Icelandic Sheepdog – Photos, Characteristics, Information – Dog Breeds - Royal Canin
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Icelandic Sheepdog

The all-rounder from the north Atlantic

Spitz and Primitive types

Original Name : Íslenskur Fjárhundur

Type : Lupoid

Male size : 18 inches

Female size : 16½ inches

Degree of grooming :

Countries of origin : Iceland


Icelandic Sheepdogs are hardy, nimble herding dogs that bark, making them very well suited to driving and herding sheep in the pasture or on the slopes, as well as finding lost sheep. They are naturally very alert and always welcome visitors very enthusiastically, without aggression. These cheerful, friendly, playful dogs are curious and fearless, but have only weak hunting instincts.


Strong bones, snug-fitting skin, the skull is slightly longer than the muzzle.



Strong and rectangular.



Various shades of fawn, from cream to reddish brown, chocolate, gray and black, always together with white.



Pricked, triangular, medium-sized.



Set high, curled, touching the back.



Double coat, thick and extremely weather-resistant.


The Icelandic Sheepdog is the only breed native to Iceland. The first specimens arrived with the initial settlers between 874 and 930, adapting to the local terrain, farming methods and hard struggle for survival Icelanders generally faced through the centuries. They became indispensible for rounding up livestock on the farms. The breed’s popularity has increased in recent decades, and while numbers remain low, its survival is not under threat.Icelandic Sheepdogs belong to a Spitz-type breed of Nordic herders, a little smaller than average, with prick ears and curled tail. Viewed from the side, they are rectangular, as the body from the point of the shoulder to the point of the buttocks is longer than the height at the withers. The depth of the chest is equal to the length of the foreleg, from elbow to ground. Icelandic Sheepdogs have a gentle, intelligent, happy expression and a typical confident and lively bearing. There is a marked difference between the sexes.

Did you know ?

There are two distinct varieties of coat: the shorthair has a medium length topcoat, the longhair a topcoat that is a little longer. In both cases the tophair is fairly harsh and the undercoat is thick and soft. The coat is very weather-resistant.


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