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  • Temperament: Confident, Smart, Perceptive
  • AKC Breed Popularity: Ranks 174 of 194
  • Height: 17-18.5 inches (male), 16-17.5 inches (female)
  • Weight: 31-40 pounds (male), 26-35 pounds (female)
  • Life Expectancy: 12-15 years
  • Group: Herding Group

    The AKC has grouped all of the breeds that it registers into seven categories, or groups, roughly based on function and heritage. Breeds are grouped together because they share traits of form and function or a common heritage.

Norwegian Buhund standing in three-quarter view facing forward
Norwegian Buhund head and neck facing left
Norwegian Buhund sitting in three-quarter view, head facing forward
Norwegian Buhund coat detail
Norwegian Buhund

Find a Puppy: Norwegian Buhund

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GENERAL APPEARANCE

The Norwegian Buhund is a herding dog. It is a typical northern breed, a little under medium size and squarely built, with a tightly curled tail carried over the back. The head is wedge-shaped and not too heavy, with prick ears. As it is extremely intelligent by nature, consistent training is needed from early puppyhood. The Buhund has a lot of energy, strength and stamina. This self-appointed watchdog is also content lying at your feet at the end of the day. Broken teeth and honorable scars incurred in the line of herding duty are acceptable.

HEAD

The size of the head should be in proportion to the body and not too heavy. The skull is wedge-shaped, almost flat, and parallel with the bridge of the nose. The muzzle is about the same length as the skull, with a stop that is well defined but not too pronounced. The nasal bridge is straight and well filled out under the eyes. The lips should be black and tightly closed. The teeth should meet in a scissors bite, with complete dentition. Disqualifying fault – overshot or undershot mouth. Eyes – Oval shaped, color as dark as possible, black eye rims. Ears – Medium sized, prick ears with pointed tips, carried strongly erect yet very mobile. When relaxed or showing affection the ears go back, and the dog should not be penalized for doing this during the judge’s examination. Nose – Black.

BODY

Neck is of medium length, is well set on, with no loose skin on the throat. Topline – The back is level; croup with as little slope as possible. Body – Chest deep, ribs well-sprung; tail set high, tightly curled and carried over the center line of the back.

FOREQUARTERS

Shoulders moderately sloping, elbows well set, turned neither in nor out; legs substantial but not coarse in bone, legs seen from the front appear straight and parallel; pastern seen from the side moderately sloping; feet oval in shape with tightly closed toes, feet turned neither in nor out.

COAT

Outer coat is thick and hard, but rather smooth lying. The under coat is soft and dense. The coat on the head and front of the legs is comparatively short. The coat on the neck, chest and back of thighs is longer.

HINDQUARTERS

Moderate angulation at stifle and hock, upper thigh powerful, well muscled; lower thigh well muscled, seen from behind legs are straight and strong, feet same as above.

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About the Norwegian Buhund

The Buhund, a prototypical spitz, provides a good opportunity to explain the term. Spitz are cold-weather breeds characterized by a dense coat, a tail curved tightly over the back, a wedge-shaped head, and erect, pointed ears (“spitz” means “pointed” in ancient German). They can be pint-sized like Pomeranians, mighty like Malamutes, or mid-sized like the lithe but sturdy Buhund. Males can stand 18.5 inches high and weight up to 40 pounds. Coat colors are wheaten or black.

National Breed Clubs and Rescue

Want to connect with other people who love the same breed as much as you do? We have plenty of opportunities to get involved in your local community, thanks to AKC Breed Clubs located in every state, and more than 450 AKC Rescue Network groups across the country.
Norwegian Buhund

Find a Puppy: Norwegian Buhund

AKC Marketplace | PuppyFinder

AKC Marketplace is the only site to exclusively list 100% AKC puppies from AKC-Registered litters and the breeders who have cared for and raised these puppies are required to follow rules and regulations established by the AKC.
Find Norwegian Buhund Puppies

Care

NUTRITION

The Norwegian Buhund should do well on a high-quality dog food, whether commercially manufactured or home-prepared with your veterinarian’s supervision and approval. Any diet should be appropriate to the dog’s age (puppy, adult, or senior). Some dogs are prone to getting overweight, so watch your dog’s calorie consumption and weight level. Treats can be an important aid in training, but giving too many can cause obesity. Learn about which human foods are safe for dogs, and which are not. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.

GROOMING

Compared to other breeds, Norwegian Buhunds do not need extensive grooming. They are naturally clean and basically odorless dogs, even when wet. The Buhund has a double coat: an outer coat that is thick, rich, hard, and smooth lying, and a soft, dense, and woolly undercoat. The coat sheds most foreign substances with ease, and dries itself after a bath. Buhunds do need to be brushed two to three times a week, and more often during the shedding season—like other double-coated dogs, Buhunds blow their undercoats once or twice a year. As with all breeds, the nails should be trimmed regularly.

