Breed Category: Non-Sporting
Country of Origin: Norway
Average Size: 32-38 cm (at the withers)
Average Weight: 6-9 kg
Average Life Span: 11-13 years
Grooming Requirements: Low
Exercise Requirements: Medium
The Norwegian Lundehund is a small dog bred to hunt puffins in the arctic region on northern Norway. It is a Spitz dog with over 400 years of history. Its name is derived from the Norwegian word for puffin, lundefugl. This breed possessed the ability to scale cliffs and access tight spaces in order to access puffins and their nests. Puffins were used for their meat until they became an endangered species in the 19th century.
With their hunting job eliminated, the population of the Norwegian Lundehund decreased dramatically. Canine plagues in the 20th century further hurt the breed and it is now considered a very rare type of dog. Most of its remaining population remains in Norway, though it has expanded other countries throughout the world such as the United States and Australia.
In addition to its small population, there are a number of physical characteristics that make this breed rare. The Norwegian Lundehund has six toes on each foot, which gives it an even stronger ability to climb difficult terrain. It is also an extremely flexible breed, possessing the ability to bend its head back onto its spine without causing injury.
Its athletic nature and small, compact size suited it extremely well in its work. Though the Norwegian Lundehund is no longer used to hunt puffins, the breed’s appearance has remained largely unchanged. It weighs approximately 6-9 kg and measures 32-38 cm in height. Its ears are erect and it has a long tail that curls slightly onto its back.
This brown-eyed breed has a double coat, with the under coat being short and soft and the outer coat short and coarse in texture. The coat is typically red, white or tan in colour, though black is commonly seen as an accent colour. Its fur needs only occasional brushing, but the Norwegian Lundehund is a profuse shedder.
The Norwegian Lundehund was extremely skilled at hunting puffins and though it is no longer used for that purpose, its intelligence and physical skills are still admired today. It can be trained to participate in agility exercises, though it does not require more than a daily walk. The walk should be long enough to tire it, but the breed also enjoys playing in the yard or indoors with a toy.
This breed is also very friendly and enjoys the company of its family. It may be initially reserved with strangers, but is typically a welcoming breed that is loyal to and enjoys the company of humans. When properly socialised, the Norwegian Lundehund also gets along well with other animals.
In order to ensure that the dog reaches its potential, it should be well-trained, though training should be based on positive reinforcement rather than punishment. Training will help it adjust to new people, animals and environments and will also help prevent it from compulsive barking.
The biggest concern regarding the health of the Norwegian Lundehund is its susceptibility to digestive disorders, which can restrict its diet and affect its weight.
This small breed of dog lives to be an average of 11-13 years of age.
Norwegian Lundehund Organisations in Australia
No club information listed
Norwegian Lundehund Organisations in the UK
American Kennel Club – Norwegian Lundehund
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