The Icelandic Sheepdog, or Iceland Dog, is the Iceland's only native breed, and almost Iceland's only breed. After the Iceland Sheepdog suffered a bout with distemper and tapeworms in the late 1800s, a ban on all mammals was issued for Iceland. Healthy today, the Icelandic Sheepdog is a small, furry sheepdog used for herding, guarding and as a working dog. They are a progenitor of the Norwegian Buhund, and are the basic Spitz-type breed. They have a plumed tail carried over the back, with short legs and a foxy expression. Their muzzles are often darker than the rest of their bodies, and some have black markings above their eyes like eyebrows. They are quite fluffy, and can come in colors of wheaten, black, wolf sable, "dirty" white, all white, or with a symmetrical white. They are strong, agile and make noise when they want something. Icelandic Sheepdogs in the past have barked at sheep if they don't move, and therefore bark whenever they want something. They are lively, active dogs that are affectionate and loyal. They do not wander or hunt. Icelandic Sheepdogs like close contact with their families, and do not like to leave them. They are friendly, alert and relatively easy to care for. Lacking in maintenance and loaded with love, the Iceland Sheepdog is the ultimate companion and friend.
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