lundehund – norwegian lundehund
The lundehund breed has a long history. As far back as 1600 it was used for hunting puffins along the Norwegian coast. Its flexibility and extra toes were ideal for hunting the birds in their inaccessible nesting locations on cliffs and in caves. Interest for the breed declined when new methods for hunting puffins were invented and a dog tax was created. Around 1900, they were only found in the isolated village of Mostad (spelled Måstad in Norwegian), Lofoten. The breed was nearly extinct around World War II when canine distemper struck Værøy and the surrounding islands.
In 1963, the norwegian lundehund population was further decimated by another outbreak of distemper. This time, only six dogs survived, one on Værøy and five in southern Norway, Hamar. The latter five were from the same mother. This created a population bottleneck. Due to careful breeding with strict guidelines, there are now an estimated 1400 dogs in the world (2010), with around 600 of the population in Norway and ~350 in the United States.
The breed is being tested in Tromsø airport by the Norwegian Air Traffic and Airport Management as a solution to airplane bird strikes. The dog is used to search for bird eggs around the airport for disposal