A Complete Guide to the Norwegian Lundehund Dog Breed 

Norwegian Lundehund standing in the grass

Norwegian Lundehund Breed Overview

This unique breed has six toes on each foot, which are double or triple jointed. The agile Norwegian Lundehund used to scale cliffs and steal eggs from puffin bird nests. This purebred dog is in the working breed group, and they come from Norway’s Lofoten Islands. In Norway, puffin birds are called “lundes,” where this dog gets its name.

Some call this dog the Norsk Lundehund or the Norwegian Buhund. This breed is considered the world’s most flexible dog. Although they used to be skilled hunters, most dogs today are modern-day companion pets. They’re great dogs for families and single homes alike, although they need attention and training to maintain their best behavior. This complete guide can help you decide if the Norwegian Lundehund puppy is the right breed.


The Norwegian Lundehund come from a remote island in Norway. This breed has two large functional dewclaws, which is part of the reason they’re such excellent climbers and hunting dogs. These dogs can squirm through very narrow pathways. The American Kennel Club (AKC) rated this breed the rarest dog breed, ranking 175 out of 175 in their popular dog breeds rankings.

This dog breed is a member of the Spitz family, and they’re bigger than many other members of the Spitz breeds.

Thanks to its history of hunting puffin birds, the Norwegian Lundehund dog had the nickname the Norwegian puffin dog. These purebred dogs were excellent at puffin hunting, thanks to their agility and flexibility. A Norwegian Lundehund puppy had the sole purpose of hunting puffin birds.

In the early 1900s, the Puffin bird was commonly caught with nets, making the puffin dog breed obsolete. These dogs were neglected and often had a bounty put on them. Many of these dogs developed canine distemper, and it caused many dogs to die. The Norwegian Lundehund pup was crossed with many other breeds after their decline, making the purebred almost extinct.

In the mid-1900s, Eleanor Christie played a significant role in rescuing the Norwegian Lundehund Breed. She was a geneticist, and she repopulated the breed by bringing them to North America. The Norwegian Lundehund pup first went to Canada in 1960 and then to the United States in 1987. The breed nearly became extinct before Christie played a part in repopulating the Lundehund puppy.

Norwegian Lundehund puppy laying on a white blanket


This dog has a fantastic range of motions and is one of the most flexible dogs in the world. They weigh 13 to 16 pounds and stand between 12 to 15 inches tall. Male Norwegian Lundehund puppies are bigger and usually stand between 13 to 15 inches and weigh 15.5 pounds. In contrast, female Norwegian Lundehund dogs stand between 12.5 to 13.5 inches tall, weighing around 13.5 pounds.


Norwegian Lundehund dogs are adorable and mischievous little pets. These cute dogs are very cheerful and extremely curious. Their curiosity might get them in trouble, but they’re sure to keep themselves entertained in a large yard. They need close supervision to keep them out of trouble and constant obedience training to ensure they’re well-behaved. Good training sessions can allow these dogs to maintain their mischievous and inquisitive personality traits while allowing their companion pet qualities to shine through.


The Norwegian Lundehund breed is a very intelligent and stubborn dog. These animals lived on their own for a long time, and they hunted on their own. Thanks to their history of independence, they can be challenging to housetrain. They might develop bad habits like barking and digging.

The best way to train these dogs is to be consistent and patient. Provide short and frequent training sessions with plenty of verbal praise, firm commands, and treats and rewards. Never chastise your dog for not completing a command and, instead, change commands to try to get them to do something worthy of a treat. The key to training stubborn dogs is to make training as fun as possible, so they follow your lead to get as much affection and treats as possible.

Norwegian Lundehund sitting in the grass


The Norwegian Lundehund dog breed has a dense, rough outer coat with an insulating and soft undercoat. Their thick coats are usually reddish-brown to fawn with black hair tips. They can also have black or gray and white markings on their coats and white with dark markings.

These pets have thick coats and are heavy shedders. They’ll experience two big coat blowouts during the significant change in seasons, and they’ll need grooming more often during these periods to take care of all of their excess furs.

Norwegian Lundehund Health Intro

This unique and acrobatic dog breed has some health risks like all breeds. Some Norwegian Lundehund puppies might experience minor health concerns, but many of these dogs will never experience any physical health ailments. These dogs have an average life expectancy of 10 to 12 years.

Even though many dogs in this breed won’t have physical health issues, almost all dogs experience common psychological issues like stress and anxiety. It can be reasonably easy to treat a dog with these issues, owners have to notice and understand the signs, and then they can apply the proper treatment method depending on the causes of their pet’s stress and anxiety.

Common Psychological Health Conditions


Almost all dogs experience stress, usually due to loud noises or poor socialization skills. When dogs are poorly socialized, they can easily get stressed out around crowds of people, other animals, or new environments. Many dogs experience symptoms of stress around sirens, thunderstorms, or fireworks.

If your Norwegian Lundehund experiences stress, they might show some common symptoms. Some dogs will tuck their tails between their legs, tuck their ears back, or cower their heads. Some animals bark and whine when they’re stressed out. Sometimes, dogs will hide behind their owners or try to sit as close to their owners as possible. Some animals also shake and shiver when they’re very stressed out, with extreme cases resulting in vomiting.

