Norwegian Lundehund is a very old dog breed that originated in the Lofoten Islands. The Norwegian Lundehund breed has extra functional toes on the feet, which aids in the dog’s ability to climb rocks to retrieve puffins from their nests. When puffins were hunted with nets (instead of with dogs) and then later became protected, the need for the dogs diminished. A distemper outbreak (and lack of vaccine) during World War II almost caused the Norwegian Lundehund dog breed to disappear.
The Norwegian Lundehund is a small to medium-sized dog breed, standing 12.5 to 15 inches tall and weighing 13 to 15.5 pounds. The head is wedge-shaped, the eyes are dark and medium-large, and the ears are upright. There are six toes on each foot, with at least five toes functional on each front paw. The breed has a double coat, and the outer coat is straight and lies flat. The coat is usually reddish brown with black tips. This coat requires weekly brushing—more during the twice yearly shedding seasons.
The Norwegian Lundehund dog breed is alert, energetic, and needs daily exercise. These dogs like to run and play, and since they love to climb, they do well on the agility course. A bored Lundehund who doesn’t get daily exercise will find something to amuse herself, and that can be destructive in nature. Training this breed can be a challenge.
Norwegian Lundehunds are intelligent, cheerful, inquisitive, and stubborn. Training sessions should be short and fun. Incorporate games into the training to keep the dog interested. Housetraining can be tough, and male Norwegian Lundehund dogs are prone to marking their territory. Socialization is very important, as undersocialized dogs can be quite shy.
Potential Norwegian Lundehund owners should talk with breeders prior to committing themselves to a dog because of the breed’s challenging nature. Lundehunds make excellent companion dogs and are fun to be around, but they can be barkers, which can cause difficulties with neighbors. They are also excellent climbers and can be escape artists. Health concerns include gastrointestinal problems.