By Avatar photoShiloh Nevada Last updated: 22nd July 2023

Norwegian Lundehund


Avatar photo Shiloh Nevada
Last updated: 22nd July 2023

Originating in Norway, the Norwegian Lundehund is a small-sized Spitz, with a rectangular body and agile nature. Having a flexible body stature, it is characterized with a wedge-shaped head, erect ears, deeply set eyes, strong legs, an elastic neck and most importantly six toes on both feet.  Its adeptness at hunting puffins earns it its name as Lunde and hund stand for puffin and dog respectively in the  Norwegian language.

Norwegian Lundehund Pictures

Quick Description

Other NamesNorwegian Puffin Dog, Norsk Lundehund
NicknamesLundehund, Lundie
CoatDense, Double, Rough, Short, Smooth, Thick
ColorsBlack, White, Red, Gray, Yellow, Sable
TypeSpitz, Non-Sporting Dog, Working Dog, Companion Dog
Group (of Breed)Purebred
Lifespan12 to 15 years
WeightMale: 13-20 pounds;
Female: 13-20 pounds
(full grown adults)
Height (Size)Small;
Male: 13-15 inches;
Female: 12-14 inches
Behavioral CharacteristicsLively, loyal, intelligent, active, protective
Litter Size4-8 puppies
Good with ChildrenYes
Good with PetsYes (some individuals might chase cats)
Good for New OwnersNo
Country of OriginNorway
Time of OriginUnknown; Ice Age (experts’ view)
Competitive Registration/ Qualification InformationRecognized by:
American breed standards: AKCBreed clubs:
USA: Norwegian Lundehund Club of America, Inc.
Norway: Norsk Lundehund Klubb (English)

Video: Norwegian Lundehund Puppies Playing

History: Origin & Development

Studies show this breed to be in existence before the Ice Age, thriving on fish and seabirds. Thought to be descendants of the primitive breeds, they excelled as working dogs since the 16th and 17th century, with their six-toed feet and strong neck helping them to retrieve the puffins from their dens in the narrow caves and cliffs.

However, with the implementation of advanced hunting methods and the introduction of a dog tax, their numbers declined.

1900: A few of them were found in the Mostad and Lofoten villages of Norway.

1945: They were almost on the verge of extinction because of canine distemper which affected most of the Norwegian islands.

1960: First set of Lundehunds reached Canada.

1963: A further dip in their numbers occurred due to the second series of distemper with five and six dogs surviving in Hamar and Vaeroy respectively.

2008: It was approved in the Miscellaneous category of AKC.

2010: With careful breeding, their numbers rose to 1400 (350 in USA and 650 in Norway).

2011: It attained official recognition from the AKC.


Temperament and Personality

These friendly and outgoing dogs bond closely with its family. They are a perfect playmate for kids though parental supervision is needed to prevent any manhandling of the dogs,

Though conscious about strangers, they are not aggressive, mingling well with outsiders or other pets, when introduced to them. Since they are efficient hunters, it is recommended not to keep them along with smaller animals or birds.

They possess a knack for collecting and hiding shining objects as well as stacking food under a couch or other safe places for its late night snack.

Since they have a high affinity for barking alongside their active nature, they are not well-suited for an apartment life.




To channelize their high energy levels in a positive way taking them for a long walk or giving them ample playtime in a fenced yard is essential.


Norwegian Lundehunds keep shedding constantly. So, be prepared to use your vacuum cleaner often. You also need some time to keep their double, dense coat in good shape. Groom it around five times a week with a firm-bristled brush from head to the tips of its feet.

Health Problems

This one needs your attention. Though the Lundies are an otherwise healthy breed, some reports have suggested that they are prone to a series of breed-specific digestive problems like Leaky Gut Syndrome, Lymphangiectasia, and Lundehund Syndrome (known in their very name). In such situations, they lose their ability to digest any grains, and there is no cure to this, though can be kept under control. This syndrome is not a disease, though, but is still under research.


TheLundehund is a sensitive breed which may result in distrusting ts owner if he tries to trick upon it to achieve a task. They may also be stubborn and independent at times, thus needing a tactful owner to deal with it in a proper way.

  • To keep its barking tendency in check, give it command training so that it may refrain from shouting the moment it hears you say “Stop” or ” Pause.”
  • To lessen its sensitivity to noise, try acquainting it with sounds of various kinds, first milder ones and then increasing the intensity gradually.
  • To keep its chasing instinct under control, leash train it since its puppy days.


Since they are prone to several digestive disorders, it is recommended to keep your Lundehund on a low fat and high protein diet. Give it ¾ to 1½ cups of dry dog food on a daily basis. Fatless chicken and fish formulae like those with herring and salmon are also good for them.

Interesting Facts

  • The agility of this breed in bird hunting is being tested by the Norwegian Air Traffic and Airport Management in Tromsø airport as a solution to airplane bird strikes/
  • It is AKC’s 169th breed, whereas, by popularity, AKC has ranked it at #182 (2015).

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