Norwegian Lundehund – The old Puffin hunter dog

Dogs Human Classroom

The Norwegian Lundehund is one of the little known breeds that date back many years. As has happened with other hunting breeds, they lost much of their value to their former owners when the species they hunted became protected, which caused an abrupt decline in their popularity despite having spent so many years with this work that they developed certain anatomical qualities that helped them to perform such deeds. This small dog was used to steal eggs from the puffin nest and the bird itself, climbing cliffs, being a very agile breed in spite of its size which led them to be known also as “Puffin dog” or “norwegian puffin dog”. Helping and being the favorite of the natives of their island of origin. Something that is usually a problem for some owners is their ability to bark and dig, of course, this type of behavior can be controlled under the supervision and with good training. For these reasons it is recommended that if you adopt this dog breed, you are an experienced owner, in order to avoid that the Norwegian Lundehund dogs continue to increase their numbers in shelters or rescue groups instead of family homes. Since they can acquire an attitude of independence, become rebellious and stubborn, distrust pets or people who are strangers to them due to bad management or to feel unhappy with their owners.

Always make sure you choose a breed that fits your lifestyle and doesn’t force it to fit yours. Although it is true that all pets deserve a home, not all homes deserve a pet. You must be dedicated and committed by accepting the good and bad of the Lundehund dog breed.


This acrobatic norwegian lundehund dog, as its name implies, comes from Norway, from a small island where it is known for its agility and ability to climb over almost any surface. This is thanks to its anatomy that makes it such a unique and peculiar pet. The word “Lunde” comes from the native language that refers to the bird they hunted, the puffin bird. They are considered a rare breed that belongs to the Spitz breed (Finnish Spitz is a similar dog breed), meaning that they are not commonly seen but not so much because of their distinctive characteristic, but because of some problems the breed had throughout history that almost led them to disappear after becoming one of the most popular breeds by native farmers. The problem with this breed came when the government began to impose a “dog tax” for the simple fact of owning a dog of this breed and the introduction of net hunts for the puffins. Which led people to turn away from this breed after so many years of helping them solve their problems with food supply. As in the case of other similar breeds, thanks to the few people who organized themselves to maintain the purity of the Norwegian Lundehund is the reason why you can still acquire one of these magnificent pets, where they came to be used on islands that were dedicated to fishing. Currently, this breed already presents a better number in terms of its world distribution but it is still seen as a rare dog breed even in its native country, despite that it was only between the years 2008 to 2011 that it became recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC).

Something you should keep in mind is that even though it gets along with other species, you should think about it if you have a bird as a pet due to the nature and fame of the Norwegian Lundehund as a hunting dog.


Something that makes them so peculiar and what helped them achieve their fame, is they extra toe, yes, they have 6 toes including two dewclaws that help them with their acrobatic nature and mobility of their joints to perform these feats. But it’s also part of the reason why you should always keep him under surveillance to avoid unnecessary accidents or problems, even if he seems to be a challenging task due to his energetic personality. They are perfect for those who live in a cold climate, since their coat is thick and short on the outer layer and a soft inner layer, which helps them a lot in that. They can also be in hot weather but they do better in a low-temperature climate. Their coat colors are usually white, white with red, dark markings or a gradient color of reddish-brown with black-haired tips.

Another reason why they are so distinctive is because of the flexibility they developed so many years ago, as well as a belief that they are descended from a very old Russian breed since they relate the teeth and jaw of the fossil of that breed to the Norwegian Lundehund, since it has fewer teeth than a common dog. Its flexibility allows it to bend its head to its back and the articulation in its shoulders allows them to open its members at a 90-degree angle, aspects that are convenient to be able to move with more freedom in surfaces that have little traction or narrow spaces and to climb. Although they have typical characteristics of the Nordic or Spitz breeds, triangular and erect ears, curved tail, and a dense double coat. They present their differences when you can really detail them. In addition to their flexibility, extra fingers, and different teeth, they have the ability to cover their ears to protect the canal from anything that might get dirty or any material in the environment that might affect the integrity of the tissue. They weigh 15 to 30 pounds, height 13 to 15 inches at shoulder height for the male, while the female is usually 12 to 14 inches shorter at the same height or measurement. They are seen as a working breed. They have an average life span of 10 to 15 years, but these numbers depend on the care and handling you can give your pet.


They don’t usually do well in an apartment despite being a small to medium breed dog and for first-time owners. Neither do they tolerate in a good way prolonged times of your absence or the rest of the family, so you should train them from early on and provide them with everything you can to avoid any problem with their behavior in the future. Of course, choosing a Norwegian Lundehund is because your lifestyle is adapted to the breed’s needs. As for the family environment, this dog is perfect but again, remember that you must be experienced people to avoid major problems. They get along well with other dogs and strangers, are excellent with children, and super loving with their family as long as proper training and handling of the pet is carried out. Remember that not only the pets should be trained but also the rest of the family should be educated so they can treat them in a way that helps their training and avoids problems with their personality, since being so energetic they could become very hyperactive around the little ones in the house and could well cause them harm. Something you should take into account is that thanks to their innate agility, they are quite energetic dogs that will always look for a way to play or do some activity, so much so that they can become a bit intense with this aspect. Knowing this, providing him with a place and space for this, will be the healthiest and best thing for your Lundehund and why they don’t usually have a good time in small spaces such as apartments, unless you can commit to spending a good part of the day with him in a space to be able to carry out this type of activity. You must be very careful with this aspect of your pet because when they don’t feel satisfied, they usually become problematic and your dog will not be to blame.

