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Norwegian Lundehund Dog Breed… Everything You Need to Know at a Glance!

Now, here’s an unusual dog, especially considering that they don’t appear all that strange at first glance.  But don’t let these words give you the wrong impression because here at IndulgeYourPet, we love the “unusual” and are particularly fond of the “odd”!

So, let’ us explain…

The Norwegian Lundehund is one of the strongest dogs out there because he’s a bit “weird” in many ways.  First, they have a rather peculiar nickname, the Puffing Dog, and a strange physique, including being blessed with SIX toes and forelegs that can turn at a 90-degree angle.  Did we mention that his toes are also TRIPLE-JOINTED and that his pricked ears can fold or open at will?  Well, if not, they can, and they are!

And while…

It’s hard to deny that these are some attractive traits; some might say that his personality sets him apart from other dogs his size.  You see, the Norwegian Lundehund dog breed was originally to retrieve Puffin birds by climbing tall cliffs on the Norwegian islands he comes from, which means that this curious creature can climb any rock or cliff. He can squeeze into the tiniest of crevices and can do impossible things that make you wonder, “How did he do that!”

What else?

He is an energetic dog with a fantastic personality. He is always curious about the world around him and wants to investigate anything he doesn’t fully understand.  So, it would be best to get too surprised or upset when you find your Norwegian Lundehund in weird positions or doing strange things that may make you want to tear your hair out in frustration.

For these and other reasons…

We wanted to take a moment and discuss what it might be like to own one of these fantastic little creatures so that if you’re ever allowed to own one of these awesome little critters, you’ll know for sure if It’s a good idea!

So, without further ado, let’s dive right in!

Norwegian Lundehund Fast Facts

Country of Origin: Norway

Origin Purpose:  Bird hunting and retrieval

Height: 12 to 15 inches at the shoulder

Weight: 13 to 16 pounds

Dog Breed Classification:  Non-Sporting group

Life Span: 6 to 8 years

Origin of the Norwegian Lundehund

The Norwegian Lundehund comes from a remote island in Norway. He has been around forever, probably since the Ice Age. Back then, these little guys were primarily used by the Vikings to hunt puffin birds and poach their eggs– hence the name Puffin Dog.  Unfortunately, this breed fell out of favor as Norway industrialized, and other, more effective techniques were used to hunt the puffin birds. The breed became almost extinct in the 1940s due to the outbreak of the deadly Distemper Virus. The Distemper Virus decimated the Lundehund population.


Due to a young woman’s efforts, Eleanor Christie, the Norwegian Lundehund dog breed, was saved. Eleanor and her husband started a Lundehund breeding program and were able to restore the breed numbers to some extent.  That said, however, the Lundehund is still a protected species; however, as they gain more notoriety, their numbers seem to continue to increase, which will hopefully one day ensure that they will be around for many generations to come.


There are 1,400 Norwegian Lundehunds in the world, most of them in Norway, and their numbers are slowly growing.

Norwegian Lundehund and the United States

The first Lundehund was brought to the United States in 1987, and The Norwegian Lundehund Club of America was formed shortly after that. The breed was recognized under the Non-Sporting Group by the American Kennel Club in 2011.

Physical Characteristics

The Lundehund is a small dog, which is always at most 15 inches tall at the shoulder level. It is an agile and athletic breed with a flexible and nimble body.  He is well known for having extra toes, as discussed earlier. This condition is called polydactylism. His extra toes give him the grip and stability needed to climb steep, slippery cliffs or uneven, unstable terrain when on the hunt.

These dogs also…

Have thick double coats, coarse outer coats, and dense, soft undercoats. The skin comes in different colors, such as reddish-brown, fallow, and tan, with black hair tips and white splashes.

Comparisons Dog Breeds

No dog is even remotely similar to the Lundehund. But he is a Spitz Breed and shares many things in common with other dogs that belong to the Spitz club, such as the Norwegian Buhund.

Temperament and Personality

Lundehunds are generally cheerful, alert, and curious dogs that are always up to something. They have an independent streak and a stubborn mindset. They are playful and intelligent.  While this breed is affectionate towards its human family, it is wary of strangers. Early socialization is a must and should start when it is still a puppy.  Lundehunds have playful personality and do all sorts of weird things, which make this breed popular with kids.

Potential Health Problems

Lundehunds are beset with many health problems, the most notable of which is Lundehund Syndrome, a muscle-wasting weakness.  Symptoms of Lundehund Syndrome are a Complete lack of appetite, vomiting and diarrhea, lethargy, and sudden weight loss.

Apart from that, the Lundehund suffers from the following diseases…

And while many of these conditions may not be life-threatening, they can become quite expensive, particularly if they become recurring issues.  This is why we here at IndulgeYourPet also recommend that any new pet owner take a moment and see what it might cost for you to purchase a pet insurance policy for your new animal.

Now will a pet insurance policy be suitable for everyone?

No, probably not.  But until you fully understand what these policies “will” and “won’t” cover and how much these pet insurance policies cost, how will you know if one might be right for you?

For more information on who we feel currently offers the “best” pet insurance policies out there, we would encourage you to check out our Best Pet Insurance Policies article.

{ 1 comment… add one }
  • Bella G. December 18, 2020, 8:34 am

    Is this dog good with other dogs. I have two other dogs.

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