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Icelandic Sheepdog: The Oldest Dog Breed of Iceland

The Icelandic Sheepdog is a sociable Spitz dog that originated in Iceland. They are friendly, loving, playful, and enjoy the company of people. The dogs are bred initially as herders. The alternative dog names are Iceland Dog, Iceland Spitz, or Friaar Dog.

The Icelandic Sheepdog is generally a healthy and hardy breed. They are easy to train, and exercise is essential for high-energy dogs. This article gives a clear idea of this dog breed that is very interesting for Icelandic Spitz lovers. So, stick with us and keep reading! 

History and Origin of Icelandic Sheepdog

The Icelandic dog is Iceland’s only native breed. It is believed to have been brought to the island by Viking settlers in the late ninth or early tenth century. The dog was used to herd livestock and was considered a vital tool for farmers and ranchers.

Icelandic Spitz

Although it has been on the brink of extinction several times, its numbers have increased during the past few decades. 

Physical Description of Iceland Dog

The Iceland Dog is a small- to medium-sized dog longer than tall with a deep chest. The dog has a full, triangular-shaped head with a muzzle shorter than the skull. The medium-sized prick ears are triangular with slightly rounded tips.

Features of Icelandic Sheepdog

The tail is carried over its back. There is a medium-length and a more extended coat type; both coats are undercoated. The coat is most extended at the neck, the back of the legs, and the tail. It may be tan, gray, brown, or black with white markings.

Height, Weight, and Lifespan of Icelandic Spitz

  • The average height of the Icelandic Sheepdog is about 16 to 20 inches (40 to 50 cm).
  • The average weight of the Icelan dog is about 25 to 35 pounds (10-14 kgs).
  • The average lifespan of the dog breed is about 12 to 15 years.

Temperament or Personality of Iceland Dog

This gentle and cheerful dog gets along well with people, including children. It is confident and enthusiastic in its work and playful and gentle at home.

Best Ownership of Icelandic Sheepdog

The dog does best with an active family in the country. They are working dogs, guard dogs, companions, and hunting dogs. The breed has become one of the oldest native dog breeds in Iceland. 

Special Needs of Icelandic Spitz

The dog is energetic and highly active. You must ensure the following care and management for the dog breed:

Health Concerns of Iceland Dog Breed

The dog breed developed and was sustained in the harsh environment of Iceland. The dog breed is affected by fewer diseases. The dog must be vaccinated against potential viral diseases available in the country. The specific diseases for this dog breed are as follows: 

Concluding Words on Icelandic Sheepdog

The Icelandic Sheepdog is the only dog breed indigenous to Iceland. Their traditional uses include herding both horses and sheep. The dog has been trained to help Iceland’s search and rescue squads. They do exceptionally well in avalanche searches.


The sheepdog is also known as the Vikings’ dog. They are affectionate, playful, easygoing, and obedient. 


No more today. It’s time to leave. If you want to know about other dog breeds, don’t hesitate to visit our website. Also, don’t forget to share this article with your friends. Thank you in advance. 





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