Grooming Frequency

Occasional Bath/Brush
Specialty/Professional
Weekly Brushing

Shedding

Infrequent
Frequent
Seasonal

EXERCISE

Buhunds have been bred to work and herd for hours at a time. This can result in very energetic dogs who need vigorous exercise (that allows them to run fast) twice a day for optimum physical and mental health. These dogs love to run with a bicycle, retrieve balls, or go for long, all-day hikes. The breed can also exercise mind and body by participating in obedience, tracking, agility, and other activities that dog and owner can enjoy together.

Energy Level

Couch Potato
Needs Lots of Activity
Energetic

TRAINING

Compared to other Spitz and Northern breeds, Norwegian Buhunds are easier to train, but they still retain the independent characteristics of such breeds. Buhunds do have a desire to please, but their independence is often stronger, which makes it challenging to maintain their focus and convince them to continue training. Fortunately most Buhunds are highly food-motivated, therefore positive-training techniques such as clicker training work well. At the same time, most Buhunds are extremely sensitive to their environment, which makes them challenging in the dog-show ring.

Trainability

May be Stubborn
Eager to Please
Easy Training

Temperament/Demeanor

Aloof/Wary
Outgoing
Friendly

HEALTH

In general, Norwegian Buhunds tend to be healthy and hardy. Responsible breeders screen their breeding stock for health conditions such as hip dysplasia, von Willebrand’s disease, and eye disease. Potential puppy buyers are always advised to confirm the health screening of the sire and dam.

Recommended Health Tests from the National Breed Club:

  • Hip Evaluation
  • Ophthalmologist Evaluation

Read the Official Breed Club Health Statement.

Norwegian Buhund
Norwegian Buhund
Norwegian Buhund
Norwegian Buhund
Norwegian Buhund
Norwegian Buhund

History

There’s truth to the romantic tales of Buhunds who sailed with those Nordic invaders, the Vikings, whose lightning raids tized Europe some 1,200 years ago. And though Buhunds might’ve enjoyed looting and pillaging their way across the continent alongside Vikings (Buhunds enjoy any activity they can do with their owners!), they are, at heart, homebodies. In fact, their name derives from the Norwegian word “bu,” meaning “homestead” or “farm.” For centuries Buhunds served as herders, guardians of flock and family, and all-purpose farmhands.

Did You Know?

The Norwegian Buhund is AKC's 160th breed.
The Norwegian Buhund has been recorded in the Foundation Stock Service since 1996.
The Norwegian Buhund is also known as Norsk Buhund and Norwegian Sheepdog.
In their country of origin, Norway, Norwegian Buhunds are still used as general farm dogs.
The Buhund is self-confident, very affectionate towards people and loves children.
Although his coat is easy to care for, he sheds heavily a couple of times a year.

The Breed Standard

GENERAL APPEARANCE

The Norwegian Buhund is a herding dog. It is a typical northern breed, a little under medium size and squarely built, with a tightly curled tail carried over the back. The head is wedge-shaped and not too heavy, with prick ears. As it is extremely intelligent by nature, consistent training is needed from early puppyhood. The Buhund has a lot of energy, strength and stamina. This self-appointed watchdog is also content lying at your feet at the end of the day. Broken teeth and honorable scars incurred in the line of herding duty are acceptable.

HEAD

The size of the head should be in proportion to the body and not too heavy. The skull is wedge-shaped, almost flat, and parallel with the bridge of the nose. The muzzle is about the same length as the skull, with a stop that is well defined but not too pronounced. The nasal bridge is straight and well filled out under the eyes. The lips should be black and tightly closed. The teeth should meet in a scissors bite, with complete dentition. Disqualifying fault – overshot or undershot mouth. Eyes – Oval shaped, color as dark as possible, black eye rims. Ears – Medium sized, prick ears with pointed tips, carried strongly erect yet very mobile. When relaxed or showing affection the ears go back, and the dog should not be penalized for doing this during the judge’s examination. Nose – Black.

BODY

Neck is of medium length, is well set on, with no loose skin on the throat. Topline – The back is level; croup with as little slope as possible. Body – Chest deep, ribs well-sprung; tail set high, tightly curled and carried over the center line of the back.

FOREQUARTERS

Shoulders moderately sloping, elbows well set, turned neither in nor out; legs substantial but not coarse in bone, legs seen from the front appear straight and parallel; pastern seen from the side moderately sloping; feet oval in shape with tightly closed toes, feet turned neither in nor out.

COAT

Outer coat is thick and hard, but rather smooth lying. The under coat is soft and dense. The coat on the head and front of the legs is comparatively short. The coat on the neck, chest and back of thighs is longer.

HINDQUARTERS

Moderate angulation at stifle and hock, upper thigh powerful, well muscled; lower thigh well muscled, seen from behind legs are straight and strong, feet same as above.

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Colors & Markings

Colors

Description Standard Colors Registration Code
BLACK Check Mark For Standard Color 007
WHEATEN Check Mark For Standard Color 224

Markings

Description Standard Markings Registration Code
BLACK MASK Check Mark For Standard Mark 004
WHITE MARKINGS Check Mark For Standard Mark 014

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