Icelandic Sheepdog
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Eclipse Reg'd Boston Terriers & Icelandics

Breed Registries:


Note 1: — The Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) is the World Canine Organisation, which includes members (one member per country) that each issue their own pedigrees and train their own judges. The FCI recognizes 339 breeds, with each being the "property" of a specific country. The FCI is not a breed registry nor does it issue pedigrees.

Note: The breed registries indicated above are the most recognized all-breed registries. The breed may also be recognized by other registries not indicated here. For further details about dog registries, please see the document: Dog Breed Registries in North America.



Height / Weight:

15 to 19 inches (38-48 cm) — 25 to 35 lbs (11.5-16 kg)

Breed Profile:

The Icelandic Sheepdog, or Iceland Dog as he is also known, is believed to be a descendant of small herding dogs brought to Iceland during the time of colonization by the Vikings.

He is an intelligent, lively and affectionate dog and, like most Nordic Spitz breeds, he enjoys the outdoors and regular exercise. He has great self-esteem, determination and endurance, capable of solving many tasks. Used as a guard dog and protector of sheep and lambs from birds of prey, he has excellent eyesight and characteristically observes and barks at everything that approaches from above. Because of his non-aggressive and friendly nature, however, he is not a guard dog but rather a very good watchdog who will always bark an alarm to protect everything that he considers his territory, including property and small animals.

He has a triangular muzzle, erect ears and the typical Spitz tail which curls and touches the back. His coat is water resistant, thick and coarse either wheaten, wolf-sable, black or off-white and often with white markings and a black mask.

Health Issues

The Icelandic Sheepdog is known to be a very healthy and long lived breed with average life expectancy of 12 to 16 years. However, like all breeds of dogs, the Icelandic Sheepdog is known to have some health problems, including:

  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Distichiasis — This is thought to be a hereditary eye disorder. Distichiasis occurs when a hair or hairs grow in the band of the eyelid causing irritation to the cornea.

If you are considering the adoption of a Icelandic Sheepdog puppy, or any breed, it is very important to be selective in choosing a responsible and reputable breeder. Ensure that the prospective puppy's parents have all health clearances, this should include hip x-rays and eye clearances for all breeding stock. Breeding of any dog should not be done until after they have been proven to be free of evidence of significant hereditary diseases. (For more information on selecting a breeder, see the articles on the main Breed Listing and Breeders page.)

Additional Health Resources:

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Breed Standards

Grooming Information

  • Grooming — This section of the Canada's Guide to Dogs website includes tips, articles and information covering all aspects of dog grooming along with a listing of Groomers from across Canada.

Training Resources

  • Training — For training information, see this growing section of the Canada's Guide to Dogs website for tips, articles, as well as listings of training centres across Canada.

Training Tools & Equipment
Choose from a wide variety of items from

Additional Information

  • Clubs, Sports & Activities — For information on the many sports and activities you can get involved in with your dog.
  • Working Dogs — The Working Dogs section of the Canada's Guide to Dogs website provides information and listings of organizations that are involved in various dog jobs, such as Guide Dogs, Therapy Dogs, Police Dogs, Protection Dogs, and much more.

Select from the following links to view Breeder listings; Breed Clubs; Rescue Organizations; as well as Books and other Merchandise specific to the breed:

Breeders  /  Breed Clubs  /  Rescues  /  Books & More