The Norwegian Lundehund or Norsk Lundehund is a small Spitz-type breed originating from Røst and Værøy municipalities in the north of Norway. The name of the dog literally translates as Norwegian Puffin Dog since the word “Lunde” means Puffin (this dog is primarily used to hunt these birds and collect their eggs), and “Hund” stands for dog or hound in Norwegian. Nobody knows exactly how much this breed is actually old, but scientists had estimated, based on the fossil remains of the Varranger dog from northern Lapland, who had the identical jaws, that it might be somewhere around 5.000 years. This fact puts Lundehund into the group of oldest primitive dogs in the world. However, the first mention of the breed, the way it looks like today, is dating back to the late 16th century. Today, this dog belongs to the Nordic Hunting Dogs group in the class of primitive dog breeds.
About Norwegian Lundehund Dog
The Norwegian Lundehund is a small hunting dog with a very lovely look and gracious stance. He is quite similar to other two Scandinavian breeds – Norrbottenspets and Finnish Spitz, but he’s the smallest and merriest of them. They all share many common characteristics, but compared to them, this dog possesses some unique traits, which makes him the weirdest of the three. Main Norwegian Lundehund characteristics are agility, independence, stubbornness, intelligence, cheerfulness, curiosity, loyalty, and flexibility. Now you probably wonder, why flexibility? Well, this dog is actually incredibly flexible. His front legs can bend outwards to 90 degrees, allowing the dog to lay flat on his chest. Also, he is able to bend his neck so much that his head can literally lay atop his back. Quite remarkable! This flexibility is in connection with his hunting habits, which I’ll explain later in this article.
The Norwegian Lundehund is a moderately energetic dog, who demands regular exercise. The longer walk once a day will suffice as well as some occasional playtime with a Frisbee. Just make sure you put him to work as much as you can, otherwise he can bark as crazy or dig around your yard. His active nature is the reason enough, this dog, with proper training, can successfully participate in various dog sporting contests, such as agility and obedience trials. Speaking of training, Puffin Dog is not that easy to train, especially if you want your dog housebroken. He is exquisitely hard to crate train, which is a huge problem if you want to keep your Lundie indoors. That’s why you’ll have to use positive reinforcement training and be very consistent. Since this dog is independent thinker, he can be very stubborn, so you’ll have to be a dominant leader with a caring attitude.
The Norwegian Lundehund is known to be a wonderful family companion. He is loyal to his primary owner, while in the company of other members of the family this dog is usually cheery and “crazy”. He demands a lot of attention, so he won’t hesitate to do anything he can just to make you spend as much time as possible with him. This dog is often very playful and jumpy, and that’s why he is an excellent dog for kids. No matter how old they are, they will simply adore him. He is also usually friendly with other dogs, pets, and even strangers. Puffin Dog will alarm you whenever somebody approaches your property, but his curiosity will prevail in the end, and he will gladly greet anybody. However, he can be pretty annoying with excessive barking. That’s why it is important to adequately socialize your dog early to prevent him becoming too shy or extremely sensitive to sudden noises.
Norsk “Six Toed” Lundehund Physical Characteristics
The Norwegian Lundehund is a light dog of rectangular shape, meaning he is longer than tall at withers. He has gracious and compact body covered with a short, stand-up coat. Like all other Nordic breeds, this dog has a usual double coat, which is waterproof. The coat consists of soft and dense undercoat and a bit longer, rough outer coat. Puffin Dogs shed heavily twice a year, so the regular grooming is a must. However, since they have relatively short fur, it is much easier to brush Lundie than some other Nordic dogs. Main Norwegian Lundehund colors are red, brown, black, grey, white, and fawn. They come in many templates, but never solid color. The most usual color templates are red, fawn or brown with black or dark grey tipped hair at the withers, back, tail, and around ears and eyes. White color can be found on the neck, stomach, chest, legs, head, and buttocks.
The Norwegian Lundehund has a wedge-shaped head with the pointed, fox-like muzzle. The oval-shaped eyes with black eye-rims are dark brown and slightly deep-set, while the nose is black. This dog has the pricked erect ears, which can bend forward or backward. This way he can close them entirely if necessary to prevent dust or water sipping in. The thick, short neck is very flexible. His broad chest reaches the elbows. The brushy tail is long and curled atop the dog’s strong and slightly arched back. The front legs are flexible, strong and straight, while the muscular back legs are perfectly adapted for climbing. Yeah, this dog is an excellent climber, which is more than evident when you look at his paws. Instead of usual four toes, these dogs have six functional toes (two dewclaws)! In fact, Norsk Lundehund is the only dog with such paws, which is quite remarkable.
The Norwegian Lundehund is in general a healthy breed, but unfortunately almost all of these dogs are in serious danger from day one. The reason for that is a unique digestive allergy known as the Lundehund Syndrome or Lymphagetasia. It is actually a digestive disorder or gastroenteropathy predetermined in the dog’s genetics. It is manifesting through the inability of digestive tract to absorb nutrients and protein from food. In other words, no matter how much food your dog eats, eventually he will starve to death because he won’t absorb any needed ingredients out of it. The worst thing about this syndrome is that it cannot be cured, only prevented! So, you will have to feed your dog a grain-free diet and take his poo to fecal testing every six months. This syndrome is the reason Norwegian Lundehund life expectancy isn’t that great. At best, it is somewhere between 10 and 12 years.
Norwegian Lundehund Dog Size And Weight
– Height between 12,5 and 14 inches (32-36 cm)
– Weight between 14 and 16 pounds (6,5–7,5 kg)
– Height between 12 and 13,5 inches (30-34 cm)
– Weight between 12 and 14 pounds (5,5–6,5 kg)
Hunter With Excellent Climbing And Scraping Abillites
The Norwegian Lundehund is an extraordinary hunter primarily used to hunt puffins in its native country. These unique birds are known to live at hardly accessible coastal cliffs and caves. That’s why these dogs were developed in the first place to successfully cope with such harsh terrain. Thanks to his six toed paws and strong legs, Lundie can easily climb up these rocky cliffs. In fact, he can successfully climb any steep terrain or even a tree, which is one of his unique specialties. Also, this dog’s incredible flexibility provides him with the ability to scrape through narrow passageways, which is very important since puffins lay eggs in the caverns and cracks at the cliffs. These passageways are often full of moist and dirt, which can seep into the dog’s ears. That’s why Lundehunds have ears capable to close if need be. As you can see, these dogs are perfectly adapted for their main job.
Lively Puffin Dog
The Norwegian Lundehund is more than just another lively and cheerful dog, he is literally a crazy jumpy thing :) He can play all day long, so make sure to buy him some toys. That way he can have his own playtime, when you’re unable to join him. Just wait until you see him throwing, hiding or stalking his toys around, you will literally die out laughing. In simple words, you will adore this little thing. However, this craziness can put him in all sorts of trouble while outside, so make sure you keep an eye on him all the time. It’s more than obvious that Norwegian Lundehund is a wonderful dog, but it’s very rare breed outside its native country. That’s why this dog is very expensive, so it is hard to find and buy one. On top of that, he demands dedicated health care, which makes Puffin Dogs even less popular. But, when you look at all his qualities, I’m sure some of you won’t overlook this buddy :)