Activities For Norwegian Lundehunds

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Introduction

Norwegian Lundehunds are a very unique breed of dog, developed for a very specific purpose: hunting puffins. In order to reach their quarry, the Lundehund had to climb sheer cliff faces and enter the tiny passages in the rocks that these unusual birds nested in. They developed extremely flexible bodies, including six extraordinarily flexible toes on each foot to help them cling to the rocks without falling. While these unusual animals nearly became extinct when puffin hunting turned to nets rather than dogs, a few purebred dogs remained on the island of Værøy, a secluded north-western island of Norway. Noted breeder Eleanor Christie took an interest in these canny canines and began a very careful breeding program to restore the breed,

Hiking

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Sunny Day
Moderate
Normal
1 - 3 hrs
Items needed
Water
Food
Leash and Harness or Collar
First-aid Kits
Activity description

Norwegian Lundehunds have six-toed paws with double and triple joints that developed in order to hunt puffins on rocky, uneven surfaces. They are capable of climbing up cliffs and rocky embankments and can also bend their bodies in unusual ways in order to fit into the small crevices that puffins often retreat into. The unique climbing ability of this breed makes them sure-footed hiking companions. These small but strong canines also have a great deal of stamina and drive, although they should typically be kept on a lead when hiking in order to protect the local wildlife from their high prey drive. While the activity of hiking does not cost a great deal on its own, procuring appropriate hiking gear can increase expenditures.

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1
Preparation
Hiking can be a strenuous activity which can cause excessive stress on the heart, muscles, and the joints, particularly if you choose advanced trails before you or your dog are fit and healthy enough to do so. As with any new exercise routine, you and your dog should ensure that your most recent checkup is up to date. Novices to hiking, both human and canine, may find it more effective to start with shorter, less intense hikes in order to get properly conditioned for longer hikes. This not only helps safeguard you and your pet against muscle fatigue and exhaustion, but it also helps your dog's paw pads toughen up to prevent damage to their feet.
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2
The gear
It is wise to take along a first aid kit when venturing into the wilderness, particularly if it is a long hike or far from civilization. Along with your own first aid gear, you will want to ensure you have the proper supplies for your dog, including disinfectant, bandages, tweezers or pliers, saline water for washing out eyes or wounds, antihistamine and anti-inflammatory medications approved by your dog’s veterinarian, an extra pair of white socks in case your canine companion damages the bottom of their paws, a towel, and a mylar emergency blanket. If you outfit your dog with a canine backpack so that they can carry their own supplies, it is crucial to make sure that it fits properly. It should be tight enough not to shift and rub, to protect your dog’s skin from damage, but loose enough that it doesn’t interfere with your dog’s breathing and circulation.
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3
Hazards
It is important to have good control of your canine in order to help avoid many of the most common hazards of hiking, including poisoning from toxic plants and illnesses or physical damage from unexpected encounters with wildlife. It is also crucial to ensure you have enough water to avoid dehydration for either yourself or your dog and to bring some healthy food for energy if it will be a particularly long hike. Watch your dog carefully for signs of exhaustion and be certain not to push them beyond their capabilities.
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Search for Supper

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Any Day
Free
Easy
5 - 30 min
Items needed
Dog Food
Treat Toys (optional)
Activity description

Norwegian Lundehunds are incredible problem solvers, and one of their favorite problems to solve is how to get to the tasty snacks and treats in your cabinets. It is particularly important that these dogs are kept on a strict diet of low-fat, high protein food as they are prone to a disorder called Lundehund Intestinal syndrome, which reduces the dog’s ability to absorb nutrients from the gut, particularly protein, so snacking on your goodies is not a good idea. One way to help curb the desire to find their own snacks is to give them a slightly different problem to solve; finding their supper. While serving dogs their food in a regular bowl that sits in a consistent place is a perfectly acceptable way to feed your canine, allowing them to search for their supper keeps them entertained, provides mental stimulation and satisfies their innate foraging instinct. 

