Sunday, October 31, 2010

Bear - Bersi av Isheim - BFF, CGC, RN

Bear earned his Rally Novice title this weekend - however - we learned that he is afraid of men.

For his first leg a few weeks ago, he had a male judge and a male timekeeper and was very upset and nervous. He even 'forgot' how to do a "Down!". I attributed the nervousness to stage fright at his first North American show.

In his first trial this weekend he had a female judge and he scored very high and behaved like he does in class, i.e. very well.

In his final and third trial we had a male judge who was the timekeeper at his first show, and he would not turn his back on him he was so frightened. I do not blame the timekeeper/judge at all. AT ALL.

We finished his title with a low qualifying score but we have much work to do in order to correct the problem. Of course we will do some de-sensitizing but I think I need some additional ideas.

Naturally we will NOT look for shows that only have female judges. I am sure we will get over this.

Bear - Bersi av Isheim - BFF, CGC, RN

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Red Maple

One thousand words plus


Can you match the photo with the name? Some names are repeated.

The Frog, Begging, Sleeping Beauty, The Fish, The Frog Extended, The Grasshopper, The Dead Opossum, The Wishbone, Twisted, Yoga

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Late Fall Color

(Click on photo once or twice to enlarge it.)

The Black Sugar Maple, on the right, has shed its last leaves, the Beech in the back of my yard still has its leaves and the color is very nice. In the neighbor's yard behind me one of my favorite Oak trees has nice color. Fall is a lovely time of year; too short, but lovely nonetheless.

I saved the Maple when it was a sapling; the Beech was a volunteer seedling a few years ago.

"The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit." - Nelson Henderson

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Alaskastadirs Korpur

Korpur - Alaskastadirs Korpur - BFF, CGC, RN, RA, RE, CD

Korpur finished his Companion Dog (CD) title today in Ann Arbor. He wagged his tail, all my Icelandics do, all the way through the exercises - except for long sits and long downs.

(Click on his photo to enlarge it.)

"Everybody does better when everybody does better." - Jim Hightower

"Beauty without Intelligence is like a hook without bait." - Jean Baptiste Pequin

"Keep your friends close, Harry." - Sirius Black

"Never, for the sake of peace and quiet, deny your own experience or convictions." - Dag Hammarskjold

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

- History of Icelandics 12

These are some photos (below) of an extremely rare tiny-mini-Icelandic given to me by a student in my Rally class and my Fundamentals class at Sportsmens Dog Training Club, an American Kennel Club (AKC) all breed obedience club. A friend imported her from Iceland to give to me! Isn't that nice?

Click on photos once or twice to enlarge them.

Working Dogs of the World, London, 1947, Clifford L. B. Hubbard

Mr. F. W. Anderson in 1932 stated, "The hair was rough and longest on the back, hindquarters and tail, and colored all black, and black and with white or brown markings on the face, chest and root of the tail: the bushy tip of the tail was often white."

"Description. A summing up of the various descriptions augmented by later reports received suggests that the prevalent type in Iceland today is one with a wide, flat head, tapering sharply to a pointed muzzle; small ears which are set high, triangular, and carried erect to the front with the tips falling over; the eyes are small round and dark; the jaws strong with even teeth. The neck is short and fairly thick, muscular and apparently abundantly covered with rather long hair which forms a stand-off ruff or frill (suggesting some collie influence); the chest of moderate depth, and the loins showing almost negligible tuck-up; the legs are relatively short, but well boned, sturdy and straight, with small cat-like feet; the tail is long, set low and carried low with a final upward curl.
"The coat is short on the face and head, ears and front of the legs, but long on the neck, back, flanks and hindquarters, with a harsh texture generally; the longest hair is on neck and tail. Colour is generally black or black with white or gray points on the chest, feet and tail-tip. Height is about 20 inches, and weight 45 - 50 pounds."

(From The Iceland Dog 874 - 1956, Mark Watson )

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"The Iceland Dog (also known as the Icelandic Sheepdog)
Revised Standard of Points, 1956

General Appearance: A spitz type of slightly under middle size, lightly built, with a game temperament.

Head: Light, rather broad between the ears.

Skull: Broad and domed.

Muzzle: Rather shorter than long; stop, marked but not sharp.

Nose: Black.

Lips: Short and tight.

Ears: Large at the base, triangular in shape, pointed and erect.

Eyes: Small and round; dark in color with a lively expression.

Neck: Short, strong and slightly arched, carrying the head high.

Shoulders: Straight, not sloping.