When dogs experience stress, it can be pretty simple to help them overcome their issues. Some owners will provide plenty of obedience training and socialization training to help prevent socialization-induced stress. If you can, you should try to remove your dog from any situation causing anxiety. If not, providing your dog with calming supplements can be a great way to help them overcome their stress symptoms.

close up image of a Norwegian Lundehund in the snow


Many dogs struggle with anxiety. The most common cause of stress in dogs is separation anxiety, but in highly energetic breeds like the Norwegian Lundehund, another common cause is a lack of exercise. When these dogs don’t get to release their energy healthily, they might act out at home when they have anxiety or panic attacks.

Norwegian Lundehund puppies might show a few different symptoms when struggling with anxiety. Some dogs might bark, whine, pant excessively, or yawn excessively. Some of these dogs will pace or try to escape their homes. One of the most common signs of separation anxiety is coming home to a destroyed house. When dogs have panic attacks, they react by trashing things around them.

Treating anxiety in dogs is relatively simple. It would be best if you always tried to treat your anxious Norwegian Lundehund puppy naturally before treating them with additives. Try treating your pet by providing more exercise, more mental stimulation, or other forms of activity that can help them release energy. Many owners offer their anxious dogs safe spaces, calming treats, or dog CBD.

Calming Dog Products

You can purchase plenty of products to create an effective, safe space for your Norwegian Lundehund. A safe space has to be away from the noise from heavy foot traffic. These areas work best when they have items that can help relax your dog.

The most common items found in these spaces are calming dog beds, a bowl of water, and some toys. Some owners will include some zen treats, aromatherapy, or music therapy. You can have anything in your pet’s safe space as long as you know it’ll help relieve any symptoms of stress or anxiety.

Common Physical Health Conditions

Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) can cause your dog to have a few minor symptoms that might affect them but cause very little change to their overall health. When this condition occurs, a Norwegian Lundehund dog’s immune system turns against its intestinal lining and can affect its digestive tract and intestines.

Norwegian Lundehund dogs might experience symptoms of chronic vomiting or diarrhea. Typically, these are the only symptoms that appear when dogs struggle with IBD, they can usually maintain regular activity and alertness and don’t lose weight.

You can treat this minor condition in a few different ways. Some people will purchase steroids and anti-biotics at their local pet stores. The most common way to help Norwegian Lundehund puppies with this condition is to give them a special diet that helps their digestive issues. It requires buying special Norwegian Lundehund food made for this breed because of how common it is for these dogs to have special digestive problems.

Norwegian Lundehund laying in the grass looking to the side

Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is a dog health condition that occurs when they’re born with a misaligned hip joint. The hip joint functions as a ball-in-socket joint, and it should smoothly slide as a dog is in motion, but when a pet has this issue, their joint roughly rubs past itself, causing pain and arthritis.

Most symptoms of this condition occur much later in a dog’s life. Some Norwegian Lundehund dogs might increase muscle mass in their shoulders and decrease their hips as they try to overcompensate their weight to the front of their body. Some dogs will avoid jumping or yelp when they lay down or get a pet near their hip.

While this condition is very prevalent in all dogs, it’s usually a very mild condition, and you can treat it at home. All owners need to purchase a joint supplement that helps lubricate their dog’s hip joint to prevent painful symptoms. Of course, always consult your vet with any health concerns.

Elbow Dysplasia

Another common physical health condition in dogs is elbow dysplasia. While many Norwegian Lundehund puppies are flexible beyond compare, elbow dysplasia can occur anytime a dog’s elbow joint doesn’t align perfectly, and it’s widespread.

Most cases of elbow dysplasia are minor and have little to no symptoms. If a dog shows signs, it’s typically much later in its life, and it may avoid using one of its front legs randomly or avoid using stairs or jumping.

Because most cases of this condition result in minor symptoms, owners can typically treat their pets at home. You can purchase anti-inflammatory supplements at your local pet store to aid your dog’s elbow joint. Dog CBD is also an excellent treatment method thanks to its anti-inflammatory and pain management properties, and it’s available in most pet stores. Again, a visit to your vet can put your concerns to rest.

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Oral Health

A dog’s oral health can severely affect the rest of their health if they don’t get the proper care. More severe examples of how bad oral health can cause other issues are that some cases of poor oral health result in respiratory or heart disease. It occurs because poor oral health allows plaque and bacteria to build up in your dog’s mouth. When this happens, anytime they eat or drink, the bacteria enter their bodies and affect their systems.

The best way owners can manage their dog’s plaque and tartar build-up is by brushing their pet’s teeth once a week. It’s best if you can brush your Norwegian Lundehund’s teeth two or three times a week, but many owners can’t find the time to do this. You can give your dog oral health treats to take care of their teeth between cleaning sessions. Only use canine-specific toothbrushes or toothpaste on your dog. Below are some examples of dental treats.

