Norwegian Lundehund – Full Breed Profile

Written by: Bojana Radulovic
Discover how Norwegian Lundehund can climb rocks. Learn how to train Norwegian Lundehund and much more in this guide on this rare Norway breed.
Dog Breed Group:
Working Dogs
1 foot to 1 foot, 3 inches tall at the shoulder
13 to 16 pounds
Life Span:
10 to 12 years

Breed Characteristics:

Apartment Friendly


How well will this breed adapt to apartment living? Is the apartment size the most important factor when it comes to proper living conditions? Is the breed suitable for apartment living?

Good For First-Time Owners


Some dogs aren't suitable for first-time dog owners. Is this breed a good match for someone with no dog experience? Can training help them be on their best behavior with owners with no dog experience? Are they suitable to be handled by someone who is just entering the canine world?

Overall Sensitivity


Some dogs are sensitive. Certain breeds are rough on the outside, while having the softest heart on the inside. In other words, some dogs are 'thick-skinned' while some are 'easygoing.' Is this breed prone to sensitivity?

Tolerates Being Alone


Separation anxiety in dogs is a serious condition that can affect a dog's life quality. Is this breed prone to this condition? Can you leave him alone for hours? How destructive this breed can become when bored, neglected, or not loved enough?

Affectionate With Family


How affectionate this breed will be around his humans? Will he welcome new family friends easily or he will choose to be shy? Some breeds can be clingy with owners, while others don't attach a lot. Will this breed act as the family's best friend?



Some dogs will tolerate children, while others will adore well-behaved ones. Dogs and children should always be supervised, no matter how well trained the dog might be. Will this breed act as a nanny dog or he will stay away from children?

Friendly Toward Other Dogs


Some dog breeds cannot wait to run to the dog park and run with others. Others prefer to be with their humans, and not to be a part of a multi-pet household. Is this breed dog lover or not? How friendly this breed will be toward other dogs?

Friendly Toward Strangers


Some dog breeds tend to be reserved toward strangers and highly suspicious. Others are fast to walk away with them easily. How welcoming this breed is toward strangers?

Drooling Level


If you love to clean all the time drooling level in dogs is a trait that you should mind. Is this breed less likely to drool, or you will always need a towel on hand?

Easy To Groom


Heavier shedding during the shedding season is something that every dog needs to go through. However, some dogs shed just a bit all year round. Is this breed one of them? How often should you groom this dog?

Overall Health


What can you expect from this breed in terms of health? Are there any genetic conditions to vary about? Is obesity a major issue in this breed? By knowing more about the dog's health, you are learning how to help him live a longer and healthier life.

Prone To Obesity


Treats are a great addition to training sessions. Dogs love sweet bites of dog treats but they should be served in moderation. Treats can lead to obesity, next to poor nutrition. Can this breed gain extra weight from treats? How prone to obesity this breed actually is?

Trainability Level


Training some dogs is easier than others. How easy this dog will be to train? What can you expect? Some dogs are huge people pleasers and they will master commands easily, while others will try to outsmart you.

Intelligence Level


Dogs are smart beings. We do our best to train them, but they do still end up training us to adapt to their needs. How intelligent is this breed? Will he try to outsmart you? Or he will need multiple training sessions to master basic commands?

Prey Drive


Dogs were bred for a specific purpose. Those who were bred to hunt have natural instincts to hunt, even today. This is why many dogs, like Terriers, will chase other animals. They will also have a hard time concentrating on your commands when there is something small moving. Is this breed prone to following his prey instincts?

Barking Level


How vocal this breed is? Can you expect neighbors to ring you often to calm your dog? Or you can sleep without worries of hearing your Fido bark? Some breeds are highly vocal, others have unusual sounds, and some are silent. Is this breed prone to barking?

Energy Level


Low-energy dogs are happy with regular walks and indoor chill times. High-energy dogs are always ready for action. Is this breed a couch potato, energetic dog, or somewhere in between?

Exercise Needs


Some dogs are more than happy with a slow stroll down the street. Others need hours of active time to stay happy and fit. Is this breed demanding in terms of exercise? How much exercise this breed needs to stay happy and healthy?

Playfulness Level


Some dogs never lose that puppy spirit, not even in their senior years. Others are more serious and prefer having a job to do. Is this breed demanding in terms of playfulness? Can you expect playfulness in their senior years as well?

The Norwegian Lundehund is the only dog breed created for the job of puffin hunting.

In fact, their name comes from the Puffin, because ‘lunde’ is the Norwegian word for the puffin, a bird also known as a sea parrot.

This breed was carefully bred to hunt puffins, a bird that is located off the west coast of Norway.

This is probably an ancient breed, although there are still not enough evidence on this claim.

Norwegian Lundehund has two fewer teeth than all other dog breeds—one fewer tooth on each side of the jaw, this is something that is also seen only in Varanger dogs – a breed that lived in Russia around 5,000 years ago.

Plus, they have six toes.

Six toes is handy to move on rocky areas or slippery rocks, which are so common in Norway. The Norwegian Lundehund is extremely flexible and self-sufficient dog breed.

They can wiggle their ears and close them when needed. They can also easily end and even turn around while inside a narrow underground passageway.

By the 1930s this was one of the rarest breeds alive, although they are still pretty rare.

Are you thinking about welcoming this energetic, loyal, and rare breed into your home?

Make sure that you are based in an area where the weather isn’t too hot, and that you indeed have enough time to incest into training and exercising this breed.

