ISAA is a partner club of the Icelandic Sheepdog International Cooperation (ISIC) and so follows the ISIC international Icelandic Sheepdog breeding recommendations as a part of the ISAA breeding guidelines. As such, we respect and follow the Icelandic Sheepdog FCI standard as originally issued and maintained by the Icelandic Kennel Club (HRFI).
Registration: USA breeding dogs must be registered with the AKC and a copy of the pedigree on file with ISAA-BRCC, preferably an electronic copy. Dogs from other countries must be registered with their home country in a recognized FCI or CKC registry.
Breed Improvement: The aim of our ISAA breeding committee (Breeding Review and Compliance Committee - BRCC) is the same as that of the ISIC, to support breeding of healthy dogs with good working ability and the typical behavior of a farm and herding Spitz. It is based on the specific type and mental characteristics of the breed described in the AKC/FCI breed standard of the ISD.
Healthy dogs mean dogs perceived as healthy and strong, in good condition and with thick, weatherproof coats. It also means dogs that fulfill club recommendations in health matters.
A dog of good type means a dog with good external characteristics. The concept ‘type’ involves the total sum of the physical details which clearly separates the ISD from any other breeds. The general appearance and the details are described in the AKC/FCI breed standard for the ISD.
The BRCC, like the ISIC breeding committee, supports breeding with lively, gentle, courageous, intelligent and happy dogs. We believe the ISD should be a very good herding dog and an excellent guarding dog without being aggressive.
Genetic Variation: The BRCC, like the ISIC breeding committee, recommends combining dogs from unusual family groups with dogs from more common groups. This is to ensure preservation/spreading of unusual genes to a sufficient number of dogs. The committee recommends breeding more selectively in the larger family groups and less selectively in the smaller ones while still choosing the best, healthy dogs.
The ISAA and the BRCC supports the ISIC goal to reach an effective population size of about 150 – 200 dogs in the breeding pool as research has shown that this population is large enough to stop heavy losses of genetic variation within the breed.
We support the ISIC recommendation that breeding animals between be exchanged between countries in such a way that the average inbreeding, calculated over five generations, will not increase more than the 2% - 2.5% level of inbreeding. This corresponds to a .4% - .5% increase per generation.
Prior to breeding, the inbreeding coefficient (IC) scores for generations one through ten should be done. ISIC recommends an IC score of 5.0 or lower and a score of 6.5 or lower is considered acceptable at 5 generations. A copy of the pedigree for the pups will be generated by BRCC as well as the IC scores. Please request these be completed when you plan your breeding and use the information as a tool for deciding whether a particular litter should be bred. Of course, you are not required to have a litter listing on the website; nevertheless, this information needs to be compiled by the BRCC. This includes all litters produced by all approved breeders/stud dog owners, all male and female dogs bred.
Offspring/progeny: We follow the ISIC recommendation that the number of offspring from a single male should be no more than 35 and the number of offspring for a single female should be no more than 25. We also follow the recommendation that the number of grandchildren should be no more than twice the number of offspring during the life of the dog.
Breeding Age: Dogs are not mature until two to three years of age and cannot be judged with certainty before that time. This is also important in regard to genetic disturbances that may show up as a dog ages. Therefore, both males and females must be at least 24 months of age before being bred. This will allow them the necessary time to become fully mature physically and emotionally.
Other Reproductive Considerations: For females, their reproductive life should end at the end of their 8th year of age. Females should have at least one season between litters or a minimum of 9 months since the birth of her last litter. Females should not exceed 2 litters in a 24 month period. No drugs should be administered to alter their natural cycles. Cryptorchid or monorchid males will not be used for breeding.
We recommend that only dogs that can mate in the natural way be used for breeding. If artificial insemination is being used, a responsible veterinarian should certify that the male and female can mate naturally if they have not mated naturally in the past.
