Norwegian Lundehund

Table of Contents

The Norwegian Lundehund, a small and rare Spitz-type dog, originates from the remote Arctic regions of Norway. This breed is renowned for its unique ability to hunt puffins, aided by its distinctive physical characteristics such as having six toes on each foot and an extraordinarily flexible body.

In appearance, the Lundehund boasts a double-layered coat that comes in various colors, including red, black, and sable. This breed is known for its energetic and playful temperament, combined with a strong sense of independence and intelligence. However, they can be quite stubborn, requiring patient and consistent training.

Health-wise, the Lundehund is generally robust but is prone to a unique set of gastrointestinal issues known as Lundehund Syndrome. Regular veterinary check-ups are crucial for maintaining their health. Despite their rarity, these dogs have a loyal following, cherished for their historical significance, agility, and endearing personality.

Breed Snapshot

Life Expectancy:

12 to 15 years



Maintenance Level:


Shed Level


Best For

The Norwegian Lundehund is best for:

  • Active Individuals or Families: Their energetic and playful nature makes them well-suited for active individuals or families who can provide them with plenty of exercise and mental stimulation.
  • Experienced Dog Owners: Due to their intelligence, independence, and sometimes stubborn nature, they are better suited for those with experience in dog training and behavior.
  • Those Looking for a Unique Companion: Their rare status and unique physical traits make them a fascinating choice for those interested in a distinctive and historically significant breed.
  • Outdoor Enthusiasts: Their agility and love for exploration make them great companions for outdoor activities, especially in rugged terrains.

In summary, the Norwegian Lundehund is an exceptional breed, ideal for those who appreciate an active, intelligent companion with a touch of rarity and historical significance. They thrive in environments where they can exercise both their body and mind, and they are especially suited for individuals or families who can embrace their unique qualities and meet their specific care needs. Owning a Lundehund is not just about having a pet; it’s about engaging with a remarkable piece of Norwegian heritage and enjoying the rich, rewarding experience that comes with it.

Norwegian Lundehund Traits

Breed Characteristics

The Norwegian Lundehund is a small, agile dog known for its unique physical traits, including six toes on each foot and extreme flexibility. They are intelligent, independent, and have a playful yet stubborn temperament, with a double-layered coat that varies in color.


Exercise Needs
Health Issues
Barking Tendencies
Grooming Needs
Shedding Level
Training Needs
Good With Kids
Good With Cats
Good As A Service Dog
Good For Apartments & Small Homes
Biting Tendencies
Energy Level
Good With Other Dogs
Sensitive to Cold Weather
Sensitive to Warm Weather
Good For First Time Pet Parents

Breed Appearance

The Norwegian Lundehund is a small, agile Spitz-type dog with a distinctive appearance, including six toes on each foot, a flexible neck, and a double-coated fur that comes in various colors like red, black, and sable. Their alert expression and erect ears add to their keen and inquisitive look.

1. Ears
Small, erect, and triangular, adding to their alert expression.
2. Eyes
Almond-shaped, medium-sized, often brown, conveying an intelligent and curious look.
3. Nose
Typically black, well-proportioned to the face.
4. Height
Ranges from about 12 to 15 inches (30 to 38 cm) at the shoulder.
5. Coat Length
Medium length, double-coated for insulation against harsh weather.
6. Coat Color
Can vary, including shades of red, black, sable, and combinations thereof.
7. Tail
Carried curled over the back, medium length.
8. Weight
Generally between 13 to 20 pounds (6 to 9 kg).

Norwegian Lundehund Temperament

The Norwegian Lundehund is known for its unique and engaging temperament:

  • Intelligent and Inquisitive: These dogs are very smart and always curious about their surroundings, which makes them quick learners but also means they can get bored easily.
  • Playful and Energetic: They are full of energy and love to play, making them great companions for active families or individuals.
  • Affectionate with Family: They form strong bonds with their human family members and are known for being particularly affectionate and loyal.
  • Independent and Sometimes Stubborn: Their independence can sometimes translate into stubbornness, which may pose challenges during training.
  • Alert and Watchful: Lundehunds are naturally alert, making them good watchdogs as they are often cautious with strangers.

