I had an oops moment with my first reply so hopefully this one is not a duplicate!
I have raised/bred/shown lundes for 20 years. I currently have retired show dogs and lundes from rescue situations. I get e-mail everyday asking for information about the breed so I will post here some of what I send out:
" Most, if not all breeds of dogs have some medical condition to be aware of. The lundehund is no exception. I also make sure new owners are very aware of the potential for Lundehund Syndrome. While the medical community has scientific names for the lunde's health problems (Protein losing Gastroenteropathy , intestinal lymphangactesia, ascites, muscle atrophy, strokes/blood clots from low B12 and calcium, gastric ulcers with dysplastic changes (cancer), blunted and crushed villi, and malabsorption, to name just a few, these world-wide experts have given us one term to cover all of the many medical issues that encompass the intestinal abnormalities in this breed, and that is Lundehund Syndrome. That is a disease that can affect any and all lundehunds. The web site www.lundehund.com
. has an honest and accurate story about this illness. Some other web sites and breeders will gloss over this issue; which, in my opinion, is a great disservice to any new owner. One web site says that 'just a few' have coined the phrase Lundehund Syndrome, but since GI experts from Norway Sweden Germany Canada and the US have all agreed to let non-medical people use Lundehund Syndrome as the description of lunde disease, we don't consider it 'juust a few' who have coined a phrase. A quick internet search reveals many medical sights that call the lunde g.i. problem Lundehund Syndrome. Even a recent health letter from AKC calls the problem Lundehund Syndrome. Knowledge is power and in this case knowledge of the potential for disease will not only save you money at the vet, it will let you act quickly on behalf of your lunde to treat the problem. Your vet will have access to all of the research data done thus far and your vet will be able to talk to the research leader. Some people talk to their vets about this before they buy a lundehund to get their opinion and to have their vet read about the illness and talk to other vets who have treated the disease.
When you are speaking with a breeder you should expect the breeder to tell you about lundehund syndrome. If the breeder does not mention it, glosses over it, tries to minimize this breed specific illness, or tells you that if you watch the diet you will be fine, RUN!!
You deserve to work with a breeder who is HONEST. If the breeder is less than honest about the health of this breed, one has to wonder what else they are not telling you. Remember, they are trying to sell their puppies/dogs and you as the buyer need to be cautious. If it sounds to good to be true......
The cost of a lunde will vary from breeder to breeder but a ballpark figure is $750 for a pet and $1,500 for a show quality dog. But again, this can and does vary."
More info about the breed from a recent interview for a magazine article is printed below.
1. How long have you bred Lundehunds?
I got my first pair of lundes in 1993. Since then I have owned/cared for/rescued over 75 dogs. I have also had the pleasure of working with breeders in Finland and Norway, sharing my dogs with them and they with me in an effort to diversify our bloodlines.
2. Why did you choose the breed?
I was very interested in their history and unusual physical features along with the quirky personality. I also was looking for a small dog that would be easy to travel with to conformation shows and one that was a rare breed.
3. In your experience, what unique qualities set the Norwegian Lundehund apart from other breeds?
The club website has a great article on this breed's behavior that you are free to use. http://www.lundehund.com/behavior.htm
In my experience the lundes attitude towards life is different from the other rare breed and AKC dogs that I have. It looks at the world with an eye to adventure and self enjoyment. It can be frustrating at times because they do not always agree with you on what should be done, how, or when something should be done. They are free thinkers, example..... in obedience training they do not see the merit in the repetition of an exercise. Once they have done, say the figure 8, once or twice, they will often refuse to do it a third time. They don't waste their time and energy on such foolishness as practice! A smart owner will always be 10 steps ahead of the lunde and somehow make the dog think that the exercise was 'their' idea and always have delicious rewards handy. This free thinking is their heritage as they would have to assess the steep cliffs as to the best way to climb and retrieve the puffin birds, then they had to maneuver back down these rocky crags with birds to deliver to the waiting farmer. These dogs also have a propensity to cache food items in the strangest places, such as shoes, sofa cushions, under your bed pillows, closets, laundry baskets. They can and do climb 6 foot fences, get to the top and jump to freedom. These qualities are an advantage in agility and rally and many lundes have gone on to receive many titles in that arena.
