(Iceland Sheepdog) (Islandsk Farehond)(Friaar Dog) (Islenkur Fjárhundur) (Icelandic Dog) The Icelandic Sheepdog is a herding dog, with a confident bearing. The body is medium-sized and rectangular – the length of the body from the shoulders to the base of the tail is greater than the height at the withers. The thick, weatherproof coat is a double coat, and can be either long or short. Colors are tan, reddish‑brown, chocolate, grey, or black. For showdogs, patches of white are required. The ears are prick, and frame a triangular-shaped head. The dark brown eyes are medium sized, almond shaped, rimmed in black, and look over a compact muzzle and large nose. The lips are black, the bite scissors. The chest is powerful, and should extend down to the length of the foreleg. The forelegs are sturdy, with double dewclaws. The body is stocky. The tail is curly and held over the buttocks.
The Icelandic Sheepdog is a cheerful and friendly dog, who gets along well with children, other dogs and non-canine pets. They are herding dogs, and therefore used to taking care of their "flock," but they do not have strong hunting instincts. They are an alert breed and make excellent watchdogs - but not necessarily good guard dogs. They also do not like to be home alone - they can suffer from separation anxiety.
The Icelandic Sheepdog has no known hereditary diseases. Properly cared for, the breed can live about 12 years.
It is thought that the Icelandic Sheepdog was first brought to Iceland by Viking settlers from AD 874 ‑ 930. The Icelanders used the breed to herd their livestock. The breed was almost wiped in the late 1880s, as dogs imported from abroad brought in canine distemper. The Icelandic Dog Breeder Association was formed in 1969. This breed still exists in small numbers, but is gaining in popularity.
The Icelandic Sheepdog should be brushed on a weekly basis. The breed sheds twice a year. Trim the dewclaw nails regularly.
The Icelandic Sheepdog will not do well in an apartment - it needs a lot of activity and exercise. More than that, it needs to be considered as part of the family, and can suffer from "separation anxiety" if left alone in the home for any length of time.
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