The Icelandic Sheepdog

The Icelandic Sheepdog

The Icelandic Sheepdog is a large dog in the body of a small dog.

This means that it is a dog of great self-esteem and great determination. A very enduring dog, capable of solving many different tasks. 

It has for centuries been bred on its abilities, rather than for its good looks. Iceland is a large, rural and sparsely inhabited country. Despite the impression left by the many bloody accounts in the Sagas, there has been little or no need for a fierce and aggressive watchdog, and you have been able to concentrate on other important abilities:

  • Guarding instincts, and the will to sound the alarm by barking.
  • Protecting the flocks of sheep and newborn lambs against birds of prey, hence its characteristic ability to observe and bark at everything that approaches from above.
  • The dog will want to protect little domestic animals like colts and lambs, but still be interested in hunting little rodents.
  • And the dog will act as a living fence around the premises that he considers to be the territory belonging to his family.

Icelandic Sheepdogs are extremely devoted to their people yet will give an enthusiastic welcome to everyone. They do bark but typically it is at something, not just for the sake of hearing their own voice. 

This is a hardy, low maintenance breed with a thick, double coat that typically sheds once or twice a year. They are, in general, easy-going however will want to be by your side at all times. 

More information can be found on the Icelandic Sheepdog Association of America's website:




We need your consent to load the translations

We use a third-party service to translate the website content that may collect data about your activity. Please review the details in the privacy policy and accept the service to view the translations.