THE FARMERS BEST FRIEND – THE ICELANDIC SHEEPDOG

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When Iceland was first settled back in the 9th century, the only native land mammal was the Arctic Fox which came to the island at the end of the ice age. Other domestic breeds were brought here by settlers and due to the geographic isolation, most of the breeds have remained unchanged since. The Icelandic horse is a well known example of this and other animals include the Icelandic sheep, cattle, chicken, goat and of course the farmers best friend, the Icelandic sheepdog.

This prick eared and curled tailed furry creature first came to Iceland with the Nordic Vikings, the original settlers of Iceland.
In terrain like in Iceland, the breed developed flexibility, strength, patience, as well as independence. With those attributes along with being easily trainable, the dog became an excellent herder of sheep and other domestic animals and with it’s loud woof woof they also made great guard dogs and protected the lamb from predators like eagles.

Today, along with being the farmers favorite little helper and a great household pet; the Icelandic sheepdog has also been trained for variety of jobs, like avalanche tracking and field searches. 

Fun fact:

During the medieval times the Icelandic sheepdog was quite a popular export, particularly to Britain, and not only for sheep farmers but also as pets for British elites. In the play Hinrik V. by William Shakespeare, the Icelandic dog is actually mentioned.