Iceland Farehound

Other names/Nicknames:
  • Icelandic Sheepdog
  • Friar Dog
Country/Date of origin:
  • Iceland
  • 1800′s
  • 12 to 16 inches
  • 20 to 30 pounds
  • Intelligent.
  • Easily trained.
  • Loyal.

This breed is believed to have been originally brought to Iceland by the Vikings where it was used as a herding dog.  It came close to extinction in the early 1900′s when it was almost wiped out by a viral epidemic (probably distemper).  Thirty years later, most of the Farehonds were killed to stop an epidemic of tapeworm that is communicable to sheep and humans.  A few of the breed were sent to England in the 1950′s and it has thrived there and on mainland Scandinavia.  It has been accepted for showing under Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) rules, and is now making in-roads back into its native Iceland.

Body Type:
  • A small, Spitz-type dog.
  • The tail is set high and carried curled over the back.  It is not altered.
  • The ears are carried erect and are not altered.
  • The coat is thick and carried close to the body.  It may be either short or long in length.
  • All colors are permissible, with a golden red being the most common.
  • Moderate grooming required.
Health and Wellness:
  • Generally robust
What you should know:
  • Unlike most Spitz breeds, the Farehond is not a hunting dog.
  • It does not have the roaming predilection of that group but the homebody propensity of the herding dogs.
  • This is a lively dog that requires plenty of exercise.
  • Should be socialized at an early age.
  • It will be difficult to obtain a puppy in the United States.
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