Rare and unique: that’s how the American Kennel Club (AKC) describes the fabulous Norwegian Lundehund. It is indeed a magnificent breed of dog, affectionate and endowed with extraordinary acrobatic abilities.
Black, white, sable & white, grey, red, yellow
Active owners, those looking for a loyal and protective dog
Energetic, alert, affectionate, protective
However, if you are successful in finding a breeder, be aware that this breed may be more suitable for an experienced owner, due to their stubbornness and somewhat more challenging training. But if you’ve encountered stubborn dogs before, you’ll probably be a good match for the Norwegian Lundehund.
Norwegian Lundehund Puppies
If you are looking for a loyal dog that is protective, then the Norwegian Lundehund may be the pup for you. They are energetic and affectionate so be prepared for tons of play time and cuddles.
Temperament & Intelligence of the Norwegian Lundehund
His playful personality and great sociability make the Norwegian Lundehund a wonderful dog for a large family that already has other pets. Nevertheless, his owner must make sure that he has enough time and expertise to provide for the needs of this special dog. Indeed, he is so close to his family that he can suffer from separation anxiety if he must spend too much time alone, especially if he does not have free access to the outdoors. Therefore, making him cohabit with another animal is a good solution for an often-absent owner, because there is a good chance that he will find a nice playmate there to pass the time.
However, you should know that this pup can be stubborn and exploit the slightest loophole if the orders given to him during his training are not constant. It is therefore not a breed recommended as a first dog.
Are These Dogs Good for Families? 👪
The Norwegian Lundehund adores his family and is always ready to spend time with them, whether walking with the adults or playing with the kids in the yard. However, he can lose patience if toddlers pull their ears or tail, for example. Therefore, dogs should always be supervised around young children or children of any age who have little exposure to dogs.
He is more reserved at first with people he does not know and tends to bark in the presence of a stranger, without necessarily behaving aggressively. Nevertheless, he adapts easily and does not take long to want to play with newcomers.
Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?
This breed gets along well with other dogs: he is happiest in a household with fellow dogs he can run around and have fun with and is highly social with them.
He also accepts other animals very well. However, you will need to take the necessary precautions to make your dog cohabit with other animals, that is, to socialize him properly. In this way, he will live in perfect harmony with cats, rodents, or reptiles. The only exception concerns birds, which is easily understandable given his past as a puffin hunter: such cohabitation would have a great chance to go wrong.
Things to Know When Owning a Norwegian Lundehund:
Food & Diet Requirements 🦴
The Norwegian Lundehund should do well with high-quality dog food, whether you buy it at the pet store or prepare it at home with the supervision and approval of your vet. In addition, any diet must be adapted to the dog’s age, whether a puppy, adult, or senior. Be aware that this dog breed is prone to overweight if not getting enough exercise, so watch your dog’s calorie intake and weight. Treats can be an important training aid but giving too much can lead to obesity. In all cases, do not hesitate to consult your veterinarian if you have any concerns regarding your dog’s weight or diet.
An active dog, Norwegian Lundehund needs a healthy dose of daily exercise to burn off his excess energy. If his owner provides him with sufficient activity (about an hour a day of walks and games), he can live in an apartment, but the best is still that he has an outdoor space in which to run freely.
In addition, he has not lost any of his climbing skills, which make him able, for example, to easily climb the kitchen cupboard to steal some treats. This skill, combined with his extraordinary flexibility, allows him to squeeze into the most inaccessible places. It is also unlikely that a fence will prevent him from going out if he wishes: even if it really turns out to be too high for him, he is likely to end up finding a solution anyway by digging a narrow passage below. Nevertheless, his attachment and loyalty to his family mean that the risk of the dog running away is minimal.
As with all dogs, socialization from an early age is necessary for a calm and balanced adult Lundehund.
Being very sensitive, it is better to avoid harsh training methods because they can lead him to lose trust in his owner. Instead, it is best to opt for a dog training method based on positive reinforcement.
Intelligent and curious, this Norwegian dog can be trained in exercises involving his unusual physical abilities as well as his ability to find solutions, such as finding a toy full of treats hidden behind boxes stacked at the back of the garden.
On the other hand, his intelligence makes it essential that the rules set are consistent between the different family members because he quickly understands who he can manipulate. This is why the Lundehund is a breed of dog that requires a more experienced owner. Also, potty training can be a bit of a challenge.
The Lundehund’s dense coat requires weekly brushing to remove dirt and dead hair. During fall and spring molts, brushing the dog’s coat should be done daily to help get rid of excess dead hair. On the other hand, giving this dog a bath is rarely necessary.
The brushing session is an opportunity to check the dog’s teeth, eyes, and ears to make sure there is no dirt that could cause infection. At the same time, take care that his nails are not too long and cut them if they are, failing sufficient natural wear.
Health and Conditions 🏥
The Norwegian Lundehund is particularly prone to gastrointestinal problems, hence the name Lundehund syndrome. This disease occurs when the dog’s digestive tract does not function properly, unable to absorb the necessary nutrients. Lundehund syndrome is ubiquitous in this breed, and although there is currently no cure, there are some helpful management techniques to control the disease and side effects.
Also, like many small and medium dog breeds, Norwegian Lundehund has a high risk of patellar dislocation. In addition, its thick coat makes it perfectly resistant to cold and humidity but makes it much less comfortable when the mercury rises. So, living, for example, in a Mediterranean climate, is not recommended for this breed.
Male vs Female
Norwegian Lundehund males are slightly larger and taller than females but by only a few pounds and inches.
4 Little-Known Facts About the Norwegian Lundehund
1. He Was Bred to Hunt Sea Parrots
What’s a sea parrot? It’s simply the nickname of the puffin, a cute-looking chubby bird with orange feet found exclusively in the North Atlantic Ocean. And the Norwegian Lundehund takes his name from the Norwegian word for puffin, “Lunde”. Indeed, he was bred to hunt these birds for farmers living on the islands of Norway.
2. He Has a Thumb
Yes, you read that right: Norwegian Lunde is a polydactyl dog, meaning he has one more toe per paw, which gives him six toes in each foot. The sixth toe is used in the same way as a human thumb, which is handy for hunting puffins in the mountains, as it gives it a better grip on rocks. In addition, the two inner toes of the front feet are made up of three and two phalanges, respectively, and give the foot an impression of solidity.
3. He Has Incredible Acrobatic Skills
Norwegian Lundehund’s neck is extremely flexible, allowing him to tilt his head back until it touches his spine. This is useful for him to turn around in the narrow cracks of the rocks, where he must go to look for the puffins.
4. He stocks up on food
To never run out of energy and out of survival instincts, the Lundehund tends to stock up on food, just as his ancestors did centuries ago, to weather the harsh Norwegian winter. So, for example, you shouldn’t be surprised to find kibble hidden under the sofa. Some individuals also show a strong interest in shiny objects, which they steal to hide somewhere in the house.
The Norwegian Lundehund dog has incomparable qualities, in addition to being splendid, affectionate, and playful. However, these qualities come at a cost, as the Lundehund, in addition to being very rare, sells for a rather steep price. Nevertheless, this magnificent but sometimes stubborn dog is an irreplaceable four-legged companion.
Featured Image Credit: Irine and Andrew, Shutterstock