Training Your Icelandic Sheepdog With such an extensive history as herders, the Icelandic Sheepdog has high intelligence and can easily pick up new commands. Training. Icelandic Sheepdog obey for the first command 30% of the time or better. Conversely, the hair is longer on the neck, chest and the back of the thighs. We would recommend taking a look into harnesses as opposed to leashes. They have a great deal of personality and charisma that is evident in their extensive problem solving capabilities. Training: The Icelandic Sheepdog is a very smart breed. It responds well to positive reinforcement with toy and food rewards, a stable routine, and lots of love. This gives you the best chance of avoiding the health issues outlined above from being an issue in your new puppy. He can also bond closely with his owner and has a strong desire to please. Icies have a strong build and carry themselves with an agile gait. Brush the coat once to twice weekly to remove loose fur and prevent matting. While they aren’t exactly a guard dog, they still instinctively like to alert their owners of any change or abnormality within the environment. Feel free to mix it up with your training activities. Has the tendency to be an excessive barker, Chases cars and animals, must keep leashed. Skipping training leads to negative behaviors and habits forming that are extremely difficult to break later in life. Icelandic Sheepdogs, as their name implies, originated from Iceland. This breed is distinguished by its prick ears and curled tail. They are often quite easy to train, but it is important to approach training correctly to ensure fast and efficient learning. When they were not working in the field, they would serve as wonderful companions to their owners and loved ones. You may have to prepare to help deal with these potential issues, especially seeing as the small population of this breed means there may not be a lot of choice on offer. The Icelandic Sheepdog should be fed a diet appropriate to the dog’s age (puppy, adult, or senior) and activity level. See more ideas about icelandic sheepdog, sheepdog, dog breeds. Brushing their teeth regularly can stop painful dental diseases from being a problem. On the good side, adopting allows you to get a dog that is already an adult. Have you ever owned this rare breed? Icelandic Sheepdogs generally gain: 2 Pounds per week until 26 weeks old. They are very loving dogs with doable grooming and exercise requirements. The Icelandic sheepdog's coat can be short or long, with both lengths having an outer coat and an undercoat. Icelandic Sheepdog Trainability. Helpful Dog Training Resource: For help with training your Icelandic Sheepdog, you should take a look at The Online Dog Trainer by Doggy Dan. Herding instincts and trainability can be measured at noncompetitive herding tests. This stems from their background as herders; they used barking to help move the herd and to also alert the farmer to any intruders. If you’re interested in similar breeds, check out: There are so many amazing dog breeds to choose from, so be sure to check out our other dog breed profiles to find the perfect companion for you and your family. Although time outdoors is a must for the Icelandic Sheepdog, his living space should be indoors with his family. Breed Group: Herding Height: 16.5 to 18 inches Weight: 20 to 45 pounds Life Span: 12 to 15 years This hardy Nordic breed is said to have come to Iceland on the longboats of early Viking settlers. Always use positive reinforcement training to get the most out of your sessions. Unfortunately, this breed has faced a lot of hardship in the past; they have been near extinction multiple times from famine and disease. Due to the undercoat of this breed, they do experience a loss of their coats twice a year. From 1930 to 1970, he exported several of these dogs and worked to rebuild the decimated breed. Its lively character, noisy bark, and thick coat make it the perfect ally for any Icelandic rancher. Training from a young age can help prevent your Icelandic Sheepdog from barking too much. The Icelandic Sheepdog has a life expectancy of 12 to 14 years. All variations have white markings and sometimes have a black mask. Moderately Easy Training: Icelandic Sheepdogs can compete in dog agility trials, obedience, rally obedience, showmanship, flyball, tracking, and herding events. This can lead to hair loss, lethargy and weight gain. You will be pleasantly surprised by how quickly they pick things up. The Icelandic Sheepdog, or Iceland Dog, is the Iceland's only native breed, and almost Iceland's only breed. This can lead to negative behaviors taking place when you are not home. Ask yourself, does my lifestyle correlate with this breed’s traits? This breed is known to be vocal, mostly barking at other animals. Another behavior that stems from their background is an instinctual urge to chase movement. Believed to be loyal companions of ancient Norsemen, who came to Iceland in the early 9 th century, Icelandic sheepdogs are the country’s native breed of dog. Icelandic