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Icelandic Sheepdog Home country: Iceland

Original Name: Islenskur Fjárhundur
Icelandic Sheepdog adult - coat 52
The only dog that comes from Iceland, the Icelandic Shepherd accompanied the first Vikings that landed in the country. The tough climate made it a hardy sheepdog, lively and self-assured.

An intelligent dog that knows how to face danger without necessarily becoming aggressive, the friendly and playful nature of the Icelandic Shepherd makes it a good companion animal, but one that needs to expend its energy.



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The Icelandic Sheepdog comes from dogs that were brought by the first Vikings to Iceland between the 19th and 20th century. Today, they are the only dog breed in the world that comes from Iceland.

They have become valued companions, especially for their help in herding cattle. This dog can adapt to work on uneven terrain and in difficult conditions. Their role was not really to work in direct cooperation with the shepherd but rather to live with the herds and watch the animals to make sure they don''t wander off or even finding lost animals and bringing them back to the herd. This dog had to be very intelligent to know how to work independently and to get out of complicated situations by itself.

They could guard sheep as well as other animals, for example horses. Less often, they were used as guard dogs. In this case, they barked to warn of a stranger approaching rather than to chase the stranger away alone because of their small size.

The Icelandic Sheepdog was on the verge of extinction towards the end of the 19th century, after an illness caused 75% of the dogs in this breed to die. Today, the Icelandic Sheepdog is still very rare but it is no longer threatened with extinction. They are even rising, little by little, in popularity.

As for its appearance, it''s a Nordic Spitz that''s slightly smaller than the average. They stand 16 to 20 inches at the withers, the females being a lot smaller and delicate than the males. Most colors are acceptable if there is one dominating color. This color cannot be white.

From its profile, the Icelandic Sheepdog has a rectangular appearance: its body is longer than its height at the withers. Its face is very expressive, especially with its mobile ears. It gives the impression that its "smiling" and showing its love of life.
The hair, which can be long or short, is very thick and extremely waterproof and is not easily dirtied - which is where is gets its nickname as the "auto-wash dog" among certain breeders!

The Icelandic Sheepdog is a dog of lively character. They are known for their enthusiastic welcomes but they are never aggressive, whether it be toward their fellow animals or humans. You could say with a little humor that they announce the entrance of a thief with a lot of noise and then go up and say hello to him!

As its hunting instinct isn''t very developed, they don''t tend to run away. They prefer keepinging their "herd" (of humans) all together because their sheepdog instinct is still very strong.

Lastly, they are very intelligent. In their past as independent sheepdogs, they learned how to act alone and today, they will decide and do things their way. They need firm training but also with a bit of good humor since the Icelandic Sheepdog won''t work if he doesn''t want to.

To sum up, it''s a pleasant dog breed that works as a companion as well as for canine sports and that will soon be known to the general public.
Dog Sabre - Icelandic Sheepdog Female (3 years)
Sabre
 3 votes
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Dog Katou - Icelandic Sheepdog Female (2 years)
Katou
 5 votes
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Dog Tikitak - Icelandic Sheepdog Female (5 months)
Tikitak
 6 votes
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Dog Tikitak - Icelandic Sheepdog Female (5 months)
Tikitak
 8 votes
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Dog Tikitak - Icelandic Sheepdog Female (5 months)
Tikitak
 6 votes
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Dog Viky of Nordic Island - Icelandic Sheepdog Female (10 years)
Viky of Nordic Island
 8 votes
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