The Icie’s Sense of Smell

Iceland’s only native breed is affectionately called “Icie” by its many fans. Icelandic Sheepdogs are still used there for herding, and indeed, owners cherish the breed’s ability to recognize each individual sheep in their flock. This knack is essential when rounding up the animals after they’ve been grazing all summer because sheep can be scattered over a massive area. These dogs will search high and low over varied terrain to find each individual member of their flock, collect them, and take them home. Even more impressive is that Icelandic Sheepdogs can tell which sheep belong to their owner!

Though the breed doesn’t show up in most Top Ten lists of breeds with the keenest sense of smell, Icies do have an acute sense of smell, and that enables them to find sheep buried under several feet of snow. Because the dog’s nose is so accurate, Icies have been successfully trained to locate the eggs of distinct species of birds.

Image: Icelandic Sheepdog created from 10 to 20 individually hand cut pieces of paper, in a variety of colors and patterns, then combined in layers and mounted on color stock by Patricia Peters – CanineCutUp                                         



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