Thought to be companions to the ancient Vikings, the Icelandic Sheepdog dog breed was used to protect flocks, especially lambs, from birds of prey.
There are TOP 10 interesting facts about Icelandic Sheepdog.
The Icelandic Sheepdog is known as "The Dog of the Vikings," because the Vikings brought it with them from Norway to Iceland during their great expansion. In Iceland, the dogs served as herders for cattle, sheep, and horses.
The Icelandic Sheepdog is a slightly under medium-sized Spitz type dog, with a triangle-shaped head, prick ears, and a thick double coat. Seen from the side, the dog is rectangular. The length of body from point of shoulder to point of buttocks is greater than the height measured at the withers. The depth of chest is equal to the length of the foreleg. The tail is carried in a loose curl over the back.
Icelandic Sheepdogs can compete in dog agility trials, obedience, rally obedience, showmanship, flyball, tracking, and herding events. Herding instincts and trainability can be measured at noncompetitive herding tests. Icelandic Sheepdogs that exhibit basic herding instincts can be trained to compete in herding trials.
The Icelandic Sheepdog breed has a temperament and personality that is spunky and friendly. They are extremely social animals that will not thrive if they are separated from their people for prolonged periods of time.
True to their heritage, Icelandic Sheepdogs retain the habit of watching the sky and barking at birds. They also bark to alert their family to anything and everything they see or hear. The Icie loves to bark. Unless you live someplace where his vocalizations won’t disturb the neighbors, it’s a habit to discourage from earliest puppyhood. You can win that battle if you are consistent, but it may take a lot of work.
Even though it technically came from Norway, the Icelandic Sheepdog is considered Iceland's only native dog breed. It is so special to the country's history, that it's even been portrayed on postage stamps.
7) Around Kids
The typical Icie can be especially affectionate toward children. Nonetheless, it’s always important to supervise any interactions between dogs and children, no matter how friendly they are to each other. Teach children to behave respectfully toward the Icie (or any dog, for that matter): no tail- or ear-pulling, bopping the dog on the head or invading his food bowl or crate. With appropriate socialization and supervision, this dog should do well with children of any age.
8) Around Strangers
The Icie is usually welcoming to visitors and not aggressive toward strangers, although he will announce their presence by barking. He's unlikely to bare his teeth to intruders, so this isn’t the breed to get if you’re looking for a watchdog.
The Icelandic Sheepdog’s thick, straight or slightly wavy double coat comes in two lengths and several colors — shades of tan, ranging from cream to reddish brown; chocolate brown; gray and black — all with white markings and sometimes with a black mask.
10) Almost Extinct
Throughout its history, the Icelandic Sheepdog has been threatened with extinction by many factors, including famine, high taxes on dogs, import of other dog breeds, and the spread of disease. In the 1950s, Iceland enthusiast Mark Watson noticed that there were very few Icelandic Sheepdogs left, so he started a breeding program to save the breed. With 5,000 Icelandic sheepdogs registered today, it's still a rare breed, but its population is more stable.