(Norwegian Lundehund) (Norwegian Puffin Dog) (Norsk Lundehund)The Norwegian Lundehund is an unusual breed. It has six toes on each foot, four in the front and two in the back, all of them jointed and muscled. It has a great range of motion in its forelegs, much like human elbows, allowing it to contort them to fit into small spaces. It has joints in the neck which allows 180-degree rotation (the head can lay back against the spine). The ears are pricked and can be folded either forward or backward. The head is small and wedge-shaped, the brown eyes are deep-set. The legs are strong, the hindquarters well muscled for agility rather than speed. The tail can be either pendant or carried slightly rolled over the back. Doublecoated, the topcoat lies flat against the body. Colors vary from reddish-brown to black, all with white markings, and or white with dark markings.
Lundehunds, if properly socialized, are a friendly breed, and love people and other pets. They also love to play. They are extremely agile, can climb easily, and love to play. The Lundehund is a very independent breed, however, and can be stubborn and even manipulative. They are difficult to housebreak so a doggy door may be necessary.
All Lundehunds have Lundehund syndrome, but, while there is no cure, in most the disease can be managed with proper, but expensive, medication. It is a digestive disorder that leads to an overgrowth of digestive bacteria, intestinal cancer, and an inability to absorb nutrients from food. In other words no matter how much the dog eats, it will starve to death. Those mildly afflicted can live up to 12 years.
The Lundehund is a member of the Spitz family, originating in Norway. For centuries it was used to hunt puffins, which nests on steep cliffs. When Puffins became a protected species in the 1800s their numbers began to decline, and World War II almost did for them entirely. There were only six left at the end of the War. The breed was re-established but is still rare, with an estimated 2000 in the world, of which about 1100 are in Norway and about 250 in the United States.
The Lundehund sheds heavily, so comb and brush on a regular basis with a firm bristle brush. Do not bathe except when necessary - dry shampoo is best at those times.
The Lundehund is not suited for life in an apartment. It needs to have at least a small, fenced in yard where it can roam, and in addition they need to be exercised every day.
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