Norwegian Buhund

Other names: Norsk Buhund, Norwegian Sheepdog

Norwegian Buhund
Norwegian Buhund

The name of this dog, the Buhund, is taken from the Norwegian word “Bu” which means a simple mountain hut or a homestead. This is the building where a shepherd would tend his herd. The Norwegian Buhund is a herding dog, but he also has a playful nature. He needs a great deal of daily exercise and mental stimulation. This breed does very well at agility classes as they are a great outlet for his enthusiasm and energy. 


Key facts about the Norwegian Buhund

  • Life expectancy : Between 13 and 15 years
  • Temperament : Affectionate, Playful, Intelligent
  • Size : Medium
  • Type of coat : Short, Hard
  • Price : Between £500 and £1000

FCI Group

FCI Group

Group 5 - Spitz and primitive types


Section 3 : Nordic Watchdogs and Herders

Physical characteristics of the Norwegian Buhund

Adult size

Female dog Between 16 and 18 in
Male dog Between 17 and 19 in


Female dog Between 26 and 35 lb
Male dog Between 31 and 40 lb

Coat colour

Wheaten or black.

Type of coat

The Norwegian Buhund breed has a dense, double coat which is very weather resistant. The dog’s undercoat is thick and soft and his top coat hard and short.

Eye colour

Very dark.


With a square profile, this medium-sized Buhund dog has a wedge shaped head and a deep chest. The dog’s ears are pricked and he has a black nose. He carries his tail over the centre of his back, tightly curled. 



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The Norwegian Buhund is very affectionate around his family, especially with the children, and loves to cuddle up on the sofa with them.


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Even though this breed is fearless and brave, it is also a wonderful companion, who loves to romp at the park with the children. 


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A gentle and calm dog.


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Compared to some other Spitz-breed dogs, the Norwegian Buhund is less headstrong. However, he’s also very intelligent and may use this to suit his own needs.


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The Buhund has a strong herding instinct which may show as chasing behaviours, after either children, cars or livestock. 

Fearful / wary of strangers

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The majority of Norwegian Buhund dogs are rather wary around strangers.


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This dog certainly has a very independent spirit, but is still willing to work with his master.

Behaviour of the Norwegian Buhund

Tolerates solitude

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This dog prefers to be with his family both offering and demanding companionship. He doesn’t like being left alone during the daytime. 

Easy to train / obedience

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Consistent, kind training is needed for the smart Norwegian Buhund. While he is certainly capable of learning many complex commands without problems, he requires an experienced trainer to deliver this training


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The Norwegian Buhund has a high-pitched, rapid bark that can become annoying, especially when he uses it frequently. 

Tendency to run away

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This is a dog that loves to work, so it’s important to keep the Buhund occupied. Likewise, he has a strong herding instinct that may cause him to chase after cars, other animals or children.


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As a breed that loves to be around people, when left alone for long periods, it can become destructive, or may bark excessively. 

Greedy / Gluttony

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Not known to be a gluttonous breed.

Guard dog

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With his very keen watchful attitude and senses, the Norwegian Buhund makes a marvellous alarm dog, although care must be taken to control his barking.

First dog

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Providing you can meet this dog’s high energy requirements, and maintain his optimum mental and physical health, the Norwegian Buhund will make a good first dog. 


Norwegian Buhund in a flat

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This dog is very active, and needs a lifestyle to reflect this. He also needs at least a small fenced-in outside space for him to run around. 

Need for exercise / Sporty

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These dogs have been bred to herd and work outdoors for many hours at a time. Because of this, the Norwegian Buhund is a very energetic dog that needs vigorous exercise. He loves to go on all-day hikes, retrieve balls, run next to a bicycle and even participate in agility, tracking and obedience tasks. 

Travelling / easy to transport

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This is an active breed, who won’t take too kindly to travelling on public transport. He will tolerate short journeys in the rear of a vehicle. 


Norwegian Buhund and cats

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Because this dog is a herding breed, care must be taken around cats and other small pets, or he will give chase. 

Norwegian Buhund and dogs

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A Norwegian Buhund is often fine with other dogs in the household, especially if they have been raised together. 

Norwegian Buhund and children

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This is a trustworthy dog, especially around children. He makes a loving and pleasant addition to an active family home.

Norwegian Buhund and the elderly

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Even though he needs a large amount of daily exercise to meet his needs, the Buhund also makes an ideal companion pet for an elderly person.


Expect to pay between £500 to £1000 for a Norwegian Buhund dog. In addition, monthly costs to cover food, vet bills, and pet insurance will amount to between £80 to £100.


This dog has a thick, harsh outer coat with a dense, soft undercoat. His coat is fairly easy to groom and brushing several times weekly should suffice. 


Norwegian Buhunds shed their undercoats once or twice each year.

Nutrition of the Norwegian Buhund

This dog breed needs a high quality, nutritious dog food. An adult Norwegian Buhund will need twice daily feeding.

Health of the Norwegian Buhund

Life expectancy

Generally a healthy dog breed, however as with many active dogs, he can suffer from hip dysplasia as well as hereditary eye conditions. His average life expectancy is 14 years.

Strong / robust

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A brave, bold, active and energetic dog breed.

Withstand heat

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As a native from Norway, the Buhund doesn’t do too well in warm temperatures, especially with his thick coat hair. 

Withstand cold

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The Norwegian Buhund certainly tolerates the cold weather without any issues. 

Tendency to put on weight

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Some dogs are more prone to gaining weight, yet because of his high level of energy and need for vigorous exercise, this dog won’t become obese too easily. 

Common illnesses

Good to know

The Norwegian Buhund breed excels at many canine activities and in their working roles. Although not too many of these dogs are used as herding dogs, they are also put to use as assistance dogs. They are also an excellent dog for canine sport competitions. If you intend to keep your dog purely as a domestic pet, you must remember that he needs to take part in sports and activities to challenge both his physical and mental health. He needs lots of outdoor exercise and long energetic walks too. 

Origins and history

The Norwegian Buhund dog is from the Spitz type of canines, of which there are many variations in coat colour and size. The dog’s ancestors are from the Viking period. Indeed, remains of 6 mummified dogs were found in an excavation in Gokstad in Norway. It’s understood that the Vikings took their dogs on travels with them, and when they died, their dogs and other special possessions were buried right next to them in a tomb. The Norwegian Buhund was then used over many regions in Norway as a herding and working dog, a practice which continues to this day. 


Viking, Toothless, Kara, Ama

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