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Norwegian Lundehund: The Ultimate Dog Guide


Have you ever heard of a dog with six toes on each foot? Or a breed that can bend its head backward to touch its spine? If your answer is no, then you are about to embark on an enlightening journey about one of the most remarkable breeds in the dog world – the Norwegian Lundehund. With its distinctive physical attributes, dynamic personality, and captivating history, this breed is the epitome of uniqueness. In this blog post, we will explore everything you need to know about the Norwegian Lundehund, providing a comprehensive guide for potential owners and enthusiasts alike. So buckle up, and let’s dive into the intriguing world of this rare Norwegian treasure.

Characteristic Description
Origin Norway
Size Small to medium
Weight 13 – 20 pounds (6 – 9 kg)
Height 12 – 16 inches (30 – 38 cm)
Coat Double coat in various colors, including red, sable, and black, often with white markings
Life Span 12 – 14 years
Temperament Energetic, friendly, adaptable, intelligent
Exercise Needs High
Grooming Moderate
Health Issues Lundehund Syndrome (a set of gastrointestinal disorders), hip dysplasia, eye problems
Good with Children & other pets Yes, with proper socialization
Training Intelligent but can be independent; positive reinforcement methods work best

The Distinctive Physical Traits of Norwegian Lundehund

The Look of the Norwegian Lundehund

The Norwegian Lundehund is a small, rectangular Spitz-type dog, known for its agility and cliff-climbing abilities. These dogs are typically between 12 to 15 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh around 15 to 20 pounds.

Coat and Color

The Lundehund sports a double coat, with a protective outer layer and a dense, insulating undercoat. Coat colors range from various shades of red and sable to black, often with white markings and a white tail tip.

Unique Features

Uniqueness is a hallmark of the Lundehund. They possess physical adaptations like no other breed, including six toes on each foot and extremely flexible joints that allow them to fit into and extricate themselves from narrow passages.

Getting to Know the Temperament

General Temperament

Known for their spirited and energetic personality, Lundehunds are friendly, intelligent, and alert. They are a playful breed and are known to be good with families and children.

Human Interaction

Norwegian Lundehunds are known for being highly adaptable and have a strong bond with their human families. They thrive on human companionship and enjoy active participation in family activities.

Interaction with Other Animals

While Norwegian Lundehunds are typically friendly towards other dogs and animals, early socialization is key to fostering their acceptance and preventing any predatory behaviors.

Essential Care and Training Guidelines

Diet and Exercise

Like any dog, Norwegian Lundehunds require a balanced diet to maintain their health and energy. As they are an active breed, they also require regular exercise to keep them fit and mentally stimulated.

Training Your Lundehund

The intelligent Lundehund responds well to training. It is important to start socialization and basic obedience training early and continue with more complex tasks and agility training as they grow.

Grooming Needs

Their thick double coat requires regular grooming to maintain its health and appearance. Brushing will not only keep the coat looking its best but also help to minimize shedding.

Important Health Considerations

Common Health Concerns

Despite their robust nature, Norwegian Lundehunds are prone to certain health issues. The most notable is Lundehund Syndrome, a set of gastrointestinal disorders, which requires lifelong management. Regular veterinary check-ups are crucial to early detection and treatment.

Healthcare and Prevention

Along with regular vet check-ups, preventative care such as vaccinations and parasite control are key to a healthy life for a Lundehund.

Navigating the World of Breeding and Puppies

Understanding the Breeding Process

Responsible breeding practices are important for maintaining the health and vitality of this breed. It is crucial to choose a reputable breeder who tests their breeding dogs for common health issues.

Selecting a Breeder

A good breeder will be happy to answer all your questions about the breed and provide information about the puppy’s parents and lineage. They should also provide proof of health screenings for the puppies and their parents.

Caring for Norwegian Lundehund Puppies

Newborn Lundehund puppies require careful feeding and healthcare. Early socialization and training are also essential for developing a well-rounded adult dog.

