Icelandic Sheepdog vs Austrailian Blue Heeler - Breed Comparison

Austrailian Blue Heeler is originated from Australia but Icelandic Sheepdog is originated from Iceland. Both Austrailian Blue Heeler and Icelandic Sheepdog are having almost same height. Both Austrailian Blue Heeler and Icelandic Sheepdog are having almost same weight. Both Austrailian Blue Heeler and Icelandic Sheepdog has almost same life span. Both Austrailian Blue Heeler and Icelandic Sheepdog has almost same litter size. Austrailian Blue Heeler requires High Maintenance. But Icelandic Sheepdog requires Moderate Maintenance

Basic Information

Group:
Herding dogs
Working dogs
Origin:
Australia
Iceland
Height Male:
45 - 50 cm
17 - 20 inches
40 - 45 cm
15 - 18 inches
Height Female:
43 - 48 cm
16 - 19 inches
40 - 45 cm
15 - 18 inches
Weight Male:
14 - 16 kg
30 - 36 pounds
9 - 14 kg
19 - 31 pounds
Weight Female:
12 - 14 kg
26 - 31 pounds
9 - 14 kg
19 - 31 pounds
Life Span:
12 - 16 Years
12 - 14 Years
Litter Size:
1 - 7
4 - 8
Size:
Medium
Medium
Other Names:
Queensland Heeler
Iceland Dog, Icelandic Spitz
Colors Available:
blue, red
black, cream or chocolate., tan and white, Grey and white or tan and white
Coat:
blue speckled or red speckled with dark or cream marks
Short or long, straight or wavy
Shedding:
Constant
Moderate, Seasonal
Temperament:
Alert, Courageous, Curious, Energetic, Independent, Intelligent, Lively, Loyal, Outgoing, Playful, Protective, Responsive, Social, Territorial
Affectionate, Alert, Cheerful, Courageous, Curious, Energetic, Friendly, Independent, Intelligent, Lively, Loving, Loyal, Outgoing, Playful, Protective, Responsive, Social, Territorial
Grooming:
High Maintenance
Moderate Maintenance
Trainability:
Easy
Easy
Hypoallergenic:
No
No
Kids Friendly:
Yes
Yes
New Owners Friendly:
No
Yes

History

In 1840, George Elliott made a match with Australian Dingo and Collie and got a clever and very active dog breed – Australian Blue Heeler. Soon, he showed his good herding instincts and protective nature and got really popular among the cattlemen and ranchers. Soon, as the USA soldiers arrived in Australia, they decided that it will be a great dog to bring home.

Australian Blue Heeler has short, double coat. The coat is water resistant and helps them when the temperature is too high as well. Their coat is rough to the touch, naturally. They can be found in blue or red coat colour mix. The Blue Heeler isn’t actually blue, but their black coat has a bluish tint. Red Heelers have red fur instead of black. They have long tails, strong legs, Dingo-like heads with pointy ears and muscular necks and balanced and athletic bodies.

There are quite a few different dog breeds that fall under the name of Spitz-type dogs, and in fact they have a number of similar characteristics, one of which is that they have some wolf-like features. They typically have the thick coat with undercoat and the erect, pointed ears and slanted eyes.

There is definitely a strong link between the Spitz type dogs and wild wolves. The tail too is feathery and can curl over the back of the dog.

The Icelandic Sheepdog, a native dog to Iceland, is a Spitz type dog which originates from the dogs brought to Iceland by the Vikings. The dogs have always been used to herd sheep, and they resemble dogs found in graves in Sweden and Denmark.

The dog at one time was facing extinction in the late 20th century, but in 1969, the Icelandic Dog Breeder Association was established to restore and preserve the breed. The Icelandic Sheepdog gained AKC recognition in June 2010.

Description

This breed is somehow designed for an outdoor life and outdoor activity. This implies that Blue Heelers have nature made of the high dose of energy. They are always ready to go anywhere you go, and they will be a loyal friend. They are actually very clever, intelligent and ready to help.

If you are a type of the person who prefers being indoors and having minimal physical activity, Blue heelers are not the type of a furry companion for you. They have a high daily need for the activity, and they love having lots of space to run and explore. Sometimes, you will realize that having a leash is a must because they will get so playful that they will forget about you!

If you start teaching them to be friendly with other dogs while they are still pups, they will accept that kind of lifestyle. But, if your Blue Heeler is raised as the only dog on the ranch, note that they won’t be very friendly toward other dogs.

Since most of the herd dogs usually respond to only one person, most of the Blue Heelers can follow this old instinct. They can be very independent, as well, and they are usually not the type of the dog that will always be around your leg waiting for a cuddle or ear scratch. But, they build the respect towards humans depending on how they treat him so they can be very lovable and friendly pets.

If you are still confused about their name, you must know that the Blue Heelers can actually lightly nip your heel for attention. They are not aggressive, but they tend to be very protective of the family, humans around them and their property.

The Icelandic Sheepdog is a smallish to medium sized dog standing at 40 to 45cm in height and he can weigh anything between 9 and 14kg.

