Icelandic Sheepdog Dog Breed Information - All About Dogs

Icelandic Sheepdog

Icelandic Sheepdog



Bred in Scandinavia, the Icelandic Sheepdog is a dog belonging to the Spitz family. During the 19th century, nearly 75% of this species have been destroyed by various infectious diseases, such as distemper. The Icelandic Sheepdog is the only breed that originated from Iceland, and it is one of the oldest in the world. The Icelandic Sheepdog was officially recognized by the American Kennel Club in 2010.

Height: 16-18 inches  Weight: 20-30 pounds  Lifespan: 12-14 years


The Icelandic Sheepdog is a strong, sturdy and well-built dog. This dog is highly appreciated for his ability of cattle grazing and household protection. Icelandic Sheepdogs are very hardy and full of vitality. This dog breed is able to work in any type of terrain and in all weather conditions. At the same time, he is very cheerful and calm. Comparable Breed: American Eskimo Dog and Norwegian Elkhound.


Faithful, loving and hard-working breed, the Icelandic Sheepdog is active, alert and energetic. He is affectionate and friendly. Dogs of this breed get along well with children and other pets. They do not show aggression unless they feel threatened. The Icelandic Sheepdog gets quite attached to entire family and can experience a lot of stress if left alone for long.

Coat / Care:

Icelandic Sheepdog

The Icelandic Sheepdog is covered with a two-layered coat. The outer layer can be long or a bit shorter. It is thick, coarse and straight, protecting the dog from any bad weather. The undercoat is soft, thick and dense. Shedding is constant. In order to minimize the hair loss, this dog breed must be regularly cleaned with a stiff brush. You also need to regularly trim your pet’s nails. Bathing is acceptable only in case of urgent need.

Health Problems:

The Icelandic Sheepdog is generally healthy dog breed, but like all breeds, they can be prone to developing cataracts. The Icelandic Sheepdog has a life expectancy of 12 to 14 years.

Weight / Height

The male Icelandic Sheepdog dog breed’s height is around 18 inches and weighs around 28 and 30 pounds. Female Icelandic Sheepdog dogs can reach a size from 16 inches and weighs between 20 and 25 pounds.


The Icelandic Sheepdog is a very smart breed. Hence, he is a good student, always willing to fulfill his master’s wishes. Early socialization and obedience course are recommended. Make sure to avoid harsh or heavy-handed methods. As a matter of fact, the training should be based on fairness, firmness and consistency.


The Icelandic Sheepdog is not suitable for keeping in a city apartment. This is a working breed that needs vigorous activity and constant exercise. Therefore, Icelandic Sheepdogs should be kept in a big house with a spacious yard, where they will be able to roam freely.

Icelandic Sheepdog

Photo Credit: eqkrishena/Flickr; eqkrishena/Flickr

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