Norwegian Buhund

Photo: Getty Images

Norwegian Buhund

Quick Facts

  • Weight: 26 to 40 pounds
  • Height: 16 to 18.5 inches

The Look of a Norwegian Buhund

The Norwegian Buhund has a typical Spitz look, with pricked ears and a wedge-shaped head. The tail curls tightly over the back. The overall look is one of strength, proportion, and agility.

The Norwegian Buhund has a soft undercoat and a rough outer coat, short on the head and front end and slightly longer along the back and back legs. It is usually wheaten (cream to orange), but is also acceptable in black. Some white markings are allowed in both.


  • Graceful, level gait
  • Spitz-like characteristics
  • Intelligent and quick to learn
  • Versatile worker
  • Lifespan: 13 to 15 years

Ideal Human Companion

  • Active singles or families
  • Those looking for a cheerful, intelligent dog
  • Those looking for a “big dog” in a smallish/medium-sized body
  • Owners with the time to train and play with these playful dogs
  • Those looking for a therapy or aid dog
  • Anyone who needs a dog to help with crossword puzzles

What They Are Like to Live With

The Norwegian Buhund is a very smart, versatile dog. It is even-tempered, affectionate, and alert, and makes a good companion dog for singles or families.

Exercise is particularly important. If you like to do interactive sports with your dog, this breed could be a good match. Though this is a high-energy dog, if it gets enough exercise, it will be content to relax with its owner after a busy day.

Norwegian Buhunds excel in agility and obedience trials and almost any canine sport. They are highly trainable, and more than a few have earned their Good Canine Citizen and Therapy Dog certifications.

Grooming a Norwegian Buhund is quick and easy: just a brush every few days.

Things You Should Know

Because of its intelligence, strength, and stamina, the Norwegian Buhund must be trained from an early age if possible. These dogs will surprise and delight you with their many talents, but an untrained one will be restless and stubborn and may redirect its energy toward destructive behavior. They make excellent watchdogs but, again, must be trained to stop their alarms when told to.

Some Norwegian Buhunds suffer from separation anxiety, but this behavior can be corrected.

This is a hardy breed. The most commonly documented health concerns are cataracts and hip dysplasia.

Norwegian Buhund History

The Norwegian Buhund is part of a group of dogs called the Spitz. They were bred in Norway to be herding and guard dogs and to hunt bear and wolf, but may have originated with the Vikings, as bones of the Norwegian Buhund’s ancestors have been found at Viking burial sites circa 900 AD, indicating their importance.

This breed was recognized by the AKC in 2009. Today, the Norwegian Buhund is often still a working dog, but its roles have expanded. They are used in police work and as service dogs for the hearing-impaired.

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