Norwegian Lundehund sitting in front of a white background

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Norwegian Lundehund Breed’s Needs


The Norwegian Lundehund used to be a hunting dog and are the working dog breed group. That means these animals are very active, and they need a lot of exercise to stay healthy. If active breeds like the Norwegian Lundehund don’t get enough exercise, they can become very anxious and might respond by having bad behavior.

Owners often forget that mental activity is almost as important as physical activity for many breeds. Intelligent hunting breeds like the Norwegian Lundehund need plenty of mental stimulation to stay healthy, so providing regular training or obedience lessons is very important for these dogs. Owners can also use enrichment activities to target this breed’s physical and mental needs.

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Many breeds need diets based on their weight. A dog’s diet can change throughout its life based on age, size, sex, activity levels, and health conditions. The Norwegian Lundehund is prone to many digestive health issues and needs a special diet to ensure they don’t get sick when eating.

You can ask your vet for help when determining your Norwegian Lundehund puppy’s diet, and you need to make sure you count their calorie intake, so you know they’re getting the right amount of food for their activity levels. It’s also essential to account for your dog’s daily treat calorie intake, as treats should take up 10% of your dog’s daily calories. Every little morsel counts!

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A breed like the Norwegian Lundehund has pretty low grooming needs. These dogs have thick fur, and they’ll need a brushing session about once a week. It’s best if owners use wide bristle brushes to penetrate these dogs’ thick coats.

Owners should also clean their pet’s ears once a month and clip their nails monthly. If you don’t clean your pet’s ears often enough, they could develop an infection. This breed is special because Norweigian Lundehund pups can close their ears to protect them from dirt and bacteria, but that doesn’t mean they do this all the time, so pests can still bother them.

It’s a good idea to bathe these dogs every eight to ten weeks or whenever they develop a gross scent. Some dogs like the Norwegian Lundehund might enjoy playing in the dirt more than other breeds and need a quick washup anytime they get muddy. Use canine-specific dog shampoo to care for their coats and skin.

Norwegian Lundehund sitting in the grass by a pond

Top Product Picks for the Norwegian Lundehund Breed

Often when owners bring their new pets home, they forget how scary it can be to go to a new place for their pets. Moving homes can be frightening for your dog, especially if they’ve lived in another home or shelter before. There are plenty of ways to help your dog feel more comfortable before bringing them home.

It would be great for your pet if you prepared a food and water bowl before they even walk through your door. If your dog comes home for the first time and sees you already have food and water prepped, they’ll begin to understand they will be safe and taken care of here. Be sure to buy the right dog food for your new pet’s age. Of course, you should do plenty of other things to make your dog feel safe. You should let them explore on their own and if you don’t want them to roam free around your home, set up a baby gate somewhere to block your new puppy. Always let your new dog come to you on its own. It will increase their trust in you, but it’ll also encourage a stronger bond as they see how excited you get every time they walk your way.

You’ll need a collar and some dog leashes when bringing your new pet home. Most adoption centers make new owners get their leash to pick their new pet up, but it’s good to buy two leashes just in case something happens to one. Some owners want to buy their dog a harness ahead of time, and while you definitely will need to purchase a harness, you might want to wait until after you have your pup. Harness brands all have different size measurements, so you’ll need to know your pup’s measurements before purchasing one, or else you risk buying one that won’t fit.

More experienced dog owners know they might want to purchase a dog crate or food storage container. Some dogs can’t be trusted home alone whenever they’re new in a house, and a crate is an excellent way to keep peace of mind when you’re away from home. Also, some dogs are intelligent and know how to get into their food, and a storage container can prevent this while also keeping their food fresh.

You can buy more luxurious items for your new Norwegian Lundehund puppy: a dog bed, treats, and toys. A dog bed is a great way to offer your pet a place to sleep if they don’t yet feel comfortable sleeping in your bed. Treats are also a great way to help develop a bond between your new pet, especially if they seem a little extra anxious. Keep in mind when buying treats and toys that you don’t know your new pet’s favorite items yet, so stick to a few basic things and wait to splurge on them until you know you’re going to buy a bunch of stuff they like.

A few other items would be good to adopt a new pet. You should have portable food and water bowls and doggy waste bags. If you want to take your pet for car rides, invest in a strong dog seat belt, so you know your pet will be safe in the case of an accident. If you live in a colder climate, you might want to buy a dog sweater for your short-haired Norwegian Lundehund to ensure they don’t get too chilly. But if you’re in a hotter environment, consider purchasing a cooling dog handkerchief that can help keep their body temperature down in warmer months.

There are plenty of ways to prepare for your new Norwegian Lundehund puppy, and while many are very important, it’s also important to remember to have fun and enjoy your time with your new dog. Watching your puppy open up to you over time is one of the best parts of owning a dog and having a lovely, furry friend. If you prepare correctly, your Norwegian Lundehund puppy will have a strong bond with you in no time.

Other Resources

  1. Norwegian Lundehund Association of America
  2. Nordic Kenne Union Norwegian Lundehund
  3. Canada Kennel Club Norwegian Lundehund
  4. Pet Guardian Angels of America Norwegian Lundehund
  5. American Kennel Club Norwegian Lundehund
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