Norwegian Buhund – Full Breed Profile

Written by: Bojana Radulovic
Norwegian Buhunds are true athletes. They are so unique, that they can climb rocks easily. Check this guide to discover more about this breed. Read on.
Dog Breed Group:
Herding Dogs
16 to 18 inches tall at the shoulder
26 to 40 pounds
Life Span:
12 to 15 years

Breed Characteristics:

Apartment Friendly


How well will this breed adapt to apartment living? Is the apartment size the most important factor when it comes to proper living conditions? Is the breed suitable for apartment living?

Good For First-Time Owners


Some dogs aren't suitable for first-time dog owners. Is this breed a good match for someone with no dog experience? Can training help them be on their best behavior with owners with no dog experience? Are they suitable to be handled by someone who is just entering the canine world?

Overall Sensitivity


Some dogs are sensitive. Certain breeds are rough on the outside, while having the softest heart on the inside. In other words, some dogs are 'thick-skinned' while some are 'easygoing.' Is this breed prone to sensitivity?

Tolerates Being Alone


Separation anxiety in dogs is a serious condition that can affect a dog's life quality. Is this breed prone to this condition? Can you leave him alone for hours? How destructive this breed can become when bored, neglected, or not loved enough?

Affectionate With Family


How affectionate this breed will be around his humans? Will he welcome new family friends easily or he will choose to be shy? Some breeds can be clingy with owners, while others don't attach a lot. Will this breed act as the family's best friend?



Some dogs will tolerate children, while others will adore well-behaved ones. Dogs and children should always be supervised, no matter how well trained the dog might be. Will this breed act as a nanny dog or he will stay away from children?

Friendly Toward Other Dogs


Some dog breeds cannot wait to run to the dog park and run with others. Others prefer to be with their humans, and not to be a part of a multi-pet household. Is this breed dog lover or not? How friendly this breed will be toward other dogs?

Friendly Toward Strangers


Some dog breeds tend to be reserved toward strangers and highly suspicious. Others are fast to walk away with them easily. How welcoming this breed is toward strangers?

Drooling Level


If you love to clean all the time drooling level in dogs is a trait that you should mind. Is this breed less likely to drool, or you will always need a towel on hand?

Easy To Groom


Heavier shedding during the shedding season is something that every dog needs to go through. However, some dogs shed just a bit all year round. Is this breed one of them? How often should you groom this dog?

Overall Health


What can you expect from this breed in terms of health? Are there any genetic conditions to vary about? Is obesity a major issue in this breed? By knowing more about the dog's health, you are learning how to help him live a longer and healthier life.

Prone To Obesity


Treats are a great addition to training sessions. Dogs love sweet bites of dog treats but they should be served in moderation. Treats can lead to obesity, next to poor nutrition. Can this breed gain extra weight from treats? How prone to obesity this breed actually is?

Trainability Level


Training some dogs is easier than others. How easy this dog will be to train? What can you expect? Some dogs are huge people pleasers and they will master commands easily, while others will try to outsmart you.

Intelligence Level


Dogs are smart beings. We do our best to train them, but they do still end up training us to adapt to their needs. How intelligent is this breed? Will he try to outsmart you? Or he will need multiple training sessions to master basic commands?

Prey Drive


Dogs were bred for a specific purpose. Those who were bred to hunt have natural instincts to hunt, even today. This is why many dogs, like Terriers, will chase other animals. They will also have a hard time concentrating on your commands when there is something small moving. Is this breed prone to following his prey instincts?

Barking Level


How vocal this breed is? Can you expect neighbors to ring you often to calm your dog? Or you can sleep without worries of hearing your Fido bark? Some breeds are highly vocal, others have unusual sounds, and some are silent. Is this breed prone to barking?

Energy Level


Low-energy dogs are happy with regular walks and indoor chill times. High-energy dogs are always ready for action. Is this breed a couch potato, energetic dog, or somewhere in between?

Exercise Needs


Some dogs are more than happy with a slow stroll down the street. Others need hours of active time to stay happy and fit. Is this breed demanding in terms of exercise? How much exercise this breed needs to stay happy and healthy?

