Norwegian Buhund

Breed Notes 31st March 2023 Margaret Deuchar


Marie Corin and Bergen now belong to the relatively small band of Buhund owners and their dogs who over the years have won BOB at Crufts and experienced going into the group ring. Below Marie tells of how it all worked out for her.

“We have done many shows, open and champ over the last year and a half or so, but despite 4 RCC’s, that elusive CC had always evaded us, to the point where I had given up worrying about it.  Somebody wise told me it will happen when I least expect it and how correct that turned out to be. Waking up to a blizzard and arriving with wet feet and a soggy dog is not quite what I had imagined for the day ahead.  My friend who was coming to watch got stuck in a traffic jam and nearly did not make it.  When she did, I explained how shows work and prepared  her as to which end of the line we were most likely going to be placed.  To say you could have knocked me down with a feather when Bergen won his class, not to mention then taking his first CC (I cried), then BOB to boot I just could not believe it.  The most heart-warming thing was having every Buhund person there come and congratulate Adam and I and wish Bergen well for the group… that was so lovely and much appreciated. In particular Jenny’s debrief on where to go and what to expect was really helpful and knowing she’d be there announcing us going in was comforting too.  More than one person gave me the advice ‘just enjoy it,’ which as someone who gets quite nervous, I didn’t think would be possible. However, once I was down at the arena and realised this may well be a once in a lifetime experience, I did manage to take it all in and enjoy being there.  Did not quite get to chat to Clare Balding but the buzz of the big ring, spectators and cameras was pretty exciting,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Bergen was sandwiched between the RBIS winning OES and a lovely Maremma bitch who he tried to play with on more than one occasion.  He did his thing for the judge and despite no love there, it is a day we will never ever forget.” Certainly, a day to remember Marie and lovely to watch Bergen take it all in his stride.

The following week end they had more success at Woolwich Bexley & District Canine Association show held in the Agricultural Hall Maidstone Kent, where under Marion Hodgson Bergen was RBOB AVNSC and then went onto win the AV Memorial Open Stakes under Steve Bennett and was 2nd in the AV George Smith Memorial RBOB stakes also under Steve Bennett. Both stakes’ classes had prize money, so I think a bottle of wine may have been bought on the way home to celebrate!

The following Thursday Time and I headed off for a Level 6 Scent Trial, which for us was relatively local but one person had travelled for 3hrs.We knew virtually everyone from previous trails, so it was lovely to catch up with them. In Level 6 Trials, there are three searches, two interior and one outside, overall, there are 12 hides and 9 must be found over the trial, without any deductions to the 9 to qualify. With Level 6 three different scents are used, cloves, gun oil and truffle oil, and the hides must not be more than 2cm square and anything that will take up scent can be used, cut up pop socks, pieces of string, hair bands etc. The hides must be hidden so they are not visible to the handler or dog, but the dog must be able to access the scent. We all walk the search areas before the competition starts, it is not a good idea to think where hides can be hidden much better to trust the dog!  The judge will put what they call a white dog (an experienced scent dog) over each area before the competition starts, and depending on how long this dog takes to find the hides the time for the search is decided. There is a drawn order, and we were first in Interior one, there were four hides to be found in four and a half minutes. Time found 3 hides, and although he knew roughly where the fourth one was, he could not quite locate it before we ran out of time. It started to rain so the judges decide to do Interior 2 next hoping the rain would stop, this time there 5 hides to be found within 5 minutes, happily Time found them all.  The rain did not stop it in fact it became heavier, so the last search was in the pouring rain,3 hides in 3minutes again Time found the 3 within the time, so he had found 11 out of the 12 hides. We had a small deduction as the judge felt I blocked him slightly from searching one area, so a handling penalty. No dog found all 12 hides, the winner also only finding 11 of the hides but had no deductions so Time was second, I was thrilled as this was his first time he had been placed  at this Level.

We know that the Buhund is a numerically small breed and if it was a UK breed it would definitely be considered vulnerable, but the breed is being used to save the Lundehund (Puffin dog). This breed has twice been close to extinction, and it is thought that there are only 1,500 in the world with half of these in Norway, although we do have one in England. There was a crisis in 1961, then a crossbreeding project was started in 2013 to save the breed again, crossing Lundhunds with the Buhund, Icelandic dog and the Nordic Spitz. Each generation from the crossing is carefully monitored and now the Norwegian KC have reached 3 generations of crossing. The Lundehund Club have asked the NKK to open the pedigree book for the crossed dogs, this was granted, so the dogs can now appear at dog shows and be assessed. Christen H Lang an expert in the breed passed two at the Winter Forest show as Excellent one of which had come from crossing with a Buhund.

Stay safe everyone.

Margaret Deuchar