A Dunker, also known as the Norwegian Hound, is a medium-sized breed of dog from Norway. It was bred by Wilhelm Dunker to be a scenthound by crossing a Russian Harlequin Hound with dependable Norwegian scent hounds.
The Dunker has a clean, noble, long head with parallel planes of the skull and muzzle, carried low and not wedge-shaped. Its skull is slightly domed with a defined stop and clean cheeks, the muzzle is long and square-cut with a straight and broad nasal bridge, and its teeth are evenly spaced with a scissors bite. The Dunker has a black nose with wide nostrils, round, large, and dark eyes, and low-set, wide, flat, ears that hang close to the head and to the middle of the muzzle.
The Dunker has a long neck with no throatiness, sloping shoulders, straight forelegs, a level topline, a straight and strong back with broad and muscular loins, and a slight tuck up in the chest. Its hindquarters are well-angulated, as are its stifle, and its thighs and hocks are broad. The feet are arched, well-knit, have firm pads and hair between the toes, and point straight ahead. The tail is set on level with the topline, strong at the root, tapering at the end, straight, carried in a slight upward curve, and reaches to the hock.
The Dunker's coat is straight, hard, dense, and not too short, with the most desirable colors being black or blue marbled with pale fawn and white markings. Less desirable are warm brown or predominant black reaching from the muzzle and beyond the hock joint, a black mask, and overmarked white, and more than fifty percent white color is a disqualification.
The Dunker weighs around 35–39 pounds (16–18 kg), and males are 19.5–21.5 inches (50–55 cm) at the withers, while females are 18.5–20.5 inches (47–52 cm).
This is quite a friendly and relaxed breed. It will provide these traits only to owners who will offer lots of activity.
Occasionally, cases of hip dysplasia can occur. Deafness is also a significant issue, with 75% of all dogs of this breed being unilaterally or bilaterally deaf.
The breed is named after the Norwegian Wilhelm Dunker, who bred this dog for hunting hares at the beginning of the 19th century. To create the Dunker, Wilhelm crossed a Russian Harlequin Hound with reliable scent hounds, producing a dog that could hunt rabbits by scent, rather than sight. It has yet to become popular outside of its homeland.