On first sight the Norwegian Lundehund breed dogs do not look different than the other breeds. They have four legs, a tail, four paws and… six fingers – yes, that’s right six fingers on each paw. The extra fingers are the first indication that the Lundehunds are not like the other dogs. This is the rarest dog breed in the world and the lest known. The breed comes from Norway and these dogs are specified in sea birds hunting, where the name comes from.
Its name is composed of the prefix Lunde, from the Norwegian lundefugl (puffin), and the suffix hund, meaning dog. The Norwegian Lundehund breed is hunting puffins living on coastal cliffs or offshore islands nearby Norway. There are only 1500 dogs of this breed in the world. In the Second World War there were only 6 dogs alive, because of diseases.
The six fingers are not the only unusual feature of this breed. They are also very flexible. Dogs of this breed are able to bend their head backwards along their own spine and turn their forelegs to the side at a 90-degree horizontal angle to their body, much like human arms. The sixth finger helps the
Norwegian Lundehund in hunting on the slippery cliffs. They do not use it while being upright. Their pricked, upright ears can be folded shut to form a near-tight seal by folding forward or backward, helping them when winding or raining.
Nowadays the dog breeders try to recover the number of the breed. A major problem is that between two and four puppies are being born at a time.
The breed has genetic problems leading the dogs to have no appetite , not being able to absorb the nutrients from the food. There is no cure for this problem and they need a special diet.
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