Norwegian Lundehund (Norsk Lundehund)
The Norwegian Lundehund is rare, small-sized and nimble dog with quite a few peculiar attributes, which can’t be found in any other breeds. They include six toes on each foot, astonishingly flexible ears and the capability to overturn the head backwards until it reaches the spine. This dog is really keen on barking and digging, so it’s suitable for home keeping only if you are ready to put sufficient amount of your time in obedience training.
The name Lundehund consists of two Norwegian words «lunde», the Puffin bird, and «hund», which is translated as dog. In its native country Norway the breed was widely used to hunt and pull the Puffin, which was a valuable game for centuries for the local habitants settling along the fjords and on the islands off the west coast. First written mentioning of the breed can be traced back to the XV century.
In the XVIII century the Puffin bird was prohibited to be hunted on thereby the Lundehund ceased to have any practical use for local farmers and its number shrank substantially. The breed was on the brink of extinction and survived only through collaboration of two anxious Norwegian farmers. Today thousands of dogs can be found worldwide.
The Norwegian Lundehund is actually a very ancient breed, which managed to preserve its original form. Its jaw resembles one of the Varanger Dog (a fossilized dog discovered in north Lapland, Russia), which gets us back to 5 000 years. Both these dogs miss one tooth, on both sides of the jaw, what differentiates it from other breeds. Some sources imply that Lundehund is genuine dog, and that it has escaped the extinction from before the last Ice Age on the distant islands of Lofoten.
The Norwegian Lundehund got official acceptance as a singular breed only in 1943. It was first acknowledged by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 2008.
Lundehund is smart, full of life, inquiring, intractable dog. It can be a serious decision to take such a dog because not everyone is able to cope with its unique individuality. The Lundehund is somewhat primitive in its behavior, meaning it shares lot of traits with such its ancestors as foxes and wolves. It has tendency to stash food and stays always alert to everything that is happening around it.
The dog uses every opportunity to explore and research its surroundings. It likes to dig, playing with toys, especially tugging it around the house in its jaw. If the Lundehund gets bored it always finds a way to entertain itself, sometimes with detrimental effect to the owner’s property. The breed can become a guard of the house, though only in the way of barking at probable housebreaker and not with true aggression.
When the dog is brought up with children it’s basically ok with them, although it can be sensitive to harsh handling. The same goes with cats and other medium-sized home pets. The Lundehund has also preserved a strong prey urge and requires close oversight with small pets around it. Some can be fearful of strangers and dogs, but early socialization eliminates this problem.
The most common problems for the breed include:
· Leaky Gut Syndrome
· Lundehund Syndrome
The Norwegian Lundehund is easy to groom. Its coat has to be taken care of on a regular basis with a firm, bristle brush, paying attention to the undercoat.
Bathe or use dry shampoo only on occasion. If you consider taking this dog, you should know that it sheds heavily every year.
The Norwegian Lundehund is tough to train. Despite its high intelligence the dog seems to always have its own opinion on everything and its conduct sometimes is really cat-like without well-known dog willingness to please. Training should be based on positive reinforcement as long as be short, joyful and repetitive (more numerous than with other breeds).
Don’t draw up excessive expectation from these lessons and arm yourself with patience, sense of humor and fair stock of tasty treats. The Lundehund is unresponsive to any kind of punishment or negative reinforcement and can feel resentment over perceived unfairness for weeks long.
Early socialization is a vital necessity for a puppy. It should get accustomed to loud noises, people of different ages, various conditions and situations, vehicles, other dogs and pets, and as many other influences as possible. Without it the Lundehund can become timid, fearful of every sound, and constantly under great strain in unknown situation.
Housebreaking can also constitute a problem. The Lundehund retained the instinct to mark its territory and breaking it from that habit with full reliability is close to impossible. Damage can be minimized by crate training and by locking the dogs in its crate when you are out.
Most Lundehunds react to crate positively, if correctly and at the right time got acquainted with it. Neutering can also diminish tendency to mark substantially. Future owner of this breed should seriously consider if he or she will be able to put up with the fact, that it may never be wholly housebroken.
The Norwegian Lundehund can’t function properly without long daily walk or a jog. If you want to have a happy and healthy dog, make sure to spend at least an hour of your time in exercising and playing with it.