Overall, the Norwegian Lundehund is a charming and lively breed that thrives in an engaging environment where it can exercise both its body and mind.

How to Care for a Norwegian Lundehund

Caring for a Norwegian Lundehund involves providing them with regular exercise to manage their high energy levels, engaging in consistent and patient training due to their intelligent yet independent nature, and maintaining their coat with routine grooming. Additionally, it’s crucial to monitor their health closely, especially for breed-specific issues like Lundehund Syndrome, and ensure regular veterinary check-ups.

Grooming a Norwegian Lundehund involves a few key steps:

  1. Brushing: Regular brushing, at least a couple of times a week, is important to manage shedding and keep their double coat healthy. During shedding seasons, more frequent brushing may be necessary.

  2. Bathing: Bathe them as needed, typically every few months, unless they get particularly dirty. Use a dog-specific shampoo to maintain the health of their skin and coat.

  3. Nail Trimming: Regular nail trimming is important to prevent discomfort and issues with walking. Check and trim their nails every few weeks.

  4. Ear Care: Clean their ears regularly to prevent infections, especially since their erect ears can accumulate debris.

  5. Dental Hygiene: Brush their teeth regularly with dog-specific toothpaste to maintain oral health and prevent dental issues.

Remember, the Lundehund’s unique physical traits, like their extra toes, may require special attention during grooming to ensure all areas are properly cared for.

Training a Norwegian Lundehund requires a blend of patience, consistency, and understanding of their unique temperament:

  1. Positive Reinforcement: These dogs respond best to positive reinforcement techniques. Use treats, praise, and play as rewards for good behavior.

  2. Early Socialization: Begin socializing them at a young age with different people, dogs, and environments. This helps in developing a well-adjusted and confident dog.

  3. Consistent Training: Due to their intelligent and sometimes stubborn nature, it’s important to be consistent with commands and expectations. They may test boundaries, so consistency is key.

  4. Short, Engaging Sessions: Keep training sessions short and engaging to hold their attention. They are intelligent and learn quickly, but can also get bored with repetitive tasks.

  5. Challenge Their Intelligence: Incorporate puzzle toys and games that challenge their mind, as they enjoy problem-solving activities.

  6. Patience with Stubbornness: Be patient with their independent streak. If they become stubborn, take a break and try a different approach later.

  7. Avoid Harsh Discipline: Harsh corrections or negative reinforcement can be counterproductive. It’s better to redirect unwanted behaviors than to punish them.

Remember, every Lundehund is an individual, so it may take some time to find out what training methods work best for your specific dog.

Caring for the diet and nutrition of a Norwegian Lundehund involves a few key considerations:

  1. Balanced Diet: Ensure they receive a balanced diet that meets all their nutritional needs. This typically includes a good quality commercial dog food formulated for small breeds.

  2. Monitor Portion Size: Due to their small size, it’s important to monitor their food intake to prevent obesity. Follow the feeding guidelines based on their weight, age, and activity level, and adjust as necessary.

  3. Regular Feeding Schedule: Establish a consistent feeding schedule. Feeding them two meals a day is a common practice.

  4. Special Dietary Considerations: Be aware of any breed-specific health issues, such as Lundehund Syndrome, that can affect their diet. In some cases, a special diet may be required, and you should consult with your veterinarian for advice.

  5. Access to Fresh Water: Always provide access to fresh, clean water.

  6. Limit Treats: While treats are useful for training, they should be given in moderation as part of a balanced diet.

Remember, individual dietary needs can vary based on the dog’s health, age, and activity level, so it’s important to tailor their diet accordingly and consult with a veterinarian for specific recommendations.

