Icelandic Sheepdog: Traits, Health, Diet and Care

Icelandic Sheepdog

Learn all about Icelandic Sheepdogs, their care, dietary needs, and training. These affectionate family dogs are playful, adaptable, and easy to train.

Coat Type: Double
Coat Length: Medium
Male Height: 18 inches
Female Height: 16.5 inches
Male Weight: 30 pounds
Female Weight: 25 pounds
Life Expectancy: 12-14 years

Breed Characteristics

Adaptability level
Affectionate with family
Drooling level
Barking level
Coat grooming frequency
Energy level
Good with other dogs
Good with young children
Mental stimulation needs
Openness to strangers
Playfulness level
Shedding level
Trainability level
Watchdog protective nature


Icelandic Sheepdogs have captured the hearts of dog lovers worldwide, with their friendly faces and endearing personalities. Known for their rich history as dependable herding dogs in the rugged landscapes of Iceland, these dogs have a charm that resonates well beyond their native land. This article will delve into what makes the Icelandic Sheepdog so special-from their playful temperament to their loyal companionship.

Whether you're considering adding one of these delightful dogs to your family or simply want to learn more about them, we'll cover essential topics such as their dietary needs, common health concerns, effective training methods, and general care tips. So, if you're intrigued by these lovable and energetic companions, keep reading to discover more about the wonderful world of Icelandic Sheepdogs.

Icelandic Sheepdogs Traits and Characteristics

Icelandic Sheepdogs are known for their friendly demeanor and lively spirit, making them an excellent addition to active households. Possessing a rich heritage as working dogs, they exhibit traits that have been honed over centuries in the harsh climates of Iceland. These dogs are not just pets but companions that bring joy and energy into the lives of their families. Below are some of the key characteristics and personality traits that define Icelandic Sheepdogs:

  • Strong bond with family: They are extremely affectionate and thrive on companionship, forming close bonds with their family members.
  • Child-friendly: Their gentle nature makes them particularly good with young children, often displaying patience and playfulness.
  • Sociable with other dogs: Generally gets along well with other dogs, showcasing a friendly attitude.
  • Moderate shedding: Possesses a double coat that sheds a fair amount, requiring regular grooming.
  • Grooming needs: Their medium-length coat is relatively easy to maintain with occasional brushing.
  • Drooling: They are not known to drool excessively.
  • Coat type and length: They boast a double coat with medium length, providing insulation against cold weather.
  • Welcoming to strangers: Shows openness and friendliness towards strangers, making them poor guard dogs but excellent greeters.
  • Playfulness: Exhibits a playful nature, enjoying interactive games and activities.
  • Watchful nature: While friendly, they are also protective and can serve as good watchdogs.
  • Adaptable: Adjusts well to different living situations when their exercise needs are met.
  • Highly trainable: Known for their intelligence and eagerness to learn, they respond well to training.
  • Energetic: They have a good amount of energy and require regular exercise to stay healthy and happy.
  • Vocalization: Tend to be talkative with a moderate level of barking, which can be managed with proper training.
  • Mental engagement: They need ample mental stimulation to prevent boredom, which can lead to destructive behavior.
  • Size: Males typically stand at 18 inches tall, while females are slightly shorter at 16.5 inches.
  • Weight: Males weigh around 30 pounds, with females averaging around 25 pounds.
  • Longevity: They have a life expectancy of 12 to 14 years, contributing to a long-term commitment for owners.

These attributes make Icelandic Sheepdogs well-suited for active families who can provide plenty of love, attention, and activities to keep them engaged.

Food and Nutrition - Keeping Icelandic Sheepdogs Healthy

Icelandic Sheepdogs require a well-balanced diet to maintain their health and vitality. As energetic and active dogs, they benefit from high-quality dog food that meets their nutrient requirements. It's crucial to select food that supports their energy levels while not contributing to obesity.

A diet that includes lean proteins, healthy fats, essential vitamins, and minerals will help ensure that these dogs maintain their muscular physique and have the necessary stamina for their daily activities. In addition to their regular meals, treats play a role in an Icelandic Sheepdog's diet but should be given in moderation. Our chew product, like the Tibetan Dog Chew, can be a valuable addition to their routine.

Made from natural ingredients such as Yak and Cow milk, and free from preservatives, this high-protein chew is designed to be a long-lasting treat that satisfies the dog's need to gnaw. The hard texture also helps in maintaining dental hygiene by reducing plaque and tartar build-up as they chew.

However, it's important to remember that while treats like our chew product are beneficial for an Icelandic Sheepdog's dental health and can provide mental stimulation, they should not replace a complete and balanced diet. Dog owners should ensure their Icelandic Sheepdogs receive all the essential nutrients from their primary food source.

Feeding guidelines typically recommend portion sizes based on the dog's weight and activity level, and it's common to feed adult dogs twice a day. Always provide fresh water, and consult with a veterinarian to tailor the diet to the dog's specific health needs.

Tibetan Dog Chew - Keeps Your Dog Happy, Healthy & Engaged

Unleash the unbeatable goodness and unmatched quality for your dog with our yak cheese dog chews! Our 100% natural, hand-crafted, preservative-free, and long-lasting chews are the perfect treat for your furry friends.

Health Information of Icelandic Sheepdogs

Icelandic Sheepdogs are generally robust and healthy, with a life expectancy of 12 to 14 years. However, like all breeds, they are predisposed to certain health conditions. It's crucial for owners to be aware of these potential issues to ensure their pets live long, happy lives. Regular veterinary check-ups and being attentive to the dog's behavior can help in early detection and treatment of health problems. Here are some common health concerns for Icelandic Sheepdogs:

  • Hip dysplasia: A genetic condition where the hip joint doesn't fit together perfectly, which can lead to arthritis or lameness.
  • Elbow dysplasia: Similar to hip dysplasia, this affects the elbow joint and can cause pain or mobility issues.
  • Cataracts: A condition that can lead to impaired vision or blindness if not treated.
  • Patellar luxation: The knee cap slips out of place, which can be painful and may require surgical intervention.

