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The amazing Norwegian Lundehund

The Norwegian Lundehund, also known as the Puffin Dog, is a unique and fascinating breed that deserves more attention. Although it may not be as popular as some of the more well-known breeds, such as the Labrador Retriever or the Golden Retriever, the Norwegian Lundehund is a breed that has a lot to offer.

History and Origin of the Norwegian Lundehund

The Norwegian Lundehund is an ancient breed that was originally developed in Norway for the purpose of hunting puffins. These small, agile dogs were prized for their ability to climb steep cliffs and enter narrow crevices in search of the birds.

Over time, however, the need for puffin-hunting dogs declined when island farmers and fishermen started using net to catch the birds, and the breed was in danger of becoming extinct.

Fortunately, a group of dedicated breed enthusiasts worked to save the breed from extinction, and today the Norwegian Lundehund is recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) and other major kennel clubs around the world.

map of Scandinavia

Physical Characteristics of the Norwegian Lundehund

One of the most unique features of the Norwegian Lundehund is its six toes on each foot. This unusual trait, known as polydactyly, allows the dog to have a better grip on steep and rocky terrain. In addition to their extra toes, Lundehunds have flexible necks, which allow them to bend their heads backwards to touch their spines.

These dogs also have a double coat that helps to protect them from the cold and wet weather of their native Norway. The coat is dense and woolly on the inside, with a longer, coarser outer coat that sheds water.

These are examples of traits that have evolved to adapt to hunting in the challenging conditions of cold, rainy, steep, and rocky coastal mountainsides where narrow caves provide nesting sites for puffins.

Lundehund with six toes and flexible neck.

Personality and Temperament of the Norwegian Lundehund

The Norwegian Lundehund is a lively and playful breed that makes an excellent companion for an active family. They are intelligent dogs that enjoy learning new things, and they are always up for a game of fetch or a long walk in the woods.

While they can be a bit reserved with strangers, Lundehunds are generally friendly and affectionate with their families. They can be a bit stubborn at times, so early socialization and training are important to help them develop into well-behaved adult dogs.

Norwegian Lundehund laying down drawing

Health and Care of the Norwegian Lundehund

As with all breeds, the Norwegian Lundehund is prone to certain health issues. One of the most common health problems in this breed is Lundehund Syndrome, a condition that affects the dog’s digestive system. Symptoms can include vomiting, diarrhea, and weight loss.

In addition to monitoring their dog’s health, owners of Norwegian Lundehunds need to make sure that their pets get plenty of exercise and mental stimulation. These dogs are highly active and require regular opportunities to run and play. Owners should also be prepared to provide their dogs with a high-quality diet that meets their nutritional needs.

The preferred and, in my opinion, the only diet is a raw food diet. This will, in most cases, eliminate the Lundehund syndrome.

If you need help switching your dog to a raw food diet, please get in touch with me.

I also wrote a book about how to get started that takes the fear out of feeding raw food to your dog or cat.


Norwegian Lundehund Standing on a rocky hillside
how to start dog or cat on a raw food diet


In conclusion, the Norwegian Lundehund is a unique and fascinating breed that deserves more attention. With their unusual physical characteristics and playful personalities, these dogs make excellent companions for the right family.

If you are considering adding a Norwegian Lundehund to your family, make sure to do your research and find a reputable breeder who can provide you with a healthy, well-socialized puppy. [1], [2], [3].



[1] “The Norwegian Lundehund, once bred for puffin-hunting, ranked 191st in AKC breed popularity in 2018. Breed Traits  Characteristics Family Life Physical Social Personality All Traits Affectionate…”

URL: https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/norwegian-lundehund/

[2] “The Lundehund is quite the evolutionary marvel—these dogs have a truly unique set of characteristics, which you wont find in any other breed on the planet (not in this combination, at least). Lundehunds have six toes —four facing forward and two facing to the side and back of the paw, like dual thumbs—with eight paw pads below. True!”

URL: https://www.rover.com/blog/meet-the-rarest-dog-in-america-the-norwegian-lundehund/

[3] “The Norwegian Lundehund, once bred for puffin-hunting, ranked 191st in AKC breed popularity in 2018. The Brink of Extinction As the milkmen and lamplighters of previous centuries learned, the…”

URL: https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/dog-breeds/norwegian-lundehund-history-behind-the-breed/**

Thomas Sandberg CSAN, CCNC, AADP

Thomas Sandberg CSAN, CCNC, AADP

Thomas Sandberg is a board certified animal naturopath and carnivore nutritionist. He founder of Long Living Pets Research Projects, a 30-year observational study into raw-fed dogs and cats. Thomas also consults in animal naturopathy, including the prevention of chronic diseases and longevity using all-natural modalities. With more than 20 years of experience with hundreds of cancer cases, he has a deep understanding of why so many dogs and cats get cancer today and how we can lower the risk significantly.

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