Step
1
Create the challenge
While hiding their regular food bowl filled with their regular meal in a fairly simple spot may initially provide some challenge while they figure out the game, it won’t take long before they are ready for more challenging hiding places. These can include things like covering their bowl with a towel, hiding it under beds, or even employing a treat toy or treat toys filled with their normal dry food.
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2
Set the rules
It is a good idea to set yourself some rules as to where exactly food can be hidden and where it shouldn’t be hidden. For instance, utilizing kitchen cupboards or the counter as a hiding place may actually encourage your dog to steal your food, using sealed boxes may give your dog license to tear into new packages, and hiding things in backpacks or purses could lead them to check out other purses and backpacks, exposing them to possible toxins and choking hazards.
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3
When to search
The choice of when you want your dog to search will likely depend on your schedule and your dog. While the title Search for Supper may imply that this meant to be done just at your dog’s evening supper time, it doesn’t have to be limited to that time frame. Some pet parents prefer to have their dog busy and out of the way in the morning while they are getting ready for the day, while others prefer the evening routine as it may give them an opportunity to eat their own meals in peace. Some people may even find it beneficial to play this game this multiple times a day.
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Disc Dog

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Sunny Day
Moderate
Normal
10 - 30 min
Items needed
Sanctioned Flying Disc
Activity description

The team sport of disc dog, in which a team made up of a human and a canine exhibit their skills with throwing and catching specialized discs, is similar to the frisbee. It first gained attention at a baseball game in 1974 when a college student by the name of Alex Stein jumped the fence with his dog, Ashley Whippet, and proceeded to put on an impromptu performance. The spectators and television audiences were awed by Ashley’s incredible speed, and astounding jumps and incredible speed and the sport began gathering a following. This canine sport has become a popular pastime for many pet parents with active and athletic dogs. Due to the agility and flexibility of the Norwegian Lundehund, this breed is extremely well suited to this sport, and the changeable nature of the routines helps to prevent boredom and ensure consistent mental stimulation. 

Step
1
Preparation
While most Norwegian Lundehunds are healthy animals, and this is a high-impact dog sport which should not be undertaken by canines that are not in good physical condition. A veterinary professional should be consulted in order to ensure that your dog’s respiratory system, heart, and teeth are healthy and strong. This sport can include a great deal of jumping and many high -flying maneuvers. Unless x-ray imaging has proven that your pup’s skeletal growth plates have fully matured, jumping and aerial maneuvers should be avoided in order to prevent permanent damage to their still-forming bones and joints.
Step
2
Discs
While this game is often referred to as Frisbee dog, the original Frisbee manufactured by Wham-O toys is a poor choice for this sport. While the plastic is lightweight enough to fly well, it is not designed for the impact caused by a dog’s mouth and may splinter when they are bitten down on, possibly causing cuts and lacerations to the dog’s mouth. Pet stores offer a safer alternative, soft fabric and rubber discs designed for heavy chewing, but these aren’t aerodynamic enough to compete with. You are more likely to find discs that are sanctioned for competitive play at dog sport stores and training facilities. There are two varieties of disc that are currently available, a light, inexpensive plastic disc that gets good distance and is easier to toss, but only survives a week or two of moderate practice, or a heavier, bite resistant disc that is harder to throw, but can withstand several weeks of standard use.
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3
Training
Before beginning training for disc dog events, it is essential that your dog has a consistent drop command and a rock-solid recall. Your dog can be trained for any combination of three varieties of disc dog competitions; the QUADRUPED a long distance toss ranging from fifty to more than ninety yards, a short distance toss of less than fifty yards, and artistic freestyle, a competitive performance that lasts between thirty seconds and two minutes and incorporates trick throws and catches.
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More Fun Ideas...

Doggy Daycare

This is another activity designed to protect both your canine and your home when you are not there to keep an eye on these dogs. Norwegian Lundehuns are typically very friendly with other animals, with the exception of birds, and may benefit greatly from the socialization offered by a daycare group.

Crate Training

While these dogs are generally independent enough to avoid serious separation anxiety issues, they are persistent problem solvers and are extremely good at manipulating both objects and people. While this may sound like a beneficial trait, it can become troublesome when the problem they are solving is how to get in the cupboards or out of the backyard. Crate training in a suitably sized crate can help keep these dogs out of trouble

Agility Training

Norwegian Lundehund breed dogs are particularly agile and they respond well to ongoing training making them excellent candidates for the competitive sport of agility training.

Conclusion

The Norwegian Lundehund is an intelligent and curious animal that enjoys solving problems. If not given enough physical and mental activity to keep them occupied these independent thinkers will find their own "problems" to solve, which may cause new problems for their pet parents. Keeping these dogs occupied can be challenging, but also highly enjoyable and entertaining.