Norwegian Lundehund

"The Puffin Dog"

Photo of Norwegian Lundehund


A native of the remote islands of arctic Norway, the Lundehund was bred to wrestle and retrieve live Puffins from crevices on steep cliffs as far back as the 1500s. When Puffins were declared a protected species in the 1800s, Lundehunds became less popular so their numbers dwindled, but they were saved after World War II by Norwegian fanciers.


Lundehunds are very loving and playful; they form strong bonds, and prefer their own family to any other people. They are also curious and intelligent so they need plenty of engaging toys, and do well at agility training. A long walk or jog every day is a must as they are very energetic.


Lundehunds have a double coat with a dense, soft undercoat that can be reddish brown, tan, or white, and some have dark markings or black tips. Their interesting history has given them several characteristics that are completely unique: they have six toes on each foot, their prick ears fold closed, forward or backward, and they can tip their heads all the way back to their backbone. They are also able to spread their front legs completely flat out to the sides, and this flexibility in the shoulders gives them a distinctive gait.


Training takes a firm and consistent hand, and a lot of patience. They can be extremely hard to housetrain, so you have to be incredibly diligent about making sure they get outside frequently; the help of an animal behaviorist may be required if it is a problem case. Be sure to socialize them to all kinds of people and situations to avoid problem-barking.

Grooming & Care

Despite being heavy shedders, they are easy to groom. Brush frequently, bathe only when necessary, and that’s about it.

Health Concerns

They are highly prone to a group of gastrointestinal disorders that, when lumped together, are referred to as Gastroenteropathy or Lundehund Syndrome. The symptoms can be treated but there is no cure, and since it is unclear how it is inherited, there is no genetic testing available at present.

Famous Norwegian Lundehund

Nils was the first Norwegian Lundehund to debut at Westminster in 2012.

Ideal Owner
Activity Level 4
Schedule 34
Home 9
Children 10
Experience 51
Quick Facts
Grooming 110
Exercise 60
Challenges Can be extremely hard to housetrain
Height 12 to 15 inches
Weight 12 to 18 pounds
Life 12 to 13 years
Home Alone 82
With Kids 21
With Strangers 93
Availability 95

This client information sheet is based on material written by: LifeLearn

© Copyright 2014 LifeLearn Inc. Used and/or modified with permission under license.

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