Caring for the exercise needs of a Norwegian Lundehund involves a balanced approach that caters to their energy levels and agility:

  1. Daily Exercise: They require daily exercise to maintain their health and happiness. This should include walks, playtime, and opportunities for running and exploration.

  2. Mental Stimulation: Along with physical exercise, mental stimulation is crucial. Engage them in activities that challenge their intelligence, like puzzle games or training exercises.

  3. Agility Training: Given their agility and problem-solving skills, they may enjoy and excel in agility training or dog sports, which can be a fun way to exercise.

  4. Safe Off-Leash Play: If you have access to a safe, enclosed area, off-leash playtime can be beneficial for them to expend energy and indulge their natural instincts.

  5. Varied Activities: Mix up their exercise routine to keep it interesting. Include activities like hiking, playing fetch, and other interactive games.

  6. Avoid Overexertion: Be mindful of their limits, especially in extreme weather conditions. They are small dogs and can be prone to overexertion.

  7. Socialization: Incorporate socialization with other dogs where possible, as it provides both physical and mental exercise.

Regular exercise is key to preventing boredom and potential behavioral issues, and it contributes significantly to their overall well-being.

Creating an ideal environment for a Norwegian Lundehund involves considering both their physical and mental needs:

  1. Safe and Stimulating Space: They thrive in an environment that is safe yet stimulating. A home with a securely fenced yard where they can explore and play is ideal. However, they can adapt to apartment living if their exercise needs are met.

  2. Regular Exercise Opportunities: Ensure they have regular opportunities for physical exercise, such as walks, playtime, and, if possible, agility training or other dog sports.

  3. Mental Stimulation: Provide plenty of mental stimulation to keep their intelligent minds engaged. This includes puzzle toys, training sessions, and interactive play.

  4. Socialization: A social environment where they can interact with people and other pets is beneficial, as it helps them develop well-rounded behavior.

  5. Comfortable Resting Area: A designated comfortable area for resting and sleeping is important. They should have a cozy bed or space that is their own.

  6. Routine and Structure: They respond well to routine and structure. Consistent meal times, exercise schedules, and training sessions help create a stable environment.

  7. Attention and Affection: Regular interaction and affection from their family members are crucial. They form strong bonds and appreciate being involved in family activities.

  8. Health Care: Easy access to veterinary care and a clean environment to prevent health issues.

Remember, while the Norwegian Lundehund is adaptable, they are happiest in an environment that caters to their unique blend of energy, intelligence, and affectionate nature.

Norwegian Lundehund Health

The Norwegian Lundehund is generally robust but has distinct health issues that potential owners should be aware of. Their unique physiology and genetic background contribute to certain breed-specific concerns.

Lundehund Syndrome

  • This complex gastrointestinal disorder affects nutrient absorption and can lead to various digestive problems.
  • Management often involves a specialized diet and regular veterinary check-ups.

Hip Dysplasia

  • A common condition in many breeds, hip dysplasia involves the malformation of the hip joint, which can lead to arthritis and mobility issues.
  • Regular exercise, a healthy diet, and veterinary monitoring can help manage this condition.

Dental Issues

  • Due to their unique jaw structure, they may be prone to dental issues.
  • Regular dental check-ups and good oral hygiene practices are important for maintaining dental health.

In summary, while the Norwegian Lundehund is a resilient and agile breed, they do require attentive care regarding their health. Prospective owners should be prepared for breed-specific challenges, especially Lundehund Syndrome, and ensure regular veterinary care to maintain their overall well-being.

Norwegian Lundehund Breed Comparison and Consideration

When considering a Norwegian Lundehund in comparison to other breeds, it’s important to recognize their unique characteristics and how they might fit into your lifestyle. Here’s a brief comparison with some popular breeds:

Norwegian Lundehund VS Labrador Retrievers:

  • Labradors are known for their adaptability to various environments and are typically great with children, showcasing a more universally gentle nature.
  • Norwegian Lundehunds, with their unique agility and specific exercise needs, require a more tailored approach to exercise and mental stimulation.

