Norwegian Buhund

Breed Notes 10th July 2020 Margaret Deuchar


With the easing of lockdown the first socially distanced Buhund Bumble has taken place, with three owners and five Buhunds. It took place in a lovely walking area in Alwalton, Peterborough, with plenty of water for those Buhunds that enjoy swimming. Lillian Rumsey was accompanied by Anja, Loxy and Jack looked after Sarah Stonton and Lisa Strong went along with Eris and Loki. Normally I would say it is great when Eris goes along as she is Black, and so many people always say “Oh I did not know they came in Black”. At the moment though face to face discussions with people about the breed is sadly not what we want.

Again, I have to thank those readers who have sent me articles for these notes, without them there would be no notes. This week it is Maureen Lake who has ‘stepped up to the plate,’ with an Article I asked her to write about the difference she has found between living with Elkhounds and Buhunds, a question I am often asked, having also had both breeds for many years.

Maureen writes:-“Having had Elkhounds for over 42 years showing breeding and judging under the ‘Maubrea’ Affix, Brian and I felt perhaps it was time we should down size, and approached Margaret for help in finding a Buhund puppy. At the time Jacqueline and Michael Cobb were expecting a litter. I explained that I no longer wanted to show or breed but I would like a purely ‘fun companion,’ who would enjoy walks in the countryside as we live between three farms all of whom breed cattle. We had decided against another Elkhound as until they were about 5yrs old it had always been necessary to keep them on an extending lead, due to their hunting instinct and as we are now older, we were finding it difficult with walks of five and ten mile hikes.

In January 2016 our lovely Fern (Knytshall Cora Sun Drop Of Maubrea) came to us, little did we know what a bag of mischief was in that little frame! She loved being with our old Elkhound but was not sure of the two elderly Siamese cats, who showed no fear as they had been brought up with from birth with Elkhounds. I used to breed Siamese and did very well winning top honours at the Supreme Cat Show. She would try to drive them where she wanted them to be, until one evening when she was asleep in her armchair leaving her nose over the edge, Poppy the older cat slid off my lap, sat below Fern’s nose, rolled her paw into a ball, Brian and I knew  what was coming, she pulled back her  fist  and gave Fern a smart punch on her  nose, no claws, Fern leapt up by which time Poppy was hiding  under  the chair-lesson learnt respect now on both sides.

We found Elkhounds could be naughty but the Buhund could be more mischievous and will think things through, like the time Brian put a mug of coffee on the  table by his chair, went out of the room, came back to find Fern asleep on his chair, but his mobile phone standing up in his coffee-useless. Fern was very quick to learn, by 12weeks she was responding immediately to the recall whistle, we never needed to have her on a lead as she will trot along either in front or behind us, and has never run off, which is a great improvement on a young Elkhound that can disappear into the distance-I lost one for over five hours on a winter’s afternoon, and had to wait knowing he would come back to the place he had left me-no fun. Fern was very quick to learn ‘search’ and ‘tracking’ enjoying her training and passing her first exam quickly, until we had to stop due to my hip operation and then sadly to a bad fall afterwards so I was unable to continue with this, though  we  keep it up at home. We notice that if an Elkhound manages to find something they shouldn’t i.e. pencil, pen, hankie if you order them to ‘drop it’ they might grumble but would do as asked, whereas Fern will hold on tight and batter its release, so a small titbit is required to do a ‘swap’ and peace is resumed. Fern is friendly with all dogs she meets and loves to play; Elkhounds seem to be more serious. Her dearest friend is Lottie a Standard Poodle who sadly had to take over her education, when all too soon we lost our last Elkhound. Lottie lives with our neighbour and when  they are together they are inseparable, so Mandy our  neighbour takes them  both off lead two or three times  a week on a good five to six mile walk, whilst I can do 2-3 miles on the other days.

I find Fern far noisier than any of our Elkhounds, she hears every sound and will bark loudly a sharp higher pitch than the Elkhound can, occasionally she will  end  with a short howl, we had to make a few changes, the milkman  no longer  leaves the milk at the door at three in the morning, it is now left by popular request down the bottom of the drive by the gate! Regarding the howl, she will sometimes when she is in the garden give a long drawn out howl, to be answered by a dog in the distance the other side of the valley.

One thing is  how clean her coat  keeps, no matter how muddy the  fields are or how deep the mud  her coat never gets dirty, her legs do a bit but by the time we get home her coat is absolutely clean, so much so that the local dog  walkers have nicknamed her ‘the self cleaning dog’, and since we have been meeting more walkers without  dogs since the covid 19, the times I get asked ‘have you just bathed  her’ their looks of disbelief when I say no I have never  bathed her, she doesn’t need it. Whereas the Elkhounds would really have to be thoroughly washed down with warm water when coming home from muddy walks, the dirt just seems to drop off her coat.

Thanks very much Maureen, of course the Buhunds acute hearing helped when the breed became popular as hearing dogs, when the charity first started.

Many of you will have read of the passing of Brenda Banbury, she retired from judging in 2017 having suffered ill health for a while. She successfully bred and showed dogs with the Flocktons affix, having Champions in PMDs, Pugs and Schipperkes. She had judged all over the World particular in Scandinavia countries, the pinnacle of her judging career was when she judged BIS at Crufts in 2006. I have particularly good memories of Brenda as at SKC in May 1996, she gave my first Buhund Wolfen Just in Time his third CC making him a Champion. He was my first Ch so a day I will not forget, followed by celebrations in the evening with daughter Debbie, the late Elizabeth Coleopy and her daughter Treena.

Margaret Deuchar

The views expressed in Margaret’s Breed Notes are hers and hers alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Norwegian Buhund Club of the UK.