Country of Origin: Norway
Dog Type/Family: Spitz / Herding
Size: Small – Medium
Care Level: Medium to high
Average Lifespan: 12-14 Years
Best suited as: Family Pet for active owner(s)in a colder climate

The Norwegian Buhund gets its name from the Norwegian word for farm (bu) and hound(hund) and true to its name is an all-purpose farm dog, typically as a herding dog or a watchdog. There are close relative of the Icelandic sheepdog and the Jämthund.

Typical of many spits bred dogs they are very square of appearance as high as they are long. Their size somewhere between small and medium and exhibit the permanently pricked ears and an curly tail which usually rests on their back. They have a wedge shaped head with an intelligent alert face, their eyes are alert the ears are pricked the they are nose is black.

Height at the Withers ranges from 45 to 48 cm with females being at the lower end of the scale. As with most dog breeds the males are heavier at 13 to 18 kg with females weighing 11 to 15 kg.

They are fun loving and vivacious and as working dogs require a great deal of varied activity and exercise daily. Norwegian Buhund that is too often left to entertain itself will become destructive and resentful. This is not a dog who wishes to stay – this is a dog who wishes to play. They are excellent with children and will seek to engage them in fun games. They are vocal and will voice their pleasure, excitement, displeasure and wariness as circumstances require. They are incredibly intelligent and trainable and can be taught that excessive barking is unwanted. Many owners describe them as…. Excitedly licky?

They form close bonds with their family and see themselves as a protector and thus their excellent watchdogs. They can be reserved and wary around strangers forever they are rarely aggressive even to strangers without provocation.

As with all high-energy and excitable breeds there will be some individuals that explain extremes of these behaviours, constantly being alert to something to bark at or chase.

The independent and  strong willed like a livestock guardian dog yet willing and trainable like a herding dog. They have a tendency to become bored with repetitive training styles to be aware that you will need to mix things up.

Their eagerness to please, high energy levels and intelligence make them excellent agility activities.

Best suited for
Active people and families – this is not the ideal pet for someone with mobility issues or the elderly. If you are a jogger, Walker or have children who are willing to roughhouse in the backyard the Norwegian Buhund make a great pet. They will run beside a bike they do remember the gameness will enable them to run a far longer than the short legs should and they are prone to overheating in exercise to vigourously in hot weather.

They will expect to be included in all games of the children play in the backyard – indeed they will see themselves as one of the children.

Care Requirements
Typical of dog breeds from a cold climate they grow a thick winter coat. In the summer months their short to medium length coat will be relatively low maintenance requiring only occasional brushing to ensure that it does not matter or tangle. In spring however they shared heavily on their coat will need to be brushed daily or even twice daily in order to prevent it becoming a huge mess.

The thick coat will keep them warm in winter weather it is designed for a sub zero temperature winter not the mild winters or even hot winters of northern Australia. As a result they are much more suited to the southern States especially the alpine regions. If you do wish to keep one of these beautiful dogs in a warmer climate be careful not to exercise them overly during the heat of the day in winter or summer.

As with all working breed dogs they are an exceptionally healthy breed. Individuals have been known to suffer from inherited it displays your an eye conditions so when seeking out a puppy ensure that you discuss these possible problems with your chosen breeder. Reputable breeder will not be breeding from animals suffering these conditions.

Veterinary Surgeon, London at Blue Cross UK | + posts

A London based Veterinary surgeon, Sanja is also an avid writer and pet advocate.