Icelandic Sheepdog

The Icelandic Shepherd Dog is a breed of dog native to Iceland that has been used for centuries as a herding and companion dog. It is noted for its thick double coat that helps it overcome harsh weather conditions. On a personal level, it is a friendly, intelligent and loyal dog.

General details

The weight of the Icelandic Shepherd Dog breed ranges from 9 to 14 kg, while its height ranges from 35 to 45 cm. Their average life expectancy is 12 to 15 years. According to the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI), this breed belongs to group 5, which includes Spitz-type dogs and primitive-type dogs.

Breed history in brief

It is a breed of dog native to Iceland. It is believed that its origin dates back to Viking times, more than 1,000 years ago, and that it has evolved over time adapting to the harsh climatic conditions of the country. These dogs were used as herding and farm dogs, as well as for hunting birds and small animals. The breed was in danger of extinction in the 20th century due to the introduction of other dog breeds in Iceland, but thanks to the efforts of local breeders and fanciers, its recovery was achieved. Although the Icelandic Shepherd remains a little known breed outside Iceland, it has gained popularity in recent years due to its charming personality and attractive appearance.

Breed characteristics

It is a medium-sized dog breed, with a compact and robust appearance. Its head is triangular and its ears are erect and pointed. The eyes are almond-shaped and dark brown. Its coat is double, with a soft, dense undercoat and an outer coat of straight, harsh, weather-resistant hair. Their coat color can vary from red to golden, with or without white patches on the chest, feet and tail. The Icelandic Shepherd is known for its cheerful and friendly temperament. It is a breed that is naturally alert, curious and playful, always ready for adventure and exploration. Because of their affable nature and confidence, they make excellent companions and get along well with people and other animals.

Common health problems

The Icelandic Shepherd dog breed may be predisposed to certain hereditary diseases, such as hip and elbow dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy, epilepsy, von Willebrand's disease and autoimmune diseases such as hypothyroidism. In addition to the aforementioned conditions, the OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals) Canine Health Information Center (CHIC) recommends a cardiac and ocular screening examination, as well as a series of tests to assess the following diseases: autoimmune thyroiditis, patellar luxation and multidrug sensitivity.

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