The Young of Iceland‘s Domestic Animals III
The Icelandic dog probably came to Iceland with settlers and is considered a close relative of the Norwegian Buhund. Organized breeding of the Icelandic dog started in the middle of the last century. It was commonly used for rounding up sheep, but is popular as a family dog. Establishing good relationship between owner and puppy with praise and play is important in training. It is an adults’ task, not the childrens’, to raise a dog. Most types of dogs are fond of children but there is a difference in just being a toy or being a playmate and a friend.
The settlers brought horses to Iceland more than eleven centuries ago. The Icelandic horse is sometimes considered a descendant of the Norwegian Fjord horse, which was common in Scandinavia, but is quite different in terms of size and shape. The Icelandic horse is small but sturdy, persevering and tough in all kinds of weather. It has gained great popularity for its friendly nature and equanimity. For horse lovers, spring is an exciting time when the foals are born. Human interaction with foals is important, making breaking easier. Breaking normally begins when the horse is four years old.