Icelandic Sheepdog is also called Icelandic Shepherd dog. He loves to be the center of his human family. The sociable creatures become unhappy when left alone for long periods of time. His ancestors were originally herding dogs on farms. Even with today's Icelandic Sheepdogs, it is tremendously important to keep them active both mentally and physically. Only in this way is an Icelandic Sheepdog calm and an ideal family dog. For a city apartment he is rather unsuitable.
In total, there are about 50 dog breeds worldwide that originate from northern areas. Icelandic Sheepdogs are one of these breeds from the deep north, and this breed is the only one from Iceland.
Accordingly, their fur extremely weatherproof. It consists of two layers: a long upper and a short lower layer of fur. Both are extremely thick and can withstand low temperatures. Accordingly, in the European winter the Icelandic Sheepdog has no problems.
Icelandic Sheepdogs are classified as Spitz. Therefore they are equally known as Icelandic Spitz. What makes them belong to the Spitz is a dense fur, a face that resembles that of foxes, as well as pointed ears. They also have a bushy, curling tail.
Icelandic Sheepdogs are medium dogs. They grow up to almost 45 cm. They have different coat colors. However, their fur has white markings as good as always.
One endearing quality is their extremely friendly and happy facial expression. Your Meekness can be read off their faces. They have a confident personality. They are very vivid and sociable. They love the company of people.
However, their temperamental disposition and their characteristic as herding dogs makes them very barky. However, this trait can be kept well under control with consistent training. Icelandic Sheepdogs are trustworthy and would like to please. Therefore, they learn quickly as long as you don't frustrate or underchallenge them.
In its function as a herding dog, the Icelandic Sheepdog also had to drive away wild animals. However, this aggressive behavior was bred out of the breed. The dog was the only playmate for the people on the isolated farms in Iceland. Presumably, this is why an Icelandic Sheepdog has a compatible and sociable nature.
The right food
The Icelandic Sheepdog should be accordingly age, activity and weight to be fed. The stations of life are to be distinguished puppy, adult age and senior. Also note the activity level of your dog. Adjust the amount of food accordingly.
Clean, fresh water should always be available to him. Make sure that his food high-quality is. Avoid giving him sugary food or food with too much grain or artificial additives.
Since the Icelandic Sheepdog is not a couch potato, he generally has no weight problems. treats should still be given in moderation, so that your dog keeps his weight.
Feeding times should be strictly observed. Feed puppies 4 - 5 times a day. Adults and seniors should receive two meals per day.
Icelandic Sheepdog Care
An Icelandic Sheepdog has a lush double coat. It has a longer coat and a dense undercoat. There are two different types of coat with long or short outer coat.
Both species lose a considerable amount of fur. An Icelandic Sheepdog sheds twice a year. Unlike other breeds of dogs, they need accordingly more coat care.
Weekly brushing is not only helpful to remove dirt and loose fur hair. Your dog will also be groomed, he will look good and he will enjoy the petting. It would be good if you start brushing him when he is still a puppy. So he gets used to it and can stay calm for a while while brushing.
If he is extremely hairy twice a year, you should brush him daily. Otherwise, annoying fur knots will appear. If you discover fur knots, gently loosen them with a smooth brush or metal comb.
As with all other breeds, you should also pay attention to the claws pay attention and cut them regularly. Long nails for the dog can be painful.
Also should ears and eyes regularly checked for signs of infection and cleaned. Of course, you should also pay attention to the teeth of your four-legged friend. With a toothpaste designed for dogs, it is easy to brush his teeth as often as possible.
Icelandic Sheepdogs are very healthy and robust dogs. They are hardly susceptible to diseases. However, in the hip and to the joints problems occur. Especially with increasing age.
To give your dog a long, healthy life, visits to the vet are a must.
To keep your Icelandic Sheepdog healthy and happy, worthwhile generous and long walks. In general, you should walk him extensively. Since they are not hunting dogs, they can be let off the leash without danger.
Icelandic Sheepdogs love outdoor activities. In concrete terms, this means that Icelandic Sheepdogs are also great and enduring companions on hikes. Getting a good amount of exercise every day will help keep your Icelandic Sheepdog comfortable. Playing together also helps tremendously. A house with a garden or in the countryside is the perfect home for him. It is rather unsuitable for a city apartment.
Due to its intelligence and good agility Icelandic Sheepdogs have great pleasure in dog sports. For example, rallies are good activities that dog and owner can do together. So it is worth to have a dog frisbee or a flyball for your Icelandic Sheepdog. In general, toys are always a good idea for the playful Icelandic Sheepdogs.
Icelandic Sheepdogs should be educated from puppy age - best in a dog school. This makes them adapted animal companions who can act well in any situation. Since they want to please their mistress or master, they are very easy to train. But watch out. They do not respond well to harsh strictness. Gentle training methods work best.
As with other dogs, the following accessories are also part of the basic equipment: Leash, collar or harness, food and water bowl, dog basket or mat as a place of retreat, transport box.
Origin & History
Icelandic Sheepdogs are the only dog breed originating from Iceland. These are the descendants of the dogs, which were used by the Vikings were brought to Iceland.
Thus, the Icelandic Sheepdogs have an exciting and adventurous history. Over 1100 years ago, Vikings sailed across the Norwegian Sea to Iceland to establish a new existence. They created new villages on the otherwise uninhabited island.
They not only brought the Scandinavian language, customs and traditions with them to their new home. They always had their faithful animal companions by their side. It was natural for them to take their dogs with them on the long, difficult journey across the sea.
Thus, Icelandic Sheepdogs have become the four-legged pioneers of seafaring and got the task in their new homeland, herding cattle. These dogs also helped with rounding up the ponies. In addition, they were used for the daily work used in farms. Their way of working and lifestyle thus adapted to the circumstances in Iceland.
The Icelandic Sheepdog is now the most popular national symbol of Iceland.
The breed was recognized by the FCI in 1972.