The Dog Scene
The Dog Scene
  RSS Feed

Norwegian Buhund

 Photo of Norwegian Buhund
Photo: Ch Rikarlo Skylark from Jumasue, courtesy of June Purves

Norwegian Buhund Books

Group: Pastoral - Breed Standard


An ancient breed dating back to the Viking days, it is said they came to British shores in the Viking boats when they were invading Britain. Registered at The Kennel Club as early as 1943, they have always been a relatively small breed numerically, and still remain so. The breed club was recognised by The Kennel Club in 1967.

In their country of origin they are kept as general farm dogs, but are also taken hunting with their cousins, the Norwegian Elkhound. When there is thick undergrowth the Buhunds, being small, are able to get under. Norwegian Buhunds are shown in Norway, but there are still many on the farms looking after sheep and other livestock. In this country several have lived on farms working at herding cattle and sheep. They are very quick on foot and can outrun a rabbit. Their hearing is very sharp which makes them a good warning system if people are arriving.


A lightly built, short compact body, fairly smooth lying coat, erect pointed ears, curled tail carrier over back. Well-balanced, medium size, free from exaggeration and capable of arduous work. Temperament is fearless, brave and energetic. Head should be lean, light, rather broad between ears, wedge-shaped, narrowing towards point of nose. Skull and back of head almost flat, marked but not sharp stop, muzzle medium length, tapering evenly from above and side, straight bridge, lips tightly closed. Nose black. Eyes not protruding, dark brown, lively with fearless expression. Ears should be placed high, erect, height greater than base, sharply pointed, very mobile. Mouth has strong jaws with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaws, complete dentition. Neck is medium length, lean without loose skin, moderately arched.

Forequarters legs lean, straight and strong, elbows tightly placed. The body should be strong, short, but light, chest deep with good ribs, straight line of back, firm loins, short couplings, slightly drawn up. Hindquarters legs strong and only a little angulated, straight when viewed from behind. Feet rather small, oval in shape, toes tightly closed. Tail set is high, short, thick and hair longer on underside, tightly curled and carried over back.

Movement without exaggeration, straight coming and going. From side, light active with good stride. Coat the outer coat close, harsh but smooth, undercoat soft and woolly. On head and front legs, short, close and smooth, longer on chest, neck and shoulders, back of legs and underside of tail. Colours are Wheaten, black, red (red not too dark) wolf sable. Self-coloured but small symmetrical markings e.g. white on chest and legs, blaze on head and narrow ring on neck black mask and ears and black tip to tail permissible. In this country we have what is called shaded wheaten which is wheaten underneath but the guard hairs have black tips degree of black effect define by length of black on hair. The ideal height for a male is 18 inches bitches are somewhat smaller. The average male weights about 32-36lbs. Bitches average about 25-28lbs depending on size. These are a medium sized well-balanced dog alert and of good temperament.


Buhunds do bark, however this can be controlled at an early age. They will let you know when somebody is about, but will not defend as that is not in their nature. Buhunds clean themselves like cats, licking any part of the body they can reach. They are intelligent, independent, but affectionate and all Buhunds love children. Buhunds, like any dog, should not at any time be left with a child when no adult it present. Although the child might love the dog and the dog love the child, there is a limit to what a dog will take. Children do not realise when the time to leave the dog alone has come. Dogs need rest and peace, and children should be taught this from when the dog is a young puppy. Puppies and adult dogs are not toys for children's amusement. They do not make good kennel dogs and prefer to be in the house with their family. On a cold night they will happily curl up at the fire, they also love snow they will play all day in it sleep on it and eat it by the mouthful.

If boredom sets in, they will chew anything within reach, as most dogs will. They can, and are, trained to work obedience, however patience is essential to train them. Their intelligence means they are bored easily. A good cheap toy for a puppy is the inside of a kitchen paper towel or toilet roll, it amuses them and they leave the chairs and cushions alone! Adults are not normally destructive. They are house trained quite easily as they like to be clean. If they are out in wet conditions and get muddy legs, a cloth will soon remove that and they dry very quickly. Buhunds do not have a wet dog odour, which makes them ideal house pets.

Breed Health

Buhunds have inherited cataracts in the breed and some hip dysplasia. Breeders should not breed from dogs with cataracts and should hip score their breeding stock before breeding from them. The recommended hip score for a Buhund for breeding is a total of 18 or lower.

Breed Care

Buhunds have a double coat and usually shed in spring and autumn. However, while dogs tend to shed only twice a year, a bitch can sometimes shed their coat when either coming in or going out of season. When shedding they require grooming everyday with a comb and brush. There are rubber brushes on the market for dogs, which removes the dead, loose hair quickly. Ideally, it is better to groom outside in spring when the thick winter undercoat is coming out, and if you leave it on the grass you will find the birds will come down and collect it for their nests. When not shedding, a comb once a week is enough. Because their hair is not long it stays in place. You may need to trim their nails, usually only the front; remember not to go too close to the quick, or you will bleed the nail and hurt the dog. Regular cutting by removing only the tip usually is sufficient. Most Buhunds like a bath or shower, but this is not something you need to do often - perhaps when shedding as it helps to get rid of the loose hair, or if they happen to rub in something they have found on the ground which does not smell to pleasant. When you do need to bath them you should use a dog shampoo.


Buhunds will walk as far as you want them to - if you go 15 miles a day, they will be happy to do the same, but are just as happy with a walk in the park. Most Buhunds can be let off the lead, however it is best to take them to training classes. Some will become deaf when off the lead and take as long as two hours to come back, so please do not let a Buhund off the lead where there is traffic. A Buhund has NO TRAFFIC SENSE. Never punish a dog if it does not come back immediately, for if you do he will expect punishment again and will not be happy to return next time either. Instead, a good idea is to have some biscuits in your pocket to encourage him to return. If he continues to stay away when off the lead buy a flexi lead, then he can have freedom to a degree but you will always be in control to bring it close to you again when exercise is over.


Buhunds are not particulary obedient dogs, they can be if trained but if running free they will become conveniently deaf and then look up with a look that says "were you speaking to me?" A Buhund must not think it is the Alpha or pack leader in the household, and from an early age you must be the "pack leader", regardless of what the dog thinks. This is not done by using harsh methods with the dog, but is done with kindness - you have a voice, use it well and that will be sufficient. House-training a puppy is not hard if you watch for the signs and take puppies out when they have just been fed or wake up. If they play for more than an hour they usually need to go and will give a sign, it is up to you to watch and know the signs, which can sometimes be very subtle. Buhunds are special there is no other breed like them love and be loved by them. See our books on training

submit Actions
submit Category Stats
Links: 1
Breed Club: 1
Last link added: 11 Jan, 2006