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Icelandic Sheepdog

icelandic sheepdog

Icelandic Sheepdog

Description

The Icelandic Sheepdog had a large nose and black-pigmented lips. The eyes are medium sized and dark brown. The head is arched with a rather compact muzzle. It has sturdy forelegs and double dewclaws that are similar to those of a Lundehund. The Icelandic Sheepdog is a Nordic herding spitz, slightly under medium sized with prick ears and a curled tail. Seen from the side the dog is rectangular; the length of the body from the point of shoulder to point of buttock is greater than the height at withers. The depth of the chest is equal to the length of the foreleg. The expression is gentle, intelligent and happy. A confident and lively bearing is typical for this dog. There are two types of coat, long and short, both thick and extremely weatherproof. There is a marked difference in appearance between the sexes.

Temperament

Icelandic Sheepdogs are tough and energetic. It is a hardy and agile herding dog that barks, making it extremely useful for herding or driving livestock in the pastures, in the mountains or finding lost sheep. The Icelandic Sheepdog is, by nature, very alert and will always give visitors an enthusiastic welcome without being aggressive. Hunting instincts are not strong. The Icelandic Sheepdog is cheerful, friendly, inquisitive, playful and unafraid. Most adore children and get along well with other dogs and pets. Owners need to be consistent with the rules, calm but firm. They do best with some type of job to do.

Height, Weight

Height: 12 – 16 inches (31 – 41 cm)  Weight: 20 – 30 pounds (9 – 14 kg)

Health Problems

Usually a fairly healthy dog.

Living Conditions

The Icelandic Sheepdog needs a lot of activity and exercise and needs close contact to the family. Many of these dogs have “home-alone anxiety” problems, because they don’t like to be home alone.

Exercise

This is a very active breed that needs to be exercised every day. This breed needs to be taken on a daily walk or jog. While out on the walk make sure the dog heels beside or behind the person holding the lead, never in front, as instinct tells a dog the leader leads the way, and that leader needs to be the human. In addition, this breed will enjoy sessions of play.

Life Expectancy

About 12 years

icelandic-sheepdog-dog-standard-2[1]

Grooming

The Icelandic Sheepdog has a double coat, thick and extremely weatherproof. There are two variants, Shorthaired: The outer coat is of medium length, fairly coarse, with a thick, soft undercoat. The hair is shorter on the face, top of head, ears and front of legs, longer on the neck, chest and back of thighs. The tail is bushy and the hair length is in proportion to the coat. Longhaired: The outer coat is longer than the above, fairly coarse, with a thick, soft undercoat. The hair is shorter on the face, top of head, ears and front of legs, longer behind the ears, on the neck, chest, behind the forelegs and back of thighs. The tail is very bushy and the hair length is in proportion to the coat. This breed does shed and normally blows its coat twice a year. It is important to trim the dewclaw nails regularly as because they have no contact with the ground, they can easily become too long.

Origin

The Icelandic Sheepdog is Iceland’s only native dog. It was brought to Iceland with the first Viking settlers (AD 874 – 930). The Icelandic Sheepdog and its method of working adapted to the local terrain, farming methods and the hard struggle for survival of the Icelandic people over the centuries, making it indispensable in the rounding up of livestock on the farms. The Icelandic Sheepdog’s popularity has increased over the last few decades and, despite the fact the breed is still very small in numbers, it is no longer considered to be in danger of extinction. It is most likely descended from dogs introduced by Scandinavian colonists. It is probably a relative of the  Norwegian Buhund. The Icelandic Sheepdog was recognized by the AKC in 2008.

 

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Icelandic Sheepdog

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