The Norwegian Lundehund is a small breed which was originally bred in Norway for hunting Puffins along the coast. The breed’s extra toes plus their flexibility allowed them to hunt the birds even in inaccessible nesting locations in caves and on cliffs. The breed’s history dates back to 1600, but their popularity declined when new methods of hunting these birds were developed. The breed was nearly extinct by the 1940s and even closer to extinction in the 1960s, but since then the breed has been revived and there are now 1500 ““ 2000 Norwegian Lundehunds in the world with a large majority of those being in Norway.
The breed stands around 12 to 15 inches high The Spitz-type dog is not only small, it is extremely flexible. The head of the breed can be bent completely backwards, and its forelegs can turn to the side at a 90 degree angle to the body. Its ears can be nearly sealed shut. All of these features allow it to fit into narrow passages to catch their prey. The most distinguishing feature of the breed is the fact that it is polydactyl and has six fully functioning toes on each foot. The coat of the breed is rough, with a generally red, black and white coloration.
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The breed is generally healthy but it may encounter gastroenteropathy, a set of digestive disorders which can lead to a loss of ability to absorb nutrients from food.