Icelandic Sheepdog vs Formosan Mountain Dog - Breed Comparison
Formosan Mountain Dog is originated from Taiwan but Icelandic Sheepdog is originated from Iceland. Formosan Mountain Dog may grow 7 cm / 3 inches higher than Icelandic Sheepdog. Both Formosan Mountain Dog and Icelandic Sheepdog are having almost same weight. Both Formosan Mountain Dog and Icelandic Sheepdog has almost same life span. Formosan Mountain Dog may have more litter size than Icelandic Sheepdog. Formosan Mountain Dog requires Low Maintenance. But Icelandic Sheepdog requires Moderate Maintenance
The Formosan Mountain Dog is most often known as the Taiwan dog and it is a landrace indigenous to Taiwan. It is a small to medium breed of dog that was semi-wild at one time. The colonialization of Taiwan and other foreigners help to fully domesticate the Formosan Mountain Dog. They were found to be very trainable and uniquely suited for the terrain around Taiwan. The dogs were easy to train and now serve as hunting dogs, stunt dogs, guard dogs, rescue dogs, therapy dog and personal companions. There are three types of Formosans two smaller types and one medium. However, the original pure Formosan Mountain Dog is getting close to extinction again because the government and people have provided no protection or conservation efforts for them. These dogs have been living in Taiwan in the mountains and were called Formosan Mountain Dogs when Taiwan was known as Formosa. They come from a line of Southeast Asian hunting/gun dogs and they are considered ‘rare’ now.
According to historian Dr. Sung Yung-yi, the breed went through 4 major catastrophes that affected their development. The first of these was the Dutch Establishment in 1624. The Dutch colonized Taiwan and imported both people and dogs. The dog they brought in was called the Flying Dog and was either Greyhound or Pointer. Eventually, the Flying Dog bred with the Formosan Mountain Dog. This along with the slaughter of dogs belonging to the indigenous people by the government, starting the decline of the original Taiwan dog.
In 1895, it was the Japanese acquiring Taiwan following the First Sino-Japanese War. The Japanese bred the Formosan Mountain Dog extensively with the own Japanese dogs. This further diluted the line and authenticity of Taiwan dogs.
This was followed by World War II when German Shepherds traveled with the US Army and they cross-bred with the Formosan. This was the third major dilution of the Formosan Mountain dog line. At the same time, the Japanese government considered the Formosan Mountain Dog a sanitation threat and barbaric. They massacred them in large numbers in the name of sanitation.
The fourth and final dilution took place during the Kuomintang Era beginning in 1945 with the arrival of the Chinese Nationalist Party. They brought with them the culture of eating dogs. During this time the economy of Taiwan took off and business people began to import their own foreign dogs that were high priced purebreds. These dogs bred with the Formosan and other Formosans were just abandoned to die. The ranks of the breed became very thin indeed. Today’s pure Formosan is highly valuable and extremely rare. Because of all the crossbreeding over the centuries, today’s purebred Formosan Mountain Dog is very different from the Taiwan dog of old. Today’s Formosan is loved all over the island and is a companion and watchdog.
Today there is an effort by Taiwanese ecologists to put together a research project that would study and preserve the Formosan in its indigenous form. Dr. Yung-yi led this effort. He located only 46 dogs with a pure pedigree, 21 females and 25 males. They let the Food and Agricultural of the United Nations know and the dogs were labeled close to extinction. Reproducing from the indigenous dogs to purify and increase the breed was the goal. The government was not very supportive.
Today the Royal Air Force is looking at the Formosan Dog to use for military security. They are currently only using German Shepherds and needed another choice. It was decided that the Formosan Mountain Dog had a better sense of smell, dexterity, alertness, and hearing as well as better padding on their paws.
Through these efforts and those of foundation stock breeders and owners, the Formosan Mountain Dog in its indigenous form was brought back. Some call this dog a purebred Formosan while others consider it a new type. Standards were presented to the FCI for registrations as a purebred. This debate continues today
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.
The Formosan Mountain Dog that was seen during Dr. Sung Yung-yi’s research is a medium-sized dog, athletic and fit. It has a deep chest and a slim waist. The ears are half-covered, the nose is black and there is a coating of black on the tongue. This black tongue is the most distinguishing attribute of the Formosan Mountain Dog. The breed has a strong jaw, the skull that is just slightly longer than the muzzle, which is flat and tapered, triangle face and almond eyes. They have a thick coat and upright, curved tail.
The dogs are known to be extremely agile with an ability to hop that is rare in dogs but helps when hunting animals like rats. The Formosan Mountain Dogs hunted in packs with each dog attacking the prey with one bite until it was too exhausted to fight them off any longer.
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.
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.
Because there have not been any studies done on the health of the Formosan Mountain Dog, there is not a lot known about any inherent or genetic health issues. It would seem that some bloodlines are healthy, and others have some serious issues. Especially because there are no studies, it is important for breeders to test for eye issues and skeletal issues through the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals and the Canine Eye Registration Foundation.
Some of the health issues the Formosan Mountain Dog might be susceptible to.
