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Norwegian Buhund Dog Breed… Everything You Need to Know at a Glance!

Remember the Vikings?

The Vikings were the most fearsome warriors in history, who went on expeditions that took them everywhere, including to the New World. No matter where the Vikings went, they had one brave watch dog protecting them – the Norwegian Buhund.

Ironically though…

The Buhund is not a big dog.  In fact, he hardly rises up to a height of 18 inches. But he was a faithful and loyal watchdog to the Vikings and will certainly be one for you too!

You see…

It was his job to defend the ship from dangerous birds of prey such as raptors, which stole the lambs and poultry.  Now imagine sailing into the unknown and having your food supply stolen by birds of prey? No wonder the Vikings really appreciated the role played by watch dogs such as the Buhund and took this dog with them wherever they went.

Now back then…

These fine creatures were referred to as the Norsk Buhund in the Norwegian language and when not exploring the world, they were also used as a farm dogs seeing how they just seemed to find a way of making themselves useful.


The Buhund is better known for being a companion dog or family dog. He is an intelligent, cheerful and hard-working dog, yet…  always barking enthusiastically. This makes him a perfect companion dog for those who need hearing assistance.

Which is why…

Even though we here at IndulgeYourPet find these guys quite delightful, you may not be in a situation where their “traits” are going to work for you.  This is why we wanted to take a moment and discuss exactly what it might be like to actually own a Norwegian Buhund so that if you’re ever given the opportunity to own one, you’ll know for sure if it’s a good idea or not.

So, without further ado, let’s dive right in!

Norwegian Buhund Fast Facts

Country of Origin: Norway

Original Purpose:  Protection, herding, and hunting.

 Height: 16 to 18.5 inches at the shoulder

 Weight: 26 to 40 pounds

Dog Breed Classification:  Herding group

 Life Span: 12 to 15 years

Origin of the Norwegian Buhund Dog Breed

As said earlier, the Norwegian Buhund dog has an incredible story behind him. You see, these were the dogs that the Vikings took with them on their unending journeys around the world.

Which means…

Like most “ancient” breeds while their “existence” is usually well documented, the actual “origin” can be a bit “sketchy”.

Now what…

We do know is that a few years back, a Viking Grave dating back to the tenth century was excavated. Archaeologists found six skeletons of dogs that looked very much like the Buhund as we know him today.  Which falls right in line with the stories told about how these dogs were extremely loyal to their masters and would often times be killed off when their masters died so that they could continue to protect their owners in the afterlife!


For he Buhund, times have changed and these dogs are no longer expected to help their owners pillage the 7 seas!  Instead, these dogs found a new role as a farm dog where it was his job to keep predators such as wolves and bears away from the farm animals.

He was later used…

As a police dog and a military dog. He was a popular fixture in dog shows held in Norway in the 1920s. It was in 1939 that the first Norwegian Buhund Club was formed.


Despite the fact that this breed has been around for centuries, it has not been all that well known in the United States. In fact, it was only in the 1980’s when he was first brought to the U.S, then later recognized by the United Kennel Club in 1996 and classified as a Northern breed.


The American Kennel Club (AKC) decided to “officially” recognize the Buhund as a member of the Herding Group in 2009.

That said however…

Even today, not a lot of people in the U.S. are familiar with this breed. He remains only moderately successful here. Hopefully that is going to change fast. We see no reason why not.

Physical Characteristics

The Buhund is a mid-sized dog, only about 18 inches tall. He weighs anything from 30 to 40 pounds and has classic Spitz characteristics, which includes erect prick ears, slender pointed muzzle, tightly curled, high set tail, sturdy, robust physique and square shaped, stocky body.

He wears a…

Gentle expression on his face. His eyes are rimmed in black and dark in color. He has a dense water resistant double coat which offers excellent protection from the harsh weather conditions of Norway.

His outer coat…

Is short and coarse, and the undercoat thick and soft, similar to other Nordic breeds such as the German Spitz, Keeshhond and Samoyed. His coat is usually of the colors bright orange, wheaten or black.

The one really nice thing…

About the Buhund is that he is a really low maintenance dog. He doesn’t require much grooming. But he sheds heavily twice a year. During the shedding season you will have to brush his coat daily.

The Norwegian Buhund Dog Breed Temperament and Personality

The Buhund exudes confidence. He is an energetic dog, who is always communicating through his friendly and enthusiastic barking, yodels, yips, chortles and trills. He is always saying something and wants you to stop everything you’re doing at the moment and pay him attention.

But his barking can…

Get serious if he suspects something amiss, such as an unwanted intruder approaching the house. The Norwegian Buhund is a smart, discerning dog who is intelligent enough to separate friend from foe. This goes back to his days as a farm dog or herding dog, when he used to guard his flock of sheep against wolves and foxes.

He is an excellent family dog…

The Buhund is great with kids. He enjoys playing with children and loves being a part of their games. He is protective of the kids of the household and always watches over them.

He is a loyal dog…

Who develops a strong emotional connection with his human family. He considers himself to be a part of the family and will want to be a part of everything you do. He is not the sort of dog that you simply ignore. He will not let you do that to him!

Easy to Train

He is a smart dog and is very easy to train. He performs spectacularly well in dog sports such as rally, agility and obedience. He is responsive to the owner’s commands and does very well in mental stimulation exercises.

Health Problems

The Norwegian Buhund is a very healthy dog breed that has a life expectancy of 12 to 15 years. He can live longer as long as he gets the right sort of medical treatment whenever he needs it.

He is known to suffer from the following diseases…

Both Cataract and Hip Dysplasia are treatable, but as you know, the vet bills can be really high these days, and catch you completely off guard.

And while…

Many of these conditions may not be life threatening, they can certainly become quite expensive to deal with particularly if they become recurring issues.

This is why…

We here at IndulgeYourPet also recommend that any new pet owner take a moment and see what it might cost for you to purchase a pet insurance policy for your new animal.

Now will a pet insurance policy be right for everyone?

No, probably not.  But until you fully understand what these policies “will” and “won’t” cover and how much these pet insurance policies cost, how will you know if one might be right for you?

For more information on who we feel currently offers the “best” pet insurance policies out there, we would encourage you to check out our Best Pet Insurance Policies article.

{ 1 comment… add one }
  • Bella G December 18, 2020, 8:29 am

    Is this dog good with other dogs? I have two at home, one that is medium sized and one small but chunky one. Bigger one is shy but can be playful and smaller one can be feisty but is also calm. Both are around 10-11 years old.

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