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Icelandic Dogs for Sale and Eurasiers for Sale

 

The Icelandic Dog
History, Characteristics and Description

History of the Icelandic Dog

 

icelandic sheep dogsThe Icelandic Sheepdog is one of the oldest breeds in the world.   It is descended from the ancient Nordic Spitzdogs and was taken to Iceland by the Vikings, together with their sheep and horses, more than 1,100 years ago, and is Iceland's only native dog.  The dogs were of vital use to the Icelandic people, thus demanding the utmost in character,  frugality and health in their breeding.
 

In the early 1900's a viral epidemic was responsible for nearly wiping out the Icelandic sheepdog.   It was thought that the disease was probably distemper.  Over time it became apparent that the Icelandic Sheepdog was in danger of becoming extinct.   In 1969 a group of Icelanders concerned about this possibility, formed the Icelandic Kennel Club expressly to ensure the continuation of the breed.

 

While visiting Iceland in March, I went to the  Hundaraektarfelag Islands, which is the official registering body, where I was told that the number of Icelandic sheepdogs in Iceland has declined to 350.   The breed is represented in a number of European countries but still quite rare in North America.

icelandic sheep dogsThis is a very special breed.   The Icelandic Sheepdog can be used as a working dog but at the same time is an excellent family dog and pet.   We feel privileged to own these dogs and will do our best to breed to preserve their unique characteristics and wide range of colours.   Their affectionate nature and intelligence are clearly evident.
 

 

 

 

 

Characteristics

of the Icelandic Dog 
 

 

icelandic sheepdogsThe Icelandic Sheepdog is an extremely affectionate dog.   It requires close contact with humans to mature fully and is an ideal family dog.   It is particularly good with children, but also interacts well with other animals.

In Iceland when used as a working dog (usually with sheep but sometimes with horses), it learns quickly and remembers well.   It "drives" rather than "herds", barking at running animals.  It is an intelligent dog, therefore easily trainable.   It does well in agility and obedience.

It has a good mothering instinct, with average litters 3 - 5.   We have 3 breeding females and all have been great mothers.

 

Agility is one of the foremost characteristics of the Icelandic sheepdog.

icelandic sheepdogs

 

 

Description of the Icelandic Dog

 

The Icelandic Sheepdog is extremely healthy and strong.   There are two types, medium and longhaired.   Their coat is double, thick and therefore water repellant, which helped it survive Iceland's harsh nature.   It keeps its vitality up to a high age.   15 years is not an uncommon lifespan.

Average height is 15" - 20", measured at the shoulder.    Adult height is reach by 8 months.    Weight averages  25 - 30 lbs.   Females are traditionally smaller than males.   Its ears should be erect;  its tail bushy and carried over its back.   It is mature at approximately 18 months and requires close contact with humans to mature fully.

This breed has a very wide range of colours, with most dogs being tri-colour.    Usually a single colour predominates, which covers the spectrum from cream through to black, usually with a white chest, white legs, white blaze and white tip on tail.   The most common colour is a reddish to golden brown with white markings, these markings often edged with black.

Dew claws usually occur on both front and hind legs.   According to the standard, they are mandatory on the hind legs and it is preferable for them to be double.    Traditionally the dew claws on the hind legs were used by the dogs during the annual sheep roundup in the fall where the dew claws gave dogs an extra boost when climbing in high terrain to reach sheep.

The Icelandic sheepdog interacts very well with children of all ages, thus making it an ideal family pet, as shown by pictures taken with our grandchildren.

 

icelandic sheep dogicelandic sheep dog

 

 

Pineridge Icelandics
1049 Hepburn Rd
Chase, B.C., Canada
V0E 1M1
(250) 679-3540
pineice@pineridgeicelandics.com