Black Icelandic Sheepdog – Profile | Care | Facts | Traits | Health

Black Icelandic Sheepdog

The Black Icelandic Sheepdog, a hardy Nordic breed is claimed to have come to Iceland on the longboats of early Viking settlers. The black Icelandic Sheepdog has the standard pricked ears, curled tail, thick coat, and fondness for the barking of his Spitz relations, together with a cheerful and curious nature. His followers describe him as an entertaining dog with a sense of humor.


The black Icelandic Sheepdog is a just below medium-sized Spitz kind dog, with a triangle-shaped head, prick ears, and a thick double coat. Seen from the facet, the dog is rectangular.

The size of the body from the level of the shoulder to the level of buttocks is bigger than the peak measured on the withers. The depth of the chest is the same as the size of the foreleg.

The tail is carried in a loose curl over the back. There are two varieties of coat, long and brief, and each is thick and intensely weatherproof. There is a marked distinction in appearances between the sexes.

The black Icelandic Sheepdog needs to be evaluated as a herding and drover dog, and exaggerations or faults need to be penalized in proportion to how a lot they intrude with the dog’s capability to work.

Black Icelandic Sheepdogs are powerful and energetic. Hardy and agile, they’re extraordinarily helpful for herding and driving livestock or discovering lost sheep.

However, the dogs are usually not identified for looking. They are very alert and all the time give visitors an enthusiastic welcome, without being aggressive.

Friendly and cheerful, the black Icelandic Sheepdog is inquisitive, playful, and unafraid. They typically get alongside properly with youngsters, in addition to different pets.

Black Icelandic Sheepdog Description

Black Icelandic Sheepdogs are typically pleasant and playful. They are likely to get alongside properly with people — particularly children — and different dogs.

Males are sometimes more laid-back and cuddly than females, however, each is often affectionate towards their people. This is just not a breed that does properly when left alone regularly or for long intervals. The Icie, as he’s nicknamed, thrives on human companionship.

The Icie is often welcoming to visitors and never aggressive towards strangers, though he’ll announce their presence by barking. He’s unlikely to reveal his tooth to intruders, so this isn’t the breed to get should you’re in search of a watchdog.

The typical Icie may be particularly affectionate towards youngsters. Nonetheless, it’s all-time vital to oversee any interactions between dogs and youngsters, irrespective of how pleasant they’re to one another.

Teach youngsters to behave respectfully towards the Icie (or any dog, for that matter): no tail- or ear-pulling, bopping the dog on the top, or invading his meals bowl or crate. With applicable socialization and supervision, this dog ought to do properly with youngsters of any age.

Black Icelandic Sheepdogs are likely to get alongside properly with most animals, particularly if they’re introduced up with them. Birds could also be an exception.

Birds of prey were the first predators in Iceland, and at this time’s Icie nonetheless has a behavior of staring into the sky, on the look ahead to hazards from above. He could lunge at pet birds or birds open air.

The Icie loves being along with his people, indoors or open-air, however, he’s best suited to a house where he can benefit from the open air with lively people who take him mountaineering or tenting or compete in dog sports activities with him.

History of black Icelandic Sheepdogs

The black Icelandic Sheepdog is native to, sure, Iceland — the one breed that originated there. It’s thought that Vikings introduced the ancestors of this breed with them to Iceland within the ninth century. The dogs have been used to guard flocks, particularly lambs, from birds of prey.

The breed has been introduced from near-extinction within the 1950s, when solely about 50 of the canines remained, to an inhabitant of more than 800 within the United States alone. The American Kennel Club acknowledged the breed as a member of the Herding Group in 2010.

Colors of the black Icelandic Sheepdog

The Sheepdog is famed for its thick coat that sometimes is available in two lengths. Both long-haired and short-haired canines have double coats — the undercoat is thick and gentle, and the outer coat is coarse. The dogs shed rather a lot and require weekly brushing to keep up healthy-looking fur.

The colors range rather a lot however are often a twin break-up, with white markings. On uncommon events, the dogs also can present themselves in a black mask. Some of the most typical coloration mixtures are:

Black and White
Chocolate Brown and White
Gray and White
Reddish Brown and White
Cream and White
Gold and White
Sable and White
White Tan and Black

Black Icelandic Sheepdog Traits

In their temperament, the sheepdogs are playful and affectionate. They get together with different pets and are pleasant to strangers. Just like most herding breeds, these pooches are free-thinkers and capable of work on their own; they’re additionally obedient and easygoing.

As can simply learn from the breed’s name it’s first and foremost a working dog and a watchdog. During herding, dogs work to maneuver animals from one level to a different and likewise hold them in a flock.

Black Icelandic Sheepdogs use their bark to maintain animals in a flock. You’ll hear their voice very often, as these dogs bark when they need one thing or really feel like they need to be in control.

Unlike most working dogs, the Sheepdog can simply loosen up as soon as indoors and can, fortunately, lie on the grasp’s feet or soar as much as cuddle with them. They are very family-friendly dogs in addition to loyal and comply with their homeowners in all places.