Incorporating dog health tips into the care routine for an Icelandic Sheepdog can help mitigate some of these risks. For instance, maintaining a healthy weight through proper diet and exercise can alleviate joint stress and prevent issues like dysplasia. Providing a comfortable and warm sleeping area can also help support joint health.

Our antler products are another excellent tool for promoting overall health in Icelandic Sheepdogs. These all-natural chews are not only long-lasting and enjoyable for dogs but also contain beneficial nutrients like calcium and phosphorus. Chewing on antlers can help keep teeth clean and strengthen jaw muscles, which contributes to dental health—a common area of concern for many dog breeds.

Despite the best preventive measures, it's always recommended to seek professional veterinary assistance if there are signs of health issues. A veterinarian can provide expert guidance tailored to an Icelandic Sheepdog's specific needs. Regular check-ups, staying up-to-date with vaccinations, and prompt attention to any health concerns are the cornerstones of responsible pet ownership and ensure the well-being of these beloved companions.

How To Train and Care Icelandic Sheepdogs

Training Icelandic Sheepdogs can be a rewarding experience due to their high intelligence and eagerness to please. Effective training methods for these dogs often involve positive reinforcement, consistency, and patience. Since they are highly trainable and thrive on mental stimulation, short, engaging training sessions work best.

Basic dog training commands such as sit, stay, come, and heel are essential for obedience and can be taught from a young age. These dogs also excel in agility and herding activities, which not only cater to their physical exercise needs but also provide the necessary mental challenge.

Using treats as a form of positive reinforcement during training sessions can significantly enhance the learning experience for Icelandic Sheepdogs. Our Puffs products are particularly suitable for this purpose. Made from the same natural ingredients as our chew product, these treats are a healthier alternative to many commercial options.

They are high in protein and contain limited ingredients, making them a nutritious reward that can help keep your dog focused and motivated during training. The smaller size of the Puffs makes them convenient to use frequently without overfeeding.

Incorporating treats like our Puffs products into training sessions adds an element of excitement for the dog and strengthens the bond between the dog and the trainer. Always remember to balance treats with their overall diet to maintain a healthy weight.

Additionally, routine care for Icelandic Sheepdogs should include regular grooming, dental care, and exercise to keep them in top condition. With the right approach and tools, training and caring for an Icelandic Sheepdog can be a fulfilling journey that results in a well-behaved and happy pet.

Watch your dog chew on pure happiness!

Introducing Yak Cheese Puffs – the ultimate delight for your furry friend's taste buds. Keep them entertained and satisfied with a treat that's as joyful as they are!

Best Popular and Unique Names For Icelandic Sheepdog

Searching for a great and unique dog name for your Icelandic Sheepdog? Worry not, here are some unique and purr-fect dog names for your furry friend.

Male Icelandic Sheepdog Name Female Icelandic Sheepdog Name
Loki Freya
Thor Sif
Odin Edda
Bjorn Nanna
Snorri Saga
Magnus Ylva
Leif Astrid
Finn Inga
Haldor Helga
Rune Sigrid

Frequently Asked Questions about Icelandic Sheepdogs

Do Icelandic Sheepdogs get along with other pets?

Yes, Icelandic Sheepdogs generally get along well with other dogs. They are sociable and have a friendly nature, but introductions should be done gradually and in a controlled environment. As with any breed, socialization from a young age can help ensure they are well-adjusted and polite with other pets.

What are the best training practices for Icelandic Sheepdogs?

Icelandic Sheepdogs respond well to positive reinforcement techniques. They are intelligent and eager to learn, so rewards such as treats, praise, and play can be very effective. Consistency in commands and routines, along with short, engaging training sessions, will yield the best results. Avoid harsh methods as they can damage the trust between you and your dog.

How much exercise do Icelandic Sheepdogs need?

These dogs are energetic and require regular exercise to stay healthy. Daily activities such as walks, runs, or playtime in a secure area are recommended. They also enjoy and benefit from mental stimulation, so activities that engage their minds, like agility training or herding exercises, are great options.

What are some dog care questions specific to Icelandic Sheepdogs?

Owners often ask about coat care, which is important due to their medium-length double coat. Regular brushing to remove loose hair and prevent matting is necessary. Another common question is about diet; providing a balanced diet with appropriate portion sizes is crucial for maintaining their health.

Are Icelandic Sheepdogs prone to any specific health problems?

While generally healthy, they can be prone to conditions like hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, cataracts, and patellar luxation. Regular check-ups with a veterinarian can help catch and manage these issues early on. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle with proper diet and exercise is also key in prevention.

These FAQs provide information about Icelandic Sheepdogs, covering topics related to behavior, training, exercise, care, and health to assist potential and current owners in understanding and caring for this breed.


This article shares information about dog breeds for educational purposes only, using the American Kennel Club (AKC) as our main source because they're experts on dog breeds. But remember, every dog is unique. What we share might not fit every single dog, even if they are from the same breed. If your dog needs help, whether it's for health or behavior, it's always best to talk to a vet or a dog trainer. They can give advice that fits your pet's specific needs.

We want to help you learn about dogs and how to take care of them, but we can't replace professional advice. Always check with a professional if you're not sure about something to make sure your dog is healthy and happy.