Is the Norwegian Buhund the smartest dog?

Isn’t it fascinating that there’s a dog known as a “sheepdog” or “herding dog” that isn’t from Scotland or England – but is from way up North, from Norway? The Norwegian Buhund, or “the dog of the Vikings,” as some call it, is a dog that’s steeped in a rich and exciting history. From keeping farms free from vermin to herding livestock and watching over the home and hearth, these dogs have been an integral part of Norwegian life for centuries! But that’s not the fascinating part; what is noteworthy is this breed’s intelligence. Legendary to a fault, their problem-solving acumen and quick-wittedness leave everybody in awe.

Now you might be wondering just how ‘smart’ a Norwegian Buhund could be? Could they, perchance, be the smartest dog? Well, we’ll explore all of that and more. Let’s dig into their deep history, unique traits, and why they are so respected for their intellect.

The Norwegian Buhund’s history goes back over a thousand years. Archaeologists have found skeletons of dogs very similar to modern Buhunds in Viking graves dating back to 900-1300 AD. The Vikings greatly valued these dogs, even believing they accompanied their owners into the afterlife, hence their inclusion in Viking burials. From hunting moose to herding sheep, the Buhund was a versatile worker, a trait that continues to this day.

The Buhund belongs to a type of dog known as a Spitz, characterized by their pointed ears, bushy tails, and dense coats. There is something special about them, most notably: they’re smart. And not just “can fetch the ball” smart. We’re talking “can practically run a small business” smart.

The Norwegian Buhund has consistently ranked among the top 30-50 most intelligent dog breeds in numerous studies, based on obedience and working intelligence. They consistently demonstrate quick understanding of commands, seldom requiring repeated instructions more than once or twice. Their problem-solving skills are exceptional, often figuring out complex tasks swiftly.

However, what sets the Norwegian Buhund apart is their adaptability and ‘trainability,’ which is where their intelligence truly shines. Their history as herding dogs means they excel at understanding and following complex commands quickly. They are often used as service dogs, police dogs, and search and rescue dogs because of their excellent training efficiency. They thrive in activity-based training sessions that stimulate their mind and physical abilities.

However, like every smart creature, Norwegian Buhunds need their brainpower put to constant good use. Or else, they might end up using their intelligence for things you might not appreciate – like figuring out how to open doors, escape from their enclosures, or turn on the tap. Therefore, it’s a good idea to provide them with puzzle toys or involve them in dog sports like agility and obedience competitions.

There is advice to be had here for anyone considering adding this smart fur-ball to their family. First, be prepared for a lot of activity. These dogs are high-energy and need a lot of exercises. Second, their intelligence means you need to provide constant mental stimulation as well. Forget to do that, and your Buhund might just turn your house into their personal obstacle course!

In conclusion, while it might be a stretch to declare the Norwegian Buhund the ‘smartest’ dog definitively, they certainly rank among the top. Their long history as versatile workers coupled with their sound intellect and adaptability makes them an outstanding breed.

But remember, ‘intelligence’ in dogs can mean different things to different people. Some might rate their dog’s ‘smartness’ based on obedience alone, while others might focus on working abilities, instincts, or problem-solving skills. So, while science may not have a definitive answer to our question, one thing is sure: any individual who brings a Norwegian Buhund into their home will enjoy the company of an intelligent, devoted, and charming companion.