Icelandic Sheepdog

Strong and courageous, the Icelandic Sheepdog has obviously endured centuries of working, guarding and keeping people company in a cold climate. These dogs are curious, intelligent and strong—an ideal helper on farms, ranches and large plots of land. Icelandic Sheepdogs have a warmhearted way with small animals, and a fearsome way with predators. They can also keep the rats away.

Icelandic Sheepdog

Icelandic Sheepdog Pictures

  • Icelandic Sheepdog dog named Ray
  • Icelandic Sheepdog dog named Reykja
  • Icelandic Sheepdog dog named Felice
  • Icelandic Sheepdog dog named Hvera Týra
  • Icelandic Sheepdog dog named Cara
  • Icelandic Sheepdog dog named Sand Creek Disa Be Sassi
see Icelandic Sheepdog pictures »

Quick Facts

  • 20 - 30 pounds
  • 12 - 16 inches

Ideal Human Companions

    • Active singles
    • Families
    • Outdoorsy types
    • Cold-climate dwellers

Icelandic Sheepdogs on Dogster

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Trademark Traits

    • Agile
    • Strong
    • Alert
    • Curious
    • Bold

What They Are Like to Live With

Cheerful and happy around the home, Icelandic Sheepdogs form deep bonds with family members. They love being helpful, but most of all they love togetherness and family time. Icelandic Sheepdogs get along very well with children.

Things You Should Know

The Icelandic Sheepdog can live as long as 13 years with relatively few genetic health issues; however, some may develop hip dysplasia, cataracts or a kneecap problem known as patellar luxation.

Grooming either coat length is fairly easy. Brush it regularly, but pay special attention during spring and fall shedding seasons. Make sure it gets a regular walk outside, if not a run, and try not to leave it alone for too long: The Icelandic Sheepdog is a people-oriented dog.

Icelandic Sheepdog History

Originating with the 9th century Viking settlers, the Icelandic Sheepdog is Iceland’s only native dog, but it is believed to descend from a breed found in Denmark and Sweden as far back as 8,000 B.C. Over the centuries, the harsh living conditions in Iceland formed a canine that is tough, durable and helpful to mankind.

The Look of a Icelandic Sheepdog

Icelandic Sheepdogs have sturdy, medium-sized Spitz-like frames covered in thick coats that can be either short- or long-haired. Their arched heads have strong, compact muzzles, dark eyes, black noses and prick ears. Its strong neck and rectangular body lead down to a curled tail. The Icelandic Shepherd can be found in black, gray, chocolate and various shades of tan.

Talk About Icelandic Sheepdogs 

They long to be close to you

The first thing you see is my Latka's smiling face and those cute ears. To live with an Icelandic sheepdog is LOVE. Because they are family-oriented they will follow you everywhere. They want to be close to you. You can go for long walks, go shepherding, and have holidays together. You need to be a good leader otherwise they can be pretty independent and stubborn.

If you want to own this breed, keep in mind that being left on its own is a real punishment for the Icelandic Sheepdog -- they might upset the neigbours by howling! You must learn to control the barking from an early age.Other than that they are able to learn the normal commands like any other dog.

~Lotte , owner of an Icelandic Sheepdog