sheepdogs are people orientated, so provide positive social interactions with others. Don't miss out on the perfect companion to life with a purrfect friend. Do I have the time in my schedule to provide the physical and mental exercise needs for this dog? Obedience and socialization training should be carried out from a young age to help ensure the Icie grows up to be a well-mannered, controllable adult. But as with all breeds, it is important to keep an eye on their weight. This is a dog that would really benefit from a secure yard to play in or at least a nearby park. The Icelandic Sheepdog is no longer at risk of being extinct. They do not waste any effort on training or caring for their puppies beyond the bare minimum and do not screen for genetic health problems. Such places are colloquially named “puppy farms” due to these immoral practices. Coat and color: It has a waterproof double thick coat, which can be short or long, and in a variety of colors: fawn, cream, chocolate, black, and gray. The Icelandic Sheepdog has the typical pricked ears, curled tail, thick coat and fondness for barking of his Spitz relatives, along with a cheerful and curious nature. You should keep up training even after the basics have been mastered, as this dog wants to be challenged with a variety of different training, exercise and play tasks. The Icelandic sheepdog is believed to have been brought to Iceland with the Vikings, who settled there toward the end of the ninth century. However, it’s important to avoid strenuous exercise while they are still growing puppies. In addition, this breed will enjoy sessions of play. The ancestors of this breed were present when Nordic settlers first inhabited the land over one thousand years ago. The white areas are commonly found on the face, chest, collar, legs and tail. During these times of extreme shedding, brushing is recommended more often to help manage the excessive hair. At Five-Gait Farm, we breed AKC registered purebred Icelandic Sheepdogs. However, a breed club was established with the aim of conserving the breed in 1969. According to the story, they were brought to Iceland by the first Viking settlers around the 9th century. Look for a breeder that has recognition from reputable breeding societies. But has some natural insticts to be aware of. This is not a breed that can be left alone for long periods of time. Adopting an Icie over purchasing a puppy from a breeder comes with its pros and cons. Icelandic Sheepdogs at Crossbreeze Farm These dogs are truly members of our family. mentally at the age of 18 months. Bathing is not needed regularly with this breed as the coat is relatively easy to keep clean and healthy with regular brushing. Along with their coat, remember grooming extends to the nails and teeth of the dog too. As with other dog breeds, nails should be trimmed every three to four weeks as needed. They go on family camping trips every summer. If you are struggling to train your Icelandic Sheepdog, never just give up. He can also develop separation anxiety if left alone for too long. If you decide to purchase an Icie puppy from a breeder, there are a few important things to keep in mind to help ensure that you have the best chance of receiving a healthy puppy. All the parents have a good show record, and are gentle and fun family dogs. Over the centuries, these dogs adapted to the harsh terrain and the needs of Icelandic farmers and shepherds. Icies do well on high-quality dog food. This can be anything from other animals, joggers and even cars. Adopting also gives the satisfaction of helping a dog in need. The main drawbacks are the shedding and a barking problem that may appear due to poor training. A joy to train, you’ll find that the Icelandic Sheepdog is eager to please. Here is a quick summary of the good and bad of this breed. As for the coat colors and patterns that may appear within this breed, many Icies are a single predominating color with white patches. They are small to medium dogs, reaching heights of around 18 inches if male and 16.5 inches if female. The Icelandic Sheepdog is commonly nicknamed the “Icie.”. The Icelandic Sheepdog’s undercoat sheds twice a year and should be brushed whenever it does so. This hardy, athletic, and intelligent breed was developed to herd livestock in the mountainous regions of Iceland. To keep these pups physically and mentally healthy, try including puzzle toys, agility, scent work, long exploratory walks, runs, and training throughout the life of the dog. But the potential health risks that it is predisposed to can still severely affect their quality of life. This is a habit to discourage when the dog is a puppy. Required fields are marked *. However, be aware that this breed is very active and excessive barking can be normal behavior, which would rule out an apartment as a suitable home. In 1969, the Icelandic Kennel Club was founded to watch over the breed and promote its place in Iceland’s history. Overall, the Icelandic sheepdog is very friendly, playful, affectionate, an enthusiastic learner, and