Icelandic Sheepdog Association of America (ISAA)
Breeding Guidelines
The American Kennel Club (AKC) has a wealth of great information about breeding. Their introduction for new breeders is a basic course in breeding
from A to Z and can be found on their website by clicking on the breeder tab or click here

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).

Our AKC standard is closely modeled on this standard and endorsed by Deild íslenska fjárhundsins (DIF), the Icelandic national club for Icelandic
Sheepdogs. Please see the AKC breed standard
and the illustrated standard for more information

Registration: USA 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 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
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 by 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. This may be OFA, PennHIP, or
the European testing equivalent. The results must be on file with the BRCC. We strongly 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.

For more information on PennHip, please see the laxity profile ranking explanation on following link. PennHip recommends that breeding stock be
selected from dogs with tighter hips than the median ranking for the breed.

For more information on OFA, please see the OFA hip dysplasia guidelines for breeders,
What is hip dysplasia? and for an examination of hip grading

Eye Testing: Before being bred for the first time and before being listed on the ISAA breeder pages, a dog must have an eye test that certifies them
free of heritable eye disease.

In the USA and Canada, this means an OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals) Eye test. Here is the OFA eye flyer.
There is also a great deal of information on their website under the eye database tab on the left side of the page, including tabs for eye disease
genetics, eye disease glossary, the eye exam, CAER number eligible, breeder option codes, ineligible codes, registration procedures and eye database

To be listed on the breeder or stud pages, a dog must have an OFA eye test date from the previous year and submit the results to OFA to be posted on
their website. For example, to be listed on the 2016 breeder page, each dog’s OFA eye results must be from 2015 or 2016.

Additionally, before a dog is used for breeding, it is the breeder’s responsibility to make sure that there has been an OFA Eye exam performed within
the previous 12 months, submitted to OFA or the results received by the BRCC if not yet posted on the OFA website.

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 optional.

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  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
While it is not a temperament test, it does include temperament testing features.  

Working Ability: We recommend that dogs be tested for working (herding) instinct/ability. This can be done through AKC http://www.akc.
org/events/herding/getting_started.cfm or another herding club

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 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.

Litter Information: All information from prior litters must be current with the BRCC or the home country breed club. Required information can be
submitted to the BRCC via email ( The litter information form is can be found in the Breeder’s Corner under the forms and
applications tab, which has a link to the litter information form.

The BRCC will forward all information to the membership secretary and website coordinator. 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: In order to promote the protection and welfare of our breed, ISAA encourages breeders to register each
litter and puppy with the American Kennel Club, to microchip each puppy and have an OFA eye test on each puppy.

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 and, where applicable, a registration
application or transfer 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.