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Longhaired Icelandic Sheepdog – Dog Breeds Guide

Breed summary

Size: Small to Medium
Weight: 20 to 30 pounds
Height: 12 to 16 inches
Longevity: 12
Bark Tendency: High
Aggression: Low
Compatibility to other pets: High


The Longhaired Icelandic Sheepdog is one of two coat varieties of the dog breed also known as the Iceland Sheepdog. This is coat variety is considered rare compared to the Short-haired Icelandic Sheepdog.

Official Name

Longhaired Icelandic Sheepdog


Date – Ancient Times
Country – Iceland
Family / Group – Spitz, Primitive, Nordic, Herding, Guardian


The Longhaired Icelandic Sheepdog is one of two coat variants of this dog breed that is native to the island nation of Iceland. It is said that Viking raiders brought them to the island between the ninth and tenth centuries. Iceland natives quickly favored this dog, proving that they are vital herding dogs for farmers and ranchers to be successful livestock rising. Throughout its existence, Icelandic Sheepdogs have been nearly eradicated. Fortunately, their extinction did not happen and their numbers are increasing in the past few decades.


Confidence and enthusiasm both at work and at home are one of the most admirable traits of the Nordic herding dogs. Longhaired Icelandic Sheepdogs also have a very pleasing temperament, showing gentleness, cheerfulness, and eagerness to get along with people. They are well behaved and loving when around children.

Bred For

Short-haired Icelandic Sheepdogs were bred by the native people of Iceland to be reliable working dogs in their country’s local terrain, farming methods, and rounding up livestock.


They are not suitable for apartment type living. The Short-haired Icelandic Sheepdog needs a lot of activity and exercise and needs close contact with the family.


This breed does shed and normally blows its coat twice a year. The Longhaired Icelandic Sheepdog has a double coat, thick and extremely weatherproof.


Breeders and owners of these Icelandic dogs give them high marks when it comes to training. These Nordic dogs are known to be very quick learners. They are also dogs that are very easy and enjoyable to train.


Longhaired Icelandic Sheepdogs like their other Nordic dog cousins are usually fairly healthy as a breed.


This is a very active breed by nature. Longhaired Icelandic Sheepdogs demand to get sufficient exercise every day. Owners should make sure to take their Icelandic sheepdog pets on daily walks. Jogging or running with this spitz-type dog breed is highly recommendable.



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