Chest: Large and deep.

Belly: Drawn up.

Body: Strong and rather short but light.

Legs: Clean, straight and muscular; stifles not too bent.

Feet: Oval, pads well-developed.

Tail: Of moderate length,very bushy and carried curled over the back.

Coat: Hard, of medium length, longer round the neck, on the thighs and at the underside of the tail. The coat is flat on the body and is short on the head and legs; forelegs without feather.

Color: White with fawn markings, golden, light fawn with black tips to long hairs, and occasionally all black.

Height: From 15 to 18 inches.

Weight: About 30 lbs."

(From The Iceland Dog 874 - 1956, Mark Watson )

Saturday, October 9, 2010

- History of Icelandics 11

Hutchinson's Dog Encyclopaedia, London, 1935, Walter Hutchinson

"Iceland Dog - - with short snipy muzzle, ears with the tips hanging down, long coat, and short, slender legs. - - - a small sheepdog, about nineteen inches high. The head is arched; the muzzle short and snipy; the hair on the tail itself thick; the tail itself curled at the end; the legs of middle size, high and slender. The colour is mostly blackish-grey, but the neck, the chest, the belly, and the inside of the legs, white." - Dr.Walther, 1817, Germany.

" - - -the Iceland Dog looks very much like the dog of Greenland, from which it differs only in coat and undercoat, which are not quite as long as its Polar cousin's. The head is almost the same shape with erect ears, the tips somewhat inclined downwards. - - - the colour is principally white over the entire body, with large patches, but black ones are met with sometimes." - Thomas Brown, 1829

"- - -The head is more round and the muzzle more snipy than the Eskimo Dog, but it has the Eskimo Dog's coat, and the size is about that of the Kamtschatka. The colour is either black and white or brown and white, and the ears are erect." - Hamilton Smith, Mammalia, Volume X, 1840.

(From The Iceland Dog 874 - 1956, Mark Watson )

Den Store Hundeborg (The Big Book of Dogs), Copenhagen, 1938, Fr. Clausens Forlag

"The Iceland Dog is of an old, but little known origin. He is a very fine watchdog, extremely intelligent, kind to everybody.
As a sheepdog, he is almost without comparison, and he can without the help of people look after the sheep, the goats and the cows, and gather them for milking at certain hours. In appearance he is very much like the Eskimo dog from Greenland, except for the hair which is a little shorter."

Thursday, October 7, 2010

- History of Icelandics 10

Click on photo to enlarge.

Dogs; Their History and Development, New York,1927, Edward C. Ash

"The Iceland dog, or Fiaar-hund, Colonel Smith suggests was brought to Iceland by the Norwegians.' A race which at present is not found in the parent country, the head rounder and muzzle more pointed than the Esquimaux dog, the ears upright, the colours white-and-black or white-and-brown."

(From The Iceland Dog 874 - 1956, Mark Watson )

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Spendyrin (Mammals), Reykjavik,1932, Bjarni Saemundsson

"Dogs - Description of:

'One type is most common and original and this is the one usually called the Iceland Dog (in Scandinavian languages 'Spids' or 'Spidshund') - This dog is just under average size, fairly short, however well proportioned in build; the tail is of medium length and carried curled and turned out to the left side. The legs are fairly slim and the pads are average. There is often a thumb-pad with a claw, sometimes double, but without the corresponding bone at the top of the foot (instep). The head is fairly large with a medium broad nose and a fairly broad and large brow; the ears are short, but pricked (erect); the eyes are small and the pupil circular as is customary with dogs. The fur is considerable, particularly on the lower neck and tail, but reasonably soft. The pads are naked. This dog is generally of a single colour, yellowish-brown (red-yellow), white or entirely black, but often with a white belly, white toes and point of the tail ('thief-light' in the tail), sometimes it is dark with a white neck or spotted.'

(From The Iceland Dog 874 - 1956, Mark Watson )

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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

- History of Icelandics 9

'The Icelandic Sheepdogs (also known as Iceland Dogs), "Langa of the Borgarfjord" and "Hvita of the Borgarfjord", were offcially registered by Mrs. Wingfield Digby of Sherborne Castle, Dorset, England at the Kennel Club (England) in 1923.

'NOTE: by M.W. (Mark Watson):

'Mrs. Wingfield Digby has for many years owned the famous Van Zaandam Kennels and is a well known breeder of Keeshonds.

'Mrs. Wingfield Digby, while on a fishing trip to the Borgarfjord district of Iceland, acquired "Langa of Borgarfjord" and brought him to England in 1921. He was a black and white dog and highly intelligent.

