Norwegian Buhund Temperament
What's Good About 'Em,
What's Bad About 'Em
Norwegian Buhund Temperament, Personality, Behavior, Traits, and Characteristics, by Michele Welton. Copyright © 2000-2014
The happy-go-lucky Norwegian Buhund plays vigorously, yet is also light on his feet and very agile.
More than some other spitz breeds, he likes to be at the center of his family, demanding (and offering) a great deal of companionship. Because the Norwegian Buhund was bred to work all day, you must provide a good amount of physical exercise and mental stimulation. Herding, obedience, agility, jogging or biking, chasing balls, and playing Frisbee are productive outlets for his energy and enthusiasm.
Most Norwegian Buhunds are friendly (or at least polite) with strangers, yet with their keen senses and watchful attitude, they make dependable alarm dogs. Buhunds are usually fine with other family pets if raised with them.
The Norwegian Buhund is less headstrong and more willing to work with you than other spitzes, but he is still independent and may use his intelligence in clever ways that suit his own purposes. Yet owners who know how to lead will find him eminently trainable.
Like most herding breeds, the Norwegian Buhund is uncomfortable when his flock (family members and other pets) is scattered every which way. He may try to gather everyone together by circling, poking, and nipping. He barks a lot in a rapid, high-pitched voice.
If you want a dog who...
- Is medium-sized and spitz-like, with a wolfish face, prick ears, thick coat, and curled tail
- Is sturdy and strong, yet athletic, agile, and light on his feet
- Is less headstrong and more willing to work with you than other spitzes
- Is happy-go-lucky, plays vigorously, and likes a lot of outdoor exercise
- Is polite with strangers, yet with his keen senses and watchful attitude, makes a dependable alarm dog
A Norwegian Buhund may be right for you.
If you don't want to deal with...
- Vigorous exercise requirements
- Rowdiness and exuberant jumping, especially when young
- "Separation anxiety" (destructiveness and barking) when left alone too much
- Suspiciousness toward strangers when not socialized enough
- Strong-willed mind of his own, requiring a confident owner who can take charge
- Chasing and nipping at things that move: children, joggers, other animals, bikes, cars
- Lots of barking
- Heavy shedding
- Waiting lists (hard to find) and a high price tag
A Norwegian Buhund may not be right for you.
- choosing the RIGHT breeder and the RIGHT puppy
- or choosing an ADULT dog from your animal shelter or rescue group – a dog who has already proven that he doesn't have negative traits
- training your dog to respect you
- avoiding health problems by following my daily care program in 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy
More traits and characteristics of the Norwegian Buhund
If I was considering a Norwegian Buhund, I would be most concerned about...
- Providing enough exercise and mental stimulation. Norwegian Buhunds MUST have regular opportunities to vent their energy and do interesting things. Otherwise they will become rambunctious and bored -- which they usually express by barking and destructive chewing.
- Providing enough socialization. Standoffish by nature, Norwegian Buhunds need extensive exposure to people and to unusual sights and sounds. Otherwise their natural caution can become suspiciousness.
- Mind of their own. The best Norwegian Buhunds are versatile working dogs and fine competition dogs, but they have an independent mind of their own and are not pushovers to raise and train. They are often manipulative, and some are willful and obstinate. You must show them, through absolute consistency, that you mean what you say.
To teach your Buhund to listen to you, "Respect Training" is mandatory. My Norwegian Buhund Training Page discusses the program you need.
- Barking. Norwegian Buhunds are often too quick to sound the alarm at every new sight and sound. You have to be equally quick to stop them. Norwegian Buhunds should NEVER be left outside in your yard, unsupervised. To make matters worse, many Norwegian Buhunds have intense, high-pitched barks that can set your teeth on edge.
- Heavy shedding. Norwegian Buhunds shed a LOT. You'll find hair and fur all over your clothing, upholstery, carpeting, under your furniture, on your countertops -- even in your food. Frequent vacuuming will become a way of life. Make sure you're REALLY up for this.
- Finding one and paying the price. In the United States, a Norwegian Buhund is hard to find, and and some breeders are charging $1000 and up.
To learn more about training Norwegian Buhunds to be calm and well-behaved, consider my dog training book, Teach Your Dog 100 English Words.
It's a unique Vocabulary and Respect Training Program that will make your Norwegian Buhund the smartest, most well-behaved companion you've ever had.
Teaches your dog to listen to you, to pay attention to you, and to do whatever you ask him to do.
My dog buying guide, Dog Quest: Find The Dog Of Your Dreams, will teach you everything you need to know about finding a healthy Norwegian Buhund. Health problems have become so widespread in dogs today that this book is required reading for ANYONE who is thinking of getting a purebred, crossbred, or mixed breed dog.
If you'd like to consult with me personally about whether the Norwegian Buhund might be a good dog breed for your family, I offer a Dog Breed Consulting Service.
Once you have your Norwegian Buhund home, you need to KEEP him healthy -- or if he's having any current health problems, you need to get him back on the road to good health.
My dog health care book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy is the book you need.
Raise your dog the right way and you will be helping him live a longer, healthier life while avoiding health problems and unnecessary veterinary expenses.
Please consider adopting an ADULT Norwegian Buhund...
When you're acquiring a Norwegian Buhund PUPPY, you're acquiring potential -- what he one day will be. So "typical breed characteristics" are very important.
But when you acquire an adult dog, you're acquiring what he already IS and you can decide whether he is the right dog for you based on that reality. There are plenty of adult Norwegian Buhunds who have already proven themselves NOT to have negative characteristics that are "typical" for their breed. If you find such an adult dog, don't let "typical breed negatives" worry you. Just be happy that you found an atypical individual -- and enjoy!
Save a life. Adopt a dog.
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