U.S. And Icelandic Standards Regarding Icelandic Sheepdogs Temperament

Our new series will take one section from the Illustrated Standard for the Icelandic Sheepdog each quarter and provide that information in this column. Our first topic is temperament. We begin with the AKC standard, compare it to the home country’s standard, and end with comments made by breed experts. We hope you find this information beneficial in this format.

“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 unafraid. A confident and lively bearing is typical for this dog.” —AKC Icelandic Sheepdog standard

“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 stray 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 unafraid.” —FCI standard No. 289/20.06.2007/GB, translated by Helga Andrésdóttir (Iceland)

“Cheerfulness, friendliness, and curiosity must also be recognized during the exterior judgment. The Icelandic Sheepdog is interested in meeting people and very often signals this behavior. An anxious-looking Icelandic Sheepdog does not meet the behavior described in the standard and is not typical for the breed as a whole. The same goes for dogs being aggressive or showing aggressive behavior against people.” —Comments originally made by Hans-Ake Sperne, breed expert (Sweden), translation for ISAA by Jorgen Metzdorff ( Denmark)

D.R.M. (March 2015), The Icelandic Sheepdog Association of America