Icelandic Sheepdog

Herding Group

Icelandic Sheepdog standing in front of a white background

Height at Shoulders

16-18 in

Weight

20-30 lbs

Life Expectancy

12-14 yrs

History

The Icelandic Sheepdog originated in Iceland about 1,100 years ago when Norse settlers arrived with their spitz herding dogs: the ancestors of the Icelandic Sheepdog. The dogs were bred specifically to keep the sheep from straying and to protect them from birds of prey. Icelandic Sheepdogs are known to be very watchful of the sky and bark at birds. Dogs very similar to the Icelandic Sheepdog were found in graves in Denmark and Sweden from about 8,000 BCE, suggesting it might be one of the oldest dog breeds.

Breed Characteristics

While not all Icelandic Sheepdogs will display the exact characteristics typical of the breed, most share a personality and temperament can be generalized by the characteristic rankings below. 

Intelligence

Affection Towards Family

Friendliness Towards Strangers

Friendliness Towards Other Dogs

Exercise Needs

★★★★☆

★★★★★

★★★★☆

★★☆☆☆

★★★★☆

Energy Level

Sensitivity

Noise Level

Prey Drive

Shedding

★☆

★★★☆☆

★☆

★☆

★★

Intelligence

★★★★☆


Affection Towards Family

★★★★★


Friendliness Towards Strangers

★★★★☆


Friendliness Towards Other Dogs

★★☆☆☆


Exercise Needs

★★★★☆


Energy Level

★☆


Sensitivity

★★★☆☆


Noise Level

★☆


Prey Drive

★☆


Shedding

★★

Common Traits

Intelligent, quick learners who are eager to please 

Will bark at everything- especially birds

Affectionate and people-oriented- need companionship and don't like to be left alone for long

Known to chase after cars so be sure to keep them leashed when near roads

Males tend to be more affectionate than females, although they're all friendly with family