Playfulness Level


Some dogs never lose that puppy spirit, not even in their senior years. Others are more serious and prefer having a job to do. Is this breed demanding in terms of playfulness? Can you expect playfulness in their senior years as well?

The Norwegian Buhund is a Nordic spitz-type often associated with the Vikings and their rich mythology and history.

This medium-sized dog is an excellent working dog that can handle the cold easily.

They may not be fond of hot weather, and high temperatures, but they will be ready to jump into the snow and run on cold temperatures in no time.

Today they are mostly family dogs and full-time companions, while they were originally bred as herding and guarding dogs. Norwegian Buhunds are devoted, smart, and affectionate dogs.

As a truly cold-weather breed, the Norwegian Buhund is covered with a dense coat, a curled tail, and erect and pointed ears. They may appear like Pomeranians, but they are far more intense.

Females are usually smaller than males who stand 18.5 inches high and weigh up to 40 pounds. Coat colors are wheaten or black. Their coat is easy to care for.

The coat is longer on the neck and chest, while the undercoat will shed once or twice a year. Shedding all year long is minimal. They are easy to train, but they are ultra-sensitive.

Just like with any other dog breed, harsh training methods should never be used, only positive reinforcement and a lot of treats. This may be a small-size dog, but they come with big energy!

As high-energy dogs, they will need a proper amount of training and exercise. Taking them for a run, playing indoor games, and taking long hikes is a must to tire them out.

Don’t forget that a tired dog is a happy dog.

Quick Facts

Real name: Norwegian Buhund
Other names: Norsk Lundehund, Norwegian Puffin Dog
Common Nickname: Lundehund
Origin: Norway
Breed type: Herding Dogs
Weight: 26 to 40 pounds
Height: 16 to 18 inches tall at the shoulder
Lifespan: 12 to 15 years
Litter Size: 4 – 8 puppies
Color: Many color varieties are present, but commonly they are black, wheaten, and red wheaten
Coat: Dense and short coat

Norwegian Buhund History

Norwegian Buhunds were originally created to be working dogs. They were initially used for hunting puffin birds alone on the Norweigan coast.

Norwegian Buhunds are an old breed, dating back to 400 years ago. Today, in Norway this breed is still used for hummingbirds. They may be present in Norway in larger numbers, but overall they are considered to be a rare breed.

In fact, they’re an extremely rare breed of spitz type. The biggest reason for their low numbers is tax-and-life-related.

When small island farmers and fishermen originally started catching puffins with nets, the need for Lundehunds decreased.

At the same time, the government pushed significant taxes on Lundehunds, which is why many residents couldn’t afford to keep them anymore.

At the beginning of the 20th century, Lundehund numbers went to an extremely low rate.

Norwegian Buhund Physical Appearance

The Norwegian Lundehund is a small size dog with a powerful body.

They have six toes, which helps them to cling to the cliffs. They are superb when it comes to moving over rough terrain. This is something that comes more than handy when it comes to challenging coats of Norway, where the breed was originally bred.

The Norwegian Lundehund is a rectangular Spitz-type dog with great joint motion.

Did you know that this breed can easily bend its head backward along its own spine? Within the canine world, this is something like a superpower. They can also turn their forelegs like humans move their arms.

This dog has a powerful stand and communicates that he is always ready for action.

The outercoat is dense and rough, while the undercoat is soft. This way this dog is well-protected when it comes to harsh weather.

Norwegian Buhund Personality

Norwegian Buhunds are often described as happy and playful dogs.

They love being surrounded by people and where there is a job to be done. These active dogs will behave around other dogs and pets, but the proper introduction is the key.

They need proper socialization and an experienced dog owner, or they will become destructive.

Destructive behavior is something that no dog owner has to experience. Also, regular exercise is mandatory or your Norwegian Buhund will become bored and become bored and destructive.

These small dogs have a calm temper and never should display any signs of aggression. Being pushy or clingy isn’t his style, but they will demand your love and time.

Norwegian Buhunds will be polite with children and protect them. However, sign these dogs are a bit independent, they should be trained on how to behave around children.

Children should be educated, as well, on how to behave around dogs. They must know not to pull the dog’s ears and tail.

They mustn’t disturb while they are eating, drinking, sleeping, playing with their toys on their own, or simply resting in their crate.