- Dysplasia: Hip and/or Elbow
- Can cause lameness and/or arthritis
- Luxating Patella
- Floating or dislocated kneecap
- PRA – Progressive Retinal Atrophy
- Degeneration of the retina – causes blindness
- Can be removed/causes sight issues or blindness
- Mange Demodex/Demodicosis/Demodectic
- Caused by mites and can be treated
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.
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
Feed a high-quality puppy food for medium size dogs at the rate of a ¼ cup twice a day until 8 months then ½ to ¾ twice a day until 12-16 months.
Feeding the adult
1 to 2 cups of high-quality dry food split into 2 meals per day.
Points for Good Health
Generally healthy breed. Keep clean and watch for mites.
Games and Exercises
This is an energetic breed and he needs a lot of exercise. He must have at least an hour of exercise daily but the more, the better. He loves swimming and jogging with his people. He’s athletic, smart and agile. He does well with field trials, tracking, agility, and obedience.
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.
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.
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.
The Formosan Mountain Dog is very child-friendly. He is affectionate and loyal to his family and protective of his children.
He is intelligent and has exceptional hunting skills. He is a good guard dog due to his alertness, but they can be fear-aggressive.
He is very adaptable to living in any location as long as there is somewhere for him to get adequate exercise. He is friendly to people and animals.
He is intelligent and learns quickly.
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
- Formosan Mountain Dog vs English Bulldog - Breed Comparison
- Formosan Mountain Dog vs German Shepherd - Breed Comparison
- Formosan Mountain Dog vs Golden Retriever - Breed Comparison
- Formosan Mountain Dog vs Labrador Retriever - Breed Comparison
- Formosan Mountain Dog vs West Highland White Terrier - Breed Comparison
- Formosan Mountain Dog vs French Bulldog - Breed Comparison
- Formosan Mountain Dog vs Beagle - Breed Comparison
- Formosan Mountain Dog vs Yorkshire Terrier - Breed Comparison
- Formosan Mountain Dog vs Poodle - Breed Comparison
- Formosan Mountain Dog vs Rottweiler - Breed Comparison
- Formosan Mountain Dog vs Boxer - Breed Comparison
- Formosan Mountain Dog vs English Pointer - Breed Comparison
- Formosan Mountain Dog vs Siberian Husky - Breed Comparison
- Formosan Mountain Dog vs Doberman Pinscher - Breed Comparison
- Formosan Mountain Dog vs American Bully - Breed Comparison
- Formosan Mountain Dog vs Abruzzenhund - Breed Comparison
- Formosan Mountain Dog vs Affenpinscher - Breed Comparison
- Formosan Mountain Dog vs Afghan Hound - Breed Comparison
- Formosan Mountain Dog vs Aidi - Breed Comparison
- Formosan Mountain Dog vs Airedale Terrier - Breed Comparison
- Formosan Mountain Dog vs Akbash Dog - Breed Comparison
- Formosan Mountain Dog vs Akita - Breed Comparison
- Formosan Mountain Dog vs Africanis - Breed Comparison
- Formosan Mountain Dog vs Askal - Breed Comparison
- Formosan Mountain Dog vs Atlas Terrier - Breed Comparison
- Icelandic Sheepdog vs English Bulldog - Breed Comparison
- Icelandic Sheepdog vs German Shepherd - Breed Comparison
- Icelandic Sheepdog vs Golden Retriever - Breed Comparison
- Icelandic Sheepdog vs Labrador Retriever - Breed Comparison
- Icelandic Sheepdog vs West Highland White Terrier - Breed Comparison
- Icelandic Sheepdog vs French Bulldog - Breed Comparison
- Icelandic Sheepdog vs Beagle - Breed Comparison
- Icelandic Sheepdog vs Yorkshire Terrier - Breed Comparison
- Icelandic Sheepdog vs Poodle - Breed Comparison
- Icelandic Sheepdog vs Rottweiler - Breed Comparison
- Icelandic Sheepdog vs Boxer - Breed Comparison
- Icelandic Sheepdog vs English Pointer - Breed Comparison
- Icelandic Sheepdog vs Siberian Husky - Breed Comparison
- Icelandic Sheepdog vs Doberman Pinscher - Breed Comparison
- Icelandic Sheepdog vs American Bully - Breed Comparison
- Icelandic Sheepdog vs Abruzzenhund - Breed Comparison
- Icelandic Sheepdog vs Affenpinscher - Breed Comparison
- Icelandic Sheepdog vs Afghan Hound - Breed Comparison
- Icelandic Sheepdog vs Aidi - Breed Comparison
- Icelandic Sheepdog vs Airedale Terrier - Breed Comparison
- Icelandic Sheepdog vs Akbash Dog - Breed Comparison
- Icelandic Sheepdog vs Akita - Breed Comparison
- Icelandic Sheepdog vs Africanis - Breed Comparison
- Icelandic Sheepdog vs Askal - Breed Comparison
- Icelandic Sheepdog vs Atlas Terrier - Breed Comparison