Dog Breed

Icelandic Sheepdog

Primary image of Icelandic Sheepdog dog breed
Full Name
Icelandic Sheepdog
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Life Span
12 - 15 years
Weight
20 - 45 pounds
Description

Inquisitive, Energetic, Cheerful, Hardy, Agile, Alert

Origin
Iceland
Bred For
Herding. Protecting flocks, especially lambs, from birds of prey.
Attachments
    Family Considerations
    Child Friendly

    Is the Icelandic Sheepdog good with children?

    Yes, the Icelandic Sheepdog is very friendly with children. We still recommend introductions to children while they are young so they get used to them, but the Icelandic Sheepdog naturally loves children.
    Stranger Friendly

    Is the Icelandic Sheepdog friendly with strangers?

    Yes, the Icelandic Sheepdog is very friendly with strangers. We still recommend early socialization while the Icelandic Sheepdog is a puppy to introduce them to various new people, but in general they are friendly with everyone.
    Dog Friendly

    Is the Icelandic Sheepdog friendly with other dogs?

    Yes, the Icelandic Sheepdog is very friendly with other dogs. We still recommend early socialization while the Icelandic Sheepdog is a puppy to introduce them to various new dogs, but in general they are friendly with dogs as soon as they meet them.
    Likes to Cuddle

    Does the Icelandic Sheepdog like to cuddle?

    The Icelandic Sheepdog appreciates affection and that includes kisses and snuggles!
    Playfulness

    Does the Icelandic Sheepdog like to play?

    The Icelandic Sheepdog is always ready for play! It's important to keep in mind, as they need to be stimulated with games and affection throughout the day.
    Service Dog Ability

    Does the Icelandic Sheepdog make a good service dog?

    The Icelandic Sheepdog is not typically used as a service dog. There are always exceptions to the rule, but a service dog has to have many natural traits in addition to the proper training- smart, patient, and obsessed with pleasing their owner.
    Overall Ease of Breed
    Ease for Novice

    Is the Icelandic Sheepdog good for first-time owners?

    The Icelandic Sheepdog is not the easiest breed for first-time owners, but can certainly still work out if the owner is willing to put the time into training and exercise.
    Training Potential

    How well can the Icelandic Sheepdog be trained?

    The Icelandic Sheepdog is about average when it comes to training potential. The Icelandic Sheepdog can be seen in competitions and can have advanced training, but it would require much dedication and oftentimes professional training.
    Amount of Shedding

    Does the Icelandic Sheepdog shed a lot?

    The Icelandic Sheepdog sheds a lot! They may still shed less than a few other breeds, but be prepared for dog hair throughout the home and on your clothes.
    Ease of Grooming

    Is the Icelandic Sheepdog easy to groom?

    The Icelandic Sheepdog requires a good amount of grooming work. It is possible to do it yourself, but you need to plan on dedicating weekly grooming sessions at the minimum.
    Exercise Need

    Does the Icelandic Sheepdog need a lot of exercise?

    The Icelandic Sheepdog has a lot of energy and getting daily exercise is very important, both for their well-being and for their focus, which is important when you train them.
    Personality
    Intelligence

    How smart is the Icelandic Sheepdog?

    The Icelandic Sheepdog is very smart. Above-average intelligence means they can pick up on cues and signals quickly when it comes to training. But it also means that they need to be challenged mentally, in addition to their standard exercise needs.
    Amount of Barking

    How much does the Icelandic Sheepdog bark? Does the Icelandic Sheepdog bark too much?

    The Icelandic Sheepdog barks all the time. They are big talkers, and want to show it! In general, barking and being expressive can be beneficial, such as for guarding property or livestock. But it is important to consider whether heavy barking suites your lifestyle.
    Guard Dog Ability

    Is the Icelandic Sheepdog a good guard dog?

    The Icelandic Sheepdog is not a dog breed necessarily known as a guard dog, but they are alert. The Icelandic Sheepdog is protective of its family, and has above average tendencies when it comes to guarding property.
    Tolerates Being Alone

    Is the Icelandic Sheepdog good at staying alone? Is the Icelandic Sheepdog independent?

