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AKC Meet the Breeds: Norwegian Lundehund

American Kennel Club, Inc. (c) 2011

The Norwegian Lundehund is a small and agile Spitz breed with several unique characteristics in a combination not found in any other dog. Features such as six toes on each foot; prick ears that fold closed, forward, or backward at will; and the ability to tip the head backward until it touches the back bone all helped them perform their job as a puffin hunter. Their dense coat ranges from fallow to reddish brown to tan in color, with black hair tips and white markings, or white with red or dark markings.

A Look Back
The Lundehund originated on the remote islands of arctic Norway, where it was used to wrestle and retrieve live puffin birds (a meat and feather crop for the Norwegian farmer) from the crevices of steep cliffs. The breed has also been described in writings as far back as the 1500s. When the puffin bird became a protected species in the 1800s, the dogs were no longer useful to the farmers and breed numbers dwindled. The breed was saved from near extinction after World War II through the friendship of two concerned Norwegians, but even today the numbers are limited.

Right Breed for You?
Today, the Lundehund is a loyal and playful companion. Their superior personality, even disposition, and small size make them an ideal, easy-to-live-with pet, although they may be wary of strangers. The breed's coat requires minimal upkeep.

  • Non-Sporting Group; AKC recognized in 2011.
  • Ranging in size from 12 inches to 15 inches tall at the shoulder.
  • Puffin retriever.

AKC Meet the Breeds is a registered trademark of the American Kennel Club, Inc.