Norwegian Buhund

Breed Notes 18th December 2020 Margaret Deuchar


I hope all of you that are club members have now received the latest edition of Buhund News, edited by our chairman Anne assisted by Lillian who sources some of the articles and photos. It is a great read with a couple of competitions, a ‘crossword’ and a ‘title the photo’ so if you have not already sent in your entries, get your thinking caps on.

Last week I reproduced an article written by Chris Chapman to celebrate the club’s 40th Anniversary. This week it is article written by the late Elisabeth Coleopy who bred and showed Buhunds with the Fullani affix. She was my mentor when I first started in the breed and persuaded me to start judging, we spent many happy years doing the Munster Circuit and had three fantastic trips to Norway to see Buhunds. Great memories. Here she writes about the history of the breed which I hope will be of interest to those of you who have more recently found the breed. I think whatever the breed it is important to know their history and what they were originally breed for. I do not want to get into a discussion about crossbreds, but for a dog that for instance is a pom x husky they have such different origins, which can affect their behaviour. Some ironically enough can look like a large Buhund, especially from a distance.

“The Norwegian Buhund is of ancient origins. Skeletons have been found in Norway from the Viking era dating back 2,000years. The breed was worked in Norway on farms particularly for their courage, soundness and ability to work sheep and cattle and for their guarding instincts. At the turn of the last century the breed was in danger of becoming extinct, and it was not until 1913 that permission was granted by the Norwegian Agricultural Department allowing Buhunds to be exhibited at sheep and goats shows. Mr Jon Saeland was the pioneer of the modern Buhund for he knew the value of the breed for work with sheep and cattle. He and others interested in the breed started looking for a good dog for a breeding programme. In 1925 Saeland found the dog he was looking for when at a farm in Gjesdal in Rogoland, he found Flink. He was on the property of well-known sheep farmer and shepherd Jasper K Ravndal, and Saeland immediately recognised Flink’s good looks and his remarkable shepherding skills. Flink was used extensively to produce sound, typical Buhunds. In fact, he was still siring puppies at the age of 14yrs.So the breed was saved from extinction in Norway and became very popular. At the first Buhund show in 1925 Flink was the only one to be awarded First Prize! After World War 2 there were there were very few Buhunds left in Norway, but fortunately a number had been sent to Sweden, so these helped the breed increase in numbers again in Norway. The Buhund Klubben Norway held their first show in Stavanger in May 1965 and had 17 entries. Interestingly, by October 1966 the Klub was strong enough in numbers to take themselves and 28 Buhunds to Denmark, to an International Dog Show held outside Copenhagen. The introduction of the breed in Britain was due to Mrs Gerd Berbon and Mrs Powys Lybbe. In 1946 they imported Ryfjelds Truls and a one-year-old bitch called Tertit in whelp to Ryfjelds Ring. Many of the UK Buhunds are decedents of the seven puppies from that litter born in quarantine.

The Norwegian Buhund Club in the UK was founded in 1967. Buhunds have proved to be very successful as working dogs and as ‘Hearing Dogs For The Deaf’, they also make wonderful companions and pets.”

The KC has announced that hopefully the 21st Anniversary London Discover Dogs will take place next year 20th -21st November at the Excel, which of course was the first Nightingale Hospital, it was used but not to full capacity thank goodness. Once the covid numbers went down in the summer the Nightingale Hospitals were mothballed, now with a couple of vaccines being passed as safe things are beginning to look more positive, but there is still a warning that it will still be some months before we get back to anything like normal.

I think DD is so important not just for a numerically small breed like ours so that it can become better known, (there are several Buhunds owners who had their first introduction to the breed at DD), but also to try and make the general public aware that whatever the breed, having a puppy will mean, house training and teething problems to name just a couple things, which having watched programmes on people who have bought puppies during lockdown a number had not considered.

Stay safe.

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.