The Icelandic Sheepdog
If dogs are man´s best friends, the Icelandic Sheepdog breed is probably the best example of it. This friendly dog was thought to travel with the Vikings. This breed was developed to protect flocks from birds of prey.
The Vikings brought the ancestors of the Icelandic Sheepdog breed to Iceland in the ninth century. The present breeds are very similar to these ancestors. Iceland prohibited their importation at the end of the 19th century due to 75% of them getting infected by plague and canine distemper.
The AKC recognized the breed in 2010.
The Icelandic Sheepdog is a medium size dog. They are very similar in appearance to the Shetland Sheepdog, the Norwegian Buhund, and the Welsh Corgi.
The male is around 18 inches tall and the females stand at 16.5 inches. Their overall weight is from 20 to 30 pounds.
Temperament and Personality
This is an affectionate dog and friendly to all people. They make good watchdogs but not good guard dogs due to their friendly nature. The Icelandic Sheepdog is confident and playful. Due to their ancestry of protecting flocks from birds of prey, they usually look up in the sky and bark at birds.
Due to their ancestry of protecting flocks from birds, they usually look up in the sky and bark at birds.
Caring for an Icelandic Sheepdog
Since this is a herding dog, he is very active. Take him for long walks to keep him busy. His athletic and inquisitive build makes him good for exercising. The Icelandic Sheepdog breed sheds its undercoat twice a year. You will have to brush it off every time.
This is an intelligent dog and easy to train. Train him with consistency and the dog will willingly learn and obey.
- They have a rather large life expectancy: 14 to 15 years.
- Along with 50 or so other Northern breeds, this one is classified as a “spitze”.
- Their personality makes them excellent hospital therapy dogs.
- They shed and bark.
- It is very rare to find a sample of this breed outside Iceland.