Norwegian buhund [key], breed of medium-sized working dog developed in Norway. The buhund is a squarely built dog with a wedge-shaped head, erect ears, and a curled tail carried over its back. It stands 16–18.5 in. (41–47 cm) high at the shoulder and weighs 26–40 lb (12–18 kg). The coat is thick, hard, and smooth, with a soft, dense undercoat. Its colors are either wheaton (any shade from pale cream to orange, sometimes with a black mask) or black, sometimes with small areas of white on neck, face, chest, feet or tail tip. Dogs similar to these traveled with the Vikings on land and sea; their skeletons have been found in Norwegian graves dating from c.900 a.d. In Norway today the breed continues to be used for herding, as all-purpose farm dogs, and as watch dogs. Buhunds are extremely intelligent, and some have worked as hearing-assistance dogs.
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