About Icelandic Sheepdogs
Brief historical summary: The Icelandic Sheepdog is Iceland’s only native dog. It was brought to Iceland with the first Viking settlers (AD 874 - 930). The Icelandic Sheepdog and its method of working adapted to the local terrain, farming methods and the hard struggle for survival of the Icelandic people over the centuries, making it indispensable in the rounding up of livestock on the farms. The Icelandic Sheepdog’s popularity has increased over the last few decades and, despite the fact the breed is still very small in numbers, it is no longer considered to be in danger of extinction.
Behavior and Temperament: The Icelandic Sheepdog is a hardy and agile herding dog which barks, making it extremely useful for herding or driving livestock in the pastures, in the mountains or finding lost sheep. The Icelandic Sheepdog is by nature very alert and will always give visitors an enthusiastic welcome without being aggressive. The Icelandic Sheepdog is cheerful, friendly, inquisitive, playful and unafraid.
Icelandic Sheepdogs are a herding breed. They enjoy activity, attention, and proximity to humans. They are intelligent, respond to clicker training, toys, and food reinforcement. They bark to communicate. Crate training is generally not difficult, but Icies should not be left for long periods in a crate alone. They are soft in temperament, and would suffer if left alone or treated with harsh training methods. They are not extremely high drive. Shedding is surprisingly minimal given their thick double coat. Icies need people who relish being loved unconditionally, but who in return are willing to make their dogs a major part of their lives. They give a lot of love, but require training, and thrive with routine, discipline, exercise, affection.