Species group: Herding Group dogs
Other name(s): ISD; Icelandic Spitz; Iceland Dog; Íslenskur fjárhundur; Islandsk Farehond; Friaar Dog
The only native dog of Iceland, the Icelandic Sheepdog is the historic Spitz-type dog of the Vikings brought to the island nation around 874 AD along with the sheep they herded. This ancient breed appeared in the Icelandic Sagas and was alleged to be able to find a sheep hidden under 11 yards of snow. Hardy and happy, they make a delightful dog for the active outdoorsy family living in a cooler climate.
The breed was dangerously near extinction at one point when Iceland became flooded with imported dog breeds. However, after decades of work, the Icelandic Sheepdog's future seems secure. In 2010, the American Kennel Club (AKC) recognized it as a member of the Herding Group.
Appearance / health:
The Icelandic Sheepdog is a Nordic herding Spitz, slightly under medium sized with prick ears and a curled tail. Seen from the side the dog is rectangular; the length of the body from the point of shoulder to point of buttock is greater than the height at withers. The neck is moderately long and muscular with no loose skin. The depth of the chest is equal to the length of the foreleg. The expression is gentle, intelligent, and happy. There is a marked difference in appearance between the sexes.
Regular brushing and combing are important and considerable grooming may be required in spring when they shed their winter coats.
They require moderate amounts of exercise. Daily walks are sufficient to keep them healthy and happy. During the weekends, owners may take their dogs for camping, fishing, swimming, etc.
Icelandic Sheepdogs are prone to hip dysplasia - on average one out of every four worldwide that are tested have some form of hip dysplasia.
Behavior / temperament:
The Icelandic Sheepdog is a hardy and agile herding dog. Protective by nature, they may bark every time a stranger enters their territory though they are not very aggressive with strangers. These dogs treat their family and even other pets in the house as their property and guard them. Their hunting instincts are not strong yet they love to hunt small rodents. They were used to protect the sheep flocks and newborn lambs from birds of prey. Hence, they tend to observe and bark at every bird coming close to them.
They are fast learners. Early training and socialization is necessary to produce a lovable, well-behaved dog.
Icelandic Sheepdogs can be excessive barkers.
sweet, stellar disposition, Smiling, wonderful breed, rich red coat
Good early training, insistent barkers, young children, barkers
dense coated breed, herding style, double dew claws, therapy dog course, stealing abilities
Icelandics are a wonderful breed. A great size to take with you. They are very responsive and focused on their people. They prefer to be in their people's presence. They are quick to learn and are loyal, although they will sit in a stranger's lap when they come to visit. Good early training is good and if they don't have a leader, they are smart enough to become the leader. Downside is that they shed, sometimes heavily. They also can be insistent barkers if it isn't worked on at an early age. This is much easier to curb if there is only one dog and not a whole pack of them :))) I have had dogs and bred dogs over the years, and this is the best breed I've owned. They do need exercise since they are a working breed. My dogs do well in agility. Blackstaricelandics.com.
From Kilja May 2 2010 11:58AM
50/50 on Effectiveness
Not only have I used this product for my own pets, but I see it leave the clinic I work in several times a day. My thoughts are always the same. How long will it be before that pet has a positive heartworm test at their routine annual exam?
Unfortunately, some products simply do not work well. Ivermectin, the main ingredient in Heartgard is simply a product that has become ineffective against heartworms. As fleas and ticks have become resistant over the years to specific products as do mosquitos.
I have noted on several occasions, but two very recently. One instance was dogs that shared the same pen both consistently on Heartgard Plus every 30 days year around. One dog was positive and the other was negative. Another instance, two female beagle littermates. Both on a very strict schedule of Heartgard as heartworm preventative. Both dogs were heartworm positive.
My dog became heartworm positive after being on Heartgard Plus and unfortunately many of the dogs that I will test at my clinic will be positive after being on Heartgard Plus every 30 days consistently year around. I do not recommend Heartgard anymore especially to those pets who spend a lot of time outside. .
From JMalone CVT 58 days ago
Committing to set your dog up for success
Helping your dog to avoid fearful stimuli is simple in theory but can be difficult in practice. How many times has a dog owner with a dog who has a fear of something thought, "just this once, she'll be fine" or "it's only for a minute, I don't have time to avoid this right now"?
Owners must understand that if a dog is fearful of something, that is a real emotion for the animal. The owner might understand that fireworks are harmless or that a small toddler is innocent but for a dog who is afraid, they are simply afraid.
When dogs feel fear, they have the same two options available to all animals: fight or flight. Many, many bites could be avoided if owners understood that the fear their animal feels for a certain stimuli is real and that the animal has one of two options available to them.
Unfortunately, many owners do not take their animals fear seriously until a bite occurs. A dog with wide eyes, who freezes in place, begins to lick their nose, yawns, or lowers their tail/posture are all signs of fear or emotional discomfort that can go unrecognized.
If a toddler or child approaches a dog who begins to lick their nose, avoid eye contact or freeze in place while slowly wagging their tail low they are not ok with being approached by the child. Some days they may be able to handle this if the dog has been mostly free of fear or stress. Somedays the dog may have had too many triggers. (Think of how you feel some days when you didn't get enough sleep, or a mishap occurred at work. When you get home, you may be more likely to snap at your family or have less patience.) The dog doesn't have the ability to remove themselves from the situation- the owner is responsible for that.
Thus, as owners we must respect what our dog is fearful of and do our best to seek out knowledgeable professional help in the way of a behavioral vet or trainer who works with one. Ideally, the dog can overcome the fearful stimuli but in cases where progress is only beginning or the fear is too entrenched it is best to avoid the situations which will cause the dog fear. Dogs always want to please people but it is important to know that they have their own emotions and limitations to how they can react in life.
It is our obligation to return the adoration of our dogs and protect them from fearful stimuli while also working to overcome frightening situations. .
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