Fun Facts About Icelandic Sheepdog

A Nordic Spitz-breed, the Icelandic Sheepdog, traditionally would herd livestock in the mountains of Iceland, where it originates. Thus making them reputable for their faithfulness and sense of duty. Which is why they now serve as a faithful companion to their fellow humans.

Icelandics share common characteristics, from their pointy ears and bushy fur, small to medium sizes, and their cheerful demeanor.

They are friendly, all-around good dogs, and can bring joy and life to any household. While looking for your Icelandic Sheepdog, check out these tips to help prepare a perfect forever home for them.

They have a rich history

Icelandics are not only native to Iceland but are the only dogs even to originate there. The arrival of the dogs is uncertain, but many associate the Vikings with helping in their migration there.

For centuries, they would protect and herd flocks of sheep and other livestock in Iceland’s rugged terrain. As well as effortlessly carrying themselves over the rough terrain, they also could adapt to the frigid, harsh climate.

Over the years, farmers herding needs for them have been on a slow decline, and unfortunately, they began to near extinction. But, today, with breeders many efforts, the rare Icelandic Sheepdog lives on.

They are hard-working and agile

Because of their history of herding, Icelandic Sheepdogs not only like to play hard but work hard. The often harsh conditions the dogs originally adapt to makes them agile and strong, as well.

Also, these dogs do their work independently and without command. So, a farm or an area where there’s lots of work to be done might suit them best.

They share a loving, caring, and loyal quality’s

Icelandics may like to work independently, but they have always been known to devote themselves to their humans.

They not only devote themselves to being the most loyal companion, but they show much love. They seemingly have a feel for what it means to be family, which can be seen through their affectionate qualities. They are even good with children, so they fit perfectly within the family dynamic.

They enjoy several activities

These dogs know when to work, but they also know when to play. Along with their instinct to herd, their intelligence makes them good at many specialties. Some of which include tracking, barn hunting, and being a keen watchdog.

Exercise is an essential part of these highly-energetic dog’s lives. Along with taking part in the various other activities, these dogs crave a simple walk or run.

They only require minimal grooming

Despite Icelandic Sheepdog’s two coats, the outer and inner, they are surprisingly easy to groom.

Typically, you only need to brush the coat about once or twice a week. However, prepare for some shedding!

Besides the fact these heavy sheepdog coats shed all year-round, they also go through an extreme shedding season. The dogs will lose their coats twice a year during this season of intense shedding.

However, brush their fur regularly, and they will stay clean and healthy. Plus, you will be better able to keep their shedding under-control through consistent brushing. Because their coats are easy to keep clean, regular bathing is not a strict requirement for Icelandics.

And, as always, trim their nails about once every month for optimal grooming.

They are easy to train

Since these dogs are very intelligent and obedient, owners can easily train them in several ways. They respond well to learning new tricks and skills.

They also respond well to the challenge of learning something new. However, you must give them the right amount of positive reinforcement when teaching them.

Apart from easily grasping new tricks for fun and obedience, they also train well in search and rescue. These unique sheepdogs are exceptionally good in avalanche searches.

They share specific coat color patterns

Icelandic Sheepdog’s coats come in a variety of beautiful colors, and they usually tend to be dual split.

Predominately, all come with patches of white somewhere on their coats, but they also vary between gray, black, and brown. These colors vary among different shades, such as cream, chocolate, reddish-brown, gold, etc. Some of them even come with a black mask. These dog’s color patterns are gorgeous!

They are relatively healthy dogs

While Icelandic Sheepdogs share many noteworthy qualities, their tendency to have good health is possibly one of the best.

Their life expectancy is typically between 11 to 14 years. Unfortunately, they are prone to some health problems, such as elbow and hip dysplasia and cataracts. But, like with any animal, regular vet visits will ensure optimum health for your beloved sheepdog.

Buying from a reputable breeder is also an important first step in ensuring your dog is in good health. For the most part, however, good care and affection will keep these dogs happy and healthy for years to come.

They are rapidly increasing in popularity

While they are still fairly rare, Icelandic Sheepdogs give birth to around 100 puppies once a year. These dogs are increasing in popularity for many obvious reasons, from their beauty, their intelligent, loving nature, and much more.

Because of this, the dogs are spreading out of Iceland and finding homes in Europe and across North America.

Apart from all of the previous facts behind what makes these dogs so incredible, here are a few more:

  • The breed is called Islenskur Fjarhunder in Icelandic.
  • The dogs are members of Iceland’s Search and Rescue squad.
  • Some refer to them as “the Vikings’ Dog.”
  • People also often refer to them as a “smiley dog.”
  • They weigh about 11 to 14 kilograms (25 to 30lbs).
  • Their main duties revolve around being a working dog and a watchdog.
  • They use their bark to keep other animals in a flock, or when they just feel like being in charge.
  • They are not keen on swimming, possibly due to their thick coat.
  • They are super sweet and cuddly.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.