'"Langa of Borgarfjord" was shown by Mrs. Wingfield Digby at a show in England held under the auspices of the Kennel Club (England) in 1923. He was in "Any Other Variety" class.

'"Hvita of Borgarfjord" (bitch) which Mrs. Wingfield Digby imported from Iceland in 1923 was black with light tan markings. She was also entered in shows under the auspices of the Kennel Club (England).

'Unfortunately "Langa of Borgarfjord" died shortly after "Hvita of Borgarfjord" came out of quarantine so they were unable to be bred.'

N. B. - This is the first reference to a tricolor dog (black with light tan markings) although black and white dogs had been mentioned for centuries.

(From The Iceland Dog 874 - 1956, Mark Watson )

(Top to bottom: Kani, Brana and Hringa. Click on photos to enlarge them.)

= = = = = = =
From the National Dog Show catalog, 14th and 15th November, 1923, Bingley Hall, Birmingham, England.

1263 - Mrs. G. Wingfield Digby. Langa of Borgarfjord (Iceland Sheepdog). b. (born) June, 1921, BR: (breeder) Mr. E. Einarson. Pedigree unknown.

1263 - Mrs. G. Wingfield Digby. Hvita of Borgarfjord (Iceland Sheepdog). b. (born) July, 1922, BR: (breeder) Mr. A.Sigurdsson. Pedigree unknown.

(From The Iceland Dog 874 - 1956, Mark Watson )

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Dogs for Sport and Pleasure - In Search of Novelty, by A. Croxton Smith, Daily Telegraph, (London), December 31, 1923

"They are small-at least, they seem very small for a sheep dog, although, of course, everything up there is smaller than the rest of Europe-exceedingly alert, active, and very fast, well built, with curly tail, broad chest, fine-drawn legs and muzzle, look very shiny and well kept. The dogs does that for himself. If they come in dirty, they clean themselves in about ten minutes. In Iceland I have seen men work these dogs over the rivers at a great distance from themselves by waving their arms. We noticed they were absolutely devoted to their masters and some of them simply could not bear us-strange sort of people they had never seen before-coming anywhere near their belongings. When their masters sat down the dogs immediately came and sat down and leant against them. A curious fact is that they are never allowed in the house in Iceland. I suppose simply because the lack of accommodation is so acute there, but I find them to be quite the best of house dogs. They will learn anything, as they are so anxious to please, perfectly devoted, and good watch dogs, and they are very strong and healthy. The colours are black and white. Black should predominate, or brown and black. I also saw them over there of a beautiful golden or chocolate colour, with yellow eyes, but certainly the greater number I saw were black ones with white on them."

(From The Iceland Dog 874 - 1956, Mark Watson )

Saturday, October 2, 2010


Kathy has Golden Retrievers and one Icelandic Sheepdog. This fall there was an “oops” litter between one of her male Goldens and her Icy female which was also a golden color.

Five beautiful mostly black Icy-Retriever puppies were born.

Our Golden expert explained how two golden colored dogs could produce a litter of nearly completely black puppies. (The puppies have a small amount of white on their bellies and some feet.)

Many people know about flat coated retrievers and curly coated retrievers. There was also a third related retriever, now extinct, known as wavy coated retrievers which were normally a black color with small amounts of white. However, occasionally some pups were born to wavy coated retrievers that were golden in color. These were selected for in breeding programs and eventually became the Golden Retrievers of today.

When the male Golden and the female Icelandic mated, some of the previously ‘turned-off’ genes for black fur turned back on and produced some lovely puppies.

We expect they will look very much like the now-extinct wavy coated retrievers when they are full grown – but who really knows!

We expect them to be larger in size than an Icelandic Sheepdog and slightly smaller than a Golden.

The temperament should be a combination which should make them fantastic obedience dogs. Three of the five pups are already extremely people oriented and show great promise for the agility or obedience ring. Two are a little softer and should make wonderful pets.

It looks like they will be mostly black adults with some white toes and chests, the floppy ears of typical retrievers, a retriever face, mostly straight tails and be long furred. Think of a slightly leaner and slightly smaller Golden with their long, but black, fur.

The pups are eight weeks old now and available to good homes. If you’ve been looking for a nice performance or pet dog but cannot afford a pure bred dog, these should be ideal dogs. Their temperaments are wonderful, they are extremely smart and love to cuddle.

Please give us a call.

Kathy – 734-461-9314
Jim – 248-288-0947