What is a Norwegian Buhund? I have been asked that question many times; and I am more than happy to respond. A Norwegian Buhund is an ancient Spitz breed of dog that was used as a farming, herding and watch dog. They are still used in Norway for those purposes.
Buhund comes from the Norwegian word “bu” which means farm, homestead or mountain hut. Many Buhund owners refer to their dogs as “Bu’s”. Dogs similar to the Buhund were found in Viking graves as early as 900 A.D. It is believed that the Spitz dog mated with wolves 5,000 years ago.
A Spitz breed, the Buhund is characterized by a curly tail and prick ears. We were attracted to the look, the temperament and the fact that they tend not to have a “doggy” odor because of the outer protective layer and the wooly undercoat.
We had Norwegian Elkhounds before we had the Buhunds. The Elkhound has similar markings and a “saddle” like the Bu’s but are black and silver.
The Buhunds range in color from pale cream to bright reddish-orange; but the “wheaten” color is the most common. There are also black Buhunds. The Bu’s are a smaller breed than the Elkhounds and range in size from 31-40 pounds for males and 26-35 for females.
Since they are intelligent and active dogs, they do very well in Agility trials. They are gentle and affectionate; but they must have activity or they become bored. A bored dog left in a house alone could become destructive. Bu’s love objects in motion, squeaky toys and can chase a ball for extended periods of time. A large, fenced-in yard would be perfect, especially if they have another dog or you to play with! They bond very closely to their owners; and it’s hard not to lose your heart to them!
Warning: All Spitz breeds bark. The Buhunds have a loud bark that was used to communicate through the mountains of Norway. The Finnish Spitz has its own special competition to find the “King (or Queen) of the Barkers”. Buhunds are “barker pointers” and are still used as hunting dogs in Finland.
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Have you ever seen a Norwegian Buhund?