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Group Pastoral Dogs (KC)
History The Norwegian buhund is a small dog whose roots can be traced to Western Norway as early as the year 900. It was originally raised as a sheepdog—the word comes from Norsk bu (farm) and hund (dog)—although modern buhunds are now classified under the spitz family. They were also popular among the Vikings, who took them on travels over land and sea. Centuries later, many Viking bodies were found buried alongside their buhunds, a testament to their long history as human companions.
Despite their age, though, buhunds have only recently been recognized as a breed. The first Buhund show was held in the 1920s, and the first buhund association, the Norsk Buhundklubb, was formed only in 1939. Today, buhunds are bred to guard farms and livestock, perform police work, join dog sports, and even aid hearing-impaired owners.
Appearance The buhund is a medium-size dog bearing all the characteristics of a classic spitz: a compact body, pricked, pointed ears, and a tightly curled tail that curves over the back. The head should be wedge-shaped with a scissors bite. The outer coat should be thick but smooth, and the undercoat soft.
Colours Male buhunds are ideally 17 to 18 ½ inches tall, and females should stand 16 to 17 ½. The preferred weight is 31 to 40 pounds for males and 26 ½ to 35 ½ pounds for females.
Temperament Buhunds are very cheerful and active; they love to play and run around the house or yard. They are also very affectionate and will often snuggle up to their owners or lick them on the face. They are natural-born watchdogs—they’ll bark loudly at the sight of an intruder, but will not bite or show any aggression unless provoked. They also get along well with children and make great family pets.
Weight Male buhunds are ideally 17 to 18 ½ inches tall, and females should stand 16 to 17 ½. The preferred weight is 31 to 40 pounds for males and 26 ½ to 35 ½ pounds for females.
Problems The Norwegian buhund is a healthy breed with few significant health risks, although occasional problems do appear. Hip problems occur not because of their size but because of inherited bone malformations. These can be remedied with proper exercise and weight maintenance. Eye problems run in some lines, so pups should be checked within the first few months to prevent complications.
Living Conditions This breed is active both indoors and outdoors, so a fenced yard would be ideal. Buhunds need a lot of space to run free and exercise their muscles. They can live in an apartment, however, provided they are taken out daily and have enough space to run indoors. They prefer colder climates, so owners living in hot or temperate areas should take extra effort to keep them cool.
Requirements Buhunds are very energetic and should get a daily dose of exercise. Vets recommend one or more brisk walks or jogs every day, with a lot of activity and play in between. These dogs greatly enjoy vigorous play such as catching ball, retrieving toys, and chasing children around the house.
Training Requirements This breed is said to be the most trainable of the spitz family. Obedience training is necessary especially if they will be used as watchdogs or farm dogs. They are very intelligent, however, and should be trained as pups to keep them from becoming stubborn.
Life Expectancy The Norwegian Buhund has a life expectancy of 10 to 13 years.
Grooming The buhund’s coat is short and fairly easy to groom; brushing every other day should be enough to keep it neat. Grooming should be more frequent during shedding season, as it tends to shed heavily once or twice a year. Baths should be given only when necessary.
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More Norwegian Buhund Information: Check out our Norwegian Buhund Clubs and links to more informative websites dedicated to the breed.
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