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The Icelandic Shepherd, sporting dog

Nordic Spitz of flock, the Icelandic Shepherd is a great sportsman always of good mood. Pleasant companion dog, it also excels in guarding. Thanks to his versatility, he is a delight for families looking for a curious, playful and lively pet.

Characteristics of the Icelandic Shepherd Dog

Full of vigor and strength, the Icelandic Shepherd reveals all the physical characteristics attributed to a Spitz. It has an average height of 42 to 46 cm for a weight oscillating between 10 and 18 kg. It is recognized in particular by its tail set high and in plume on the back. This dog is endowed with a body inscribable in a triangle. It has a muscular and straight back, a muscular and wide loins with curved ribs. Its head is formed by a domed skull longer than the muzzle. It has a black nose and a developed muzzle with a more or less accentuated stop, but without excess.

Of average size, the eyes of dark brown color reveal a shape of almond. The ears for their part are well drawn up and of triangular form. Their position depends mainly on the mood of the dog. As for the coat, the Icelandic Shepherd has either a short or a long hair. The coat can be black, gray, chocolate or fawn. White markings are observed on the collar, face, tip of the tail and chest.

History of the Icelandic Shepherd Dog

The Icelandic Shepherd is an ancient breed that arrived with the first Vikings around the 9th century. It was mainly used in driving cattle and herds. A controversy surrounds its true origins. Some say that it descends from the Karelian Bear Dog while others speak of an affiliation with the Norwegian Buhund. The Icelandic Shepherd Dog has not had the happiest of days, because due to its high popularity in Iceland, the dog population has grown exponentially. They were raised in the worst conditions so that they ended up developing diseases that could be transmitted to humans and other animals. The breed almost became extinct as a result. Today, it remains rare, with only about 5,000 specimens in the four corners of the globe.

Necessary living conditions and behavior of the Icelandic Shepherd

The Icelandic Shepherd is a very pleasant animal. It is curious, playful, always in a good mood and friendly. They are not aggressive or fearful. It is a perfect pet. Unlike some breeds, it does not run away and does not start hunting. It can therefore get along with the other animals in the house provided it is socialized as soon as possible. On the other hand, it is necessary to accustom it to solitude, because it tends not to support to remain alone. Since it is an outdoor dog, it needs to evolve in a house with a garden instead of an apartment in the city.

Diet and main problems of the Icelandic Shepherd

Luckily, the Icelandic Shepherd does not suffer from any genetic defect. However, in order to live up to 12 years, corresponding to its average life expectancy, it needs a diet compatible with its lifestyle and age.