meet theIcelandic Sheepdog


Training &Temperament

The AKC’s written standard for the breed says the Icelandic “will always give visitors and enthusiastic welcome.” If anything, this might be an understatement. One writer notes, “The Icelandic not only gets along with people—he truly enjoys them.” The breed’s happy, extroverted quality makes them naturals as hospital therapy dogs. Icelandics are very trainable and, given their agility and athleticism, they excel at many dog sports and activities. On the downside, they shed, they bark, and they’re exceedingly scarce outside of Iceland.

  • Children


    92% agree

  • Other Pets



  • Training


    77% agree

  • Time Alone


    54% agree

Did You Know?

The Icelandic Sheepdog is AKC's 166th breed.

At the October 2009 Board Meeting the Icelandic Sheepdog became eligible for AKC registration, June 30 2010 and was eligible for competition in the Herding Group, effective June 30, 2010.

At the October 2007 Board Meeting the Icelandic Sheepdog Association of America will serve as the AKC Parent Club to represent the Icelandic Sheepdog and was approved to compete in the Miscellaneous Class this became effective July 1, 2008.

At the May 2006 Board Meeting the Icelandic Sheepdog became eligible to compete in AKC Herding Trial classes as Exhibition Only this became effective September 1, 2006.

At the October 2005 Board Meeting the Icelandic Sheepdog became eligible to compete in AKC Companion Events this became effective July 1, 2006.

The Icelandic Sheepdog is also known as: Iceland Spitz, Iceland Dog, Friaar Dog and Íslenskur Fjárhundur

The breed came to Iceland with the Vikings. It is known as the "dog of the Vikings."

The Icelandic Sheepdog has been recorded in the Foundation Stock Service since 1997.

The breed is Iceland's only native dog.

In its country of origin, the Icelandic Sheepdog has been portrayed on postage stamps.

There are two types of coats for the Icelandic Sheepdog: long haired and short haired.

It is thought to be one of the oldest dog breeds in the world.

colors & Markings

Below is a list of the colors and markings available for this breed. Please refer to the breed standard for descriptions and the difference in types.


Description Desc. Standard Colors Std. Colors Registration Code Reg. Code
Black & White 019
Chocolate & White 271
Cream & White 077
Fawn & White 086
Gold & White 092
Gray & White 105
Red & White 146
Sable & White 165
Tan & White 197
White Tan & Black 220
Black 007
Chocolate 071
Chocolate & Tan 072
Cream 076
Fawn 082
Golden 093
Gray 100
Red 140
Sable 164
Tan 195


Description Desc. Standard Markings Std. Markings Registration Code Reg. Code
Black Markings 002
Black Mask 004
Chocolate Markings 043
Cream Markings 044
Gray Markings 028
Piebald 025
Reddish Brown Markngs 040
Tan Markings 012
White Markings 014