makes a great companion. Icelandic Sheepdogs are athletic and energetic dogs that require plenty of exercise. It helps keep them active and out of trouble. Always make sure that they have clean and fresh water that is easily accessible and available. The Icelandic sheepdog is a small-to-mid-sized working dog, also known as a spitz (with its characteristic fuzzy and dense coat, pointy ears and muzzle and bushy tail). If you know of any rescue centers wholly devoted to the Icelandic Sheepdog, let us know and we’ll add it to the article. Ackerman, L.J., 2011, “The Genetic Connection: A Guide to Health Problems in Purebred Dogs,” American Animal Hospital Association, Bell, J., et al., 2012, “Veterinary Medical Guide to Dog and Cat Breeds,” CRC Press, Ólafsdóttir, G.A. If you feel an Icelandic sheepdog is the right dog for you, then start your search with the national breed club for the Icelandic sheepdogs. Knowing this, it can help you understand why these pups bark at anything and everything they see or hear—it is normal behavior for this breed. The Icelandic Sheepdog can also compete in dog sports like obedience, flyball, agility, and rally. Without proper physical and mental exercise, the Icelandic sheepdog may become destructive, stressed, or develop other behavioral problems. Ideally, they will also have positive feedback from previous customers. As a matter of fact, they’re the only dogs native to the country. The Icelandic sheepdog should be fed a diet appropriate to the dog's age and activity level. All of our dogs are health tested working farm dogs with wonderful friendly temperaments. This breed might not be a good fit for busy families that leave the house empty for large portions of the day. This breed is intelligent, and when trained with consistency and patience, this dog learns quickly. A good breeder should be able to show the results of these tests to prove that there are no genetic issues within their litters. Here are some resources that may help with training. As a herding dog, the Icelandic Sheepdog is intelligent and able to think for himself. Icelandic Sheepdogs are intelligent and eager to please which makes them easily trainable. Giving your pet a chance to be with the family and work off excess energy will keep her calmer and happier. If you are unsure of what or how much to feed an Icelandic Sheepdog, consult with your vet to create a diet plan. They should be able to prove the genetic health of their puppies via health evaluations and allow you to meet the parent dogs. As with any herding breed, they are more likely to chase cars and run after small animals, so you will need to keep the dog leashed or in a fenced yard in areas where cars pass often. It was these dogs that were the beginning of the Icelandic Sheepdog genetic line. However, on the bad side, many dogs sadly end up in rescue due to health or behavioral problems. Training the Icelandic Sheepdog is not a problem because this dog is eager to please his human and also learns quickly and willingly. Additionally, they can get along with kids and other pets, provided that they are socialized from a young age. early socialization exercises to help shape balanced dogs for their new families. Hip dysplasiais a common problem with Icelandic Sheepdogs. They are a very people-oriented breed and many want nothing more than to be with their owners. Consider whether you can fulfill all of this breed’s daily needs and if they will fit in with your current family situation. Obedience classes and one-on-one help from dog behaviorists and trainers can help you. However, if you are based somewhere else in the world, or cannot get an Icie from the NISRA, your best bet is to search rescue centers dedicated to covering a large number of breeds. Keep in mind that if you want to teach them any tricks, they understand and memorize new commands in 40-80 repetitions. However, Icelandic sheepdogs are susceptible to certain conditions that affect all dogs, such as: Annual vet visits will help your pet maintain optimum health and prevent and recognize any problems sooner. Regardless, there are still some health conditions that have been found to be at a higher risk within this breed. These dogs have a long history and are believed to go way back 1,100 years ago. Icelandic Sheepdogs that exhibit basic herding … Sadly, pet shops should also be avoided as many of them purchase their stock from such puppy farms. The long-haired variation is the same but simply with a much longer coat and bushier tail. As with any dog breed, proper training is needed for the Icelandic sheepdog. A Icelandic Sheepdog with healthy weight will not have any ribs visible. Keep this in mind, and think of your neighbors before making any decisions. Trainability. The Happy Puppy Site is a participant in the Amazon EU Associates Programme, an affiliate advertising programme designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.co.uk, The Happy Puppy Site is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. They require at least moderate exercise each day to