No matter how well children and dogs may get along, they should never be without supervision. This is how accidents are prevented.

Norwegian Buhund Training

Training is the most powerful tool when it comes to shaping a good canine citizen.

Training should start as soon as you bring your Norwegian Buhund home.

Did you know what dogs are capable of mastering basic commands as of eight weeks of age? This is why you mustn’t miss this opportunity to teach your dog how to be part of the world.

Use socialization period and teach your dog:

  • Basic commands, such as ‘come
  • Housedog rules
  • How to behave around family members
  • Where his sleeping space is
  • If you don’t want your Fido to jump on the furniture, teach him that. Otherwise, expect him to use the couch as his bed
  • Which house areas are off-limits
  • How to walk on a leash
  • How to behave in the back yard
  • How to behave around garden and plants – if you have a large garden, do you know for sure that your plants are dog-safe?
  • How to behave around visitors

Last but not least, once your veterinarian gives you the green light, take your Norwegian Buhund to a dog park. Once the vaccination is completed, he should know how to behave around other dogs.

To get the maximum out of training sessions, make training:

  • Short
  • Fun
  • Packed with treats
  • Rewarding
  • Based on positive training methods

No dog should ever experience any harsh training methods.

If you feel like you need support training-wise think about hiring a professional dog trainer or enroll your Norwegian Buhund in puppy classes.

Norwegian Buhund Grooming

Grooming is a big part of a dog’s healthy life.

Grooming goes beyond brushing, and it is in fact a combination of different practices that keep dog heat.

For example, nail grinding or trimming goes beyond neat look.

Too long nails can make stress in a dog’s walk and eventually lead to intense spine-related issues.

If you never brush your dog you may never spot fleas or any sign of skin infections and so on. Not checking gums weekly, you can miss a big health issue.

Did you know that gum and teeth health is what speaks the loudest about a dog’s well-being? You may even notice a veterinarian check first the dog’s teeth.

To keep your Norwegian Buhund healthy and clean provide the following care:

  • Trim or grind nails monthly
  • Brush him twice a week
  • Check gums weekly
  • Check eyes daily for eye discharge
  • Clean pawas after every walk
  • Provide extra paw-care during the snow season
  • Bathe only when it is really needed
  • Clean ears when needed. Learn how to clean dog’s ears

To make the brushing and grooming process easier, make sure that you have the right grooming tool on hand.

This may require some additional research, but a good brush will make the entire process much easier.

Norwegian Buhund Health

The Norwegian Buhund is considered to be relatively a healthy breed.

You may provide the best care in the world and you can still have some health issues in your Buhund.

Many factors can affect a dog’s health and you may not be able to prevent them all from appearing.

For example, if your dog steps on something sharp when in the walk, you are not responsible for that.

On the other hand, if you miss providing regular parasite control, you’re directly responsible for any parasite-related gut disturbances.

Always do what is up to you properly. This way you will be sure that you are meeting your dog’s needs.

For extra security, provide regular veterinarian check-ups. Prevention is the key.

No matter how great care and nutrition you provide, your dog may still get some unwanted health condition.

Here are some of the conditions that you may see in your Norwegian Buhund:

  • Hip dysplasia
  • Eye disease
  • Von Willebrand’s disease (a bleeding disorder)

The biggest issue is that this breed has to face is gastroenteropathy. This is a set of digestive disorders and a strong loss of ability to absorb nutrients from food.

Recently it has become known that this breed suffers from a very high level of inbreeding. As result, the breed is exposed to low fertility, short lifespans, and very high puppy mortality.

Always do your best to reach to responsible dog breeders, no matter what.

They will screen puppies for most common health issues and present you with medical documentation on the breed.

Don’t forget that this is a rare breed so a waiting list is expected.

Is Norwegian Buhund For You?

So far you should have a wider picture, of whether the Norwegian Buhund is for you or not. This breed isn’t for you if you’re a first time dog owner, or if you want a more couch potato dog.

These dogs are energetic, bold, and love a good challenge. They also love good exercise.

Participating in dog sports such as agility is a plus. If you want a medium-sized dog who is rugged and confident, then a Norwegian Buhund may be the right for you.

Popular Norwegian Buhund Comparisons

Compare Dog Breeds: