- Origin: Iceland
- Group: Shepherd dogs
- Weight: 9-14 kg
- Height: Male: 46 cm Females: 42 cm
- Colors: white-gold, white-gray, black and white, white-chocolate
- Training: easy to train
- Care: It needs a lot of movement
- Temperament: alert, energetic, agile
- Health: robust and durable
- Puppies: 4 to 8
- Average age: 12-14 years
Icelandic shepherd is the only Icelandic breed. He is a small shepherd of sheep, used as a guard dog, shepherd or utility. This dog has a rough tail that he wears on the back, short legs and the appearance of a fox.
His buttock is generally darker than the rest of the body. The Icelandic is a strong and agile dog that will make a lot of noise when he wants something. It is also active and full of life, but affectionate and loyal.
Icelandic shepherd is the only Icelandic dog. He was brought to Iceland with the first Vikings (874-930 BC), taking the name of the “Viking Dog”. The Icelandic Shepherd has adapted to local conditions, farm organization, and the struggle for the survival of the Icelandic people over the centuries, making it indispensable for cattle care.
The popularity of the Icelandic Shepherd has increased over the last decades and, despite the still very small number of specimens, it is no longer considered to be in danger of extinction.
According to research on the origin of this breed, it seems that this shepherd would descend from dogs brought to Iceland by the Scandinavian colonists, and is probably a relative of the Norwegian Buhund.
Icelandic Shepherd Dog’s Food
His Food needs to be rich in vitamins, minerals and proteins. If you are offering cooked food in the house or if you buy it from the store, be careful to be a nutritionally quality one.
It is recommended to divide his daily diet into 2-3 meals for a good digestion, and after each meal leave your dog to take a 15-30 minute break. Corn is not recommended but not excluded.
You can give them in smaller quantities or mixed with other foods. Under no circumstances give him chocolate or other sweets. They do not do well to the dog, some dogs are allergic and cause allergies to the skin or stomach (these can be observed in low activity).
If you want to spoil it with something “sweet” or good, you can buy from a store biscuits for dogs or bones.
Icelandic Shepherd Dog’s Aspect
The Icelandic Shepherd has a large nose and lips pigmented in black. The head is bulging and has a compact snout. It has robust anterior limbs and double spikes similar to the Lundehund breed. The Icelandic Shepherd Dog is a Nordic Spitz dog, a little below average waist, with eared ears and a twisted tail.
Seen from the side, the dog fits into a rectangle; the length of the body from the shoulders to the base of the tail is greater than the height at the level of the withers.
The depth of the chest is equal to the length of the anterior limb. Its head is compact and covered by well-stretched skin. The cranial region is slightly longer than facial, giving the head a triangular profile overall.
His nose is black or dark brown. The Icelandic Shepherd’s eyes are medium-sized, almond-brown, brownis. Medium and triangular ears are worn high and are very mobile.
The neck, of medium length, is muscular and arched. The back is strong. His thorax is long and deep. The tail is caught up, twisted, touching the back. Early members of the Icelandic Shepherd are straight, parallel and strong and are provided with oval paws, compact fingers, arched, well-developed cushions. The hindquarters are provided with 1-2 spikes each.
The look of this dog expresses tenderness, intelligence and liveliness. There are two hair varieties of this dog, short and long, both incredibly weatherproof. The coat color may be brownish-red, chocolate, gray, black, but the predominant color must be white. In addition, there is a marked difference in the appearance of the two sexes.
The adult Icelandic shepherd can reach a height of about 31-41 cm and a body weight of about 9-14 kg.
Icelandic Shepherd Dog’s Behavior
Icelandic shepherd is a strong and energetic dog. Being a shepherd dog and very tedious and agile herd, he is extremely useful in supervising or keeping cattle on mountain pastures, as well as finding lost sheep. Native, the Icelandic Shepherd is very vigilant and will always make the guests an enthusiastic reception without being aggressive. His hunter instincts are not strongly developed. The Icelandic Shepherd is welcoming, friendly, curious, playful and courageous.
The Icelandic Shepherd needs a lot of activity and movement and also needs to keep close contact with his family. Many of these dogs have anxieties about staying alone at home because of the fact that they are not dogs that stay alone for extended periods of time.
Most Icelandic Shepherds love the children and get along well with other dogs or other home pets.
Although they are small dogs, Icelandic Shepherds are the happiest on a property in the countryside where they can freely crawl. If you still want to grow in a apartment such a dog is good to know that it is absolutely necessary not to neglect the hours of movement. They are cheerful, lively, active and very attentive to everything that happens around them.
As long as they are around their owners, the Icelandic Shepherds will lie quietly for good hours, under the office, in a corner outside the door, guarding and waiting. When they get out, they are a real delight, being willing to do all kinds of tricks to attract the attention of their masters.
Icelandic Shepherd Dog’s Training
Icelandic shepherds are affectionate, intelligent and always willing to please their owners, which makes them very easy to train.
As with other Spitz, the hardness does not have to take place in their training program.
What is more difficult is to teach them to do their physiological needs outside the home, but with patience and perseverance they also learn this quickly. Also, as with other dog breeds, Icelandic Shepherd must have adequate socialization from childhood.
Icelandic Shepherd Dog’s Features
Icelandic Shepherd is a very active breed that must benefit from movement every day. It can be taken out on long daily walks or the walk can be replaced with an hour of jogging. Besides, you can be convinced that it will be more than happy if you give it some playful play.
The Icelandic Shepherd has a thick, compact coat that gives the dog the ability to withstand any weather conditions. There are two varieties of hair. Icelandic Short-haired Shepherds have medium-length outer protection hair, rather harsh and a soft and soft protective puff.
His hair is shorter at the face, top of the head, on the ears and on the front of the limbs and longer on the neck, chest and back of the thighs.
Its tail is thick and the hair covering it is about the same length as the rest of the body. Long-haired Icelandic sheep have longer outer hair than the previous one, rather harsh and a soft puff.
Hair is shorter in the face, head, ears and front of the limbs and longer behind the ears, neck, chest, back of the forelegs and thighs. Its tail is very dense and the hair covering it has the length directly proportional to that of the hair that covers the rest of the body.
This dog fades and generally changes hair twice a year. Icelandic shepherd is said to have the ability to maintain body cleanness. In order to ensure that the fur remains in good condition, simply brushing and combing 2-3 times a week is enough.
One important thing to keep in mind is to shorten the nails of the spikes periodically because they do not come in contact with the soil and can quickly become very long.
Icelandic Shepherd Dog’s Disease
Icelandic shepherd dogs are robust and resistant dogs, skilled in Iceland, so they do not have too many “defects”. Their primary affection seems to be hip dysplasia.
The average life expectancy of the Icelandic Shepherd is 11-12 years.