Norwegian Lundehund dogs are really smart so they can make everything easy with their training but doing it wrong can end up being the complete opposite. Also remember to always keep a firm hand but not to hurt him as there is no need to repress when he does something wrong, and to rely on positive reinforcement during each training session and throughout his life as your pet. Something that can be of great help is the cage training, since the Norwegian Lundehund loves to travel and as they do not usually deal well with loneliness it is best to take him with you and the rest of the family with any trip you plan to make, or if you can not take him with you so he can stay calm in an enclosed space. In spite of this, they tend to have a curious and mischievous personality, which can become problematic due to their reputation for being seen as a primitive breed that is difficult to train, and therefore it is better than if you acquire them you have the capability to educate them and keep them under control as I mentioned before. Socialization at an early age in conjunction with training will be beneficial in the long run as it will help with your pet’s personality and avoid some coexistence problems. In order to do this, it is best that you comply with the stipulations of your vet to avoid any unnecessary risks since as a puppy, pets are usually prone to suffer from some diseases that can be fatal.

Although they tend to have problems by nature with digging and barking, at least you won’t have to deal with the drooling you would have with a Saint Bernard for example. But you have to be always on the lookout for havoc in the terrain that you provide for him to drain all his energies. A garden is a place that will draw his attention to look for a place to dig, which will not help the landscape at all and even though he will be happy it is not something you should allow him to do as with any other negative thing he may do at home.


Even though they shed a considerable amount of hair, it’s easy to maintain a good care that you’ll have to deal with when you have any breed as a pet. Grooming them weekly will be enough to remove dead hair and help keep their skin and hair healthy. As for their health and care, they do not tend to present several problems so they are considered a healthy breed although, despite being acrobats and agile by nature, they must take care of their weight.

One thing you should emphasize when adopting a Norwegian Lundehund puppy is the history of both the litter and the parents, as this breed is extremely prone to a variety of problems concerning its gastrointestinal system. So much so that one of these was named the Lundehund Syndrome, being one of its hereditary diseases. Others of a digestive disorder which may present are intestinal bowel disease (IBD), intestinal lymphangiectasia (IL), small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), and protein-losing enteropathy (PLE). By living with your pet long enough, you will be able to detect these and many other diseases of which your Norwegian Lundehund can become susceptible, since some of them will not always show symptoms but will become more aggressive and lethal for your pet when it reaches an advanced stage. Routine check-ups with your vet will be what will help you protect your pet and provide it with the better and healthier quality of life it so richly deserves.

Having and maintaining a good management will allow you not only to save you and your pet from bad moments, but you will be able to use simple and therefore more affordable methods to treat your pet if necessary. As far as what I mentioned about its adoption, this type of information is vital for your doctor since he will know the probabilities of some of the described diseases your pet may suffer from. A reputable breeder will provide you with this and more unlike others who are not as protective of their litter or as interested in this health issue.


You should always provide your pet with the best quality food, regardless of the breed or species, you should always give them a type of food that is in accordance with their needs and that is in accordance with their state of health. In the case of the Norwegian Lundehund, you must consult with the type of food you can use to avoid some of the gastrointestinal problems to which this breed is so prone or predisposed. Likewise, you should consult with your veterinarian about what food you should offer your dog even if he has no predisposition or any health problem since they are the most reliable source of this type of information. It is not enough to give them the best food, but it must be the ideal and recommended proportion per day without adding anything that could end up harming your pet. You must educate yourself about those foods that your pet cannot consume. This is a subject that should be of great interest to you as a Norwegian Lundehund owner. By taking care of your pet’s health and feeding it the right food for the breed, with an ideal proportion, and following your vet’s instructions, you will not only save your pet from suffering from overweight, but you will also prevent him from losing the agility and dexterity for which he is so well known and appreciated.


The Norwegian Lundehund may be a bit of a problem to deal with, but you just have to know how to handle a pet so you can get along with this breed. Besides always taking care of his stomach from what could do him some harm and providing him with what he needs to feel satisfied under your care with an ideal and safe space, so he can drain all his energy so he doesn’t acquire behavior problems on the way. Always consult your vet before making any changes or starting any activity with your pet and this will further reduce the chances of him contracting any disease.

I hope you found this guide to this distinctive Nordic breed useful. If you have any doubts, or if you think I have missed something please let me know in the comment section down below.

Professor Whiskers
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