Deep North Episode 21: A New Leash on Life

icelandic sheepdog

We’re on our way to meet a national pageant winner, who after a thorough examination by a qualified judge was selected as the most beautiful in all the land. The pageant winner is perhaps not quite what you would expect, however. Firstly, he’s male. Secondly, he’s three years old. Thirdly, he’s covered in a thick coat of luxurious fur. His name is Einir, and he’s an Icelandic sheepdog.

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Art Exhibition Celebrates the Icelandic Sheepdog

Dog trainer and art teacher Sóldís Einarsdóttir is paying tribute to the Icelandic sheepdog in a new exhibition at the Ábæjarsafn Open Air Museum, RÚV reports.

“Above all, the Icelandic sheepdog is just a lot of fun,” Sóldís told RÚV. “They’re incredibly vivacious, they smile at you, and they always want to play.”

The exhibition consists of Sóldís’ oil paintings of sheepdogs in different environments. Her own dog modelled for several of the works.

Screenshot RÚV

“I’m a big dog person,” she continued. “We celebrated the Day of the Icelandic Sheepdog last year on July 18. And I thought that we needed some pictures of Icelandic sheepdogs.”

Screenshot RÚV

The experience has been an enjoyable one for Sóldís, who says that she had such a good time painting Icelandic sheepdogs that she plans to start painting other dog breeds and other animals as well in the future.

The exhibition will be on display at Ábæjarsafn through Monday, August 31.

A New Leash On Life

Icelandic sheepdog

I’m on my way to meet a national pageant winner, who after a thorough examination by a qualified judge was selected as the most beautiful in all the land. The pageant winner is perhaps not quite what you would expect, however.
Firstly, he’s male. Secondly, he’s three years old. Thirdly, he’s covered in a thick coat of luxurious fur.
His name is Einir, and he’s an Icelandic sheepdog.

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Icelandic Sheepdog Celebrated Today

Icelandic Sheepdog.

 

The fourth annual Icelandic Sheepdog Day will be celebrated across Iceland today, RÚV reports. The goal of the yearly event is to increase the breed’s visibility. The Icelandic sheepdog neared extinction in the late 20th century, but was largely saved by the work of Englishman Mark Watson, who took several dogs to England in order to preserve the breed.

The Icelandic Sheepdog breed originates from the dogs brought to Iceland by the Vikings. It is a similar breed to the Norwegian Buhund, the Shetland Sheepdog, and the Welsh Corgi. In Iceland, the dogs are commonly used to herd sheep, as well as being kept as household pets, and are known for their hardiness and resourcefulness.

A presentation of the breed will take place in Reykjavík today at the Árbær Open Air Museum at 2.00pm. Stefanía Sigurðardóttir, chairperson of the Department of the Icelandic Sheepdog, will tell the story of the national breed, as well as describing its varied colouring and its characteristics.

Icelandic Sheepdog Day is celebrated on Mark Watson’s birthday, which this year marks 113 years since his birth. The Icelandic Dog Breeder Association (HRFÍ), founded partly in order to preserve the breed, celebrates its 50th anniversary this year as well. Readers can find more information on Mark Watson’s actions and life on Hundalíf Hundaskóli’s website.