|My adventure with the Icelandic sheepdog began with an Email from the AKC
announcing the breed would be accepted to the herding group. Not long before I
had lost my six year old Jack Russell, Jack, to cancer. I was not ready for another
dog but the AKC communication led me to seek more information... I read as much
as I could find and looked at pictures. The description in the breed standard
impressed me the most. The Icelandic Sheepdog is cheerful, friendly, inquisitive,
playful and unafraid. The expression is gentle, intelligent and happy. A confident
and lively bearing is typical for this dog. Second was a long conversation with Cathy
Lallemand.Cathy had a litter listed with the AKC. It was apparent that Cathy was
very committed to the breed and her dogs. Her knowledge and passion for
breeding the Icelandic Sheepdog was evident. It was during that conversation that
I decided Cathy was someone I could trust and she decided she would trust me
with Thrymheim’s Ice. I knew my impressions of Cathy were correct when she
volunteered to drive Ice half way to me after I voiced my concern about putting
the little guy on a plane. Cathy also called after Ice was with us for a week just to
see how things were going! We communicate on a regular basis and Cathy’s
knowledge and friendship are most appreciated.
Thrymheim’s Ice was born on June 16, 2010. He came to us on August 29, 2010.
On September 6, 2010 we started our first class, basic beginner obedience and
manners. Ice was the youngest dog in the class and was quickly everyone’s
favorite. Ice proved to be a quick learner and it was during this class that he
demonstrated what an exceptional dog he is. Ice is the breed standard for
temperament and behavior. He loves to work, and wants most to please me.
Thrymheim’s Ice is praise motivated, at four months old and now he just gets so
excited when he hears the words “good boy”. The last class was a graduation test.
The trainer would grade each dog and handler. Proud to say we placed third. We
could have won but that was the night, for the first time, that Ice thought it would
be much more fun if he barked during each exercise. Every time he barked we lost
a point. We went on to win the trick competition when Ice was the only dog in the
group that would roll over to his left and right and could spin left and right on voice
command or hand signal. We were a proud pair and Ice was just four months old
when we finished that first class. The trainer and judge informed me that Ice
would have easily won the competition had he not decided to bark.
On March 28, 2011 Ice passed his AKC Canine Good Citizen test at nine months
old. Ice could have passed this test after our first class except for “accepting a
friendly stranger” Ice never met a stranger and it is difficult for him to hold a sit in
this situation, he wants to greet everyone and be in the middle of whatever is
Ice and I have taken 9 training classes for a total of 54 weeks of instruction. We
have done classes in obedience, advanced obedience, introduction to agility 1-2and
3. After a couple of private lessons Ice and I are working on our own to prepare
for Rally novice. We can execute all the exercises, but I need to find a rally class
so we can practice with other dogs and distractions.
Next year I hope to have Ice certified for therapy work, complete rally novice and
novice obedience titles. Ice really loves agility but he is such a high drive kind of
guy that I am always worried about an injury. Most of the Agility work we have
done is low impact for him and work on my handling skills. Judging by his ability to
move a 110 pound Swiss Mountain dog around the yard I believe his herding
instincts are strong too, but one goal at a time.
I can’t begin to express what an outstanding companion Ice has become. I am
grateful to everyone who has played a role in saving this wonderful breed for those
of us who enjoy one now and for those that will enjoy the Icelandic Sheepdog in
|Jim, daughter Anna and baby Ice
|Ice and Jim win third place in their first
puppy obedience competition
|Jim and Ice
|Ice and best friend Bentley visit Santa his