Icelandic Sheepdog
Islandia FCI 289 - Nordic Watchdogs and Herders.

Icelandic Sheepdog

The muzzle expression of the Icelandic Sheepdog recalls a smile that highlights your cheerful temperament.



Where does the Icelandic Shepherd Dog come from?

For many centuries the Icelandic Sheepdog was the “Swiss knife” of the lonely farms and workshops of the great North Atlantic island. In the extremely harsh weather they had to herd sheep, keep small vermin, help in hunting, as well as taking care of the house and the farm and especially the children. On the one hand they are considered as shepherd dogs and on the other hand as Nordic Spitz. In any case, they're extremely smart, Agile, flexible and robust man's aides.

Its existence was in grave danger only recently. Due to the diseases introduced and the mixing with pedigree dogs imported legally and illegally to the island, seemed already extinct. Then the Icelanders recognized the danger surrounding their only native dog and took specific measures against him.

Today, this unique breed of dog seems to be above the hill in its population. The Icelandic Sheepdog enjoys increasing popularity outside Iceland. Genetically speaking, has been able to maintain his Nordic identity. This is confirmed by at least a thorough genetic analysis from 2017 of more than 100 breeds of dogs by a team of geneticists led by Heidi Parker.

The Icelandic dog has become very popular outside of his original home as a friendly, exciting and fascinating companion and family dog. It still retains much of its original acting ability, expressed in his desire to move, to work with friends and to be very alert. In 1972 was officially recognized by the FCI (Fédération Cynologique Internationale).

Physical characteristics

The Icelandic Sheepdog of “Islenskur Fjárhundur” it is a very old breed of dog and the only one in Iceland. The Icelandic dog is a medium-sized dog, which is coughy and only at first glance resembles a medium-sized dog. It has a dense fur, weather insensitive and robust. The top layer is medium or long, with a dense, soft sub-hair. There are Icelandic dogs with short and long hair. Different colors are allowed, from tanning to cream, chocolate brown, grey or black. Dogs should always have white markings.

The standard describes its overall appearance in this way:

The Icelandic Sheepdog is a Nordic grazing Spitz; it's a little less than medium-sized and has pointed ears and a screwed tail. Seen on side, has a rectangular format, namely, the length of your body from the tip of your nose to the tip of your buttock exceeds your height to the cross. The depth of the chest box is equal to the length of the front legs.

How big is an Icelandic Sheepdog?

Males must have a height at the cross of some 46 centimeters, the females 42 centimeters. The standard does not give any information about weight.

Longevity of an Icelandic Sheepdog

A Icelandic dog seriously raised must have a life expectancy of 12 years or more.

Character and skills

The Icelandic Sheepdog remains an agile grazing dog and a watchdog at the center of his being. However, outside Iceland, usually only raised as a companion dog. This is not a disadvantage. Rather he finds very well in his current role as family dog and companion. But it's still very agile and needs your workload. He feels comfortable watching and protecting and also likes to bark. At the same time it is a very friendly family dog that turns to people. He is considered very fond of children.

The official rule correctly describes its character as follows:

The Icelandic Sheepdog it's a sturdy grazing dog, agile and noisy and, therefore, extremely useful for grazing and driving cattle in pastures and mountains, as well as for tracking lost sheep. He is alert by nature and welcomes every visitor enthusiastically without being aggressive. His hunting instinct is underdeveloped. The Icelandic Sheepdog is happy, friendly, curious, playful and not afraid.

The Icelandic Sheepdog is definitely suitable for the ambitious beginner.

Care, health and diseases

How much care does an Icelandic Sheepdog need?

An Icelandic dog needs to be roasted during fur change. The top and bottom layer should be brushed intensely.

Is there a typical breed disease in Icelandic dogs?

The Icelandic Sheepdog it's essentially a healthy and robust breed of dog.

What food is best for an Icelandic dog?

The Icelandic Sheepdog is a trouble-free and unre demanding food. Of course, High quality food is good for your health and test. Like most dogs, sometimes he likes a bone of fleshy beef and fresh meat.

Considerations before purchase

Where can you buy an Icelandic dog?

If you are interested in a Icelandic Sheepdog, you should look for a local Icelandic dog breeder who is affiliated with an official Nordic dog club. You should fix this in time., because puppies are rare.

Icelandic Sheepdog Education and Maintenance

Do I want an Icelandic dog?

The Icelandic Shepherd Dog is a friendly and breus dog. He wants to integrate into the family and can fit in without problems. Ideally a house with a garden in the countryside. But that's not an obligation.. You can also keep it in an apartment in the city, whenever you deal with him every day.

