Group 5 Spitz and primitive
Section 3 Nordic Watchdogs and Herders.
Without working trial.
BRIEF HISTORICAL SUMMARY:
The Icelandic Sheepdog is Iceland’s only native dog. It was brought to
Iceland with the first Viking settlers (AD 874 - 930). The Icelandic
Sheepdog and its method of working adapted to the local terrain, farming
methods and the hard struggle for survival of the Icelandic people over
the centuries, making it indispensable in the rounding up of livestock
on the farms. The Icelandic sheepdog’s popularity has increased over the
last few decades and, despite the fact the breed is still very small in
numbers, it is no longer considered to be in danger of extinction.
The Icelandic Sheepdog is a
Nordic herding Spitz, slightly under medium sized with prick ears and a
curled tail. Seen from the side the dog is rectangular; the length of
the body from the point of shoulder to point of buttock is greater than
the height at withers. The depth of the chest is equal to the length of
the foreleg. The expression is gentle, intelligent and happy. A
confident and lively bearing is typical for this dog. There are two
types of coat, long and short both thick and extremely weatherproof.
There is a marked difference in appearance between the sexes.
BEHAVIOUR AND TEMPERAMENT:
The Icelandic Sheepdog is a hardy and agile herding dog which barks,
making it extremely useful for herding or driving livestock in the
pastures, in the mountains or finding lost sheep. The Icelandic Sheepdog
is by nature very alert and will always give visitors an enthusiastic
welcome without being aggressive. Hunting instincts are not strong. The
Icelandic Sheepdog is cheerful, friendly, inquisitive, playful and
Strongly built with close fitting skin. Skull slightly longer than
muzzle. Triangular when seen from above or the side.
Skull: Somewhat domed.
Stop: Clearly defined though neither steep nor high.
Black, dark brown in
chocolate brown and some cream dogs.
Well-developed, nasal bridge straight. Muzzle slightly shorter than
skull. Tapering evenly towards the nose to form a blunt triangle when
seen from both above and from the side.
Black, close fitting, dark brown in chocolate brown and some cream dogs.
Scissor bite. Complete dentition.
Of medium size and almond shaped. Dark brown. Slightly lighter in
chocolate brown and some cream dogs. The eye-rims are black. Dark brown
in chocolate brown and some cream dogs.
Erect and of medium size. Triangular with firm edges and slightly
rounded tips. Very mobile, reacting sensitively to sounds and showing
the dog’s mood.
Moderately long and muscular with no loose skin. Slightly arched and
Rectangular and strong. The length in correct proportion to height and
in harmony with general appearance.
Back: Level, muscular and strong.
Loins: Broad and muscular.
Croup: Moderately short and wide, slightly sloping and well
Chest: Long, deep and well sprung.
Belly: Only a slight tuck up.
High set, curled over and touching the back.
FOREQUARTERS: When seen from the front the forelegs are straight,
parallel and strong. Normal angulation.
Shoulders: Oblique and muscular.
Dew claws: May be double.
Forefeet: Slightly oval toes well-arched and tight with
HINDQUARTERS: When seen from behind the hindlegs are straight,
parallel and strong. Normal angulation.
Thighs: Broad and well muscled.
Dew claws: Well-developed double dewclaws are desirable.
Hindfeet: Same as forefeet.
GAIT: Displays agility and endurance with good driving action
covering the ground effortlessly.
COAT: Double coat, thick and extremely weatherproof.
HAIR: There are two variants :
Short haired: The outer coat of medium length, fairly coarse, with a
thick, soft undercoat. The hair is shorter on the face, top of head,
ears and front of legs, longer on the neck, chest and back of thighs.
The tail is bushy and the hair length is in proportion to the coat.
Longer-haired: The outer coat is longer than the above, fairly
coarse, with a thick, soft undercoat. The hair is shorter on the face,
top of head, ears and front of legs, longer behind the ears, on the
neck, chest, behind the forelegs and back of thighs. The tail is very
bushy and the hair length is in proportion to the coat.
COLOUR: Several colours are permitted but a single colour should
always be predominant. The predominant colours are:
White always accompanies the
predominant colour. The most common white markings, which are often
irregular, are a blaze or a part of the face, collar, chest, socks of
varying length and tip of tail. Lighter shading often occurs on the
underside of the dog from throat to tip of tail. On tan and grey dogs a
black mask, black tips to the outer hairs and even occasional black
hairs often occur. Black (tricolour) dogs have a black coat, white
markings as mentioned above and traditional markings in any of the
various tan colours on the cheeks, over the eyes (eyebrows) and on the
legs. Patches of the above colours on a white background (pied) are
permitted. White should not be totally predominant.
SIZE: Ideal height is:
Dogs: 46 cm.
Bitches: 42 cm.
FAULTS: Any departure from the foregoing points should be
considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be
regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree.
Lack of dewclaws.
Round protruding eyes.
Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities shall be
Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended
into the scrotum.
Date of publication of the original valid standard:
FCI-Standard N°289 / 29. 11. 2000