Norway in the 1920, at the initiative of Buhund enthusiast John Saeland.  The Norsk Buhund Club was founded in 1939.  Toralf Raanaas was the first President of the club.  John Saeland and Toralf Raanaas selected the best animals for breed type and working ability.  The first Buhund registered was named Flink.

The Norwegian Buhund was used as an all purpose farm dog for herding sheep and cattle and as a watch dog.  The Buhund is an excellent obedience and agility dog and is currently being used as a hearing assistance dog.  They are very high energy and enjoy having a job.

General Appearance

The Norwegian Buhund has a square profile, are a little under medium sized and sport a high set,tightly curled tail carried over the center of the back. The head is wedge shaped with pricked ears and a black nose.[2] Their back is level with as little of a slope as possible along with a deep chest.


The Buhund ranges in size from about 17 to 18 inches with the males being 17-18½ inches and females to 17½ inches high. Weight for dogs is 31–40 pounds and for females, 26–35 pounds.


Wheaten – Any shade from pale cream to bright orange, with or without dark tipped hairs; as little white as possible; black mask acceptable.

Black – Preferably without too much bronzing; with as little white as possible. Areas where white is permissible: a narrow white ring around the neck, a narrow blaze on the face, a small patch of white hairs on the chest, white feet and tip of the tail.

In the UK Wolf Sable is also listed in the Kennel Club Breed Standard.[3]


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 becomes 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.

This breed is also extremely headstrong and demonstrates an intense desire to be taught and to learn new things. If appropriate stimulus is not made available, the breed may resort to destructive or inappropriate behavior. The Buhund breed does become bored easily and is known to become restless. A constant state of activity is required, attention, praise and new information. This breed is ideal for owners who can dedicate time to exercise and training. With this desire for activity and learning combined with a high level of energy, the Norwegian Buhund makes an excellent obedience and agility dog. People who live active lifestyles, or are seeking a dog with which they can become involved in dog sports, will appreciate the personality of the Norwegian Buhund. It is also an ideal dog for people who are athletic and desire a dog to go running, hiking or biking with. This breed makes an excellent companion for a sports enthusiast.[4]  (from


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