Basics of Dog Breed : Icelandic Shepherd

Posted on September 27 2018

Basics of Dog Breed : Icelandic Shepherd

The Icelandic Shepherd is a Nordic Spitz-type dog, with erect ears and a curled tail. Smaller than average, its silhouette is writable in a rectangle. Its appearance and its port exude an impression of assurance, vivacity, softness and intelligence.

Breed Information:

Other names: Iceland Shepherd, Icelandic Sheepdog, Islenskur Fjárhundur
Origin: Iceland
FCI Group: Spitz and primitive type dogs
FCI number: 289
Hair type: Half-long
Shape of the head: Triangular

Race history

The  Icelandic Sheepdog  is apparent in Iceland with the landing of the first explorers Vikings on the island from the 9th century. Over the generations, he has developed a formidable resistance to the harshness of the climate and living conditions with the shepherds. His ability to drive and gather large herds on vast and difficult terrain has made him extremely popular.

Apart from Iceland and Scandinavian countries in general, the Icelandic Sheepdog remains quite rare. He is enjoying increasing success as a family dog ​​because of his sweet and cheerful character. The Icelandic Shepherd breed was recognized definitively by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) on February 17, 1972.

Physical characteristics

His hair: double, thick. The coat hair can be mid-long or long. It is rough, while the undercoat is softer and very dense. 
Its color: predominantly tawny (cream to reddish brown), chocolate, gray or black, always accompanied by irregular white marks on part of the face, the collar, the chest and the end of the tail. Black mask in tawny or gray dogs. 
His head: triangular, strong frame. The skull, slightly dome, is a little longer than the muzzle. The stop is well defined without being overly charged. The truffle is black or brown, the snout well developed, the lips black and well joined, the cheeks flat, the jaws articulated in scissors. 
His ears :medium in size, well erect, triangular in shape, rounded at the top, extremely mobile and expressive. 
His eyes: almond-shaped, dark brown (lighter in dogs with brown or cream fur), medium size. 
His body: fits in a rectangle, robust. The back is straight, muscular and strong, the kidney broad and muscular, the rump rather short and broad, the breast well down, the ribs well bent, the belly slightly raised. 
His tail: high attachment, rolled up and touching the back.

Weight and size

Weight Cut
Female Between 9 kg and 14 kg Between 38 cm and 44 cm
Male Between 9 kg and 14 kg Between 38 cm and 44 cm

An Icelandic Shepherd dog is classified as a medium-sized dog .

Behavior and character

The  Icelandic Shepherd  is a dog full of joie de vivre , very playful , curious and friendly , even with the visitors. Never fearful or aggressive , he is not a hunter in the soul. On the other hand, the Icelandic Shepherd is naturally good at driving herds . His vivacity, his intelligence and his well marked barking help him a lot in this task.


Active and hardworking, the  Icelandic Shepherd is  attentive to the instructions of his master , to whom he always tries to please. For his education, we will focus a lot on this  desire to learn  and activate, with gentleness and a minimum of firmness to establish the limits not to exceed.


Rustic and doubtful with a very dense double pile, the  Icelandic Shepherd  is remarkably resistant to low temperatures and bad weather. It is characterized by a fairly solid health and the absence of predisposition to any disease.

Maintenance & Hygiene


The  Icelandic Sheepdog knows 2 moults per year during which hair losses are of varying intensity. Some dogs lose a lot more than others. Regular maintenance helps to preserve the appearance and condition.


The  brushing  of the Icelandic Shepherd is to be done  once a week . He must be  long and meticulous . During periods of moulting, it is recommended to brush it much more often: at least 3 times a week.

Physical activity

The Icelandic Shepherd needs to  stay active and be stimulated . He is a working dog first and foremost, he must have great freedom and frequent opportunities to let off steam.  2 long daily walks  are necessary for its balance.

Living conditions

The  Icelandic Shepherd  is not really made to live in an apartment . Barker and eager to space, it is much happier in the countryside. It can adapt to urban life if it has a fenced garden and if it enjoys frequent outings.

Price and budget

Minimum Maximum
Buying price 900 € 1400 €

Recent Posts