The Versatility of Norwegian Lundehund in Work and Play

The Lundehund as a Working Dog

Historically used to hunt puffins on steep cliffs, today’s Norwegian Lundehund retains its agility and adaptability, making it an excellent contender in dog sports.

Participation in Dog Sports

The Lundehund’s agility and intelligence make it natural at dog sports like agility, obedience, and tracking.

Potential Roles in Therapy and Assistance

Though not traditionally bred for these roles, the Norwegian Lundehund’s friendly and adaptable nature may make it a good fit for therapy or assistance work.

Living with Norwegian Lundehund: Real-Life Experiences

From Owners of Norwegian Lundehunds

Many owners describe their Lundehunds as lively and affectionate companions that add a lot of joy to their lives. However, they also caution potential owners about the breed’s unique dietary needs and potential health issues.

Finding a Fit for Different Homes and Lifestyles

While the Norwegian Lundehund is adaptable and can live comfortably in various settings, it is important to remember that they need sufficient exercise, mental stimulation, and human interaction.

Adopting a Norwegian Lundehund: What to Expect

Where to Find a Lundehund

Finding a Norwegian Lundehund can be a bit challenging due to the breed’s rarity. Interested adopters can look to breed-specific rescue organizations or reputable breeders.

The Adoption Process

Adopting a Lundehund is a commitment. Potential adopters should be prepared for a thorough vetting process to ensure the right fit for both the dog and the family.

Settling In with Your New Lundehund

Bringing a new Lundehund home is an exciting time. Be prepared for a period of adjustment as your new companion gets accustomed to their new surroundings.

The Peculiar Hunting Style of the Norwegian Lundehund

The Specialized Puffin Hunter

One of the most notable aspects of the Norwegian Lundehund’s history is its role as a puffin hunter. These agile dogs were bred to hunt puffins and their eggs on the towering cliffs of Norway. With their extra toes providing superior grip and their flexible necks allowing them to look upwards and around, they were expertly equipped to navigate the narrow crevices and vertical terrain where puffins nested. Their ability to close their ear canals was also a neat trick, protecting their ears from dirt while burrowing into these nests.

Environmental Considerations for Norwegian Lundehund

Climate Adaptability

Originating from the cool climate of Norway, the Norwegian Lundehund is well-adapted to colder weather thanks to its double coat. While they can adjust to warmer climates, it’s important to ensure they have a cool place to retreat during the hottest parts of the day. Providing plenty of fresh water and not over-exercising them in the heat can also help maintain their comfort and health.

Rescue Organizations for Norwegian Lundehunds

Finding a Lundehund Through Rescue

While not as commonly found in rescue as some other breeds, there are organizations dedicated to the rescue and rehoming of Norwegian Lundehunds. These groups work to provide safe and loving homes for Lundehunds that have been abandoned, lost, or surrendered. Adopting through a rescue organization can be a wonderful way to give a second chance to a dog in need.

The Right Home for a Norwegian Lundehund

Considering Your Living Situation

Before bringing a Norwegian Lundehund into your home, it’s important to consider if your living situation is suitable for this active and energetic breed. They can adapt to living in an apartment or a house, but they require ample opportunities for exercise. A fenced yard where they can play safely would be a bonus. This breed can also do well with families, singles, and seniors as long as their exercise and companionship needs are met.


With its unique physical characteristics, playful personality, and complex care needs, the Norwegian Lundehund is a fascinating breed. While not a dog for everyone, those who choose to bring a Lundehund into their lives are rewarded with a loyal, energetic, and loving companion.

Sergey Uhanov

Sergey Uhanov, a certified veterinarian, has authored all of the content here. With over 20 years of experience in dog care and breeding three dogs of his own, he has a deep passion for these furry friends. Sergey owns a pet clinic in Israel where he provides care and treatment to dogs. He enjoys sharing his expertise and knowledge to assist others in caring for their dogs.

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