Norwegian Lundehund VS German Shepherds:

  • German Shepherds are larger and often utilized in working roles, known for their protective instincts. Lundehunds are smaller and historically bred for specific tasks like puffin hunting, focusing more on agility and independence.
  • Both breeds are intelligent and benefit from consistent training, but Lundehunds may have a stronger independent streak.

Norwegian Lundehund VS Boxers:

  • Boxers and Lundehunds share a playful and energetic temperament. However, Boxers are generally more muscular and robust, while Lundehunds are more agile and nimble.
  • Lundehunds require exercise that stimulates their agility and problem-solving skills, different from the more physical exercise needs of a Boxer.

Norwegian Lundehund VS Bulldogs:

  • Bulldogs are more relaxed and less active compared to the energetic and agile Norwegian Lundehund.
  • While Bulldogs are content with moderate exercise, Lundehunds need engaging activities that cater to their agility and intelligence.

Considerations for Choosing a Norwegian Lundehund:

  • Ideal for individuals or families who are active and can provide sufficient exercise and mental challenges.
  • Their unique physical attributes and intelligence require an owner ready to engage in more specialized care and training.
  • Early socialization and patient, consistent training are important due to their independent nature.
  • They thrive in environments where they can explore and exercise their agility, making them suitable for homes with ample space.

In summary, choosing a Norwegian Lundehund involves a commitment to meeting their unique exercise needs, providing thoughtful training, and ensuring their special health considerations are met. They are well-suited to owners who appreciate a rare and historically significant breed and are prepared to actively engage with their unique characteristics.


The Lundehund has six toes on each foot, a distinctive feature that aided in navigating Norway’s rocky cliffs during puffin hunting.

Yes, they are known for their extreme flexibility, including the ability to tilt their head backward to touch their spine and close their ear flaps to protect against debris.

They were historically used for puffin hunting, a role that became obsolete, leading to a decline in their population. Their rarity is also due to their geographic isolation and specialized breeding history.

Lundehund Syndrome, a set of gastrointestinal disorders, often requires a specialized diet to ensure proper nutrient absorption and digestive health.

While they are generally friendly and affectionate, their interaction with young children and other pets should be supervised, especially if not raised together.

They thrive on varied activities that cater to their agility and intelligence, such as agility training, hiking, and interactive play sessions.

Their hunting background makes them naturally curious and agile, but it also means they may have a high prey drive and require early socialization and training.

Due to their unique care needs and independent nature, they might be challenging for first-time owners and are better suited for those with some experience in dog training and care.

Top Takeaways

When considering a Norwegian Lundehund, here are the top takeaways:

  1. Unique Physical Traits: Their most distinctive features include six toes on each foot and exceptional flexibility, adaptations from their puffin hunting history.

  2. Rare and Historically Significant: This breed has a unique history tied to Norway, making them rare and historically interesting.

  3. Lundehund Syndrome: A breed-specific health concern, this syndrome affects their digestive system and requires specialized care and diet.

  4. Intelligent and Independent: They are smart and curious, but their independence can sometimes translate to stubbornness in training.

  5. Active Lifestyle Required: Due to their high energy and agility, they need regular, varied exercise and mental stimulation.

  6. Good for Experienced Owners: Best suited for those familiar with dog training and care, due to their specific needs and temperament.

  7. Socialization and Training: Early and consistent socialization and training are crucial to manage their prey drive and independent nature.

  8. Adaptable to Living Spaces: While they can adapt to different living situations, they thrive in environments where they can be active and explore.

These takeaways highlight the Norwegian Lundehund’s unique aspects, care requirements, and the kind of home environment that would be ideal for them.

Top Norwegian Lundehund Names

These names reflect the breed’s Norwegian heritage and are inspired by Nordic culture, nature, and mythology, adding a unique touch to your Lundehund’s identity.

Female Names











Male Names











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