One of the world’s rarest dog breeds is the Norwegian Lundehund. Although this dog that originated in northern Norway may look like a typical run-of-the mill pup, it has rare characteristics that make it like no other canine. This is because each Lundehund dog has six toes on each foot and has the ability to turn their head 180 degrees. This recessive trait makes the Lundehund one of the most unknown and rarest breeds on earth.
The Norwegian Lundehund is a small, rectangular Spitz dog that possesses some unique characteristics. Unlike other dogs, the Lundehund has joints in the nape of the neck and extremely flexible shoulder blades. Two of the six toes on the feet of the rare breed are naturally declawed. The head of the dog is small with deep-set brown eyes and medium-sized erect ears.
The legs and back side of the Lundehund are muscular and the legs are powerful for agility purposes, rather than speed. It has a rough-short coat with a dense outer layer of fur that lies flat on the body. The color of the dog can range from reddish-brown to black, grey, or white markings. As the dog grows into adulthood, the black in the coat becomes more distinguished.
Norwegian Lundehunds are generally friendly, intelligent, and love being around people. Although they can be extremely difficult to housebreak, they are able to housebroken, crate trained, and if wanted, trained for agility. Due to the unique characteristics of the Lundehund, this dog breed makes great hunters as they are able to climb steep areas without difficulty because of their flexibility and six toes.
Height & Weight
The Lundehund typically stands at about 12 to 15.5 inches in height or 31 to 39 centimeters. The weight of this breed averages between 13 and 20 pounds or 6 to 9 kilograms. Although small and not aggressive in nature, it’s extremely important to socialize these dogs well. The Lundehund requires a confident and firm pack leader who is consistent in training. Without one, pet owners may find that their pet become obstinate and stubborn.
If fed properly, the Norwegian Lundehund can live a long and healthy life. However, they are not able to be cared for like any other dog. This is because the breed is prone to Leaky Gut Syndrome, or Lundehund Syndrome. This causes a series of digestive problems in the breed. Currently, this syndrome or allergy is under research and the true cause has not been discovered.
With Lundehund Syndrome, the dog has an unpredictable life span if not fed the right foods. With this disease, the dog is not able to digest grains of any sort. This requires that the dog is not fed any grains to avoid becoming ill. With a grain-free diet, the Lundehund has the ability to live a fairly normal life without any other major health problems. Their life expectancy is about 12 years.
Grooming & Exercise
Fairly easy to groom, the Lundehund merely requires an occasional comb and bristle brush, paying close attention to the thick undercoat. Bathing is only required when needed. Note that the Norwegian Lundehund is also a heavy shedder and typically does not work well in families with allergies. This breed of dog should be exercised every day with a walk or session of play.