Norwegian Lundehund

Norwegian Lundehund

Group: Hound Group

Origin: Norway

– Males: 13 3/4 to 15 inches
– Females: 12 1/2 to 13 3/4 inches

– Males: Approximately 15 1/2 lbs.
– Females: 13 1/4 lbs.

Also Known As: Norwegian Puffin Dog; Puffin Hound

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Breed Profile

The Norwegian Lundehund originated in Norway and was used to hunt the Puffin (a small aquatic bird). Puffin birds nest high on the cliffs of the jagged coastline in the Loefotens of Norway. The dogs were able to scale these cliffs and navigate the caves where Puffins may dwell. A good Puffin hunter was as valuable as cattle to the farmer. When Puffin hunting became illegal, the breed started to decline in numbers and with a distemper outbreak in Norway, there were only five dogs left. At the end of World War II and through the dedication of concerned Norwegian fanciers, the breed was saved from extinction.

Today, it is estimated that the population of Lundehunds worldwide is approximately 2,000. The majority of which are in Norway and Finland with approximately 300 in the U.S.

Lundehunds are truly unique and distinctive with several characteristics setting them apart from other breeds:

  • They have at least six toes on each foot.
  • Their limbs can extend out to 90 degrees from their bodies.
  • Because of an extra vertabrae in their necks, they are able to bend their head backwards over the shoulders so that the forehead touches the back.
  • They have the ability to close their ears when they get wet.

For additional information about these amazing characteristics, read The Intriguing Lundehund by Inger Kristiansen, 1968 and re-published on the Norwegian Lundehund Club of America’s website.

The Lundehund is energetic, intelligent, affectionate, gentle, loyal, playful, observant and easygoing. He is a wonderful devoted companion with a great disposition and never aggressive toward people or other dogs. His coat is short and can be from a reddish-brown to fallow with black hair tips; black; gray; or white. He may also have white markings.

Health Issues

Health concerns in the Lundehund breed include a disease known as Intestenial Lymphangiectasia (IL), which is now known as Lundehund Syndrome (LS). For information on this disorder, see Norwegian Lundehund Club of America, Inc. Health.

If you are considering the adoption of a Norwegian Lundehund puppy, or any breed, it is very important to be selective in choosing a responsible and reputable breeder. Ensure that the prospective puppy’s parents have all health clearances. Breeding of any dog should not be done until after they have been proven to be free of evidence of significant hereditary diseases. (For more information on selecting a breeder, see the articles on the main General Information page.)

Additional Health Resources:

Grooming Information

  • Grooming — This section of the Canada’s Guide to Dogs website includes tips, articles and information covering all aspects of dog grooming along with a listing of Groomers from across Canada.


Training Resources

  • Training — For training information, see this growing section of the Canada’s Guide to Dogs website for tips, articles, as well as listings of training centres across Canada.


Additional Information

  • Clubs, Sports & Activities — For information on the many sports and activities you can get involved in with your dog.
  • Working Dogs — The Working Dogs section of the Canada’s Guide to Dogs website provides information and listings of organizations that are involved in various dog jobs, such as Guide Dogs, Therapy Dogs, Police Dogs, Protection Dogs, and much more.

Breed Listing

*NOTE 1: CHIC – The Canine Health Information Center “is a database of consolidated health screening results from multiple sources. Co-sponsored by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) and the American Kennel Club (AKC) Canine Health Foundation, CHIC works with parent clubs to identify health screening protocols appropriate for individual breeds. Dogs tested in accordance with the parent club established requirements, that have their results registered and made available in the public domain are issued CHIC numbers.” To learn more, visit:

*NOTE 2: The Fédération Cynologique International (FCI) is the World Canine Organization, which includes 91 members and contract partners (one member per country) that each issue their own pedigrees and train their own judges. The FCI recognizes 344 breeds, with each being the “property” of a specific country. The “owner” countries write the standards of these breeds in co-operation with the Standards and Scientific Commissions of the FCI, and the translation and updating are carried out by the FCI. The FCI is not a breed registry nor does it issue pedigrees.

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