The Norwegian Buhund: A Viking's Companion

Dive into the world of the Norwegian Buhund. This loyal, brave dog was once a Viking’s loyal companion. Explore their rich history and much more in this great blog.

Dec 28, 2023By Nikita Hillier
norwegian buhund viking companion

The fascinating and bold Norwegian Buhund is a dog you certainly won’t be able to keep your eyes off when you see it. This versatile dog is a captivating and ground-breaking addition to the world of dog breeds. This dog has a striking appearance, a body full of personality, and very high intelligence.

In this breed profile, we will take a look at the world of the Norwegian Buhund and all you need to know about this interesting dog. Let’s get started!

A Brief Overview

norwegian buhund dog blue background
Image Credit: The Evergreen Post - Norway

These medium-sized dogs have long been loved for their great qualities. They have bountiful, fun natures and make great family members. Their loyalty is literally unmatched!

When you welcome a Norwegian Buhund into your home, you will notice that it integrates seamlessly into your family. However, it is important to understand that they have independent and protective traits. Before we dive into that, let’s look at some key characteristics first!

  • Size: These dogs are a nice size with a strong build. Usually, they stand between 17.5 to 18.5 inches tall.
  • Weight: Once matured, Norwegian Buhunds can weigh anywhere from 26 to 40 pounds. They’re not giant dog breeds, but they’re certainly not pocket-sized, either.
  • Lifespan: These dogs have a pretty long lifespan, ranging from 12 to 15 years.
  • Affection level: While these dogs are pretty independent, they can be very affectionate at the same time. Sometimes, they may seem pretty reserved. With the right care, they are great family dogs.
  • Good with children: When socialized well, these dogs make great additions to families with kids.
  • Good with other dogs: Norwegian Buhunds are generally great with other dogs when they are properly socialized.

The Origins of the Norwegian Buhund

norwegian buhund dog at dog show
Image Credit: Zodiac Ranch

Norwegian Buhund dogs, pronounced “boo-hund,” have really cemented themselves in the history of Norway. In fact, can you believe that these canines are an ancient dog breed? Belonging to the Spitz family of dogs, these dogs interlink with several other Nordic breeds, including the Swedish Vallhund and Icelandic Sheepdog.

Most commonly, these dogs were used as guarding or herding dogs. Even now, they are seen as an invaluable asset to farmers in Norway. The word “buhund” actually translates directly to “farm dog” in Norwegian.

This just further outlines the important, versatile role this breed plays as a working dog on farms. Even now, these dogs are prized for their ability to handle tasks with ease. Whether they are guarding, herding, or serving, they do it well.

Physical Characteristics

black norwegian buhund dog sitting majestically
Image Credit: Hundeo

The Norwegian Buhund dog has plenty of interesting characteristics. This dog breed is sturdy, well-muscled, and well-balanced with a compact build. Designed for agility and endurance, they have a slightly longer body than their height.

Let’s check out some more of these interesting characteristics:

  • Coat: The Buhund has a thick double coat with a soft undercoat and a straight outer coat. Isn’t that interesting? This means that their coats are completely weather-resistant. The coat of a Norwegian Buhund dog can come in many shades, including wheat or black.
  • Tail: The tail of a Buhund is tightly curled and sits over the back. This is a trait the Buhund inherited from its ancestors.
  • Ears: The ears of these dogs are triangular and stand atop their head, making them look alert and intelligent.
  • Eyes: Norwegian Buhund dogs have dark, kind, almond-shaped eyes. This is a characteristic of many spitz dog breeds.

Temperament and Personality

norwegian buhund dog on leash
Image Credit: Brit

The Norwegian Buhund is very well-known for being kind, friendly, and outgoing in nature. This is why these dogs are such amazing family companions. Some of the best things about these dogs personality-wise are:

  • Intelligence: Buhunds are extremely intelligent and learn very quickly. They problem-solve with ease, which is why they perform so well in dog shows and excel in trick training.
  • Alertness: These dogs are super alert and attentive, making them great watchdogs. They are always aware of their surroundings and will bark to alert their family of any threats.
  • Socialization: These dogs are very sociable and enjoy being part of family activities. By socializing these dogs early, you can ensure that they have well-rounded temperaments.
  • Energy level: This breed has pretty high energy levels. They require a lot of regular exercise and mental stimulation to keep them healthy, happy, and thriving.
  • Loyalty: Buhund dogs form very strong bonds with their family and other pets. They are specifically known for their loyalty and companionship.

Health Considerations

norwegian buhund dog on beam
Image Credit: Life in Norway

As with every breed, the Norwegian Buhund is prone to some common health conditions that you should be aware of. By only buying dogs from ethical breeders and taking your dog for regular veterinary check-ups, you can maintain your dog’s well-being.

