Norwegian Lundehund

The Norwegian Lundehund has also been known as a Norsk Lundehund or Norwegian Puffin Dog and is considered a Spitz-type dog. The puffin is a small bird that was hunted by the Norwegian Lundehund. This was the original plan for a Norwegian Lundehund: hunting for puffins and their eggs. Now, the Norwegian Lundehund is a loyal and playful companion dog for its owners.

Norwegian Lundehund Image

The Norwegian Lundehund is a very different dog in terms of certain characteristics. First, the Norwegian Lundehund is a polydactyl, which means instead of the four normal toes per foot, the Norwegian Lundehund normally has six. Second, it can fold its ears closed, forward or backward at will. Finally, something else that makes a Norwegian Lundehund unique is due to its different bone structure. It can tip its head backwards so the top of its head touches its backbone.


The Norwegian Lundehund has a long history, with scientific research showing that the breed has been around since before the Ice Age. They survived by eating fish and sea birds. Interestingly, it seems the Norwegian Lundehund came from a more primeval dog, the Canis forus instead of the domesticated dog breed, Canis familiaris.

Their biggest Puffin hunting days were in the 16th and 17th centuries. But around the 1900s, they were only found in one location in the isolated village of Mostad, Lofoten. During World War II, the breed became almost extinct when canine distemper hit parts of Norway. Yet again in 1963, distemper hit once more, and the population fell even further. Luckily the breed has made a comeback, and there are not hundreds of Norwegian Lundehunds in different countries, including the United States.

Although being a part of the Foundation Stock Service of the American Kennel Club since 1996, the Norwegian Lundehund became recognized officially in 2011.


The Norwegian Lundehund is considered a small to medium-sized dog. The average height of a male or female Norwegian Lundehund is 12 to 16 inches. The weight average for a standard Norwegian Lundehund male or female is 13 to 15 pounds.


The Norwegian Lundehund is very affectionate toward its family and is incredible kid-friendly. Not only that, but they enjoy other dogs and are even friendly toward strangers. The Norwegian Lundehund is also highly intelligent and has a lot of energy. Norwegian Lundehunds need lots of exercise because they are very playful.

Although very friendly, they don’t do well in small places like an apartment. They enjoy open spaces. They are good for new dog owners and don’t generally like being alone. They prefer to be with their owners and other human family members. They don’t mind cold weather, but hot weather is not their favorite.


The Norwegian Lundehund lives to be between 10 to 12 years on average and are generally healthy dogs. There may be some healthy issues like eye disease, patellar lunation and protein-losing enteropathy, but most Norwegian Lundehunds don’t deal with any of these problems.

Most breeders nowadays use genetic testing to know if the breeding stock may pass along any disease to their puppies. Even though your Norwegian Lundehund will be relatively healthy its entire life, it is important for all breeds to visit their veterinarians home on a regular basis, as recommended.


Norwegian Lundehunds have dense, rough outer coats but is insulated by a soft undercoat, which can be reddish-brown to fawn. They shed heavily so all Norwegian Lundehunds need to be brushed regularly with a firm bristle brush.

Training is easy for Norwegian Lundehunds to accept due to their intelligence, but it may be challenging at times due to their cleverness and fun-loving natures. They need consistent  training, house training and socialization. The last needing to start from an early age.

Norwegian Lundehunds have fast growing nails, which means they need to be trimmed regularly. Also, their ears need to be checked to avoid buildup of wax and debris, which can cause infection. Their teeth also need to be cleaned regularly to get rid of any tartar build up that cause dental problems.

Just as with most dogs, this breed needs to be regulated when it comes to food. Depending on the type of food will depend on what your Norwegian Lundehund will need. Whatever the choice you make, your Norwegian Lundehund needs consistent nutrition.


Here is a link to the Norwegian Lundehund Club of America. Please check your local area for other rescues near you or to learn more about this breed.


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