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Icelandic sheepdog

Icelandic sheepdog and icelandic sheepdog puppies suffer from canine distemper

A mix of the different types of spitz, the Icelandic Sheepdog was brought to the Nordic lands by the Vikings.

It appears quite similar to the Norwegian Buhund and the Shetland sheepdog, both of which are considered its ancestors. These dogs were originally used as sheep herders and even today many families use these dogs to herd their sheep.

Though the dog looks small in appearance, it has the attributes of a large dog. Icelandic sheepdogs are moderately long and muscular.

Their nose is dark brown in color and the muzzle is triangular. The Icelandic sheepdog is often described as a large dog in the body of a small dog. The dog has erect ears and there are two different types of coats-long and short.

The Iceland sheepdog is an animal with very high endurance.

It is agile and a fast runner. Due to its high endurance, the dog is able to cover a lot of ground effortlessly.

The Icelandic sheepdog is a tough animal and is able to adapt to harsh climates. It is hardy, energetic, and agile, and this makes it suitable for herding livestock. This breeds instincts are well developed because of which they are also often used for finding lost sheep. Though they are quite agile, Icelandic sheepdogs have never been used for hunting. They are quite alert and greet everyone enthusiastically. They rarely ever show aggression and are considered extremely friendly and cheerful. Icelandic sheepdog puppies are especially inquisitive and playful.

It is believed that the dog also roamed the lands of Denmark and Sweden as early as 8000 B.C. The import of dogs to Iceland was prohibited at that time and there were only a few of the species left. A plague and an epidemic of canine distemper later wiped off the Icelandic sheepdog almost completely. However, some enthusiasts were able to save this dog from extinction. In the late twentieth century, these dogs were again bordering extinction but a breeder association was promptly organized to preserve the breed.

The Icelandic sheepdog was always meant to be a working dog and it has often also been used as a guard dog. These dogs have always been used to guide sheep from one point to another and also to prevent them from straying. They have also been used to herd much larger animals like horses. They are incessant barkers and bark when the animals stray, however, when indoors, their barking can be a little troublesome. This can be remedied with a little training.

  Submitted on October 13, 2009  

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