They aren’t eager swimmers, almost certainly due to their thick coat. They are nonetheless glorious at studying issues on their very own which may be troublesome once they are taught to open doorways, cabinets, or get issues they shouldn’t so homeowners would possibly need to be looking out for brand new methods and anticipate them to be good. They need a train each day and are great jogging companions.

Black Icelandic Sheepdog Temperament

Black Icelandic Sheepdogs are energetic and alert, able to play, run, or search out journeys—ideally on the sides of their people. They are pleasant towards all, together with strangers, different dogs, and different pets.

Although extremely responsive, they’re additionally free thinkers—their job typically required them to work on their very own. If they assume they’re right they’ll typically ignore instructions on the contrary. They tend to bark when alerted or excited.


These lively dogs are happiest once they’re on the transfer and within the chilly. They take pleasure in psychological challenges and do properly at obedience, agility, and different coaching activities.

They are calm and easygoing inside, even when they miss a day of exercise. Like all double-coated breeds, they shed lots, particularly twice a year.

Regular brushing and bathing will lower down on unfastened hair. The brief coat requires about fifteen minutes every week, and the long coat about an hour every week.

Black Icelandic Sheepdog Care

The black Icelandic Sheepdog’s coat may be brief or long, with each length having an outer coat and an undercoat. Although they’ve thick double coats, they solely require minimal grooming.

Brush the coat as soon as twice weekly to take away unfastened fur and forestall matting. Due to the undercoat of this breed, they do experience a lack of their coats twice a year.

During these occasions of utmost shedding, brushing is advisable more typically to assist handle the extreme hair.

Bathing is just not wanted recurrently with this breed because the coat is comparatively straightforward to maintain clear and wholesome with common brushing. As with different dog breeds, nails need to be trimmed each three to 4 weeks as wanted.

Black Icelandic Sheepdogs are athletic, lively, clever, and have plenty of energy, so routine train is vital. Herding breeds are great, however, their brains and lively traits imply they need a mixture of psychological and bodily train to maintain them blissful.

To hold these pups bodily and mentally wholesome, attempt together with puzzle toys, agility, scent work, long exploratory walks, runs, and coaching all through the lifetime of the dog.

Black Icelandic Sheepdogs are people-oriented, so provide positive social interactions with others. Without the proper bodily and psychological strain, the black Icelandic Sheepdog could change into damaging, pressured, or develop different behavioral issues.

As with any dog breed, correct coaching is required for the black Icelandic Sheepdog. This breed is clever, and when skilled with consistency and patience, this dog learns shortly.


It responds properly to positive reinforcement with toy and meal rewards, a steady routine, and plenty of love.

This breed is thought to be vocal, principally barking at different animals. It stems from their origins once they would alert their homeowners of hazard out within the mountains or open plains.

Knowing this will probably enable you to perceive why these pups bark at something and every little thing they see or hear—it’s regular behavior for this breed. This is a behavior to discourage when the dog is a pet.

As with any herding breed, they’re more prone to chase automobiles and run after small animals, so you’ll need to maintain the dog leashed or in a fenced yard in areas, the place automobiles move typically.

Teach the dog a very good recall command early in its life, this skill may be extraordinarily useful because the dog will get older.

Overall, the black Icelandic Sheepdog may be very pleasant, playful, affectionate, an enthusiastic learner, and makes a great companion.

However, bear in mind that this breed may be very lively, and extreme barking may be regular behavior, which might rule out an apartment as an appropriate residence.


Major considerations: CHD
Minor considerations: none
Occasionally seen: cryptorchidism
Suggested exams: hip
Life span: 11–14 years

Black Icelandic Sheepdog Quick Facts

The black Icelandic Sheepdog’s thick, straight or barely wavy double coat is available in two lengths and a number of other colors — shades of tan, starting from cream to reddish-brown; chocolate brown; grey and black — all with white markings and typically with a black mask.

Icies sometimes have double dewclaws on their hind legs.

In Icelandic, the breed is known as Íslenskur Fjárhundur

A lesser-known truth in regards to the position of those dogs back within the day is that they have been additionally used to pull puffins from their nesting holes when the farmers have been out looking them

About 100 black Icelandic Sheepdog puppies are born each year in Iceland

The Sheepdog is commonly described as a really smiley dog

The breed has been skilled to assist Iceland’s Search and Rescue squads. The canines are exceptionally good in avalanche searches.

Female dogs are barely smaller than males.

The Sheepdog is often known as the Vikings’ Dog


They are tremendous cuddly
They are very pleasant dogs
They are loyal to their homeowners
They get together with youngsters
They are good
They are very playful (probably a professional and con)


They are likely to bark
They can determine issues prefer to open doorways without being taught
Have weak resistance to Hip dysplasia, Dog cataracts, Cryptorchidism, Distichiasis, and Luxating patella. However, none of those diseases and infections are exceptionally widespread nor are they linked instantly with the breed.

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