The energetic and friendly Norwegian Ludenhund is an esteemed bird hunter in Norway, its country of origin. The Ludenhund is also referred to as puffin dog because it was originally bred to hunt Puffin birds along cliffs. These dogs can grow up to 15 inches tall at the withers and weigh between 13 to 16 pounds. The breed has an average lifespan of 10 to 12 years and is not prone to any major health issues. These dogs are cheerful but sometimes mischievous so they need close supervision to keep them out of trouble. Early training and socialization will help minimize any undesirable behaviors. 
The breed’s name is a combination of two Norwegian words: “lunde” meaning Puffin bird and “hund” meaning dog. Every physical feature of the Norwegian Ludenhund helps it become the perfect Puffin hunter. According to the American Kennel Club’s breed standard, the Ludenhund has evolved to have unique structural characteristics for them to effectively climb, descend and brake on the cliffs. Each paw has a minimum of six toes; the rear paw pads are elongated; the neck has a distinctive bone structure allowing the head to bend backwards to touch the spine so the dog can turn around in narrow caves; the shoulders are flexible to allow the dog’s front legs to extend flat on the sides in order to hug cliffs and finally, the pricked ears can be folded or closed to protect from debris. 
The Ludenhund is considered to the oldest out of all the Norwegian dog breeds with written references dating back to the fifteenth century. However sometime in the 1800s, the Puffin bird became a protected species and the Ludenhund were no longer useful. Their numbers started to dwindle and was near extinction at one point. During the 1960s, the breed’s population was down to only six dogs. Breeders took some steps to raise the Ludenhund’s numbers after World War II and through careful and regulated breeding, the Norwegian Ludenhund was saved from completely dying out.