Icelandic Sheepdog Popular in the US Skip to content

Icelandic Sheepdog Popular in the US

The Icelandic sheepdog is considered to have good qualities as a comfort dog and has been trained to lighten the mood of people in hospitals and nursing homes and others who are having a difficult time.

An Icelandic sheepdog. Photo by Svanfrídur Oddgeirsdóttir.

The American news channel WTVR CBS 6 reported last week that two Icelandic sheepdogs, Angel and Thorri, visited former Navy bomb specialist Mitchell Gilbert, who is recovering from a brain injury and must use a wheelchair, and were quick to charm him.

Icelandic sheepdog owner and trainer Brynhildur Inga Einarsdóttir in Selfoss told Fréttabladid that she isn’t surprised about the popularity of the breed.

“The dog has been used a lot in the US and in Germany to visit hospitals and nursing homes. It is a suitable size, very friendly and its presence has a calming effect,” Einarsdóttir said.

Gudni Ágústsson, chairman of the Icelandic Sheepdog Association, agrees with Einarsdóttir. “It is such a character, this dog. It comes running with this smiley expression and people can’t help but like it.”

Ágústsson said there are between 3,000 and 4,000 Icelandic sheepdogs registered in the US and that their number is constantly increasing.

Click here to watch the news story about Angel and Thorri.

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