Health Testing: All dogs must complete required health checks and must be micro-chipped or tattooed in order to certify test results. These include hip and eye tests. These tests and the inbreeding co-efficient scores should be used by breeders to help decide if the dog (s) should be bred.
Hip Testing: Dogs must have a hip x-ray done before being bred and before being listed on the breeder/stud pages and before breeding. This may be OFA, PennHIP, or the European testing equivalent. The results must be on file with the BRCC. We recommend that dogs with hip dysplasia or unsatisfactory hip scores not be used for breeding. Our aim is to improve hip scores so dogs with poor hip scores should only be used if they have other qualities and contribute to the broadening of the breeding base.
To be listed on the breeder or stud pages, a CERF dog must have a CERF date from the previous year and submit the results to CERF to be posted on their website. For example, to be listed on the 2012 breeder page, each dog’s CERF results must be from 2011 or 2012.
Additionally, before a CERF dog is used for breeding, it is the breeder’s responsibility to make sure that there has been a CERF exam performed within the previous 12 months, submitted to CERF or the results received by the BRCC if not yet posted on the CERF site.
For foreign dogs, the dog must meet the guidelines of the parent club in regard to eye testing.
Optional Testing: X-rays of the elbows (front legs) and patella’s (rear legs) are also recommended but not required. These can be done at OFA testing and at some PennHIP testing locations.
Temperament/Mentality: ISIC recommends that dogs used in breeding should have taken part in the mental description or temperament testing if possible. And, to avoid problems with mental status, they recommend that we keep an eye on the dogs’ mentality so we can use the description in the selection of breeding animals. No specific temperament testing protocols in place for the Icelandic Sheepdog in the USA. We know of general resources available, such as those through the American Temperament Test Society http://atts.org/ and Volhard’s Puppy Aptitude Testing http://www.volhard.com/pages/pat.php among others. We can recommend the canine good citizen test through AKC http://www.akc.org/events/cgc/training_testing.cfm. While it is not a temperament test, it does include temperament testing features.
Recordkeeping: Breeders must keep a record of information on their dogs according to AKC/FCI guidelines for record keeping. AKC offers an on-line recording keeping service for breeders http://www.akc.org/services/breeder_records.cfm All parents’ test results, pertinent health information, dates of litters, and numbers of pups should be included. Litters should be registered with the AKC, CKC or FCI.
The BRCC chair will forward all information to the membership secretary, email addresses only to the newsletter editor (unless no email address is available and a copy via US mail needs to be sent), the name and state/province to the pedigree generator. All information will be kept confidential.
Photographs: Recent photos of the sire and dam must be on file with the BRCC.
Other Responsible Breeding Practices:
ISAA approved breeders do not condone and will not participate in mixed breeding with non-Icelandics or breeding Icelandic Sheepdogs that are not from an AKC FSS, CKC or FCI approved registry, including importing dogs from non-approved registries. ISAA approved breeders understand that Artificial Insemination (AI) with an Icelandic Sheepdog with/from an approved registry is permitted but strongly discouraged for a first litter in support of the ISIC recommendation.
With each Icelandic Sheepdog sold, ISAA approved breeders will make available the following: diet and care information, immunization and health records, a copy of at least a three generation information pedigree http://is-pedigrees.com/htdocs/search.html and, where applicable, a registration application or transfer http://www.akc.org/breeders/index.cfm. ISAA approved breeders will offer to help with problem solving throughout the dog's life.
Any breeder/stud owner who does not meet the guidelines may be removed from the “ISAA Breeders’ Page” and/or the “ISAA Stud Page”. Breeders will be re-listed at the owners’ request once their dogs conform to the published guidelines. In the alternative, in some instances, a note may be added to the breeder’s listing outlining the problem. Additionally, the ISAA approved breeder logo may not be used if the breeding guidelines are not followed.
Exceptions to any of the guidelines must be explained to and approved by the BRCC.
Icelandic Sheepdog Association of America (ISAA) Breeding Guidelines