The Icelandic Sheepdog is a loving member of the family and a great companion for children. Welcome visitors amicably and stormily. Their cordiality is contagious. If you get too bored, you can spend your energy on furniture or become a thief.

Since the Icelandic Sheepdog has little hunting instinct these days, the excursions with him to nature are quite relaxed. With an Icelandic dog you can go on a trip without problems. In the car – just by the hair – an aluminum transport box is recommended.

A Icelandic Sheepdog needs to be looked after by fur. It is very important that humans and dogs have a common interest in a lot of movement and in exploring nature. Icelandic dog is not a sofa stuffed animal.

He can be trained very well. He is open and honest and likes to work alongside his master or carer. Art lies in finding the right level of consistency and guidance for this very lively and at the same time sensitive and intelligent dog. The decisive basis is always a close emotional bond and mutual trust. Because of their good behavior, you can easily do, a certain amount of work is a basic requirement. A frustrated Icelandic dog won't thank you as an obedient companion. But this is only in the possession of your caregiver. From puppy, you have to keep an eye on your eagerness to report, which is related to the bark of joy. Here you must put the strict reins, if you don't live on a lonely, lonely property. Once again, the Icelandic Sheepdog is more effective than any alarm system.

Characteristics "Icelandic Sheepdog"

Coexistence is important that you have with your new friend. Before considering the acquisition of a dog of the breed "Icelandic Sheepdog" you know certain factors. Not all breeds of dogs are apt to live in an apartment, You must take into account their character, their need for exercise, their interaction with other pets, your care and if you have young children, their level of tolerance towards them.

Training ?

Rated 4 out of 5
4 out of 5 stars (based on 1 review)

Suitability of the apartment ?

Rated 2 out of 5
2 out of 5 stars (based on 1 review)

Can be alone all day ?

Rated 1 out of 5
1 out of 5 stars (based on 1 review)

Suitable as a first dog ?

Rated 3 out of 5
3 out of 5 stars (based on 1 review)

Weight gain ?

Rated 3 out of 5
3 out of 5 stars (based on 1 review)

Health ?

Rated 4 out of 5
4 out of 5 stars (based on 1 review)

Intelligence ?

Rated 4 out of 5
4 out of 5 stars (based on 1 review)

Kindness with child ?

Rated 4 out of 5
4 out of 5 stars (based on 1 review)

Tendency to bite ?

Rated 2 out of 5
2 out of 5 stars (based on 1 review)

Tendency to bark ?

Rated 4 out of 5
4 out of 5 stars (based on 1 review)

Tendency to flee ?

Rated 2 out of 5
2 out of 5 stars (based on 1 review)

Hair loss force ?

Rated 4 out of 5
4 out of 5 stars (based on 1 review)

Suitable as a guard dog ?

Rated 4 out of 5
4 out of 5 stars (based on 1 review)

Playfulness ?

Rated 3 out of 5
3 out of 5 stars (based on 1 review)

Cat friendliness ?

Rated 4 out of 5
4 out of 5 stars (based on 1 review)

Power level ?

Rated 4 out of 5
4 out of 5 stars (based on 1 review)

Images "Icelandic Sheepdog"


1 – Icelandic Sheepdog, remembering a Corgis by Thomas Quine / CC BY-SA
2 – Icelandic Sheepdog by
3 – Icelandic Sheepdog by Canarian / CC BY-SA
4 – Icelandic Sheepdog by
5 – Icelandic Sheepdog by Alan Levine / CC BY
6 – Icelandic Sheepdog by Swedish Fair from Sweden / CC BY

Videos "Icelandic Sheepdog"

Type and recognitions:

  • Group 5: Spitz and primitive types
  • Section 3: Nordic Watchdogs and Herders.. Without working trial..


  • FCI – Group 5 – Section 3 Nordic Watchdogs and Herders..
  • AKC – Nordic Watchdogs and Herders.
  • CKC – Nordic Watchdogs and Herders.
  • UKC – Nordic Watchdogs and Herders.

FCI breed standard "Icelandic Sheepdog"

FCIFCI - Icelandic Sheepdog

Alternative names:

    1. Icelandic Spitz, Iceland Dog, Íslenskur fjárhundur, Islandsk, Fårehund, Friaar Dog, Canis Islandicus (English).
    2. Berger islandais, Berger d’IslandeFrench).
    3. Isländischer Spitz, Isländischer Schäferhund (German).
    4. Islenskur fjárhundur (Portuguese).
    5. Íslenskur Fjárhundur (Spanish).
If you liked, rate this entry.
0/5 (0 Reviews)

Sharing is caring!!

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.