Icelandic Sheepdog


Cheerful, Curious, Confident
Size: Medium
Height: 42-46 cm
Weight: 11,5-13,5 kg
Lifespan: 12-14 years
Coat: Medium Hair
Colors: Fawn, red, gray shading, chocolate brown, black with white markings
FCI Group: Spitz and primitive types

The Icelandic Sheepdog is also known as the Icelandic Spitz. They love to be the center of their human family. These sociable creatures become unhappy if they are left alone for long periods of time. Their ancestors were originally herding dogs on farms. Even with today's Icelandic Hounds, it is very important to keep them mentally and physically active. This is the only way to keep an Icelandic dog calm and make it an ideal family dog. It is rather unsuitable for a city apartment.

Icelandic Sheepdog
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In total, there are around 50 dog breeds worldwide that have their origins in northern regions. The Icelandic Hound is one of these breeds from the far north and the only one that is native to Iceland.

Accordingly, their fur is extremely weather-resistant. It consists of two layers: a long upper layer and a short lower layer. Both are very thick and can withstand low temperatures. The Icelandic dog therefore has no problems in the European winter.

The Icelandic Hound is classified as a Spitz. This breed is therefore also known as the Icelandic Spitz. What makes this breed a Spitz is its dense coat, fox-like face and pointed ears. They also have a bushy, curlable tail.

This breed is medium-sized. It reaches a shoulder height of up to 45 cm. Their coat has different colors. However, their coat almost always has white markings.

One endearing characteristic is their very friendly and cheerful facial expression. Their gentleness is written all over their faces. They have a self-confident personality. They are very lively and sociable. They love the company of other people.

However, their temperament and their nature as herding dogs make them very barky. However, this characteristic can be kept under control with consistent training. The Icelandic Hound is trusting and eager to please. It therefore learns quickly as long as it is not frustrated or underchallenged.

In its function as a herding dog, the Icelandic Hound also had to chase away wild animals. However, this aggressive behavior was removed from the breed. The dog was the only playmate for people on the remote farms of Iceland. This is probably why the Icelandic dog has a friendly and sociable nature.

Coat care:




Energy level:




Children suitable:

With supervision

The right food

When choosing food, make sure that it contains high-quality ingredients, is balanced and meets your dog's requirements. Age, size or weight, activity and health status play an important role. You should follow the manufacturer's recommendations for the amount of food.

Treats should only be fed in moderation and deducted from the basic diet to avoid obesity.

Puppies can be fed 4-6 times a day. The number of meals should be gradually reduced to 2 per day until the dog is fully grown. A rest period should be observed after meals.

Fresh drinking water should be available at all times.

Health & Care

The Icelandic Hound has a lush, double coat. It has a long outer coat and a dense undercoat. There are two different coat types with long or short outer coats.

Both types shed a considerable amount of fur. The Icelandic Hound sheds twice a year. In contrast to other dog breeds, it therefore requires more grooming.

Regular brushing not only helps to remove dirt and loose hair. Your dog is also groomed, looks good and enjoys being stroked. It's best to start brushing when your dog is a puppy. This will get him used to it and he can stay calm for a while while being brushed.

If he sheds heavily twice a year, you should brush him daily. Otherwise annoying fur knots will form. If you discover knots, carefully loosen them with a smooth brush or a metal comb.

As with all other breeds, you should also pay attention to the claws and trim them regularly. Long claws can be painful and lead to deformities.

Ears and eyes should also be checked and cleaned regularly for signs of infection. Of course, you should also pay attention to your four-legged friend's teeth. Using a special toothpaste for dogs makes it easy to brush their teeth as often as possible.

This breed is very healthy and robust. It is hardly susceptible to disease. However, problems can occur in the hips and joints. Especially with increasing age.

To give your dog a long and healthy life, visits to the vet are a must.

Suitable accessories

To keep your Icelandic dog healthy and happy, it is worth taking them for long walks. As they are not hunting dogs, they can also be safely let off the lead after appropriate training.

The Icelandic Hound loves outdoor activities. In concrete terms, this means that he is also a great and enduring companion when hiking. Plenty of daily exercise helps your Icelandic dog to feel good. Playing together also contributes to this. A house with a garden or in the countryside is the ideal home for him. It is rather unsuitable for a city apartment.

Due to its intelligence and good agility, the Icelandic Hound enjoys dog sports. For example, rallies are good activities for both dog and owner. It is therefore worth getting a dog frisbee or a flyball for your Icelandic dog. In general, toys are always a good idea for playful Icelandic dogs.

The Icelandic dog should be trained as a puppy - preferably in a dog school. This will turn them into adaptable animal companions that can cope well in any situation. As they want to please their owner, they are very easy to train. But be careful! They do not respond well to harsh strictness. Gentle training methods work best.

As with other dogs, the following accessories are part of the basic equipment: collar or harness with lead, dog basket or dog mat as a retreat, water and food bowl, tick tweezers, claw clippers, mild dog shampoo, brush and comb, toothbrush and toothpaste for dogs, transport box for transportation in the car and a first aid kit. Ask your vet what belongs in the first aid kit.

Icelandic dog history

Origin & History

The Icelandic Hound is the only dog breed that originally comes from Iceland. It is the descendant of the dogs that were brought to Iceland by the Vikings.

This breed has an exciting and adventurous history. More than 1100 years ago, the Vikings sailed across the Norwegian Sea to Iceland to establish a new existence there. They built new villages on the previously uninhabited island.

They not only brought the Scandinavian language, customs and traditions with them to their new home. Their faithful animal companions were always at their side. It was a matter of course for them to take their dogs with them on the long and arduous journey across the sea.

These dogs became the four-legged pioneers of seafaring and were given the task of herding cattle in their new home. They also helped to round up the ponies. They were also used for daily work on the farms. Their way of working and living adapted to Icelandic conditions.

The Icelandic dog is the most popular national symbol of Iceland today.

The breed was recognized by the FCI in 1972.