are intelligent, cheerful, inquisitive, stubborn dogs. They can make
wonderful companions in the right homes, but prospective owners should think
carefully about whether the Lundehunds unique personality will fit in well
with their lifestyle.
This little Norwegian is a primitive breed, meaning that it shares a lot of
habits and behavior with wild dogs, like foxes and wolves. They will cache
food, or hide it in places throughout their living area, and they are very
aware of everything that is going on around them (and react noisily to any
changes in their environment). They are very inquisitive and are always
exploring their surroundings, and very little is out of their reach because
of their abilities to climb the steepest inclines and tunnel into tiny
little spaces. They retain a very strong pack instinct and generally live
happily in groups, especially with other lunde-dogs, if their owner
allows them to figure out the pecking order. They also retain a strong
prey drive, though, so they need to be carefully supervised around small
animals and birds.
Lundehunds are very aware of everything that is going on around them and
they will bark at almost everything or at nothing - some Lundehunds bark a
great deal. They can be protective of their home and their people, but
rely more on barking than aggression. Some can be apprehensive of strange
people and dogs, although early socialization can prevent this. When they
are raised with children they are usually fine with them, although they can
be intolerant of rough treatment. They love to dig, enjoy playing with
toys, and particularly like carrying things around in their mouths. I had
one lunde-dog who would regularly take his toys for a walk, refusing to drop
the chosen toy even in the hottest of weather to take a drink. They are
active, busy dogs who do best in a home where there are things going on to
keep their active minds stimulated. If they are bored, they will find ways
to amuse themselves, often at the expense of the owner's home and
belongings. Lundehunds should be given regular opportunities for exercise
and are particularly happy when they can play off leash and out of doors,
with plenty of opportunities to explore and find interesting and unusual
gifts to bring back to their owners.
Early and extensive socialization is very, very important for Lundehund
puppies. They should be exposed to loud noises, people of all ages,
different environments and situations, cars, other dogs and animals, and as
many other stimuli as possible. Under-socialized Lundehunds tend to be shy,
sound sensitive, and easily stressed by any unusual situations and it can be
difficult to undo the problems caused by the lack of early socialization.
Training Lundehunds can be a challenge. Lundehunds are incredibly
intelligent and can easily understand what you want them to do, but, in the
immortal words of Herman Mellville, they prefer not to. A great deal of
patience, a large supply of delicious treats, and a sense of humor are all
required when training a Lundehund. Lundehunds are more like cats than dogs
in their attitude towards their owners and they generally lack the famous
canine eagerness to please, so training should emphasize positive
reinforcement, as a lunde-dog is much more likely to obey a command when
there is something in it for them. They don't respond well to punishment
and negative reinforcement, and instead of altering their behavior you will
just wind up with an irritated lunde-dog with a grudge - and they have long
memories. Keep training sessions short and fun, be prepared to repeat the
same lessons many times, and be realistic. While a patiently trained
Lundehund will generally come when it is called, you may have to call
several times and the path back to you may involve a few detours to
investigate something really interesting along the way.
Housebreaking is an area where Lundehunds
have proven to be particularly difficult to train reliably. This is a
primitive breed, and they mark their territory, which is likely to include
the inside of your house. A lunde-dog owner should anticipate that
housebreaking will take longer than it does in other breeds and complete
reliability is a rarity. The problems can be minimized if your lunde-dog is
crate trained and crated when left in the house unsupervised. Most lunde-dogs
take very well to a crate, if properly and positively introduced to it. Some
find a ‘doggy-door’ to be very helpful, allowing the dog the opportunity to
quickly go outside to eliminate. Neutering can cut down significantly on
marking behavior. Anyone considering adding a Lundehund to their life needs
to be aware of this issue and consider whether they can live happily with a
dog that may never be completely housebroken.
One thing that every Lundehund owner should
keep in mind is that any changes in behavior could be indicative of problems
caused by Lundehund Syndrome. This can be obvious, such as when a dog
suddenly stops eating or becomes lethargic, or it can be more subtle, such
as when a dog stops jumping up onto a bed or into a car because of muscle
wasting weakness in the rear legs. It is worth a trip to the vet for some
blood work any time a Lundehund’s owner notices changes in their dog's
Long time lunde-dog owners treasure the breed’s intelligence, humor, and big
personality. These dogs are free thinkers, and owners should keep this in
mind when they train their lunde-dog. With patience and praise, a lunde-dog
can and will learn.
Purebred Puppy advice you can trust
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