Norwegian Lundehund

13-20 lbs
Puffin Dog

The Norwegian Lundehund is a rather odd or freakish dog. He has six toes on each foot. The toes on his front feet are double or even triple jointed. He has legs that turn out at a 90 degree angle and his head is able to bend backwards almost to the point where he can touch his back. He can also close his ears by folding them forward or backward. Because he is able to contort his body into different positions, it can be difficult to keep him contained. Aside from being freakish in looks, he has an overabundance of energy and does require an experienced dog owner.

purpose Purpose
Retrieve live puffins
history Date of Origin
ancestry Ancestry

Norwegian Lundehund Health

Average Size
Male Norwegian Lundehund size stats
Height: 13-15 inches Weight: 13-20 lbs
Female Norwegian Lundehund size stats
Height: 12-14 inches Weight: 13-20 lbs
Major Concerns
  • Lundehund Syndrome
Minor Concerns
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Kneecap Dislocation
Occasional Diagnoses
  • Various Eye Diseases
Occasional Tests
  • OFA
  • CERF
  • X-Rays
  • Full Physical Examination

Norwegian Lundehund Breed History

The Norwegian Lundehund is one of the world’s rarest breeds, not just because there are so few in existence but because of his unusual characteristics. He is named after the puffin he was bred to catch. Lunde means puffin. He was bred on the remote islands that sit just off the coast of Norway and his primary job was to climb the cliffs and search for puffins. He was then to catch the puffins and bring them back alive to his owner. His freakish physical characteristics aided in his scaling the cliffs and squeezing into narrow crevices. His extra toes give him a solid foothold and better balance when he is on steep cliffs or slippery rocks. The unusual way he can bend his neck was very useful when he had to reverse his direction out of the puffin’s nest. The first Norwegian Lundehunds to come into North America arrived in Canada in 1960. The first Norwegian Lundehund to come into the United States arrived in 1987 and was owned by Paul Ross. The Norwegian Lundehund Club of America was created a year later in 1988. He was accepted into the American Kennel Club’s Foundation Stock Service in 1996 and in 2003 was approved to be eligible to compete in AKC companion events. It was not until the AKC’s board meeting in 2010 that the Norwegian Lundehund was eligible for official AKC registration. He was then eligible for competition in conformation shows in the non-sporting group in 2011. The Norwegian Lundehund became the American Kennel Club’s 169th breed to be recognized. 

Norwegian Lundehund Breed Appearance

The Norwegian Lundehund is a small Spitz breed. He is a very unique breed with characteristics not found in any other breed.  He has six toes on each foot with the toes on his front feet being double and even triple jointed. He has a neck that can bend backwards and almost touch his spine. His shoulders can extend flat to the side. His ears can fold forward or backward to close his ears to protect them from debris. He has a double coat with the outer coat being harsh and the undercoat being soft and dense. His coat is short on his head and the front of his legs. His coat is thicker and longer around his neck and the back of his thighs. The tail has dense coat with little to no feathering. The male Norwegian Lundehund will generally have a fuller ruff around his neck than the female. When the Norwegian Lundehund is shown in conformation events he is to be presented natural, no trimming should be done to his coat. The Norwegian Lundehund comes in different colors ranging from fallow to reddish brown. He can have black tips and white markings. He can also be white with red or dark colored markings. He will develop more black tipping as he matures. 

Eye Color Possibilities
brown Norwegian Lundehund eyes
Nose Color Possibilities
black Norwegian Lundehund nose
Coat Color Possibilities
sable Norwegian Lundehund coat
gray Norwegian Lundehund coat
red Norwegian Lundehund coat
white Norwegian Lundehund coat
Coat Length
Short Medium Long
Coat Density
coat density
Sparse Normal Dense
Coat Texture
coat texture
Norwegian Lundehund straight coat texture
Straight Wiry Wavy Curly Corded

Norwegian Lundehund Breed Maintenance

The Norwegian Lundehund has a dense undercoat that does shed heavily twice a year. Aside from the heavy seasonal shedding, he will also shed small amounts daily. His coat will get on your furniture and clothes so keep a lint roller handy! By brushing him at least once a week, you will remove loose hair, redistribute oils on the skin for healthy coat and skin and keep it clean. If you are not fond of the shedding, you can brush him more often to remove more of the loose hairs. During the spring and fall it is recommended to brush him daily to keep the shedding under control. He will require his nails to be trimmed as needed, usually every 2 to 3 weeks. Some Norwegian Lundehunds do not like to have their nails trimmed. Your veterinarian can trim his nails if needed. The tufts of hair between his toes can be trimmed to keep him from tracking more dirt and debris into the house. His ears need cleaned weekly to remove dirt and moisture. The Norwegian Lundehund needs a dental plan set in place to ensure that he has healthy teeth and gums.

Brushes for Norwegian Lundehund
Pin Brush
Pin Brush
Nail Clipper
Nail Clipper
Brushing Frequency
fur daily fur weekly fur monthly
Norwegian Lundehund requires daily brushing
Daily Weekly Monthly

Norwegian Lundehund Temperament

The Norwegian Lundehund is pack rat. He will collect shiny objects and hide them. He is also known to hide food for snacking later. Do not be surprised to find bits of kibble under your bed, couch cushions or pillow. He is a great companion for families with older children; however, he is not a recommended pet for families with toddlers. The Norwegian Lundehund is not particularly patient with toddlers who pull on his ears or tail. He is very difficult to housetrain, some owners say it is impossible to fully house train a Norwegian Lundehund. He is also a vocal dog and loves to bark. He is not suited for apartment life for that reason. The Norwegian Lundehund is an independent thinker and therefore can be very stubborn. He is not recommended for the first time dog owner, he will quickly learn who he can manipulate in the family to get his way. Make sure his training is consistent and all family members use the same commands and demand the same behavior or he will not respect all family members.

Norwegian Lundehund Owner Experiences

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