The Norwegian Lundehund is one of the more rare and unique dog breeds in the world. As the name implies, the Norwegian Lundehund originates from Norway and is one of the most popular dogs in that country.
A Norwegian Lundehund has many unusual characteristics that make it one of the more appealing dog breeds in the world. Like all other dogs, there are plenty of interesting facts about the Norwegian Lundehund that pet owners and dog enthusiasts will find quite intriguing.
The name comes from the puffin
The word Lunde is Norwegian for the word puffin is the name of a bird such as a sea parrot. A Norwegian Lundehund was initially bred to hunt puffins which inhabit the islands off the west coast of Norway.
Since puffins were a significant source of food for farmers who lived on the islands, the Lundehund was used to help retrieve the birds.
Likely an ancient breed
This is one of the oldest breeds on earth. The Norwegian Lundehund has the same jaw as the Varanger dog, which is a fossilized dog found in Russia 5,000 years ago.
Both the Norwegian Lundehund and the Varanger Dog have two fewer teeth than other breeds. They have one fewer tooth on each side of their jaw. This breed has many unique characteristics that were common among primitive dogs but disappeared as the breed evolved.
The breed has six toes
One of the unique characteristics of the Norwegian Lundehund is that it has six toes on each foot. This dog has four of the toes point forward while two others point inward like the human thumb.
The Norwegian Lundehund also has two extra toes that provide it with more traction and additional grip when it is navigating the terrain of Norway. These toes help navigate the steep and slippery rocks and peaks that are commonplace throughout the country.
Their extra toes are also beneficial when the dog is going into a narrow passage to find a puffin nest.
Can wiggle their ears
A Norwegian Lundehund can wiggle their ears. Along with doing this, they can also close their ears to protect their ear canal. This allows the dog to keep dirt and water from getting into the ears. Closing the ears helps the dog enter a deep burrow and get more oriented in a narrow passageway.
Therefore, it can protect its ears whenever it is going into unfamiliar or congested areas.
They are very flexible
Another one of the most notable characteristics of the Norwegian Lundehund is that it can bend in ways that other dogs cannot. Therefore, it is arguably one of the most flexible dog breeds in the world.
A Norwegian Lundehund can touch the top of its head to its back. This allows the dog to turn around while it is inside a narrow underground passage. The Lundehund has should joints that are quite flexible as well. This enables it to spread its forelegs to the sides.
With the ability to spread its forelegs, it can stop itself from falling if it ever slips.
Nearly became extinct
Once farmers and fishers were able to catch puffins with nets, the Norwegian Lundehund began to become an obsolete breed. As a result, they were on the verge of going extinct.
Along with it becoming less necessary for catching puffins, the Norwegian Lundehund would also cost owners money with high taxes for having one. As a result, many residents of Norway were unable to afford this breed.
At the beginning of the 20th century, the Norwegian Lundehund became less frequent as the number of dogs of this breed began to decline significantly.
Were saved by isolated islands
By the 1930s, the Norwegian Lundehund was only found in a fishing village of Mastad on the Norwegian island of Vaeroy. If they were not present on that island, the breed might have gone extinct before it piqued the interest of people.
The purebred Lundehunds survived on the island because it was a very isolated place from the rest of the world. When an English Setter dog breeder read about the Lundehund, she decided to breed them.
Once obtaining a few of the Lundehunds, she bred them frequently, which resulted in the breed being saved from possible extinction.
Get from a legit breeder
If you are looking to get this unique breed of dog, it is important to get one from a legitimate breeder. Since some breeders can mislead you, you must find breeders that have a good track record of breeding rare dogs.
A legitimate breeder will enable you to be sure that you will have an authentic purebred Norwegian Lundehund. The best place to look for a breeder is in the United Kingdom or Norway or a breeder who has connections to one located in either of those two countries.
Give it sufficient exercise
As an active dog that was originally used for retrieving birds, the Norwegian Lundehund will need sufficient exercise to stay healthy. When getting this dog exercise, you will want to take it for daily walks as well as throw items around for it to retrieve and run back to you.
These exercises will allow the dog to remain active and happy.
Like all other dogs, the Norwegian Lundehund will need to be groomed regularly. When grooming this dog, you will need to brush it each week, trim its nails and bathe it once every two months. These tasks will enable you to ensure that the dog stays clean and well kept.
While this dog breed needs regular grooming, it has a shorter coat compared to some other breeds. As a result, you won’t have to do as much grooming as you would with other dog breeds with heavy coats.
Keep in moderate temperatures
Since this dog originates from Scandinavia, it is important to keep this dog in moderate temperatures. It is used to cool weather and will, therefore, have difficulty tolerating areas with extreme heat.
As a result, you will want to make sure that you live in a place with moderate temperatures so that the Norwegian Lundehund doesn’t experience health problems such as strokes and dehydration.