Icelandic Sheepdog Resource

Icelandic Sheepdog

The only dog native to Iceland, the Icelandic Sheepdog (also known as the Iceland Dog or Icelandic Dog) was brought to the country in the 9th century by the Viking settlers. This herding dog has adapted to the cold climate and extreme terrain of Iceland, making him invaluable to the people who live there. Once on the verge of extinction, the Icelandic Dog now has a small, but respectable population, although it is still considered a rare breed. As with most spitz-type dogs, the Icelandic Dog has a curled tail and thick, double coat. Cheerful, friendly, inquisitive, playful and unafraid, the Icelandic Dog is a hardy and agile herding dog. The breed has proven useful in herding or driving livestock in pastures or mountains, or finding lost sheep. Tough and energetic, the Icelandic Dog can make an excellent pet if you provide him with lots of exercise. His herding instincts dictate that he will tend to guard his home and family, however, not aggressively. But, Icelandics prefer to spend their time with their families, not alone in the backyard. Most Icelandic Dogs get along well with children and other pets.

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Breed Details

Country of Origin:
Medium Dog Breed
Chocolate brown, gray, black, and various shades of tan, ranging from cream to reddish brown. White markings always accompany the predominant color, usually a blaze or partially white face, collar, chest, socks, and tail tips.

Short- or longhaired, weather-resistant double coat with a straight or slightly wavy outercoat and thick, soft, dense undercoat.


Brush weekly, more often during shedding.

Life Expectancy:
10 to 15 years
AKC Group:
Herding Group
UKC Group:
Males, 18 inches; females 16 1/2 inches
25 to 35 pounds
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