THE CANINE ACROBATS

By Ilpo and Ritva Parviainen

"Scratch a dog and you'll find a permanent job"
- Franklin P. Jones


In the beginning...

... there was nothing but rock. Then somebody invented a bird because rocks and cliffs just give perfect shelter for nests. After that it was quite natural that there must also be a 4WD animal that can climb and hunt these birds. A puffin dog was born ...

Puffin dog ( " lundehund " or " lundie " ) is believed to be a very ancient breed (it is even speculated that this breed survived the last ice-age thus dating back to the dawn of the mankind). The first written documentation can be traced back to the late 1500's when travellers exploring the coastal areas of the Far North told about the use of a very special dog in puffin hunting.



This dog is rare...

Puffin dog is also one the rarest pure breeds in the world. These extraordinary dogs lived isolated and "hidden" for centuries without wider global awareness. After the Second World War this breed was close to extinction --- the number of known dogs declined down to six... Considering that it's a miracle that this breed is still alive. The credit can be addressed to one small isolated village, Måstad, in Værøy island (near Lofoten, Norway) and the work of one individual, Mrs. Eleanor Christie. The people in Måstad had taken care of the purity of this breed even in difficult times and Mrs. Christie "discovered" puffin dogs in the 1930's and made lots of efforts to save the breed in the 1940's.

Today this breed is the pride of Norway. It is estimated that there are about 700 puffin dogs in Norway so this breed can be considered saved from extinction. Also other breeders (especially in Sweden, Finland and USA) have done fantastic job and the total population in the world today is somewhere between 1000-2000 dogs.



This dog is unique...

Think about a dog with extra toes (at least six toes on each paw), double-jointed neck (it can bend and touch the back) and extremely flexible forelegs (this is something that always amazes us...). Also, it has less teeth than any other breed and unique "mobile ears" (the external ear leather can be folded and turned up in a peculiar way thus closing the ear channel). All these characteristics have developed during centuries in the isolated rocky islands in the Norwegian coastal areas just for one goal - to maximize the ability to climb, crawl and locate the native puffin nests.

A puffin dog is an energetic, alert and lively companion. It is small and light and people easily fall in love with the friendly character --- well, on the other hand they are typical spitz-type dogs so they are not the most quiet ones. I bet that no visitor comes around without a free concert - a mixture of bark and howl. Sometimes it's actually quite a funny sound - kids passing by often love to imitate this...

There exist some unique breed-specific diseases due to the narrow genetic basis but fortunately these are not very common anymore - thanks to the careful breeding work. Some puffin dogs may develope a special fear of a random object - thunder, shotgun sounds (ok, these are common with any dogs), automobiles, trains or even of some electric device - but seldom of people. Most puffin dogs are very keen to the owners ("glue effect") and may be a little bit reserved for visitors. But after a while ...


... they all just love to be scratched ...













































More info about these
dogs in Finland can be 
found at

Kennel Avoin

Kennel Eriksro

Kennel Silversound's




Petra has some nice

Howling Dutchmen

PSV rules - Greetz ! 




Matti and Heli have
a nice lundie gallery  
Scratches to Jaska !




Best regards also to
Neal and Debby
somewhere in Illinois.
Værøy was awesome !




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