4. What kind or person or family would be best for this breed?
IMO this breed needs an experienced dog person. They can be a bit challenging for a newbie, a real eye opener of unexpected behavior and problems. The new owner also needs to be a person who can live with this breed's scientifically proven breed specific illness, Lundehund Syndrome. You may/will find people who say this does not exist or they will say that other breeds have the same issues but it has been proven by world experts (here and abroad) that this is a litany of intestinal medical problems unique to lundehunds. An owner must be prepared to be a nurse/ pharmacist /and health advocate for their dog and be in good communication with their veterinarian regarding the blood tests needed to catch this disease early and to treat it aggressively. Treatment plans and info is available thru our club to anyone who requests it.
5. Do you have any unique memories or stories involving Norwegian Lundehunds?
I had one little girl who drove me crazy climbing the 6 foot chain link fence in her 100 x 50 foot yard! She would climb that fence as fast as she could, run around the house and sit on the front porch asking to be let in the house. She was such a determined fence climber that one unfortunate day she broke her leg. The day the cast came off - she was up and over the fence again.
On one of my trips to the homeland of this breed I had the opportunity to climb the same cliffs where the dogs were discovered - on the island of Vaeroy, see the puffin birds, and experience what intense intelligence and determination it takes for them to successfully and safely hunt.
I also had the opportunity to see these dogs climb. It was amazing to watch them as they used their outstretched forelegs and 6 toes to grip and wiggle their way up boulders that would seem impossible. They would find every little spot where their nails and toes could cling too as they made their way up and over.
The following is a quote from one of the lunde message boards: "I have had lundes since 1995. Around 1998 I introduced lundes to the gastrointestinal research world of Dr. David Williams, a world class researcher and sought after speaker on the subject. He was at Perdue Univ at the time. He kept small colonies of my dogs for a month at a time in an effort to prove that one of his tests for PLE (protein losing enteropathy) would be able to give the canine world a practical way of finding abnormal protein loss in the feces. The standard test used before this involved radioactive particles and for obvious reasons was not used all that much. By giving my dogs both of these tests he was able to publish his findings and make his new test available to all. This was available free of charge to all lundes all over the world. An owner just needed to request the proper materials be sent to them, do the paperwork, the 'sampling', and send them in.
Dr. Williams later moved to Texas A&M. He took the lunde research project with him. While there he hired a bright individual from Germany, Dr. Nora Berghoff, to continue the work. After years of testing and hundreds (greater than 500) tests performed, the experts have concluded that between 85 and 100% of the breed is currently affected, will be affected, or will/have died from being affected. This illness, for layman's purposes is called Lundehund Syndrome, and is considered to be an inherited problem.
This is science and it is fact. I know there are some breeders out there who will still tell you it is just a little gut thing, feed them this or feed them that and you will be fine, keep them in the house always near you, keep them outside and close to nature, crates are good, crates are bad.......after this many years I have almost heard it all. I think that is why good, knowledgeable lunde people bring up this illness. Knowledge is power and if your breeder is falling short on that topic it is a disservice to you and a tragedy for your dog. If your chosen breeder is not giving you the whole truth, run away!!!! If your breeder claims that his or her lines are not affected, run away! There are other breeders to work with who will be honest.
In conclusion, lundes have an inherited intestinal problem, the entire syndrome being specific to the lundehund breed. Yes, other breeds have parts of it but the lunde is the only breed that has it all. As breeders and owners have posted, this is something for you to be aware of. We want to share our knowledge and experience in an effort to help you have a better idea what you are getting with a lunde Having been in the lunde world for so many years, we know who is feeding potential buyers a line of bull just to make $$.
Lundes are special little guys, lots of fun, totally naughty at times but in the cutest way possible. Just about everyone will tell you the good parts to the breed, it is the unpleasant parts that sometimes get glossed over, that is why we speak of it so often."