The Breed History
In the ancient Gokstad excavation in Norway, where a Viking grave from about the year 900 was opened, skeletons from six dogs of various sizes were found. They would be the representatives of modern-day Buhunds. These dogs travelled with Vikings on their many journeys, by sea and by land. The first Buhund show was held at Jaeren in the 1920's. The Norsk Buhundklubb was established in 1939. AKC recognition occurred in 2009.
Breeding for Function
Nurtured in the rainy western coastlands of Norway, they herded sheep and guarded farms. Besides working ability, Buhunds are trained to aid the hearing handicapped, perform some types of police work, and score well in obedience and agility trials. In olden times they hunted bear and wolf. Today they work with livestock and guard home and family.
Height at Withers: female 16-17.5 inches (41-45 cm), male 17 to 18.5 inches (43-47 cm).
Weight: females 26.5-35.5 pounds (12-16 kg), males 31-40 pounds (14-18 kg).
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 the thighs is longer. Acceptable coat colors are: Wheaton (pale cream to bright orange) with or without a black mask, or black without too much bronzing. As little white as possible is permissible around the neck, face, chest, toes, or tail tip.
Longevity: 13-15 years.
Points of Conformation: The Buhund is square in profile. The skull is wedge-shaped, almost flat, and parallel with the bridge of the nose. The lips should be black and tightly closed. The teeth should meet in a scissors bite. The eyes are oval shaped, color as dark as possible, with black eye rims. The ears are medium sized, prick ears with pointed tips. The nose is black. The back is level; croup with as little slope as possible. The tail is set high, tightly curled and carried over the center line of the back. The feet are oval in shape with tightly closed toes. The action is free and effortless. The topline remains level while moving. Sound movement is essential for working ability.
Recognized Behavior Issues and Traits
Self confident, alert, lively, and very affectionate with people. The Buhund is considered by many researchers to be the easiest of the Spitz breeds to train due to their innate desire to please plus a quick learning aptitude. As it is extremely intelligent by nature, consistent training is needed from early puppyhood. Their Spitz independence is an asset if they have to be left alone for awhile. The Buhund has a lot of energy, strength and stamina. This is an active dog who needs ample amounts of exercise.
Normal Physiologic Variations
Hip Dysplasia: Polygenically inherited trait causing degenerative joint disease and hip arthritis. OFA reports 10.7% affected.
Pulverulent Nuclear Cataract: Autosomal dominant pulverulent nuclear cataracts with high penetrance occur in the breed. They start as small dots at 6-1/2 weeks, and extending throughout the fetal nucleus by 4 to 5-1/2 years of age. Identified in 9.66% of Norwegian Buhunds CERF examined by veterinary ophthalmologists between 2000-2005.
Elbow Dysplasia: Polygenically inherited trait causing elbow arthritis. Too few Norwegian Buhunds have been screened by OFA to determine an accurate frequency.
Patella Luxation: Polygenically inherited laxity of patellar ligaments, causing luxation, lameness, and later degenerative joint disease. Treat surgically if causing clinical signs. Too few Norwegian Buhunds have been screened by OFA to determine an accurate frequency.
Cataracts: Besides the dominant nuclear cataracts, posterior cortical cataracts predominate in the breed. Identified in 11.93% of Norwegian Buhunds CERF examined by veterinary ophthalmologists between 2000-2005. CERF does not recommend breeding any Norwegian Buhund with a cataract.
Hypothyroidism: Inherited autoimmune thyroiditis. Too few Norwegian Buhunds have been test for thyroid autoantibodies at Michigan State University to determine an accurate frequency for the breed. (Ave. for all breeds is 7.5%).
Isolated Case Studies
Tests of Genotype: None
Tests of Phenotype: CHIC Certification: Required testing includes hip radiographs, CERF eye examination (after 24 months), and blood sample in the CHIC DNA Repository. (See CHIC website; www. caninehealthinfo.org). Recommend patella evaluation, elbow radiographs, thyroid profile including autoantibodies, and cardiac examination.
- Breed name synonyms: Norwegian Sheepdog, Norsk Buhund, Nordiske Sitz-hunde.
- Registries: AKC, UKC, KCGB (Kennel Club of Great Britain), ANKC (Australian National Kennel Club), NKC (National Kennel Club), FCI.
- AKC rank: (None) Became an AKC recognized breed Jan. 2009. Entire studbook registered.
- Internet resources: Norwegian Buhund Club of America: www.buhund.org
Norwegian Buhund Club (UK): www.norwegian-buhund.org.uk
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