If you have already decided that the Norwegian Buhund is the dog for you, it may be because you know somebody who owns one, in which case you should already have a good idea of the type of dog you would be buying. It however, you have just been studying dog books or have met one or two briefly you will, no doubt have a number of questions which you would like answering. This has been produced to answer the most common queries, but the best way to find out about the breed is to meet as many as possible.
SOUND ADVICE – MEET THE BUHUND BEFORE CHOOSING TO OWN
Like people Buhunds are all different. To find where the nearest Buhunds are, contact the secretary of the Norwegian Buhund Club. Her phone number or email address can be found under committee on this site. It is suggested that you also read the Breed Standard, particularly if you are interested in showing your dog.
Norwegian Buhunds are a medium sized breed, big enough to be a ‘proper dog’ but not too big for anyone in reasonable health to be able to handled with ease. They are intelligent and very affectionate towards people. They are happiest in home environment as they enjoy being with people and adapt very well to being a member of the family.
BUHUNDS COME FROM NORWAY
They are very hardy dogs, usually only going to the vet’s for their boosters and they can stand the cold very well – although they do like a nice fire in the winter! Being a Scandinavian breed, they are not so happy in very hot weather and prefer to sleep away the hot days in a shady corner. They have a thick double coat consisting of a soft woolly undercoat and a top coat of harsher, water-proof hair. Their coats need very little attention for most of the year, just a brush or comb tow or three times a week.
Buhunds generally get on well with children but, like any breed, they should not be left alone with un-supervised young children who can easily frighten or hurt a dog without realising it.
Neither should children be allowed to take a dog for a walk without being accompanied by an adult. A well trainer Buhund will walk well on a lead, but any self respecting dog will fight back if attacked by another dog and children are not strong enough to copy with that sort of situation.
BRIGHT AND INTELLIGENT FULL OF FUN LOVES TO WORK AND PLAY
The Norwegian Buhund makes an excellent house dog and their warning bark will deter unwelcome visitors despite their relatively small size. However, it is not in their nature to defend. If trained correctly they can be very obedient though you will have to be very dedicated to achieve success with a Buhund if you intend to do Obedience work seriously. The Buhund is a clever dog, he will discover your weak spots even before you are aware of them.
A few Buhunds are still trained and used to do their original work of herding livestock and there are some in this country who are working on farms. The instinct to work is still present, so if you live in an area where there is livestock you must be prepared to make doubly sure that your Buhund is not allowed to wander as anything on four legs could be chased and a farmer will not hesitate to shoot at the dog he thinks is worrying livestock, whether it is or not. A dog which is off the lead, is not under control as far as the law is concerned.
GOOD FOR SHOWING
If you think that you may like a dog which you can show, the Buhund is an easy dog to prepare and train for the show ring. All this is necessary is that your dog is trained to stand to allow a judge to examine him/her and that he/she will walk sensibly on a loose lead. There are training classes in most areas that you can take your dog to and they will help train you and your dog, these are normally run by experienced people who will give you any information about showing you ask for.
The two main disadvantages of owning a Buhund are that they bark and they moult. The barking can be controlled by firm training, but there is little that you can dog about the moult, which occurs once or twice a year. If you are very house-proud, then the Buhund is not for you. During the moult your dog will need brushing every day and your house will need hoovering at least twice. At the height of the moult it is often useful to bath your dog as this helps to loosen the dead coat more quickly. The quicker the hair is out the quicker the new coat comes in. This is probably the only time during the new when they need a bath.
GOOD AS A FAMILY PET
They are naturally clean and will wash themselves like cats. Buhunds do not have the doggy odour of many other breeds. For most of the year, very little coat is shed but all Buhunds moult to some extent, usually in the spring and autumn, before growing new coats.
Adult or Puppy
If you decide that your want a puppy you will have plenty of fun with it, but you have to remember that any faults in its training are your responsibility. The way you rear and train your puppy is very important and the adult dog with whom you will be spending many years with will be the result of that training. If you buy a Buhund as a very young puppy, you will have the enjoyment of watching him/her develop into an adult and will be able to train it to fit your way of life. You will also find it easier to understand the adult dog if you have seen him/her grow up from puppyhood. If it does things that you don’t like, and it will, you will have time to train it out of those things before they become a habit.
THE PATTER OF TINY PAWS – HOW MUCH TIME DO YOU HAVE – PUPPIES ARE DELIGHTFUL BUT VERY DEMANDING
Owning and training a puppy requires much hard work and patience. The puppy will need to be taught everything it will not be house-trained. House-training is not something nature teaches, Buhunds are usually quick to learn. The puppy will have to adapt to new people and surroundings and will, if given the opportunity go through a phase of testing its teeth on all sorts of things as all puppies do. Buhund puppies are also very energetic, often not realising that they are tired. No-one ever told the Buhund that puppies should sleep for most of the day.
An adult Buhund may be ideal if you realise that your circumstances are not suitable for rearing a puppy. Older dogs and bitches are sometimes available due to ill-health or change in life style of their owners. Sometimes a breeder will be willing to allow an adult to go to a suitable home, if they feel the dog will be happier where it can have more individual attention than is possible where a number of dogs live together. If you do decide on an older dog, make sure that you discover the reason that the owners have for parting with the dog. The reason is usually quite valid, but sometimes a dog of any breed can have some vice, such as fighting with other dogs or not tolerating children. If you obtain an older adult through the breed club rescue, the temperament is assessed before the dog is put up for re-homing.
Older Buhunds can be a delight to live with and giving a home to one of even seven or eight years can bring many yours of pleasure. Older dogs are not nearly as energetic as younger ones and are therefore less demanding but they are as loyal and affectionate. If not more so, than the busy youngster. Like people older dogs are more set in their ways and you may well find yourself altering your routine to fit in with them, rather than the other way round!
Dog or Bitch
Most Buhund owners who have owned both sexes will agree that unlike many breeds, the males tend to be more affectionate and loyal than the bitches. The bitches tend to be very self possessed and often prefer their own company, whereas a male will be quite happy to spend all his time in your company. Bitches are usually easier to train as they are not quite so stubborn and are more sensitive to reprimand.
WHICH TO CHOOSE – EACH HAVE THEIR OWN DISTINCT CHARACTERISTICS
FIRM HANDLING WITH CONSISTENCY AND KINDNESS
The dogs need very firm handling from the start, as they are very likely to try to dominate their owners at some stage in their development, particularly when they are at the adolescent stage. Both dogs and bitches can have a very strong guarding instinct, and in both sexes this must be discouraged right from the beginning or the over-indulgent owner may well find that the dog considers some part of the house to be exclusively his, rather than his owner’s. There is no need to hit a dog voice is very powerful when used correctly, and the owner should be the top of the pack at all times. Dogs are also very strong for physical strength in their handling than bitches.
Bitches, of course come into season every six months or so and if you live in a town you may find that stray dogs hang around your house at this time and it can be a great nuisance. This of course can be stopped by contacting the local dog warden who will come and collect the dog that is hanging around your house and garden. Dogs should not be allowed out alone to be nuisances to other dog owners. You can have your bitch spayed if you find it difficult to cope with an in-season bitch. Many Buhund bitches are spayed after their first season and seem to suffer no ill-effects after the operation. Some male dogs are bitten by the wandering bug and if this is not prevented you may find the habit impossible to break. Whether you decide on a dog or bitch, it is important to make sure that you have a secure well-fenced garden before you consider bringing home a puppy.