Lundehund And Elghund – The Dogs Of The Norwegian Vikings
The Norwegian Lundehund and Elghund are two breeds of dogs which originated in Norway and can actually be quite proud of once accompanying the Norwegian Vikings on through their maritime voyages, just like the other sea faring pet choice of the Norsemen, namely the Norwegian forest cats.
The Norsk Lundehund (literally meaning ‘Puffin hound’) is a fairly unique dog breed which has the following characteristics:
- six toes on each foot
- prick ears that fold closed, forward, or backward at will
- tenacious hunters
- loyal to their owners
- quite agile
- very talented climber
The Norwegian Lundehund originates from the Lofoten Islands, one of the northernmost archipelagos of Norway, scouted the wild Norwegian coasts for hundreds of years in search of puffins, from the earliest stages of the Viking Age up until the 16th/17th century.
The Norsk Elghund (literally meaning ‘Moose/elk hound’) is another Spitz-type (i.e. long dog with thick white fur and pointed ears) breed popular in Norway, being also considered the national dog of this Nordic country. In Viking times, this dog breed served as hunter, herder, defender, and guardian.
Some of these elkhounds were actually inhumed along with their owners in Viking Age burial mounds. They are actually though to have originated in Norway as early as 5,000 B.C. Just like the Lundehund, they make excellent family pets. The Norsk Elghund boasts of the following characteristics:
- skilled moose hunters
- loud barkers
- excellent watchdogs
Both dog breeds have a standard life expectancy ranging from 12 to maximum 15 years and are perfectly suitable as family pets.
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