stay fit and happy. Herding breeds are great, but their brains and active traits mean they need a mix of mental and physical exercise to keep them happy. This breed is loving and people-oriented. Icies are Spitz-type dogs who are well-suited to the cold climate that they originate from with their thick and waterproof double coat. This breed sheds a lot and goes through two shedding seasons a year. If you can fulfill all their daily requirements and provide a great home for them to live, the Icie can quickly become a loving member of the family. See below for places to start your search. It’s possible for an Icie to be without white markings but much less common. They are wonderful dogs who love to have a job to do. Icelandic sheepdogs are active and need daily exercise. Jan 20, 2017 - Explore Gloria Bling's board "Icelandic Sheepdogs" on Pinterest. This breed isn’t at a higher risk than the norm for life-threatening conditions. Your email address will not be published. Confining your dog, leaving her alone for long periods of time or not providing enough exercise can cause boredomor destructive behavior, and the breed is known to suffer from separation anxiety. Female Icelandic Sheepdog dogs can reach a size from 16 inches and weighs between 20 and 25 pounds. It’s a small to medium sized dog, weighing up to 30 pounds and growing up to 18 inches as an adult. FUN FACT: Icelandic Sheepdogs are great at learning things on their own. However, due to their heavy attachment to their family, they may suffer from separation anxiety when apart from them. This was due to a combination of disease and a lack of a need for herding dogs, causing the population to plummet to dangerously low numbers. Training: Icelandic Sheepdogs should be trained firmly but kindly They should be socialized as well. There are two distinct types of coat within this breed; a short-haired and a long-haired. Ultimately, only you can answer that question. Characteristics of the Icelandic Sheepdog, Where to Buy or Adopt an Icelandic Sheepdog, Czechoslovakian Vlcak (Czechoslovakian Wolfdog): Breed Profile, Shetland Sheepdog (Sheltie): Dog Breed Profile, The Polish Lowland Sheepdog: Dog Breed Profile, Croatian Sheepdog (Hrvatski Ovcar): Breed Profile. Resources to explore include: Before you decide on a dog, be sure to do plenty of research and involve your entire family in the decision. For the short-haired variation, the coat is of medium length with a coarse overcoat and a thick, soft undercoat. She has been writing about animal care and behavior for 5 years. The Iceland Sheepdog is an alert and active dog. It’s always worth taking a look at similar breeds before making any final decisions, just to see if any may be a better fit for you and your family. This breed is known to be vocal, mostly barking at other animals. Finally, hereditary deafness is a possibility within this breed. As the Icie sheds a lot, any tool that can help combat this is a godsend. You shouldn’t have too much trouble training this breed; As such affectionate dogs, Icies are very motivated to please. You will be asked about your previous experience with dogs and your current family situation. Learning more about the breed helps set both your family and the dog up for success. The Icelandic sheepdog would commonly protect flocks and herd sheep and cattle on the rough terrain of Iceland. This is done by teaching what situations warrant a bark and an effective cue for quiet. The expected life span of the Icelandic Sheepdog is 12-14 years. The Icelandic Sheepdog, is one of the totem creatures of Iceland. These affectionate dogs like to be at the heart … Icelandic Sheepdogs can compete in dog agility trials, obedience, rally obedience, showmanship, flyball, tracking, and herding events. They help us on the farm with the sheep and horses. Puppies that are raised in such places are commonly riddled with health issues and behavioral problems. The Icelandic Sheepdog is the only purebred dog native to the country of Iceland. How to find a puppy and raise a happy, healthy dog, May 7, 2019 By Ryan Jones Leave a Comment. However, the Icelandic Sheepdog can certainly make for an amazing and loving companion in the right family. Finally, as we mentioned earlier, the Icelandic Sheepdog loves to be with the owners. This breed is intelligent, and when trained with consistency and patience, this dog learns quickly. Home visits may also occur. With such an extensive history as herders, the Icelandic Sheepdog has high intelligence and can easily pick up new commands. The male Icelandic Sheepdog dog breed’s height is around 18 inches and weighs around 28 and 30 pounds. As with any dog breed, proper training is needed for the Icelandic sheepdog. They have almost gone extinct more than once. Finally, markings of various colors may appear within this breed, on top of the coat colors outlined above. In all other aspects, Icelandic Sheepdogs make excellent family companions – they are obedient, sociable, and only need moderate exercise. 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