Much like the Icelandic horse, the Icelandic dog is a special breed of dog that has evolved in isolation through the centuries, and is known and loved for its fair temperament and friendly manner. The Icelandic sheepdog is of the same ancestry as the Norwegian Buhund and the modern Shetland sheepdog and Welsh corgi. It arrived in Iceland with the first settlers in the ninth century.
The Icelandic Sheepdog is a workdog, and is still commonly used to herd sheep in the Icelandic countryside. Hardy and agile, they are extremely useful for herding and driving livestock or finding lost sheep. It is very alert and can be an excellent watchdog, although it is not aggressive. However, it has not made a reputation as a hunting dog.
The Icelandic Sheepdog is often described as a large dog in the body of a small dog. It is a very lively and inquisitive type, a quick learner and very willing. It is very sociable and fiercly loyal. It thrives on close human companionship and enjoys being with other animals, especially horses.