General Information

Dog NameIcelandic Sheepdog
Other NamesIcelandic Spitz
Scientific NameCanis lupus familiaris
Breed TypeSpitz
Breed ForHerding Sheep
Country of OriginIceland

Physical And Size

Min Life Span12
Max Life Span14
Min Ideal Weight for male11
Max Ideal Weight for male13
Min Ideal Weight for female11
Max Ideal Weight for male13


Intelligent Rank
Affection Level
Social Needs
Watchdog Ability


TemperamentPlayful, Affectionate, Smart
Prey DriveYes
Fighting DogNo


Stranger FriendlyMedium
Child FriendlyHigh
Cat FriendlyMedium
Dog FriendlyMedium
Office FriendlyMedium
Apartment FriendlyLow
Senior Citizens FriendlyLow
Service DogLow
Search and Rescue DogLow
Biting PotentialLow
Country of OriginIceland
Nicknames and Other NamesÍslenskur fjárhundur
Islandsk Fårehund
Friaar Dog
Canis Islandicus
Iceland Dog
Icelandic Spitz
Scientific NameCanis lupus familiaris
Breed TypePurebred
GroupHerding Group
Bred ForHerding sheep
Recognized ByFCI, AKC, UKC, CKC
Life Span12-14 years
Ideal WeightMale: 30 pounds
Female: 25 pounds
Ideal HeightMale: 18 inches
Female: 16.5 inches
Fur TypeDouble coat, dense, medium outer coat,
short undercoat
Common ColorsChocolate and White, Fawn and White,
Gold and White, Red and White,
Sable and White, Tan and White
MarkingsBlack Mask, Gray markings,
Black markings,
Piebald, Tan markings, White markings,
Reddish Brown markings
AchievementsNamed the Dog of the Vikings
Suitable for ApartmentsMildly suitable
Used in World WarNo
Most Similar ToFinnish Lapphund

The Icelandic Sheepdog popularly known as Icie and Iceland Dog is a very friendly and playful dog who gets well with children and other dogs as well, They love to play all the time and always feels happy to welcome visitors.

The Icelandic Sheepdog is a herding dog and likes to be busy and will look for a job to do, even if that job is to herd cars that pass by. These herding dogs do well with pet birds. They seem to be most happy when they are with their family

Origin And History Of Icelandic Sheepdog

The Icelandic Sheepdog, as its name, says belong to Iceland and it is the only dog breed that originated there and is believed to be brought by Vikings. They are even thought to be related to Karelian Bear Dog and they were migrated from Norway.

The Icelandic were originally bred to protect lambs from wild birds. Despite being sweet and polite to humans, it is not popular breeds. Icelandic Association Dog Breeder is taking steps to preserve the breed and make people aware about this breed.

Are They Child- Friendly?

The Icelandic breeds are known are suitable with children and is seem to be more energetic, playful and affectionate around them. However, like all other breeds supervision while interacting with children is compulsory to prevent accidents.

Temperament, Behavior, and Personality

Temperament: The temperament of Icelandic Sheepdog is Agile, Alert, Cheerful, energetic, hardy and inquisitive. They are extremely instinct at herding livestock and finding lost sheep. However, their main job was herding, so they are the very alert type of dogs and always welcome visitors with great enthusiasm.

Icelandic Dogs Are Very Obedient
Icelandic Dogs Image Via Arctic Adcventure

Behavior: As these Sheep Dogs were used for herding, so they have a alert temperament which makes them good watch dog and working dog. Despite this they have a very negative behavior and that is they tend to be stubborn when something doesn’t happen according to their wish and will bark alot. But there’s nothing to worry, this behavior can be change by proper training and socilaization.

Personality: The Icelandic Sheepdog has a spunky and friendly personality. They are extremely adaptable and sociable dogs that don’t thrive if they get separated from their family members for a long period of time.


Training these herding dogs is moderately easy as they are quite obedient and are quick learners. Training would be more easy if you are consistent and patient.

They are very smart breed of dogs who respond well to positive reinforce while training.

Facts About Icelandic Dog Breed

Fun facts about Icelandic Sheepdog are:

  • The Icelandic dogs are also known as Vikings dogs.
  • Every year about 100 Icelandic Sheepdog puppies will be born in Iceland.
  • The Icelandic Sheepdog is often described as smiley dogs.
  • In Icelandic, the breed is called Íslenskur Fjárhundur.

Health Issues Of Icelandic Sheepdog

General HealthHealthy
Common Health IssuesHip Dysplasia, Cataracts, Cherry Eyes,
Patellar Luxation
Vaccination RequiredRabies, Canine Parvovirus, Leptospirosis,
Canine Parainfluenza, Kennel Cough,
Canine Coronavirus Canine Distemper
SheddingModerate Shedder
DroolingLow Drooler
Weight Gain PotentialAverage
Separation AnxietyHigh Chance
Diets and SupplementsProtein: 27%
Fat: 12%
Fish oil

These herding dogs are healthy breeds with very few health issues. The health issues are as follows:

  • Hip Dysplasia: An abnormal formation of the hip socket, cause by cripping lameness and painful arthritis of joints.
  • Elbow Dysplasia: A disease in the elbow of dogs caused by growth disturbances in the elbow joint.
  • Pateller Luxation: It occurs when the dog’s kneecap is dislocated from its excat position.


The Icelandic sheepdog gives birth to 4-8 puppies. The average price of Icelandic sheepdog puppies is $800- $1000.

Which Dogs Are Icelandic Sheepdog Similar Too?

Dogs similar to Icelandic Sheepdogs are:

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