His double coat can be short or long, straight or wavy and in a mix of colors such as grey and white or tan and white, black, tan and white, cream or chocolate. Even though they come in a number of predominant colors, these colors are always accompanied by white markings.

He has a longish muzzle, much like the wolf, giving him an alert, foxy appearance. He has a muscular, rectangular body with strong, straight legs with dewclaws on both the front and hind legs.

Temperament:

Your social, energetic dog will require socialization and training which does him the world of good, turning him into a well-adjusted, obedient dog.

He is an intelligent dog, and training him won't be difficult as he is eager to please. These are social dogs which love being part of the family and they don't like being left outside day after day with little human intervention. He is a lively, confident breed, gentle and not at all aggressive.

Health Problems

Eye problems

Progressive Retinal Atrophy usually causes slow and painless loss of sight. This process takes years, but there are cases where this disease took only months before the dog ended up completely blind. It is advisable to take your Blue Heeler to the vet for a test that can tell you if your dog is carrying the gene for this disease.

Lens luxation is a disease where the lens of dog’s eye separates partially or completely. Good news is that this disease can be treated.

Joint diseases

Most common is the hip or elbow dysplasia. This is the disease where hip joints do not develop properly and begin to grind. This condition can sometimes be treated with physiotherapy, but there is a chance that your Blue Heeler will need a surgery. If you have a habit of regular vet checks and keeping your dog slim and fed with quality food, you can a make a big difference.

Osteochondritis Dissecans (OCD) causes the dog to have excess cartilage and deficient bone, where cartilage does not get replaced by bone during fetal development. This disease usually requires surgery and prescribed medicines.

Deafness

Congenital hereditary sensorineural deafness – CHSD is a common form of deafness.

Bilateral deafness can be identified when the dog is still a puppy, more-less at six weeks of age. A puppy with deafness in only one ear is harder to identify, but it can happen.

Portosystemic shunt means that the blood flow is getting back into the bloodstream instead of passing through the liver. That means that liver can’t clear out the toxins, and the organ itself fails to grow properly. This inherited type of shunt can be treated with surgery if the diagnose is set on time.

Your pet will reach 12 to 14 years of age with good care and is regarded as a generally healthy dog breed. However, they can be prone to a few health conditions, and these include hip dysplasia and diabetes.

Diabetes:

Mercifully for your pet, diabetes is considered a manageable disorder. When your pet doesn’t produce insulin or can’t utilize it normally, his blood sugar levels rise, resulting in hyperglycemia.

If left untreated, your pet can land up with a host of complicated health problems. Diabetes can be classified as either Type 1 or Type II, with the more common form in dogs being Type 1.

Caring The Pet

Feeding the puppy

Choose a dog food that will provide nutrients that will help in the bone developing. Since they are more likely to suffer from joint diseases, you must take this advice seriously. It would be great if you speak about this with your vet before you choose food on your own.

Feeding the adult

The best food for Blue Heeler is a high-quality food which supplies them with premium nutrition to fuel their activity.

They also drink a lot of water, so be sure that they always have a fresh water available.

Points for Good Health

Lots and lots of the outdoor activity and a quality food. You must be very cautious because this kind of dogs gets overweight easily because they just love the treats and extra food portion.

Games and Exercises

Any outdoor activity that is mentally challenging and interesting enough to keep them from running in the field trying to catch anything that moves.

Diet:

Feed your energetic Icelandic Sheepdog a diet which is appropriate for his age and activity level. Don't just feed him the best commercially manufactured dog food, but give him some cooked chicken, brown rice and vegetables mixed into his kibble as a tasty treat. Also, dogs are carnivores, so include some raw meat into his diet from time to time. Clean, cool water should always be available.

Grooming:

The Icelandic Sheepdog has a thick double coat, with the outer coat being longer and the hair being shiny and glossy. These dogs shed quite a bit with seasonal shedding too so twice-weekly brushing will be necessary to keep the fur free of loose hair. His nails should also be checked regularly and his teeth should be brushed a couple of times a week too.

Exercise:

Icelandic Sheepdogs are athletic, active dogs that require a lot of exercise to keep them in good physical shape.

He loves all kinds of games and outdoor activities, one of which will be going with you for a walk every day. He makes a wonderful companion for those people going on long hikes.

Characteristics

Children friendliness

They are generally good with children, but you must be aware of their inherent desire to herd. Always supervise when your Blue Heeler is around small children.

Special Talents

Ball tricks, frisbee fun, running companion, herding cattle.

Adaptability

It is best to buy a puppy. These dogs get attached to one human and to the territory.

Learning ability

They are generally quick learners. If you teach them to be playful, friendly and loving, they will learn it in no time. So be aware of the decisions that can cost you when the dog grows up.

The Icelandic Sheepdog is such a good all-round family pet. He is alert, intelligent, social, playful, loyal, loving and brave.

He is friendly too, getting on well with children and any pets you have in the home. He is essentially a working dog, so you shouldn’t think of owning him as a pet if your lifestyle is centered around the TV and the couch for the best part of the day.

This is an energetic dog who wants lots of action during the day. He is a dog that badly wants to be part of the family and in exchange for looking after him well, he’ll promise to be an exceptional pet.

Comparison with other breeds

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