Common health considerations for Norwegian Buhund dogs include:

  • Hip dysplasia: This is an awful hereditary condition in which the hip joint doesn’t fit comfortably into the hip socket. This can lead to many things, including arthritis.
  • Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA): This is a genetic condition that brings gradual vision loss and can lead to complete blindness in some cases.
  • Hypothyroidism: This is a complex disorder in which the thyroid gland is unable to produce enough of the thyroid hormone. This can lead to a whole pile of health issues.
  • Ear infections: Due to their erect ears, these dogs may deal with consistent ear infections if owners don’t clean their ears regularly or monitor their ear health.

Grooming Requirements

brown and cream norwegian buhund dog
Image Credit: Hundeo

Buhund dogs are pretty low maintenance. However, they do have a moderate shedding coat, which means you need to stay up to date with regular grooming to maintain your dog’s health and appearance. Some of the key grooming tasks you will need to keep up with are:

  • Ear cleaning: Check and clean your dog’s ears regularly. This way, you can prevent any infections or pain for your pup. Make sure you use a veterinarian-approved ear cleaner, or just ask your vet to clean their ears.
  • Nail trimming: Make sure you always keep your dog’s nails at a comfortable length. If your dog isn’t wearing them down with regular activity, they may even need to be trimmed weekly.
  • Bathing: While Buhunds are pretty clean dogs, you should bathe them every now and again. We recommend bathing your dog every two to three months or as needed if they get super dirty.
  • Brushing: Regular brushing of your dog will help remove any loose fur and prevent matting of the coat. When your dog is shedding, make sure you brush them more frequently.

General Care Requirements

norwegian buhund winning at dog show
Image Credit: Westminster Kennel Club

While Buhund dogs are pretty fuss-free, they do have some general need requirements that need to be upheld if you want your dog to thrive. Here’s what to know about this fun-loving breed.

They Need Regular Exercise

The Norwegian Buhund dog thrives on regular exercise, both mental and physical. You can help them meet these needs with daily walks, interactive toys, playtime, and trick training. This will help to keep them physically fit and mentally stimulated.

Engaging your dog in activities, such as obedience training, can help them exercise their intelligence and get rid of excess energy.

Training Requirements

Getting your dog into training and socialization early on is absolutely crucial for this intelligent dog breed. Their independent and smart nature makes them adapt well to positive reinforcement methods.

You can offer treats, praise them, and treat them with kindness from a young age to have a well-adjusted adult dog.

Health Monitoring

Norwegian_Buhund
Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

You will need to ensure that you stay on top of regular veterinary care. Check-ups on a regular basis are truly vital to monitor your dog’s health, address any issues they may have, and ensure that their routine treatments are up to date.

At home, you can keep an eye on their dental health, weight, and behavioral changes.

Nutrition Needs

Make sure that you provide your dog with healthy dog food brands that are rich in protein. You will need to tailor it to your dog’s size, age, and activity level. Consider consulting a professional for your canine companion’s nutrition.

Norwegian Buhunds as Family Companions

norwegian buhund dog running on grass
Image Credit: Wag!

If you’re looking for a reliable, gentle, and kind family companion that will bring charm and intelligence into your home, this breed is all you need. These sturdy dogs are not only known for their distinctive appearance but also for how perfect they are as family members.

Here’s why a beautiful Norwegian Buhund could be the perfect fit for your household:

  • Intelligent and trainable: Norwegian Buhund dogs are not just pretty. They’re also super intelligent and trainable. They have an eagerness about them that helps them learn quickly, making obedience training an absolute breeze. Engaging these dogs in mental exercise is a great way to keep their minds active.
  • Social butterflies: These dogs are inherently social creatures. They absolutely thrive on companionship and love from their humans. They get along well with other pets and kids. Whether you’re playing together or snuggling on the couch, these dogs will just love being with you.
  • Loyalty: These dogs are insanely loyal to their loved ones. When you treat them correctly, they will be loyal to you no matter what.

Interesting Facts About the Norwegian Buhund

cute norwegian buhund dog looking at camera
Image Credit: Love My Dogz

Check out these interesting facts about the beautiful Norwegian Buhund dog.

  • Herding instinct: Due to their long background as herding dogs, Buhunds have a very strong instinct to drive and gather livestock. Even in a modern household, you may notice that they will herd humans and other pets.
  • Vocal communication: These dogs will always let you know how they’re feeling. They have super expressive vocalizations that they will use whenever they need to. They communicate their needs and alert their owners with these vocal expressions.
  • Adaptability: These versatile dogs are also adaptable to various living situations. They thrive in having a lot of space to run around in, but with daily walks, they can adapt to smaller spaces.
Nikita Hillier
By Nikita Hillier

Nikita is a huge animal lover who has grown up on a farm with many different animals, from dogs and cats to horses and cows! She has a lot of experience in the equine industry and is even in the process of studying for an internationally accredited Equine Sports Massage Certificate! In her spare time, she enjoys writing and spending time with her beloved animals!