    The Icelandic Sheepdog is not very independent and does not do great when left behind for longer than a couple of hours. This is one of the most important things to consider when getting a new dog.
    Home and Environment Considerations
    Good for Apartment Living

    Is the Icelandic Sheepdog a good apartment dog?

    The Icelandic Sheepdog is not the best dog apartment living, but it can work if the owner is dedicated to exercising and training their Icelandic Sheepdog
    Size

    How big is the Icelandic Sheepdog?

    The Icelandic Sheepdog is a medium sized dog breed. They can range in size depending on genetics, and males are larger on average than females.
    Tolerates Heat

    How much does the Icelandic Sheepdog tolerate hot weather? When is it too hot for a Icelandic Sheepdog?

    The Icelandic Sheepdog does not tolerate hot weather very well, and we would not recommend having a Icelandic Sheepdog if you live in a very hot weather climate. At the minimum, they would need a home with air conditioning.
    Tolerates Cold

    How much does the Icelandic Sheepdog tolerate cold weather? When is it too cold for a Icelandic Sheepdog?

    The Icelandic Sheepdog does very well in cold weather, and loves the snow. They were built for it!
    Potential to Run Away

    Does the Icelandic Sheepdog try to run away?

    The Icelandic Sheepdog does not have a large drive to run away. They can still be distracted and run, so precautions should be taken, but overall they have a less than average urge to run away.
    Physical Characteristics
    General Health

    Is the Icelandic Sheepdog a healthy dog? The health of a Icelandic Sheepdog should be measured not just by how many years they live, but also by how many health issues they've had. It is important to know which health conditions your breed is prone to- hip problems, eye problems, bloating, and arthritis are all common dog health problems.

    The Icelandic Sheepdog is healthy, but has an average number of health risks that should be taken into consideration.
    Energy Level

    How energetic is the Icelandic Sheepdog?

    The Icelandic Sheepdog has a lot of energy and this needs to be considered before bringing the Icelandic Sheepdog into your home. Can you give your Icelandic Sheepdog enough exercise? They will need several small daily walks, or a large dog park trip to get all of the energy out.
    Amount of Drooling

    How much does the Icelandic Sheepdog drool?

    The Icelandic Sheepdog does not drool at all.
    Prey Drive

    Does the Icelandic Sheepdog have a large prey drive? Does the Icelandic Sheepdog like to chase birds, cats, and other small animals?

    The Icelandic Sheepdog has average prey drive. They will probably enjoy chasing after birds and other small animals at the park, and it may be an issue at the home if you have small animals, but with some training and introduction can usually learn to live with them.
    Athleticism

    Is the Icelandic Sheepdog atheltic?

    The Icelandic Sheepdog is athletic and has average levels of endurance. They need a lot of exercise, and can be an exercise partner as long as it's nothing too extreme.
  1. Herding
  2. Nordic Watchdog and Herder
  3. Icelandic Sheepdog
The Icelandic Sheepdog is a purebred dog that belongs to the Nordic Watchdog and Herder sub group, which falls under the larger Herding dog breed group.
Herding group: The Herding group dogs all share an instinctual ability to control the movement of other animals. They have traditionally been raised on farms to help herd and protect valuable livestock. They are intelligent, and have been bred to treat each day like they have a "job" they must do. Their innate herding ability is such a big part of who they are, that they are known to even "herd" their owners, children, or other small dogs. Some can seem stubborn and even obsessed with their herding, since they take it seriously! They have high expectations, and must be stimulated mentally just as much as physically. The reward to these "high expectations" is that they can be trained very well, and are oftentimes used in competitions. Certain breeds such as the well known German Shepard are also used by Police forces, because of their discipline, intelligence, and ability to be trained.
Nordic Watchdog and Herder sub-group: Nordic watchdogs can be the perfect dog for someone who wants a watchdog but still wants a dog who loves everyone. They are not a big dog, and very loving, but extremely alert, so their ability as a watchdog really comes in the form of keeping watch, rather than protection. Nordic watchdogs would be great in an active family. They are playful, and love to exercise. Nordic watchdogs are a special breed, but not very common, especially in the Americas.

Icelandic Sheepdogs for sale or adoption

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