Icelandic Animals

Because Iceland is an island and because it is situated in the middle of the Atlantic ocean the development and breeding of the Icelandic animals reflect this isolation. The only mamal to inhabit Iceland before the onset of viking settelers in the 8th century was the arctic fox. All other animals were braught by people and introduced into the environment with varying results. From the many animals the viking settlers braught with them special Icelandic breeds of pigs, cattle, cats, dogs, hens, goats, sheep and horses have developed. The characteristics of the Icelandic horse and the unique wool produced by Icelandic sheep have become national symbols. The knitted Icelandic sweater made from Icelandic wool is a popular souvenier and a practical one too.

Hotels in Iceland

Dog Sledding in Iceland

Experience the thrill and excitement of touring Iceland’s incredible scenery while dog sledding in Iceland. Share the beautiful sites and open spaces as a dog sled team guides you in a great adventure. It is both a chance to travel old school style and also to experience a form of travel that brings you into contact with nature in a unique and picturesque way. Dog power has been utilized for hunting and travel for hundreds of years. As far back as the 10th century these dogs have contributed to human culture.

Dog Sledding Tours

There is nothing like the thrill and excitement of touring Iceland’s incredible scenery on a dog sleigh.
If you are looking for an activity for your Holiday in Iceland why not share the beautiful sites and open spaces on the ride of a lifetime as a dog sled team guides you in a great adventure. 

Icelandic Sheep Dog

The Icelandic Sheepdog is the only native dog of Iceland. It is descended from the ancient Nordic Spitzdogs and was taken to Iceland by the Vikings, together with their sheep and horses, more than 1,100 years ago. The Icelandic Sheepdog and its method of working adapted to the local terrain, farming methods and the hard struggle for survival of the Icelandic people over the centuries, making it indispensable in the rounding up of livestock on the farms. The dogs were of vital use to the Icelandic people, thus demanding the utmost in character, frugality and health in their breeding. 

Icelandic Sheep in General

The modern Icelandic Sheep is a direct descendant of the sheep brought to the island by the early Viking settlers, in the ninth and tenth century. The Icelandic sheep are of medium size with mature ewes weighing 150-160 lbs. and rams 200-220 lbs. They are fine boned with open face and legs and udders. Similar to that of mountain sheep, the breed has both polled and horned individual of both sexes but it is primarily horned. Very few attempts have been made to change the Icelandic sheep through the centuries with outside crossings. 

Rettir - Sheep Roundup

If you’re visiting Iceland in the fall, catching the annual sheep roundup or “réttir, “is one activity in Iceland you do not want to miss. During the month of September famers in Iceland come together in a joint effort to round up sheep from the mountains. The annual event is one that has been handed down as a tradition among the Icelanders for ages.

Taking a dog to Iceland

Flying with pets can be a daunting task. 
Flying with dogs can be even more difficult.  Bringing your dog to Iceland is be quite complicated and can take an immense amount of planning and preparation work. Requirements for taking your dog to Iceland can be quite strict and include several forms, an import application fee, and four weeks of quarantine. No exceptions are made and this should not be done on a whim. Also, completion of these various vaccinations and forms can take several months, so if you want to take your dog to Iceland, plan early.

Uses of the Icelandic sheep

Even though the Icelandic wool counts for little of the income from sheep in Iceland (less than 15%) it is the wool for which they are known. The Icelandic fleece has an inner and outer coat typical of the more primitive breeds with the fine undercoat being called Thel, and the long, coarser outer coat called Tog.