The Icelandic Sheepdog: A Loyal and Energetic Breed
The Icelandic Sheepdog is a breed that originated from Iceland. The breed has been around for over 1,000 years and was used by Vikings to herd livestock. Due to its isolation on the island, it remained unchanged for many centuries. In the 20th century, it faced extinction but a breeding program saved the breed.
Icelandic Sheepdogs are small-to-medium sized dogs weighing between 20-30 pounds and standing at approximately 12-16 inches tall. They have a double coat consisting of an outer layer of coarse hair protecting against weather elements while their soft inner layer provides insulation in colder climates. Most commonly seen colors include cream with reddish-brown markings or chocolate brown with white markings on their chest, legs, necks and face. They have medium-sized ears that stand erect and dark brown eyes.
This loyal dog tends to be friendly towards humans and other animals alike making them wonderful family pets; however they can often be protective when strangers approach their home or family members.Their herding instincts can make them less tolerant of smaller animals such as cats unless socialized early in life.Otherwise they are generally happy-go-lucky creatures who enjoy spending time outdoors getting exercise while playing games like fetch or Frisbee.
Like all breeds there are potential health problems common among Icelandic sheepdogs including hip dysplasia which results from abnormal development in the joints leading to arthritis-like symptoms later in life.Other concerns could relate to heart disease,dry eye,skeletal abnormalities,and liver shunts.This hardy breed typically lives up to fourteen years if given proper care,Veterinary check-ups yearly & needed vaccinations.In addition maintaining good dental hygiene is paramount.
To keep this energetic pup healthy they need daily walks lasting at least thirty minutes each day.They also require additional activity outside like playing fetch or exploring the outdoors off leash.Due to their working dog heritage,they often love performing other activities like agility training and herding tests.Other forms of exercise including swimming, hiking & playtime with puzzle toys will also help keep them in top physical condition.
Special Grooming Needs:
Icelandic Sheepdogs have a dense double-coat so frequent grooming is required. They should be brushed weekly using appropriate tools that reach through to their skin like slicker brushes or steel combs.This brush-technique removes loose hair,mats,& keeps dead skin cells from building up on your pupâ€™s coat.Avoid bathing them too frequently since it can strip natural oils from their coat; however regular nail clipping,ear cleaning and dental hygiene must never be ignored.
As a intelligent breed,Icelandic Sheepdogs are quick learners who thrive when given positive reinforcement techniques while training.Obedience Training involving basic commands as well as housebreaking routines should start early in puppyhood.Rewarding good behavior always outweighs any punishment for bad behavior.These dogs respond better when praised for meeting expectations than scolded for mistakes.Teach them new tricks or involve them in some activity they naturally excel at: obedience trials/agility/herding events etc).
Compatibility with children/pets:
The Icelandic sheepdog tends to get along well with children as long as they receive socialization at an early age.Thereâ€™s no reason why the family cat cannot befriend this pup especially if raised together.Most likely due to their hunting instincts & hard-wired territorial needs special attention is needed if introducing them into a home where small pets already live.Successful integration requires patience,time,and consistent monitoring.Family members must supervise all interactions between pets until full compatibility has been achieved.
One unique characteristic about Icelandic Sheepdogs is how vocal they are.Alongside barking (which may become excessive),whimpering,crying,&howling add to their expansive vocabulary.Expecting behavior modification in this case is often futile, so simply ensure that any negative dog-communication does not translate into aggressive behavior.
While no particular dog has achieved the worldwide recognition enjoyed by other breeds made famous through movies or literature,Icelandic sheepdogs are popular as active and intelligent companions.Other dogs of this breed have competed successfully at agility trials,obedience shows,and herding events.
Icelandic Sheepdog can make great pets for anyone who lives an active lifestyle.They enjoy learning new skills/tricks while forming strong bonds with family members&other animals within your household.These positive experiences combined with regular health checks,grooming regimens,& training needs will result in a happy and healthy pup.Additionally do not hesitate seeking advice from experienced Icelandic sheepdog owners to better equip yourself throughout your journey together with these furry friends.