Icelandic Sheep dog


Icelandic Sheepdog: A Loyal Companion with a Rich History

The Icelandic Sheepdog, also known as the Islandsk Farehond, is a hardy breed with a rich history. These sturdy dogs were bred to herd sheep on Iceland’s rugged terrain, and their intelligence and loyalty make them popular pets around the world. In this article, we’ll dive deeper into the history of the Icelandic Sheepdog, their breed characteristics, and what makes them such great companions.

Icelandic Sheepdog History

The Icelandic Sheepdog is an ancient breed that has been living and working with Icelanders for over a thousand years. They are believed to have been brought over by the Viking settlers who arrived in Iceland around 874 AD. These dogs were highly valued for their ability to herd sheep, provide security, and act as loyal companions.

During the Viking Age, the Icelandic Sheepdog was considered a valuable trade item, and many were exported to Europe as a source of income. However, around the 19th century, the breed faced a severe decline in numbers due to outbreaks of canine distemper and rabies. The breed came close to extinction, but thanks to the efforts of a few dedicated breeders, the Icelandic Sheepdog was saved from obscurity and is now recognized as Iceland’s national dog.

Icelandic Sheepdog Breed Characteristics

The Icelandic Sheepdog is a medium-sized dog that typically weighs between 20-30 pounds and stands around 12-15 inches tall. They are known for their thick, waterproof double coat, which comes in a variety of colors, including shades of tan, reddish-brown, black, and white. These dogs have erect ears, a curled tail, and a compact, muscular build.

Icelandic Sheepdogs are intelligent, adaptable, and affectionate dogs that thrive on human company. They are excellent with children, other pets, and strangers, making them great family pets. These dogs are also quick learners and eager to please, making them easy to train for obedience and agility.

Icelandic Sheepdog Intelligence

The Icelandic Sheepdog is a highly intelligent breed that is known for their problem-solving abilities and quick thinking. They were bred to work independently and make decisions on their own, which is why they can be independent and self-reliant at times. However, they are very loyal and affectionate with their owners and enjoy being around people.

Icelandic Sheepdog Average Size

As previously mentioned, Icelandic Sheepdogs are medium-sized dogs that typically weigh between 20-30 pounds and stand around 12-15 inches tall. Their size makes them a good fit for apartment living or smaller homes, but they still need regular exercise to stay healthy and happy.

Icelandic Sheepdog Child Friendly

The Icelandic Sheepdog is an excellent family pet and is known for being extremely child-friendly. They are gentle and patient with children and enjoy playing with them. Owners should always supervise their children around dogs, but the Icelandic Sheepdog’s friendly and loyal nature makes them a great choice for families.

Icelandic Sheepdog Health Needs

Like all breeds, the Icelandic Sheepdog is prone to certain health conditions, including hip dysplasia, eye problems, and obesity. Owners should work closely with their veterinarian to ensure that their dog stays healthy and is up to date on all vet visits and vaccinations. Regular exercise and a healthy diet are also crucial to keeping Icelandic Sheepdogs healthy and happy.

Icelandic Sheepdog Grooming Needs

The Icelandic Sheepdog’s double coat requires regular grooming to stay healthy and shiny. Owners should brush their dog’s coat at least once a week to prevent matting and tangling. During shedding seasons, which occur twice a year, owners may need to brush their dog more frequently to remove dead hair.

Icelandic Sheepdog Amount Of Shedding

Icelandic Sheepdogs are known to shed moderately, and owners should be prepared to brush and vacuum regularly to keep shedding under control. However, because these dogs have a waterproof double coat, they shed less than other breeds with single-layer coats.

Icelandic Sheepdog Trainability

Icelandic Sheepdogs are highly trainable dogs that are eager to please their owners. They respond well to positive reinforcement and praise, and owners should avoid using harsh training methods as they can damage the bond between dog and owner.

Icelandic Sheepdog Exercise Needs

Icelandic Sheepdogs are active dogs that need regular exercise to stay healthy and happy. They enjoy long walks, hikes, and games of fetch, and owners should provide them with plenty of mental and physical stimulation to prevent boredom. A lack of exercise can lead to destructive behavior, so it’s essential to keep your Icelandic Sheepdog active and engaged.

Icelandic Sheepdog Average Lifespan

The average lifespan for an Icelandic Sheepdog is between 12-16 years, which is longer than many other breeds. With proper care, exercise, and veterinary visits, these loyal and loving dogs can enjoy long, healthy lives with their families.


In conclusion, the Icelandic Sheepdog is a fascinating breed with a rich history and fantastic temperament. They make loyal and loving companions and are great family pets. Owners should be prepared to provide regular exercise, grooming, and veterinary care to keep their Icelandic Sheepdog healthy and happy. With proper care and attention, these dogs can be excellent pets for years to come.