Belle is an extremely intelligent dog. Right from the beginning
she would learn commands after one session and remember them.
She is an amazing problem solver and I enjoy watching her work.
One autumn afternoon her first summer, my father-in-law Willie
was repairing a roof and lost one of his gloves. He called Belle
over, showed her the remaining glove and said "Belle, go get my
other glove." Now, he did this really as a joke, because he did not
expect her to go find it. He kept on working and fairly soon Belle
came running up with his other glove in her mouth, and extremely
proud of herself. Well, that converted Willie - he had always loved
her, but now he really understood her intelligence.
One feature that makes Icelandic sheepdogs unique from other
breeds is their double dewclaws on their rear feet. (Some rare dogs
have three or even four double dewclaws - called allspori). I had
read that the dewclaws helped the dogs to climb rocks and ice in
Iceland. Well, one day Belle had followed me into the barn and she
climbed right straight up the side of 5 stacked bales of hay (not
staggered, straight up!). I couldn't believe my eyes - she was
climbing like a cat!.
At four months of age Belle helped me catch and move an
escaped ewe lamb, holding her and then moving her into the gate I
opened. When the pups are around, whether they are hers or not,
she keeps an eye on them and herds them around the yard, never
letting them wander too far. At one point, when Rosie could still
fit through the picket fencing and escaped from me (prior to
coming when I called her), Belle ran out, barking at her, turned her
around and brought her back to me.
Belle is an excellent mother. She had her first three litters
completely unassisted, six puppies each, and she is a most
attentive mother. She is a wonderful teacher to her pups,
socializing them to getting along with other dogs - we work on
socializing them with people!
Belle's hips were x-rayed when she turned two
years old and her rating was good; her elbows
were normal. We have her eyes examined
annually and her CERF test results are always
To view Belle's pedigree, click here.
Above is Belle in November of 2008.
Because we had to retire Belle, and had kept two of her
daughters, Lavandels Kyssa and Lavandels Elsa, we rehomed
Belle to a wonderful sheep farm in Kentucky where she is much
loved and is very happy. However... I still miss her very much.