Quick Facts

Real name: Norwegian Lundehund
Other names: Norsk Lundehund, Norwegian Puffin Do
Common Nickname: Lundehund
Origin: Norway
Breed type: Working Dogs
Weight: 13 to 16 pounds
Height: 1 foot to 1 foot, 3 inches tall at the shoulder
Lifespan: 10 – 12 years
Litter Size: 1 – 6 puppies
Color: Many varieties, with reddish coat being teh most common
Coat: Dense and short coat

Norwegian Lundehund History

Norwegian Lundehund is an old dog breed.

They were bred for centuries on Valory, a remote island located off the Norwegian coast. This part of Norway is known for extremely rough terrain which is why not many dog breeds could be seen here. They are compact puffin dogs who can easily climb rock walls.

Norwegian Lundehund Physical Appearance

Norwegian Lundehunds are dogs of reddish coat and occasionally with black hair tips.

They have six toes! This is probably the most unusual trait about this breed.

They have six fully developed toes on each foot. Four-point forward and two-point inward, like a human thumb. This is because that extra toe provides more traction and grip when the dog moves over the rocks and overall a rough terrain.

This is a small and agile dog of spitz-type. Their coat is double and as such, it can easily protect them from harsh weather.

The outer coat is harsh, while the undercoat is soft and dense.

As for the color they come in many options, from fallow to reddish-brown to tan with black hair tips and white markings. Their gait should always be light and elastic.

Norwegian Lundehund Personality

Norwegian Lundehund are gentle dogs who love spending time with humans.

They are extremely loyal. In fact, following you around 24/7 will be their favorite activity.

These dogs are fast to run to any activity and also fast to climb. Reaching higher areas isn’t much of a trouble to them.

If you don’t want your Norwegian Lundehund or any dog on your couch, make sure that you communicate it clearly. This means that from day one furniture should be a forbidden area for your Norwegian Lundehund.

Know that if you allow it once to happen, he will think of a couch as a part of this territory, and you will never be able to teach him otherwise. They aren’t aggressive, although they are wary of strangers.

As long as children know how to behave around dogs, there shouldn’t be any issues.

Supervise any interaction between dogs and children. All in all, Norwegian Lundehund is a great family dog.

Norwegian Lundehund Training

As soon as you bring your Norwegian Lundehund home, you should start with training.

Did you know that dogs are capable of mastering basic commands as of eight weeks of age? This is the best period to start training your dog.

Dogs are big people-pleasers and they will enjoy performing tricks, as long as there are rewards.

Norwegian Lundehunds are easy to train if you have experience with dog training.

They are a bit goofy and love performing different tricks, but they do have a knack for barking and digging, which is something that should be addressed through training.

It may be challenging to house train this breed. To have successful training sessions make them:

  • Fun
  • Short
  • Consistent
  • Engaging
  • Reward-based

Norwegian Lundehund Grooming

Grooming is a big part of a dog’s overall well-being. Grooming is so much more than regular brushing. Sure, brushing time is a must.

Regular brushing should:

  • Keep debris away
  • Make the coat shiny and neat
  • Enable you to check the skin for any sign of infection
  • Make a great space for fleas-check

Still, next to regular brushing sessions, you should provide the following:

  • Monthly nail trimming or grinding
  • Weekly gums check
  • Daily eye check for any eye discharge
  • Bathe time when needed
  • Ear cleaning

To make the entire grooming process easier, you should use the right grooming tools. For example, to make brushing shorter, use the best brush possible.

In this case, think about using a pin brush. If you think that your grooming expertise isn’t the best, you can always think about hiring a professional groomer. This may be a bit pricey, but it will be definitely worth it.

However, don’t remove brushing time completely, because dogs bond with their owners through brushing time.

Norwegian Lundehund Health

Norwegian Lundehunds are considered to be healthy dogs.

If you are buying a puppy, make sure that you only deal with responsible dog breeders.

This way you will know exactly how healthy (or not your puppy is) and if there is anything to worry about.

Responsible dog breeders will always:

  • Provide you medical documentation on the puppy – since they screen puppies for most common health issues
  • Let you meet the bitch, if not both parents
  • Show you the facilities
  • Inform you of any possible future health complications and concerns
  • Give you tips and tricks on training, exercise needs, and grooming techniques
  • Ask you a lot of questions to help you choose the puppy who will fit your temperament the best

Last, but not least, reputable dog breeders will ask you a lot of questions to make sure that you are the best fit for their dog. They won’t give their puppies to anyone.

The most common condition that you can see in this breed is a condition called Lundehund Syndrome.

This is a set of digestive disorders that can easily lead to an overgrowth of digestive bacteria. They are also prone to intestinal lymphangiectasia and intestinal bowel disease.

To keep these issues away, provide regular veterinarian check-ups.

Prevention is the key when it comes to having a healthy dog.

Is Norwegian Lundehund For You?

Before you get a dog be 100% percent sure that you are ready for this commitment.

This means that you fully understand what it means to care for a living being.

Do you have enough time to invest in training?
Are your finances strong enough to handle very cost dog-related?

Providing food for the extra mouth isn’t an easy commitment, and should never be taken lightly.

Again, if you are 100% sure that you can handle owning a dog, and you understand how years long this commitment is, you can welcome a dog into your home.

Make sure that you do your research on the breeds first, compare breeds of different temperaments, exercise, needs, and overall cost, before you make your final decision.

If it turns out that the Norwegian Buhund is the best fit for you and you can meet the dog’s needs then you can think about welcoming this breed into your life.

If you are a first time dog owner, you can think about welcoming the Norwegian Buhund into your home.

They are friendly, playful, and prone to keeping their humans happy. At least they will do that as long as you provide proper care and show them enough love.

This breed is for you if you want a dog who is a part of the spitz family, of medium size, who loves spending time outdoors.

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