American Canine Association


Icelandic Sheepdog


Iceland's only native dog breed, the Icelandic Sheepdog was created by the Vikings thousands of years ago. This breed is gaining numbers and popularity more and more each year. This breed is used for all working duties in Iceland, however most often for farm duties.


The Icelandic Sheepdog is a medium sized dog breed with males and females measuring 12-16 inches in height and weighing 20-30 pounds in weight. This breed has a medium, wedge shaped head that forms into a small rectangular shaped muzzle with a scissor bite. The space between their ears is rounded and broad; their two ears are medium in size, triangular in shape and stand firm at the top of their head. Their two oval shaped eyes are large in size and generally a light hazel to black in color. Their general body build is shorter to the ground, stocky and athletic. Their double layer coat is medium in length, thick and soft to the touch. Their tail is medium in length and covered up and over onto their back with an abundance of hair. Their coat is available in all shades of tan, red, grey, and brown with white markings.


The Icelandic Sheepdog is a very hard working, motivated, strong breed who is energetic and loyal. This breed needs sufficient daily mental and physical exercise to remain calm and happy. This breed is an excellent natural herding breed and potential owners need to be aware of the fact that they bark often. This breed needs a firm and confident owner who has work for this breed to complete. Early socialization and obedience training is recommended. This breed does well with all pets and children of all ages they are able to grow up around.


Daily brushing and bathing when needed. Professional grooming every six months.

Special Notes

Please fully educate yourself about the Icelandic Sheepdog prior to adding one to your household to ensure you are able to meet the physical and financial requirements of your new family member. All dogs originate from wolves (Canis Lupus). Each breed of dog was originally created by mixing different breeds together in an effort to bring forth certain characteristics. Once a breeder has created acceptable “breed characteristics” within their bloodline and these “breed characteristics” have shown to be reliably reproduced in the offspring for three (3) generations, the bloodline may be upgraded from the category of “foundation stock” to “pure-bred”. The same “pure-bred” breed standards vary from different continents, countries, territories, regions, breed clubs, and canine pure-breed registries depending on the goals of their breeders. Dog DNA testing companies can have accurate results for a specific bloodline of a small colony of dogs. However, there are tens of thousands of different bloodlines in the world which have not yet been tested for marker baseline results by Dog DNA testing companies as of 2017. For this reason Dog DNA testing companies do not guarantee the 100% accuracy of their breed lineage results and will also show different marker results for the same pure-bred breed in different continents, countries, territories, regions, breed clubs, and canine pure-breed registries depending on the goals of their breeders.

© 2023 American Canine Association, Inc.