The Lundehund was a valuable working animal for hunting puffin birds along the Norwegian coast as food for over 400 years. 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 incorporated and a dog tax was created. Around 1900, they were only found in the isolated village of Mostad (spelled Måstad in Norwegian), Lofoten. There have also been stories of Lundehund being used on Lovund, Lurøy by Petter Dass, as cited in his famous work, Nordlands Trompet. The breed was nearly extinct around World War II when canine distemper struck Værøy and the surrounding islands. In 1963, the population was further decimated by another outbreak of distemper. This time, only six dogs survived, one on Værøy and five in eastern 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.
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