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 © 2000-2018
The Norwegian Buhund is a happy-go-lucky dog who plays vigorously, yet is light on his feet and very agile. Because the Buhund was bred to work all day (he is a herding breed), you must provide plenty of physical exercise and mental stimulation. Agility classes are a great outlet for his energy and enthusiasm. Also hiking, running at the dog park, and chasing balls and frisbees.
The Buhund is not a breed to leave alone all day. He likes to be at the center of his family, demanding (and offering) a great deal of companionship.
Most Norwegian Buhunds are polite (or a bit wary) with strangers. With their keen senses and watchful attitude, they make dependable alarm dogs – sometimes too dependable, i.e. barking can easily get out of control. To make matters worse, the Buhund has a rapid, high-pitched bark that can set your teeth on edge.
Norwegian Buhunds are usually fine with other family pets if raised with them.
This breed is less headstrong and more willing to work with you, compared with other spitz breeds. (A spitz is a type of dog with a thick furry coat, pricked ears, curled tail, and foxy face.) But he still has an independent mind of his own, 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.
If you want a dog who...
- Is a medium-sized dog from the spitz family
- Is both sturdy and athletic, an agile dog who is light on his feet
- Is less willful than other spitzes
- Plays vigorously, and likes a lot of outdoor exercise
- Makes a keen watchdog, but is not aggressive
A Norwegian Buhund may be right for you.
If you don't want to deal with...
- Vigorous exercise requirements
- Destructiveness and barking when left alone too much
- Suspiciousness toward strangers when not socialized enough
- Mind of his own, requiring a confident owner who can take charge
- Lots of barking
- Lots of shedding
- Waiting lists (hard to find) and a high price tag
A Norwegian Buhund may not be right for you.
Keep in mind that the inheritance of temperament is less predictable than the inheritance of physical traits such as size or shedding. Temperament and behavior are also shaped by raising and training.
- You can avoid some negative traits by choosing an ADULT dog from an animal shelter or rescue group. With an adult dog, you can easily see what you're getting, and plenty of adult Norwegian Buhunds have already proven themselves not to have negative characteristics.
- If you want a puppy, you can avoid some negative traits by choosing the right breeder and the right puppy. Unfortunately, you usually can't tell whether a puppy has inherited temperament or health problems until he grows up.
- Finally, you can avoid some negative traits by training your Norwegian Buhund to respect you and by following the 11-step care program in my book, 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 are not couch potatoes who are content to hang around with nothing to do. These herding dogs need regular opportunities to vent their energy and do interesting things. Otherwise they will become bored, which they usually express by chewing destructively and barking.
- 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.
- Barking. I've mentioned this trait several times, for a reason. Norwegian Buhunds are vocal dogs! Their intense, high-pitched bark and keen watchfulness means you cannot leave this breed outside without supervision. Your neighbors will either call the police, or quietly let your Buhund out of his yard to get lost.
- Shedding. Like all spitz breeds with a thick double coat, Norwegian Buhunds shed a good deal. Be sure you're okay with this.
- Mind of their own. Although very trainable in the right hands, Norwegian Buhunds have an independent mind of their own and are not pushovers to raise and train. 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. Read more about Norwegian Buhund Training.
- Finding one and paying the price. In the United States, a Norwegian Buhund is hard to find and expensive.
To help you train and care for your dog
Dog training videos. Sometimes it's easier to train your puppy (or adult dog) when you can see the correct training techniques in action.
The problem is that most dog training videos on the internet are worthless, because they use the wrong training method. I recommend these dog training videos that are based on respect and leadership.
To learn more about training your dog to be calm and well-behaved, my dog training book is Teach Your Dog 100 English Words. It's a unique Vocabulary and Respect Training Program that will teach your dog to listen to you and do whatever you ask.
My dog buying guide, Dog Quest: Find The Dog Of Your Dreams, will teach you everything you need to know about finding a good-tempered, healthy dog.
My dog health care book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy, shows you how to help your dog live a longer life while avoiding health problems and unnecessary veterinary expenses.